Sprinkler Warehouse featured in Miami Herald: Here’s your anti-Zika aresenal


 

There are a variety of mosquito repellent choices.

The science of fighting mosquitoes has come a long way since since old-time moonshiners and poachers in the Everglades kept swarms at bay with smoke pots and netting made of cheesecloth sacks.

Today, with Zika cropping up in Miami, a host of products and services claim to stop mosquitoes: natural or synthetic repellents; high-tech clothing; noise makers; citronella candles and a variety of repellent burners or other devices intended to create a bubble of protection. If you’re willing to spend more money, you can hook up a repellent distributor to your sprinkler or install a mister system along the roof eaves.

While South Florida’s mosquito control agencies have tackled marsh mosquitoes with larvicides and aerial- and truck-spraying methods, the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti is more of a challenge — a suburban invader that can breed in a bottlecap of water and requires house-to-house combat. It usually stays within 150 yards of its birthplace.

“Zika is a manmade issue,” says Beth Ranson, spokeswoman for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board. “Typically, it’s the neighbor or yourself that is causing the problem. So making it a community effort is very important.”

These latest devices and services all have supporters, but many experts, like the American Mosquito Control Association, say their results have been mixed. They say the best advice may still be the basics: Dump the rain water that collects around your yard, wear long sleeves outside and douse yourself in repellent, particularly stuff with DEET.

Here’s a look at some household treatment options:

1. Sprinkler systems

When you water your lawn to give it that green glow, you can add something extra to ward off mosquitoes. Several companies sell natural oil extracts like garlic, citronella, rosemary, cedar, lemongrass, geraniol and thyme. You can purchase a machine that automatically distributes the concentrate to your sprinkler system — they go for about $1,800 from Sprinkler Magician. Or, to save money, you can buy just the solution for around $130 per gallon and use a hand- or battery-powered sprayer.

“Just because it’s a natural product doesn’t mean it can’t kill mosquitoes,” said Peter Olt, CEO of Sprinkler Magician. He said the company has done lab testing that shows the product’s effectiveness against mosquitoes, and that he has heard reports from customers that it works on other biting insects like red ants and gnats.

While several different companies offer oil concentrates for sprinkler systems, they tend to share the same all-natural ingredients, said Blaine Walker, spokesman for shopping website Sprinkler Warehouse. He said that cedar oil is a particularly effective main ingredient: It kills mosquitoes by dehydrating them and kills larvae and eggs by dissolving their exoskeleton. The concentrates on Sprinkler Warehouse run for $50 to $100 depending on ingredients, and hand-powered sprayers go for about $50.

2. Professional spraying service

Many professional pest control companies offer periodic yard spray, which can cost $50 and up depending on yard size. Unlike sprinkler systems, they focus more on shrubs, bushes and patio furniture. Yoel Gutierrez, co-owner of Mosquito Joe of South Miami, said his company has found mosquitoes do not tend to hide in lawn grass unless it is very tall. Mosquito Joe’s offers two types of spraying: natural options — with ingredients like peppermint, wintergreen or rosemary oil — and synthetic pyrethrin (a compound derived from the chrysanthemum flower). The natural options last about two weeks, while the synthetic option lasts three. Both are designed to work if it rains. Gutierrez says the synthetic option is more effective, but some consumers prefer to avoid pesticides.

“This is not a repellent,” Gutierrez said. “We are trying to kill them. We want to reduce the population of mosquitoes on your property.”

3. Misting systems

Misting systems are installed on a building’s roof eaves or other high surface. They feature timers that periodically emit a fine mist of natural or synthetic repellent intended to kill mosquitoes or drive them and other insects away. However, some have raised concerns about the environmental impact of misting systems that use pesticides. “Scheduled sprays used by these misters may needlessly broadcast pesticides into the environment, affecting mosquitoes and nontarget insects alike,” reads an analysis on the American Mosquito Control Association’s website.

While businesses called by the Miami Herald were reluctant to give a price estimate because of variations related to property size, they can run from the thousands of dollars and up.

