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Carpenter Costin Blog

Plan 2012 Pest Management Now, Save 10%

As 2011 is winding down, it is time to plan your 2012 pest management programs and save money while doing so!

Carpenter Costin offers one of the most comprehensive pest management departments around. Our state of the art equipment, experienced technicians, and diverse solutions combine to create an extremely effective pest management division which allows us to provide both preventative and reactionary treatments for a wide range of insect and disease problems. We are experts at pest management for your shrubs, trees, lawns, and plants.pest management consultation

We are also proud to offer a 10% discount for pre-payment on pest management services, meaning when you sign up for your pest management between December 1st and March 31st, you can receive a 10% discount. If you have had a history of insect or disease infestation, be it Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Winter moth, Anthracnose, or anything other pest, we recommend preventative treatments, which can be booked now at a 10% discount. Not only can you save your trees, shrubs, and lawn from nasty pests, but you can save some money while doing so. The 10% discount can be applied to one time Target Treatments, as well as Multi-Visit Treatment Programs.

If you're unsure of what exactly it is that you need, but think you have pest problems, take advantage of our free consultations and meet with an experienced pest pro. Don't wait until it is too late. Planning your pest management now will help you save!



Plan Now for Next Year's Pest Management

Don't be caught trying to combat insects and diseases with reactionary measures. Plan your technical programs now for effective preventative treatments next year.

Each spring, the phones at our headquarters in Swampscott ring off the the hook with local homeowners mentioning that "something is eating their trees." Some of these callers were plant health care technicianadvised to implement a pest management program earlier in the year, but decided against it only to be infested with pests come spring time. Luckily for the callers, our plant health care division provides effective reactionary pest management solutions; however, they highly recommend signing up for the more effective, and less costly, preventative treatments prior to the beginning of the growing season.

Our preventative programs are tailored to suit your property, and range from one-time target treatments, to five and eight visit programs for complete pest management and plant health coverage. These treatments prevent infestation from the insects and diseases trying tirelessly to eat your foliage, damage your trees, and ruin your turf.

Whether your property has been affected by insects such as the Winter Moth, Lace Bug, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and Fall Web Worm; or plagued by Tip Blight, Anthracnose, Powdery Mildew, and Apple Scab; our plant health care pros can provide the treatment you need. Request a free consultation now with a Carpenter Costin professional to discuss your pest management needs and wants. You'll be thanking us next spring when your property is pest free!




Grub Damage in New England

If you're noticing areas of your lawn that have been mysteriously ripped up or damaged, it may be because you have an abundance of grubs in your turf.

Grubs are beetle larvae that hatch in your soil and feed on the roots of your turf. Though the damage caused by grubs can be significant, it is usually the animals looking to eat the grubs, such as skunks and raccoons, that cause the most damage. The sharp claws of skunks and raccoons can easily dig through your turf and soil while searching for skunks. This action can leave your lawn looking like it has been roto-tilled.

Earlier in the summer, we sent out a notification about the abundance of European & Masked Chafers, and Japanese Beetles. These chafers and beetles have mated and their larvae are now active in many lawns across New England. Due to the significant number of larvae, or grubs, damage is especially high this year. However, the threat is diminishing. As the temperature drops, the larvae will either pupate and leave the soil, or they'll tunnel down even further to withstand the cold winter.skunk damage digging grubs

We are being called to many lawns that have been damaged by animals digging for grubs. As our Technical Services Manager and Turf Expert, Paul Miller, mentioned earlier in the year, "Grubs are the shrimp cocktail for skunks, raccoons, and crows." These animals will devastate your turf in their quest for grubs, and unfortunately it leads to a substantial investment in sodding, seeding, and lawn repair.

Considering the amount of damage caused by grubs this year, we highly recommend factoring preventative grub treatments into your future pest management and lawn care programs. It is too late now to use preventative measures, but plan on preventing grubs with a treatment early next summer. Preventative treatments can save you from the huge headache and investment associated with a lawn renovation.

