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Pesticides Over the Years

Filed under: Commercial Pest Control,Green Pest Control,Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 4:42 pm February 26, 2013

The struggles between humans and pests has raged on since the beginning of modern civilization. Whenever a community grows, there exists a need to feed that growing population, and where there are people, there are pests as well. They compete with humans for food and space, and will ultimately reduce their overall quality of life if left uncontrolled so it was necessary to take up arms against pests to protect valuable food sources. One of the oldest known weapons in this struggle is the pesticide.

Pesticides are substances and materials designed to drive away or kill pests, and people from all civilizations sought after and developed various kinds of pesticides. The earliest pesticides were naturally occurring, often found in nature as an element or a by-product of animals. One of the first known pesticides was sulfur. Farmers in ancient Mesopotamia scattered it across their crops to ward off pests, and it was effective against mildew, ringworm, ticks, and mites.

By the 15th century other natural elements were being used, such as  arsenic, mercury, and lead. It is important to note, however, that these elements are now known to be highly toxic, and should not be used on plants or humans. In addition to natural elements people developed a crude form of fumigation to control mildew growth on plants. It worked by lighting a fire, using straw, chaff, hedge clippings, or animal horns as fuel so as to create a noxious smelling smoke, and place it so that the wind would blow the smoke into the fields where the crops were.

As humans’ knowledge of chemistry grew and evolved, they began to develop “synthetic” pesticides. The first known synthetic pesticide was created in the 19th century from dried Chrysanthemum flowers. It was known as Pyrethrum, and proved itself to be a very effective pesticide. So much, in fact, that it is still being used today, often in conjunction with other chemical compounds. Pesticides based on pyrethrum and arsenic were prevalent from this time until the 1950s, where the second World War would bring about a major development in the field of pesticides: DDT.

DDT was first synthesized by a scientist named Paul Mueller, who used it on troops fighting in foreign theaters of war, where malaria was prevalent. It was highly effective against mosquitoes, and eventually went on to become the most widely used pesticide in America. For more than 40 years, DDT was used everywhere from crops to city streets, and it helped eliminate malaria and created a huge food surplus. But this widespread use didn’t last forever, and by the 70’s people began to question whether such rampant pesticide use was good for the environment, and government-sponsored research confirmed that it was not.

This resulted in a ban on DDT use across America, one that other countries around the world followed suit on, and a call from the public to seek out and develop more environmentally-friendly pest control techniques. One such technique, Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, was born from those efforts, and is the best pest control technique to use in terms of effectiveness and environmental impact. Integrated Pest Management is a practice that Horizon Pest Control has followed before the green movement was popular. Our motto to “Protect Health and Property” is 42 years old. We have families, kids and pets too and we strive to keep them safe while protecting our property, the same we strive to keep your loved ones and property safe too. To read more about our Green Pest Control solutions click on this link: http://www.horizonpestcontrol.com/greensolutions.php

For more information on Integrated Pest Management or IPM, click on this link: Integrated Pest Management.


Natural Pest Control

Filed under: Green Pest Control,Pest Control,Pest Management — Megan Howard @ 9:47 pm February 17, 2013

Green Pro CertifiedWhen people talk about pest control, they often talk about using pesticides, traps, IPM, fumigation, or other various artificial ways of destroying pests and their habitats. Every year Americans use a combined total of more than 136 million pounds of pesticides on their homes and gardens, and its estimated that homeowners use three times more pesticides than the average farmer. The consequences of this rampant pesticide use are chilling, but what alternative do homeowners have when faced with a stubborn pest infestation?

Natural Pest Control

Solutions to this problem can be found through natural pest control, a collection of techniques and processes that involve using naturally occurring substances and planting techniques that hamper pests’ abilities to thrive in your garden. Some of the more common natural pest control techniques include the use of seaweed mulch, crop rotation and interplanting, and debris removal.

First, is seaweed mulch. Seaweed itself contains over 70 different enzymes and minerals, all of which are beneficial to plants. When mixed in with soil as mulch, the minerals are released as it decomposes, and are absorbed by the plants, helping them become stronger and more resistant to disease, while acting as a natural slug repellant.

Next is crop rotation and interplanting. These two techniques date back to the Roman Empire, and were used to great effect to disrupt the natural cycles of crop-damaging pests. By mixing the arrangements of the plants in your garden, and changing it on a regular basis, pests are less likely to spread throughout your whole garden.

Finally, debris removal involves removing weeds and other plant trimmings, like piles of fallen leaves or branches, and cutting down tall grass. These areas are often breeding grounds and food sources for insects like ants and bees. Removing them not only forces them to look elsewhere for shelter, but it also makes your garden look better.

Natural pest control is far less expensive than traditional pest control, and less damaging to the environment as well. If you’re suffering from a pest infestation, but are concerned about the impact that standard treatments will have on the environment, contact us and ask about our natural pest control methods. We take great pride in providing green pest solutions in the New Jersey area.  To learn more please call us or click New Jersey Green Pest Control.



How Mice Enter Your Home

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Nuisance Wildlife & Animal Control — Megan Howard @ 2:33 am February 10, 2013

Thanks to the drop in temperatures New Jersey has seen recently this winter,  you can expect to see a large number of mice infestations in homes and offices as they seek to escape the cold weather. During this time, they will partially rely on humans to provide them with the food, water, and shelter they need to survive, and are often very persistent when it comes to getting into a home. One advantage they have is that their small size allows them to squeeze through small cracks and openings.

Mice Behavior

Mice can squeeze through openings several times smaller than they are, and have been proven capable of entering through holes as small as ¼ inch wide. The most common entry point on homes in America are the gaps and cracks in the sides or foundation. This is especially the case with older homes that haven’t received much maintenance over the years. They can also climb up any trees or bushes growing close to your home and gain access to the inside through any open windows. If they can make it up to the roof of your house, they can also enter in through chimneys, vents, or even openings for utilities, like air vents or drains.

A mouse squeezing into a home

Mice Control

So how do you keep these pesky critters out of your home? There are a few things you can do: First, ensure that your house is structurally sound by sealing up the cracks gaps on the sides and on the foundation of your house. You can do this on your own, but any serious damage should be assessed and repaired by a licensed contractor. Next, ensure that foliage around your house is trimmed, and that the windows on the ground floor are tightly sealed when not in use. Finally, the doors of your home leading to the outside should have weather striping on them to ensure that nothing squeezes through the gaps in your door frames.

Seal all entries into you home to prevent mice invasions

If, after doing all this, mice still manage to make it into your home and make a burrow there, don’t plug the entrance that they used to get in until you’ve gotten rid of them. Doing so may result in a pack of dead mice that requires more time and money to clean up. Instead, contact us for assistance with moving these mice out of your home before plugging the entrance to ensure less hassle for you and your family in the future. For more info on how we can assist you, visit NJ Rat Control.