Parents and Pet Owners Beware!

If you’re a parent, a pet owner, or both, you likely love spending time in your outside spaces together.  You’ve likely removed any potential hazards indoors for kids, dogs, and cats, but how about outside? Are there possible dangers lurking, especially related to pesticides? Here are some things to consider: Weed and feed products for …

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Invite Amphibians into your Yard

Want to add some natural insect control to your yard?  Think amphibians.  This group of creatures include frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. They are among the most beneficial creatures you can find in your garden. Most, like tree frogs, start life in water and then move to land. Some, like the California newt, remain in …

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Creeping Garden Thugs do a lot of Damage

It’s likely you don’t need an introduction to snails and slugs, the bane to most gardeners. Loosely related to octopi and oysters, they glide along on their muscular foot, secreting mucus to facilitate movement, leaving their trademark glistening trail behind.  With similar biology, the snail carries an external shell while slugs have evolved without one. …

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The Ants Come Marching In

Ants on your artichoke plant? Your leafy vegetables?  Your house plants? They’re a prime indicator that sucking insects are feasting on your plants.  There’s a group of soft-bodied insects — aphids, mealybugs, soft scale and whiteflies that feed by sucking juices from plants. The direct damage they inflict on the plant can cause spotted, bleached, …

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Bats get a Bad Rap!

October is Bat Appreciation Month.  So, why would a whole month be devoted to these odd-looking creatures?  It has nothing to do with Halloween or vampires.  It’s more about getting to know these mysterious flying superheroes that help our environment, and aren’t as scary as you might think. Often having the undeserved reputation of nighttime …

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