When evaluating your pest management program for next year, seriously consider adding the preventative grub treatment. Our lawn care pros are always available to discuss your pest management or lawn health care needs. Request a free consultation to determine the right plan for you.


skunk grub damage

Skunks, raccoons, crows, and many other animals and birds love to feast on grubs. They will literally tear your lawn apart looking for the tasty grubs.

Fall Tree and Plant Insect and Disease Update

Although summer does not officially end until September 23rd this year, we are already experiencing some fall-like weather and patterns.

I really love the fall. The days are still comfortably warm, and the nights cool down just right. Though the fall is really a great time of year for us, with great foliage across our region, warm apple cider, apple and pumpkin picking, and the beginning of football season, there are some things that you need to look out for, most notably insect and disease activity across your landscape.

Here is an update of pest infestation activity across Massachusetts, and a few potential pests to look out for:

  • Oyster Shell Scale - greatly affecting Hollies and Euonymous already this year. Keep an eye out.lacebug massachusetts
  • Lacebugs - some areas across our region were heavily infested. They infest a variety of trees and plants. 
  • Diplodia - continues to infect our pines through the fall. Requires seasonal treatment.
  • Apple Scab - affecting Apples and Crabapples now. Look out for it when apple picking this fall.
  • Fall Web Worm - their large web-like nests are appearing across our region. They can easily and quickly defoliate an entire tree.
These pests are only a selection of what may be impacting your landscape this fall. As always, we recommend taking the occasional stroll around your property and looking for any signs of pest infestation. If you spot anything unusual please give call us at 877-308-8733 or request a consultation with a Certified Arborist for a free consultation.


Cytospora Canker Activity on Spruce Trees in New England

Cytospora Cankers Killing Spruce Trees

Have your spruce trees seen better days? It may be because they are now infested with the fungus disease cytospora canker. The first sign of cytospora canker infection occurs in the lower branches of spruce trees, where it will turn the needles brown and ultimately kill the branches. Once infected, the disease can quickly spread upward throughout the tree.

cytospora canker spruce Although it primarily impacts Norway Spruce trees in our area, cytospora canker disease can also be found on fir, hemlocks, and white pines, although these cases aren't very abundant. Spruce trees that are at least 15 years old and have been exposed to previous damage are most susceptible to this disease.

Cytospora canker disease can take many years to develop, and it is even capable of surviving the winter on trees and in the fallen needles. It can spread quickly through rainfall - as the rain splashes, the fungus is spread up the tree and onto other trees. This is why the infection usually begins on the low branches and works its way up the tree.

Managing Cytospora Canker

Cytospora canker is a tough disease to manage. Since the fungus can overwinter in fallen needles, and then spread rapidly with spring rainfall, the disease poses a big problem to home owners and property managers. In order to control the disease on already infected trees, extensive pruning measures are needed, especially since the fungus will spread into open wounds and potentially kill the entire tree. Also, the fungus is easily spread through pruning equipment, making special care of equipment a priority.

If you notice browning of needles and dead branches in your spruce, pine, hemlock, or fir trees it could potentially be cytospora canker. We recommend having a Certified Arborist out to inspect the infected tree as soon as possible. For more information contact an Arborist, or call 877-308-8733.

Summer Pest Update: Fall Webworm

The Fall Webworm larvae or caterpillar are becoming more noticable across our fall webworm cred saveenaregion, most visible in their unsighlty silk webs in which they feast heavily on the encompassed foliage. Fall Webworms have the ability to quickly defoliate a tree, all the while moving and growing their silk webs or nests throughout your trees.

Fall Webworms can be found on many hardwood trees within our region, with the most popular hosts being Crabapples, Cherries, Birches, and Lilacs. Their activity, however, is not limited to these trees alone. 

Although their nests can quickly engulf an entire tree, the damage done by the Fall Webworm is usually only aesthetical, and very rarely is there any structural damage done.

Treatments are available to rid your trees of these unsighlty nests, and prevent the Fall Webworm from eating the leaves on infested trees. If you notice the silk nests in your trees, don't hesistate to set-up a meeting with an Arborist or call 877-308-8733.