4. ‘Bubble’ protection

Another realm of products works by heating and dispersing repellent into the air to create a “bubble” of protection while you enjoy your yard. One manufacturer, Thermacell, is particularly popular among customers, says Ruben Mijares, camping gear director at the Bass Pro Shops in Dolphin Mall. Thermacell uses the repellent allethrin, a copy of the chemical found in chrysanthemum flowers. Thermacell says the technology is silent and odor free and lasts for four hours with the standard product, and up to 12 with the maximum strength product. The product recently received EPA approval and comes in various forms like portable repellers and flame free “torches.” They go for $25-$50.

The downside, users say, is that they tend to be less effective in windy areas and skeeters can target you if you leave the small bubble.

5. Zappers, sound makers

Mosquito zappers use black light to attract and then electrocute insects. These devices are shown to be very successful at doing this but, as the American Mosquito Control Associationpoints out, the two controlled studies conducted on the instruments show the vast majority of bugs they kill are not mosquitoes. This can hurt the ecosystem by killings the bugs that we actually need. “Indeed, reduced numbers of moth and beetle prey species have contributed significantly to the decline of songbird populations in many affluent suburbs,” reads the website of the American Mosquito Control Association. “Insect electrocution devices undoubtedly bear some responsibility for this phenomenon.” Mosquito zappers go for around $25 from online sellers.

Ultrasound device makers that are supposed to scare off mosquitoes or confuse them to disrupt their mating also get a bad rap from AMCA: “At least 10 studies in the past 15 years have unanimously denounced ultrasonic devices as having no repellency value whatsoever. … The fact is that these devices just do not work — marketing claims to the contrary.” They start around $10.

6. Mosquito traps

The biggest boom in household mosquito control has been with devices that bait bugs with an odor-emitting attractant, then suck them in with a vacuum to be electrocuted or dispatched in some other way. These devices, which range from $50 up to several hundred dollars, come in a wide array of styles and sizes — some claiming to protect large swathes of land, an acre or more.

They require maintenance to replace traps and clean out dead bugs, but AMCA lists them among the most promising and evolving technology. Effectiveness depends on factors including the size of the mosquito population and the proximity to breeding habitat.

7. Specialty clothing

Another option is permethrin, a chemical sprayed on clothes, shoes and gear that will be good for a few wash cycles. You can also purchase clothes with permethrin built in (the main brand is Insect Shield). The chemical is EPA-registered in both spray and factory-added forms. The environmental agency has found no evidence of negative effects on pregnant or nursing women or their children. Clothing with permethrin built in costs up to $80 from Insect Shield. Permethrin spray costs around $15.

Clothing with premethrin should be washed separately from other clothes, as the chemical is meant only for outerwear. Also keep in mind that premethrin-treated clothing is only good for the parts of the body that it covers. Other body parts that remain exposed, like hands or ankles, should be given a dose of insect repellent.

8. Dump standing water

Just two ounces of standing water is enough to breed 300 mosquitoes. So keep making those rounds to check gutters, tarps, recycling and trash bins, potted plants — anything that can collect a breeding pool.

Ranson of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board believes that is the single most important step to stop the spread of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. “A mosquito has to bite a diseased person, develop the virus in themselves, and then bite someone else. They don’t create it in their own body.”

9. DEET

Even with any of the options above, using repellent also makes sense. Less than $10, depending on the size.

“DEET should be the new perfume in Wynwood,” said Dr. Matthew DeGenarro, director of the Laboratory of Mosquito Genetics and Behavior at FIU. He uses genetics to study how mosquitoes detect human scents and swears by DEET, suggesting produces with at least 15 percent concentration.

Although the chemical’s safety has been a source of debate among some consumers for years, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationand the American Academy of Pediatricts are clear on the matter: When used as directed, it is safe, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women and for children. The EPA notes that in its extensive review of the data on the topic, there were no toxic effects seen in studies even with doses that greatly exceeded those found in DEET products.

DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months. Parents should also be careful not to use combination sunscreen/insect repellent products because sunscreen must be reapplied every few hours, while insect repellent should not be reapplied as often. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests products with concentrations ranging from 10 to 30 percent, which are similar in effectiveness but vary in how long they last (two to five hours, respectively).

