34August 12, 2009
It is mid August and the true days of summer have arrived. It is also nice to have some cooler days with less humidity. It makes it easier to work in the garden.
As much as we hate to admit it, summer is winding down. We are not the only ones to notice this trend. The creepy crawlers also know this.
In late summer, mice are beginning to look for a place to spend the winter months. Your home usually has enough cracks to let mice get into your home. If you want to humanely keep the mice out of your home, there is a product you can use that acts as a mouse repellent. It is called Mouse Magic. Mouse Magic is made from mint oils. Mice don’t like the smell of mint. The mint is contained in small packets that you place around the house in areas where you would expect mice to enter your home. These places would include areas where pipes enter the home, in the bulkhead and around the garage door. You place the packets in these areas and the smell will keep mice from entering for 30 days. If you replace the packets every 30 days until the snow flies, you can keep mice out of your home.
The activity of mice also means that the ticks that carry Lyme disease will also begin to get active. The ticks use the mice as an intermediate host. There is a product that you can use that will take advantage of this situation. As the mice scurry around looking for a place to nest, they eventually come in contact with the ticks. The mice will bring nesting material back to their home along with the ticks. You can take advantage of this situation by placing a product called Damminix around your yard. The Damminix comes in small tubes that are filled with cotton balls. The cotton balls are treated with a pyrethrum insecticide. As the mice take the cotton balls back to the nest, the ticks are killed off. The insecticide does not harm the mouse. If you place the Damminix tubes around your yard now, you can greatly reduce the ticks that carry Lyme disease.
On a different note, the insect of the week would appear to be mealy bugs on holly plants. Check your holly plants to see if there are any white cottony looking areas on the leaves of your plants. You may also notice a sticky substance on the leaves of your holly. The leaves may also have a black substance on the leaves. If you see that the mealy bugs are on the leaves, you will want to treat the holly with a systemic insecticide. This is either applied to the soil around the base of the plant or it can be sprayed on the leaves. Either way, you want to control this insect as quickly as possible. The constant feeding by this insect will weaken the holly plant and make it very likely to cause the plant to be damaged easily by a harsh winter.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.