Thursday, June 3, 2010


There is nothing more beautiful than experiencing the brilliant flood of new flowers that usher in the season of spring, nothing more satisfying than watching our yards and gardens come to life with abundant new blooms and growth. All good plants, however, need a little help from time to time to continue growing at their very best. Fertilizers of course, provide plant nutrition, but ultimately, you may begin to have problems with the crawly kinds of critters that love to chew on your beloved green friend's leaves and roots. Pesticides are a must in almost every lawn or garden if you want it to remain strong and productive. At Virginia Twins, we avidly believe in promoting a healthy environment, so we encourage "organic" whenever possible and sell products that are environmentally safe. So, now that your lawns, plants and gardens have had all spring to flourish, don't let bugs or pests get a hold of them.

Here are a few products we recommend to help keep those pests at bay:

1. Dipel Dust and BT Worm Killer by Green Light - These two products are the same, one is a powder, one is a liquid concentrate. Both have the primary ingredient called "B.T." or Bacillus thuringiensis. B.T. is a naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects. These bacteria are the active ingredient used in insecticides with B.T. It is considered safe to people and wildlife and some formulations can be used on essentially all food crops. Both of these products target leaf-chewing worms on vegetables, fruits, shade trees and ornamentals. Some of the pests these two products control are Tomato Hornworms, Webworms, Armyworms, Bagworms, Cutworms and Leaf Rollers.

2. Fire Ant Control with Conserve by Green Light - The active ingredient in this product is Spinosad which is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium called Saccharopolyspora spinosa. Since it's discovery, Spinosad has been formulated into insecticides that combine the efficiency of a synthetic insecticide with the benefits of a biological pest control organism. And even though Spinosad is used to control a variety of insect pests, including fruit flies, caterpillars, leafminers, thrips, sawflies, spider mites and leaf beetle larvae, "Fire Ant Control with Conserve" is specifically designed to kill fire ants and harvester ants.

As a matter of fact, this product is attractive and deadly to both of these. Ants quickly find and pick up this bait, take it back to the mound and feed it to the entire colony including the queen. Ants start dying in 24 - 36 hours with mound/colony destruction in 3 - 14 days.

Fire ant and harvester ant colonies are started by newly mated queens that fly into an area, burrow into the ground and begin laying their eggs. Several fights are common during the summer months, often shortly after rains. It takes several weeks for new mounds to appear. Applying both mound and broadcast applications eliminates and controls visible mounds and helps prevent new mounds from forming.

3. Choker Loop Mole Trap by Nash - This mole trap works when the mole enters the trap from either direction. The trap's choker loop-type spring action kills moles cleanly and quickly without bait. This trap is designed with moving parts under ground, safely away from children and pets playing in the yard.

A pair of moles reproduces about 4 young each spring. The young are born in April and are seldom seen until they are nearly full grown. In the Midwest, the young are fed in the nest until around June, when they begin creating runway tunnels in the ground.

Tunnels which are 1 1/2 " to 2" in diameter serve as feed lines for moles. Earthworms and insects crawl into the tunnels which are then eaten by moles. Typically, there is one family of moles for each set of runways or feed lines. In times of food scarcity, one mole family may invade the runways of another.

Contrary to popular belief, moles do not eat garden seeds or flower bulbs. Moles may create runways in rows of garden plants solely because they find greater moisture, insect larvae, earthworms, and other soil organisms in that area. Moles can harm plants, however, since their runways may expose air to fragile roots. The real culprits are mice, rats, gophers, and other seed and plant eating animals.

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