10. Alternative repellents

If you don’t want to use DEET, Consumer Reports also found two other active ingredients effective and safe: picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Both can retail for less than $10, depending on the size. Picaridin is a synthetic compound that mirrors a chemical found in the black pepper plant. Look for a concentration around 20 percent. A product with this main ingredient (Sawyer’s Picaridin 20% insect repellant) currently tops Consumer Report’s list of recommended insect repellants.

Mijares, from the Bass Pro Shops, says picaridin is popular among his customers. “The fishermen here in South Florida have told me that DEET sometimes deteriorates their gear,” he says. “It’s not as harsh on your skin. They come in droves and buy it.” He still also recommends DEET, though, pointing to the CDC’s conclusion that the product is safe.

The Consumer Reports brief also gives high marks to products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus. Look for concentrations around 30 percent. This natural product is EPA-registered, meaning it has been stamped by the agency as safe and effective even for pregnant and breast-feeding women. However, the FDA says oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3.

Consumer Reports said other natural products — cedar, cinnamon, citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint — did not perform well in tests, with some wearing off after just 30 minutes.

Both picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus come with a head’s up for potential eye irritation.

11. Citronella candles

Mijares, of Bass Pro Shops, says that citronella candles have gotten mixed reviews. “I’ve had customers swear by them, and some come back and say, ‘I wish it worked better,’” he says. He stresses they should be used only outside in a well-ventilated area. They are available for less than $10 online.

(Original Miami Herald article found here)

West Nile Virus Awareness Week; BE PREPARED!


wnvgraphWest Nile Awareness

Since the first reported case of West Nile Virus in New York City in 1999 West Nile Virus has spread across America like an epidemic, and it seems there is no easy way to eradicate the disease. So the best defense we have is education. By sharing the information we have about how mosquitoes breed and carry the disease we can do more than try and prevent from being stung, but rather prevent the mosquitoes from being born and becoming carriers of the disease at all.

West Nile Virus comes and goes in surges, but it never ever really goes away, making it particularly dangerous. As the reported cases of infection swell and contract the population is lulled into a carnal security thinking that it could never happen to them- that they would never be infected resulting in carelessness and a casual attitude toward mosquito disease.

wnv_us_human_map_week52Looking back to the year 2013, a total of 2374 cases of West Nile Virus were reported with 114 deaths attributed to the disease (down significantly from 286 deaths in 2012) and in 2014, the West Nile Virus has a strong potential to exceed the 2013 numbers due to the mild winter. Nevertheless, there is no surefire way to know what kind of mosquito season we will have this year, but one thing we can be sure of is our level of preparedness.

 

Transmission of the virus occurs through mosquito bites. This leads people to believe that the primary defense we have against the spreading of disease is taking action to prevent mosquitoes from biting you, your kids and your pets or animals.

Naturally people automatically think of mosquito repellent sprays as the primary defense against mosquitoes. However, they are widely varied in their cost, features and functionality.

deet cirPerhaps the greatest protection against mosquito’s bites is to wear long sleeve shirts and pants whenever possible in conjunction with a spray or repellent, because it’s not possible for the mosquitoes to bite your skin through the material of your clothing.

Just like cell phones and power companies have peak hours, so do mosquitoes! If you know when these hours are, than you can more easily avoid them and keep them from ruining your outing! Mosquitoes come out in full forces most often around dusk and dawn times of the day. Plan your day to avoid too early of a start or staying too late and you will experience less mosquito attack.

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April Showers Bring May flowers…

April showers also bring standing water though, which brings forth new mosquitoes! NOW is the time to spread the word about mosquito awareness and most specifically West Nile Virus awareness.Empty any stagnant and free standing collections of water. Simply dump them out and turn the vessel upside down or prop it up so that it will not refill with water.

 

Other ways to prevent mosquitoes from collecting and breeding…

 For homeowners and small business owners that wish to take a proactive stance against mosquitoes and other insects in general there are a couple of suitable options.

