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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.

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california native plants are poppies for wildflowers and native plant ecosystem

For more sustainable business information, visit CaliforniaGreenSolutions.com for Sustainable Workplace and Green Products, www.SunshineByDesign.com and ~ Movie Industry Marketing for Indie Filmmaking Tips Arkansas Pet Services ~ BLTNetwork.com for Lifestyles ~ Home and Garden Habitat, Organics and Sustainability
organic foods, organic landscaping, organic farming and organic products for babies, kids and adults.

Get rid of Termites and Ants using safe non-chemical methods

A recent report for the state of California gave a wonderful overview of pest control processes and alternatives using Integrated Pest Management. I'll lightlight the key points here, but if you want to read all the details, go to:[PDF] Pest Control Operator IPM Program Evaluation
TOP POLLUTOR: chemicals used to treat TERMITES in STRUCTURES

TOP REASON IT MATTERS: FRESH WATER pollutants in 60 bodies of surface water...and growing.

THE SOLUTION: Integrated Pest Management

In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, 85 tons of diazinon was used in 2000, with 23 tons reported for structural pest control use.

With over 60 urban water bodies in California impaired due to diazinon and chlorpyrifos, clearly the public and the pest management industry need to be involved in better methods of managing pests if water quality improvements are to be achieved. We believe that the adoption of IPM practices is key to lessening our dependence on the pesticides that are of most risk to the environment and human health and safety.

Unfortunately, both the public and many pest management professionals lack a clear understanding of the principles of IPM. In a national survey of pest control operators, about

  • 80% said they received the largest number of calls for ANTS,
  • 22% said TERMITES,
  • 20% said COCKROACHES, with
  • about 4% saying other insect pests (Pest Control 2001).

Pesticides Used in Structural Pest Control

According to the latest published data from DPR in the Pesticide Use Report (PUR) for the year 2000, 5,164,843 pounds of pesticide active ingredients were applied for structural pest control in California (DPR 2000).

More than 70% of all pesticides applied were used to control termites (this includes fumigants, broad spectrum, and reduced risk materials).

Pesticides Applied to Landscapes

According to the PUR, 1,395,421 pounds of pesticide active ingredients were used on landscapes in California in 2000.

  • 55.5% of the total is herbicides.
  • 17.0% of the total is fungicides.
ALWAYS ask for IPM
Integrated Pest Management!

Prevent problems with cleaning

Learn specifics for your location

Ask your legislator for statewide IPM certification

Care! That's our biggest hurdle.

Common Pests and IPM alternative treatments

Argentine Ant

Recommend sanitation and cultural practices.
Clean up after eating and preparation.
Store food in sealed containers.
Confine food to eating and preparation areas. (Keep food out of classrooms, offices, bedrooms, etc.)
Eliminate leaking water pipes and faucets (indoors and outdoors).
Limit food storage and eating to defined areas.
Rinse recyclables before storing.
Empty or seal garbage daily before nightfall.
Keep indoor and outdoor garbage containers clean; use plastic liners to facilitate this.
Keep food and pet food in ant/roach/rodent-proof containers.
Keep sink clear of dirty dishes and run dishwasher regularly.

Pest proofing
Seal entry points.
Install weather-stripping around doors and windows.

Physical controls
Vacuum up ant trails.
Treat cracks and crevices or wall voids with boric acid or desiccating dusts.

Cultural controls
Remove plants harboring honeydew-producing insects from around the perimeter of structures (or control honeydew-producing insects on these plants).
Use aromatic cedar mulch in landscaping near structures to discourage ants.

Reduced-risk chemical controls
Use self-contained baits with the following active ingredients:
Boric acid, borax, borate Hydramethylnon Fipronil Sulfluramid
Wipe up ant trails using a citrus oil cleaner.

Termites

Preventive Controls:
Inject soil with a registered termiticide (chlorpyrifos and other chemicals can be used) prior to laying the foundation
Eliminate direct contact between soil and wood.
Store wood piles as far from structure as practical.
Remove all cellulose debris from under structure.
Use termite baiting with monthly monitoring.

Reduced-Risk Practices: Prevention for Drywood and Subterranean Termites
Monitor structure periodically to detect termite presence or conditions that can lead to infestation.
Reduce moisture level of wood in structure by:
  • fixing leaks, gutters, drains, downspouts, etc.
  • improving drainage around structure
  • improving ventilation
  • changing irrigation and landscape practices that cause water damage to structure or increase water collection near structure
    Eliminate direct contact between soil and wood.
    Replace damaged wood with borate treated wood.
    Replace wood with aluminum, concrete, or vinyl in areas most vulnerable to moisture.
    Remove stumps and other wood debris from under and around the structure.
    Store wood piles as far from structure as practical.
    Plant trees and shrubs away from buildings to insure proper air circulation
    and reduce moisture retention in building.
    Screen vents.
    Maintain buildings in good repair.

    Physical controls
    Fumigate with heat. This is usually as a spot treatment because whole house treatments are expensive.
    Spot treat with Electricity, Microwaves, Liquid Nitrogen
    Treat wall voids with desiccating dusts such as silica gel.

    Least hazardous chemical controls
    Borate-based wood treatments

    Subterranean Termites: Physical controls
    Use pre-construction barriers such as stainless steel mesh and sand.
    Treat wall voids with desiccating dust such as silica aerogel.

    Reduced-risk chemical controls
    Borate based wood treatments
    Termite baits with the following active ingredients: (Note: to be effective, termite bait stations must be closely monitored), Diflubenzuron, Hexaflumuron, Sulfluramid

    RESOURCES:

    List of Licensed Pesticide Operators: Pest Control License Database

    Search California Pesticide Product Data: Pesticide Product Information System

    More info about licensing

    California Department of Pesticide Regulation: Lots of helful links: pesticide Database SEARCH