Pine Sawfly Pest Infestation on North Shore

The calls are beginning to come in. People are noticing Pine Sawfly activity in their yard, and some of the damage already experienced has been devastating. Our Pest Management Programs treat for Pine Sawfly; however, if you are not on a program, it is imperative to act quickly before the sawfly larvae destroy your pines.

We recommend getting out and inspecting your pines for small, catepillar-like larvae. These are the newly hatched Pine Sawfly larvae, and they are on a mission to eat your trees! View the video to see what they look like and see the damage they can cause in just a short period of time.

If you detect Pine Sawfly larvae activity we recommend you contact a Certified Arborist asap. These little pests can do some serious damage to your pines.


European & Masked Chafers, and Japanese Beetles in MA

Our Arborists have detected European Chafers, Masked Chafers, and Japanese Beetles flying around abundantly in certain areas within our region. These flying pests are in their mating stage, and will soon be laying eggs in our turf.

Once the larvae hatch you can experience serious turf issues. Not only will the larvae feed on your lawn's roots, but skunks, racoons, and crows will do their best to rip up your lawn and get to the larvae. Our turf expert, Paul Miller, even referred to chafer and beetle larvae as "shrimp for skunks and racoons." These animals will dig up your turf so furiously, it will appear as though it has been roto-tilled.

If you see any of these pest buzzing around your yard, we highly recommend that you use preventative treatments. The damage done, not only by the larvae, but also by the skunks, racoons, and birds, will devastate your lawn and could require total lawn renovation. If you think you may have European or Masked Chafers, or Japanese Beetles, consult with an Arborist or call 877-308-8733 to find out if preventative treatments are necessary.

Chafer and Beetle Image         From left to right: European Chafer, Masked Chafer, Japanese Beetle

Plant, Tree, and Lawn Health Care

We truly pride ourselves on providing the best possible service, and our technical division is one area in which we place a lot of effort and resources in order to serve our customers the best we can.

With that being said, we feel that it is time we introduce our tech department andPlant Health Care Inspection resized 600 give credit where credit is due. Ritzi (pictured), our Technical Services Manager, is the driving force behind our technical services and has been for quite some time. His expertise in arboriculture and plant health care is second to none. We never get tired of hearing all the calls with great reviews of Ritzi.

Our newest addition to the department is Technical Services Director, Paul Miller, who is the resident turf expert on the North Shore of MA. Keep an eye out for some blog and newsletter content written by Paul, as his expertise in turf management is hard to beat, not only in Massachusetts, but across the country.

Carpenter Costin specializes in multi-visit plant health care and pest management programs. Our programs include the 5-visit, 8-visit, and custom plant health care program, which services your lawn, trees, shrubs, and plants. To learn more about our plant health care program, request a consultation with an Arborist, or call 877-308-8733.

Plant Health Foundation Plantings resized 600

Asian Longhorned Beetle Strikes Again

The devastating Asian Longhorned Beetle has been found on more trees in Massachusetts.

News broke earlier this week that more Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations were found in Worcester, the same area that was devasted by the ALB just a few years ago. The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a nasty pest, with the ability to kill a large number of trees quickly by boring through the trees. In Worcester, the ALB infested about 90 Norway, Sugar, and Red Maples throughout two neighborhoods.ALB Exit Hole

Though we have yet to see an infestation of ALB on the North Shore, the damage done in Worcester and Jamaica Plain over the past few years is enough to keep Arborists on their toes. Carpenter Costin's Certified Arborists are continually on the look out for signs of ALB infestation, and we encourage homeowners to keep an eye out for ALB exit holes, as seen in the image.

In order to prevent Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations, multi-year treatment programs are recommended. Since 2008 more than 30,000 trees have been removed in the Worcester area due to ALB infestation. We can't let that happen in our area! Consult with an Arborist to ensure that your trees stay ALB free.

Check out our growing Insect Disease Glossary for more information!

Ask an Arborist

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