  • Skeetobusters Mosquito RepellentContracting with a local pest control business will ensure that your property is pest free on a regular basis. With regular treatments of the property on a frequent basis the mosquito (and pest) population will stay low throughout the entire season. However this type of service can be expensive and prohibitive.
  • An excellent alternative that people can utilize is a fertigation/pestigation unit attached to their existing sprinkler system. These units are designed to be an all-in-one plug-and-play solution for all your fertilizing and pest control needs. It simply uses the existing sprinkler system to apply fertilizers and/or organic pesticides through the sprinkler heads to the grass and irrigated parts of the property thereby creating an effective boundary for pests. Units are available starting around $950 and can be installed quickly and easily by a certified installer or a savvy do-it-yourselfer. This may sound like an expensive investment initially, but it quite cost effective because it will continue to serve the property for years to come.
  •  There are some areas of your yard and/or property which are prone to gathering puddles. Tarps and tires are two of the most infamous offenders when it comes to standing water. Perhaps you have a rain collection barrel designed for capturing water or catch basins installed to carry away drainage water. These can be prime targets for mosquito breeding…especially because they are often physically obscured and hidden away from view. It is recommended that homeowners use an all natural super product to protect the areas and prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for your yard. By simply applying an appropriate measure of liquid cedar oil to the water (such as Best Yet & PCO by CedarCide) and the oil acts as a barrier by creating a thin layer on top of the standing water and repelling mosquitoes.
  • Secondly the oil will dehydrating and prevents any eggs that it comes in contact with from hatching. So it can be used effectively in several situations. (this type of oil is the same kind used in the sprinkler fertigation/pestigation units.)

 

 

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The following are some ways that you can use a product like Best Yet to help combat the breeding and growth of the Mosquito population.

 

  1. Eliminate standing water on your property – Turn over kiddie pools, trash cans and lids and anything else that can act as a container for rainwater.  Fold and properly store all tarps in cool dry indoor area (tarps are a major offender for mosquito breeding grounds) Bring all tires indoors away from the sprinklers or rain (tires are prime mosquito breeding grounds due to their shape; they easily retain water and provide protection from sunlight and the elements. (tires imported into the US from outside have been the source of many new insects and pests being introduced to the country) Spray water collecting prone places down with the Cedar Based product to keep mosquitoes from returning to those places if they do collect water again.

 

  1. breeding groundsChange water catch pans for flower baskets. – Most flower pots have a water catch dish to allow excess water to exit out the bottom of the flower pot. This water should be discarded at least once a week. Treat the newly cleaned treat with cedar oil  to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water when it does fill up.

 

  1. Bird Baths and water fountains – keep the water running regularly to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. If the water is not running, clean out the old water weekly and treat with cedar oil.

 

  1. Permanent standing water – Some water cannot be emptied or it is intended to be there (i.e. rain barrels, drains and catch basins etc. For these types of situations it is recommended that you apply a liberal amount of Cedar Oil based product to the water. Because Best Yet it is an oil based product it will float on the top of the water causing a barrier against mosquitoes. The oil will remain there till it is washed away or emptied.

Interview with a Raspberry Crazy Ant


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(The following dialogue took place between myself and the Public Relations director for the Raspberry Crazy Ants. We discuss their name, housing preferences, attraction to electronics and pesticides.)

  •  (Introduction) 

Me: For the past month or so the news has been running stories about crazy ants; exploiting their dangerous and destructive nature. They are reportedly nomadic, choosing to not live in anthills the way their cousins do. Furthermore it is said that they are resistant to traditional methods of eradication. Because these ants are mobile  and travel in large army’s with several queen ants per colony it was difficult to get an interview with the species head ant and leader but after repeated attempts to contact him, we finally were able to schedule an interview with the species PR manager, who is also the marketing director and 15th generation grandson of the species pioneer ancestors who came to America for the first time over a decade ago.

 

Please help me to welcome R.C. Antonio to the stage

 

  • (Audience applause) 

 

  • (Guest Enters from left of stage, walking in a seemingly random and non-linear path to desk)

 

 

Me: We are very excited to have a real live crazy ant in studio with us, thanks so much for coming! Did you have a safe trip getting here? For weeks we have been hearing about the impending invasion of your species on the southern parts of the USA. What have you found to be the biggest obstacle to this year’s invasion.

