Ortho to drop the use of neonics in its products

From National Public Radio

A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.

Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals — called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short — comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators. Continue reading

Keeping your rain barrel from being a mosquito magnet

With all the recent news media coverage about Zika virus transmission, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, Cook Co, IL recently published this nice summary about rain barrels and mosquito prevention. Several species of “container-breeding” mosquitoes will exploit uncovered or unscreened rain barrels and similar containers as larval production sites.  Also, this will help reduce an “old” enemy in backyards – the Culex mosquito that carries West Nile virus; that species will also use rain barrels in addition to catch basins and ditches.  Continue reading