R.C. :  Thanks for having me!My trip here was very good, thanks for asking!

 

 

Me:  For weeks we have been hearing about the impending invasion of your species on the southern parts of the USA. What have you found to be the biggest obstacle to this year’s invasion.

R.C. :   So far everything has been right on schedule. We are finding it especially easy to invade because of the high levels of apathy among people with respect to protecting their property. Not to mention the incredibly high number of electronics that are in homes making a perfect place for is to get inside and stay! So we are doing well, and I am happy to be here with you here today.

 

 

images-(4)Me: The media is referring to you as the “Raspberry Crazy Ant”…do you take offense to this name?

R.C. : Yes, we absolutely do not endorse the use of that moniker. Our real name is Nylanderia Fulva. But that is a mouth full and hard to remember. So,  I prefer to go by “Nyles” instead, even though it does make me sound like a character from downton Abby…it’s better than being referred to as an insane rubus fruit.

 

 

Me: Where did the name raspberry crazy ant come from?

R.C. :  Most people think that the Raspberry-Crazy  name is the product of a love for the sweet berry fruit, but this could not be further from the truth. We actually have little or no interests in the sweet berry-fruit at all, but we do have the same physiological needs that any other ant needs. The Raspberry portion of our name comes one of our arch-nemesis. For years we were able to move about relatively unnoticed staying basically off-the-radar. Till one day in 2002 we were exploring as we typically do, and a human took a particular interest in us.

That man was Tom Raspberry, and ever since that day we have been irreversibly marked in the media as being “Raspberry Crazy Ants”.  

 

 

Me: Where does the term crazy come from? — Because, as I sit here with you now, you seem to be quite cordial and well mannered!

R.C. : The media has long referred to our species and others like us as crazy because we choose to not conform to ant protocol by following each other in a line wherever we go. Instead we feel we can cover more ground and get more done if we think for ourselves and move independently of one another. Basically, we refuse to conform to the ant stereotypes and choose to be progressive and forward thinking we get called “crazy”. It’s a travesty and nothing more than run-of-the-mill lampoonery! We won’t stand for it.

 

 

Me: Why do you choose to not stay in anthills or underground colonies?

R.C. : We are free spirited and don’t want to be tied down to a single solitary area. Additionally, because we are so small and mobile it makes more sense for us to stay on the move and utilize the shelters we can find along the way. If a place is warm and can protect us from the elements, we can use it as a shelter.

As you can probably imagine, our travels throughout the southern United States we have seen a great deal of different electronics and gadgets where we have been able to stay and make home. Our favorite place to stay is probably flat panel TV’s.

 

 

2014-04-15_16-33-40Me:  Why do you prefer flat panel televisions?

R.C. : For a couple of reasons actually! The first reason is, like I mentioned, is warmth… in addition to providing an effective element of cover from the elements TV’s are perfectly warm and spacious too! It seems like as time goes by, the TV’s we are finding to stay in keep getting bigger and bigger! Additionally, it seems like the TV is the one electronic in the house that stays on for the longest.

The second reason is that we ants love the feeling created by electricity flowing through wires and circuit boards. The almost inaudible hum of electricity resonating though wires and circuit boards is something we just cannot get enough of! We love to find a TV that we can all fit inside of. We just settle into all the nooks and crannies inside of the case and relax as we enjoy that wonderful electricity warmth and feeling!

 

 

crazy-ant-006_largeMe: How can humans know if their electronics have been invaded by an army of heat seeking ants? Is there any tell-tale signs to watch for?

R.C. : There is no way to know for sure that you have been invaded, till it’s too late. In other words, once you see us and you can see that there are floods of us, than we have likely already infiltrated the warm places in your home and property. 

However, one surefire way to know (albeit too late) is by watching for equipment malfunction. When my fellow ants get inside electronics and they begin to make themselves fat and happy by chewing on wires. Sadly, their bodies can act as a conductor and once enough have died and are touching, the current can be carried through their bodies causing a short circuit. Short circuits often result in erratic behavior of electronics but most frequently death of that device occurs.

 

 


2014-04-16_10-53-56Me:
It is reported that you have taught yourselves to be impervious to the standard arsenal of repellents and insecticides.


R.C. :
When we are very young ants we go to ninja school. In school we learn to not succumb to the traditional methods of killing ants. We build a tolerance to the most commonly used pesticides so that when they are used on us we will not be harmed. Additionally, we learn to art of evasive maneuvering which lets us move in erratic and unpredictable directions making it almost impossible to catch us or crush us.

 

 

Me: It is rumored (and I apologize for being so cryptic) but is it true that when one of your fellow ants is killed that it releases a scent or pheromone that attracts other ants to that location like a sort of homing beacon?

R.C. : No apologies are necessary; this is actually a very good question. See, we love to chew through wires. Especially wires that have power running through them. There is just something about that soft flexible plastic they coat those wires with that is just so much fun to gnaw on and chew through. Unfortunately, as fun and satisfying as this habit is, it is also very dangerous for us. We are taught in our youth (at young ninja ant school) how to hunt and track. This is an important skill for us to be able to track down our fellow ants when they are in trouble and help them. Unfortunately when an ant chews a little too far into the center part of a wire that is alive, they will be electrocuted instantly. The result is a great many ants becoming attracted to that location.

 

 

best yet quart by cedarcideMe: Is there anything that you are resistant to? Is there anything that can kill you which you have not been able to build up a tolerance to?

R.C. : Actually, yes there is. And most people would say I am “crazy” to reveal this publicly, but I don’t care because after all I am a “crazy ant” right!?  

To answer your question… Cedar wood. Cedar oil is the worst!! We ants hate cedar oil products. Specifically products like “Best Yet” and “PCO Choice” from CedarCide. That stuff is like Kryptonite to us, if it gets on our bodies we die in less than a minute because of the hydrated silica in it.  Even if we do manage to avoid contact with it physically, the cedar oil in it messes with our pheromone systems and is just downright unpleasant to be around. We’d rather find a new home than deal with the ALL the problems cedar oil causes us.

 

 

Me: Why would you reveal this to the world so openly? Are you not afraid that people will use it to destroy your colony?

R.C. : To be honest… I am not afraid. Humans are so predetermined and set in their ways! They believe that to kill insects they have to use the most “powerful” insecticides that they can find at their local hardware store. They will never believe that something that is 100% natural, pet & child safe, and organic can be so lethal… So the odds of them actually getting it and using it are by far in our favor!

 

 

Me: Where did your type of ant come from and how did you get here to the United States.

R.C. : I am a 15th generation crazy ant, which means that my Great- great-great- great-great- great-great- great-great- great-great- great-great- great-great-Grandfather was the first of the Crazy Ants to come to America. The story of his travels has been a tradition in our family for years. Back around the year 2000 he and his family and a few other families of ants boarded a ship called the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody (I guess he must have been royalty?) So he and his queen wife, princess & prince children boarded the ship and were at sea 3 days before finally arriving at the port of Houston Texas. This was going to be the new home for the royal ant family.

Once they were on the new ground in North America they began to settle in and get comfortable. They quickly multiplied and reproduced. Before long the royal ant family had gone from just 4 to 4-million! They spread out to find new lands to conquer and found that Texas was a great place for them to live and prosper.

14 years later, here I am… I don’t consider myself to be a royal or anything like that, but I am proud of the progress our people have made and hope to take over the entire state of Texas, Florida and New Orleans in the next 15 years.

 

 

Me: That is fascinating! How neat to discover that you are the descendant of royalty! Is there anything else you would like people to know?

Skeetobusters Mosquito RepellentR.C. : Yes, we want to ask people to keep leaving their electronics on and their doors and windows open thereby allowing us to come in and settle into their homes and seek shelter and comfort in those warm electronics! Additionally I just wanted to let you know that if you would rather have us leave your home alone all together, they only need to spray around their property with Cedar Oil products from CedarCide. The best way to cover the entire grounds and ensure that you are fully covered is to use a system like the one from Skeetobusters that injects the cedar oil product into the sprinklers. Not only is it inexpensive, but also the most efficient and effective way to cover a larger area. When we come upon a yard thats been treated this way we will just move onto the next place and I won’t have to deal with the deaths of many more of my friends and cousins.

 

 

Me: Thank you R.C. Antonio for coming on our show and sharing some information about yourself with us. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and hope that we never cross paths with you or your family & friends.

R.C. : No problem at all, thanks for having me.

 

  • (Audience applause) 

 

  • (End of Interview)

 

  • (R.C. Antonio stands up from seat and shakes hands with audience)

 

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It’s Goddess of Fertility Day!


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Today is National Goddess of Fertility day! So, your friends here at Sprinkler Warehouse are here to help you get your Fertilizer on! There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to fertilizers! You have to choose the way you want to apply it first, then the kind of product to buy (IE organic VS Manufacturer made) and what the best time of year to do it is! We have all these answers for you, and some!

Types of spreading devices

shutterstock_78916219There are several ways to fertilize you lawn and garden! Probably the most common method is to apply dry granular style fertilizer. These types of fertilizers are usually a synthetic creation (as opposed to organic) but your plant won’t know the difference! There are several different types of ways to apply granular fertilizers too! It can be spread with a hand-spreader; designed to allow maximum mobility and customization of application. Usually holding somewhere between 1-5 liters of fertilizer the spreader is best used to do small yards, gardens or around places where space is at a premium.

Mechanical push spreaders are also a good choice! The primary forms are a drop version and a broadcast spreader version. The difference being that the drop spread will apply an even and uniform application directly beneath the spreader, whereas the broadcast spreader will typically get cover more ground faster due to the way it “throws” the granules out and away from the spreader.

If you have a really big lawn or pasture to fertilize, perhaps a “pull-behind” unit would be best. Typically the pull-behind style spreaders are a broadcast style spreader and can hold a significantly larger amount of granular fertilizer than the previously mentioned types of spreaders.

Last but not least is an option called “Fertigation” – this type of application uses the sprinkler system to apply an even application of fertilizer to the lawn without the need of using a spreader! Systems are available as a kit to add to your sprinkler system. They are simple to install and even easier to use. Some kits, like the one from SkeetoBusters will let you apply fertilizer to your lawn as well as a pest control solution to keep your lawn and yard free from mosquitoes, and nearly all other pests too!

Choosing the right fertilizer

2014-03-18_15-33-37Choosing the right type of fertilizer can be challenging too! The basics to choosing a fertilizer lie in the numbers. The three numbers to be exact. On each bag or container of fertilizer you will find 3 numbers separated by a hyphen.

The first letter represents Nitrogen, an essential ingredient in the fertilization process. The nitrogen is used to help “green up” the plant, by aiding in leaf and stem growth. Studies have shown that as much as two thirds of the nitrogen in your fertilizer will “burn off” or
vaporize before it ever gets a chance to help the plant. So avoiding high nitrogen fertilizers is recommended (unless a soil test determines it is necessary) This portion of the fertilizer is there to help the plant to grow “UP”!

The second letter is the Phosphorous. Essential to the root growth phosphorous will be processed by the plant resulting in downward growth. If your lawn is already grown, this is essentially superfluous to your lawn.

The last but not least of the three numbers in the sequence is represented by Potassium. By taking in plenty of Potassium a plant will have a better chance at being all-around health. You can remember this part of the sequence as the “All Around” part of the sequence.

Organic or Manufacturer made

Rain-Bird-Rotary-NozzlesWhether to choose Organic or manufacturer made fertilizer is becoming a question we hear more and more often. The truth is… one is not better than the other. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, organic options take significantly longer to release their nutrients into the soil, and they often carry a lower amount of nutrients than a manufacturer made fertilizer does. The best way to choose the perfect fertilizer for your lawn is to have a soil test done to determine the needs your lawn has, then picking a fertilizer suitable to meet those needs. The choice is up to you.

Best time of year to fertilize?

Once again we recommend that you have a soil test done first before making this decision. But, for the most part, the best times of year to fertilize is the fall and the spring. Fall fertilization will help the plant to store up energy in its roots that it will need to use once the warmth of spring finally prompts the grass out of dormancy and into grow mode.

soil_in_handsAlways fertilize your lawn when rain is expected. Wet weather and moisture will help the fertilizer to work into the soil and prevent it from burning your lawn.

Lawn care following fertilization

Once you have fertilized your lawn, be sure to allow a few days for the product to work down into the soil. Apply generous water during this time period. When it is time to cut your lawn, be sure you are leaving at least two thirds of the grass blade. This will allow the grass to stay shaded by it’s own growth. It is far more beneficial to cut a little off the top more often than it is to let it grow tall and then cut it low.

Where to Buy Cedarcide Products?


There are a lot of people in the Greater Houston area that are die hard cedarcide product fans. Ever since Cedarcide moved from Sugarland to the Lewisville/Dallas area, they have had to search for a new place to purchase their products, online being the only choice.

The company realized that they left a faithful group of cedarcide consumers in Houston which is why they decided to partner up with Sprinkler Warehouse to provide a physical location to purchase their product. People in Houston and surrounding areas now have the option of purchasing Cedarcide products at Sprinkler Warehouse in NW Houston or online through their website at http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com.

Sprinkler Warehouse is now carrying all of the top performing Cedarcide products including, Best Yet (from a 1 oz to a gallon), their PCO Insect Control Concentrate and their all natural tick shield spritzer.

For more information on these products call Sprinkler Warehouse today at 281-500-9800.

Houston’s Only Hope for Surviving West Nile Virus is Sprinkler Warehouse


mosquito_161848946-01
West Nile is out there my fellow Houstonians. It is out there and it is ready to take us by storm… or swamp or something. To calm my nerves and bring back my hope for the survival of the human race, I decided to sit down and talk to a fellow Sprinkler Warehouse employee about the looming epidemic.

“The good news is that 1% of the population has no possible chance of catching the virus. These candidates are superheroes, ghosts, people who have already caught it and therefore cannot catch it again, vampires and certain  aliens,” stated self-proclaimed West Nile virus expert Jeff Martin. “Everybody else is doomed to have nearly a 100% chance of maybe possibly catching this deadly virus.”

Is There Hope?

Such a high possible chance of maybe catching something deadly sounds very ominous… and quite confusing. So, I decided to ask Mr. Martin more about the possible death of all people living in the Greater Houston area. After several hours of reenacting the birth of a mosquito and the various stages of its life, Mr. Martin finally showed a ray of hope for the human race against these deadly little creatures. “Not all is lost,” he explained. “In the recent years our technology has helped us develop a line of defense against these small, disease spreading, vampire-like creatures. One of the most effective and cost-efficient lines of defense are the products manufactured by Cedarcide.com

Mr. Martin was of course referring to the newly added pest prevention products now available at Sprinkler Warehouse. People living in Houston may finally be able to get a full night sleep now that products such as Cedarcide’s Best Yet & PCO Insect Control Concentrate are available at local Houston store, Sprinkler Warehouse. “One of the greatest things about living in Houston is having the access to these types of West Nile defense systems,” states Martin.

Your Defense:

best yet quart by cedarcide best yet spritzer 2.5 oz skeetobuster1

Martin then went on to talk about a little known product available to sprinkler system owners called Skeetobusters. Basically, Skeetobusters is a pest control system  you can hook up to your irrigation system that builds a barrier of protection against not only mosquitos, but fire ants, ticks, rats, snakes and many other unwanted pests.

The self-proclaimed West Nile expert said that if every homeowner in Houston were to use all of these products, their chances of catching the West Nile virus would be much closer to that of superheroes and certain intellectually advanced alien life forms. Without these products, Martin believes the human race should probably kneel down to the new dominant species to prevent an imminent genocide.

How to Save Us All?

For more information on how you can help save the human race by purchasing these pestigation products, you may contact the excellent customer service/human race defenders at Sprinkler Warehouse. If you’re lucky enough to be living in Houston, you have the option to drive and pick up your products today.dead-mosquito_161850362

Sprinkler Warehouse
8535 Jackrabbit Road Suite A
Houston, TX 77095
281-500-9800
http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com