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Living Resources Co.

Steven Zien Phone: 916-726-5377

President Fax:

P.O. Box 76 Website: www.organiclandscape.com

Citrus Heights CA 95611 Email: bugs@organiclandscape.com

Service Categories: structural commercial school

landscape residential golf course

Living Resources Company (LRC) provides residential clients the ability to solve all their growing problems naturally without the use of toxic synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Our program begins by evaluating the clients soil, plant material, turf and other factors. A custom blended organic soil fertilization program is designed to encourage a diverse population of beneficial soil organisms. This is the foundation of our maintenance program yielding healthy, pest resistant landscape. A foliar fertilizer is applied to the landscape and an IPM inspection is made monthly. Foliar fertilization provides nutrient insurance. Plants regularly undergo environmental stress, which restricts nutrient uptake. Our foliar fertilizer reduces these nutrient deficiencies, improving plant health and pest resistance. If pests are discovered, an organic pest management program is initiated. Pruning is done correctly to maintain the plants natural shape while helping it to resist pests. Improper pruning is often the cause of pest invasion. LRC also offers all the above services on a one time basis. For clients who like to do the work themselves but occasionally need some help. LRC also offers consultations.


What is your definition of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

IPM is a decision making process that utilizes all available options to help maintain pest levels below tolerable levels. This should include design (or redesign) and habitat modification, changes in human activities, biological controls, physical, cultural and mechanical controls, organically acceptable chemicals (e.g. pheromones) and more toxic materials only as a last result. Evaluation of management practices and continued education to learn about new and improved products and techniques are also important components of IPM. The least disruptive controls should always be used first. Only then should more disruptive options be implemented. Least toxic materials and techniques that have minimal effect on non-target organisms should be used. An IPM program should result in a permanent reduction of pest problems and be cost effective in the short and long run. LRC believes that landscape IPM begins the soil. Create a fertile soil with an abundance of beneficial organisms and plants grow healthier and more resistant to pest attack. The beneficial organisms also help control pests by competing for space in the environment as well as actually fighting off pests (e.g., production of antibiotics). Taking a soil analysis and following its recommendations will go a long way to creating a fertile soil that is capable of producing healthy, pest resistant plants. The proper selection of plant material is vital (right plant, right place). Plants installed in the wrong place will have pest problems. Plants adapted to their growing conditions will be healthier and have fewer pest problems. Diversityis also important in creating a stable ecological landscape. This includes plant selection, choice of fertilizer materials and other biological components. Proper cultural and mechanical controls are vital. Fertilization should be based on a soil analysis. Pruning must be conducted at the proper time and done correctly to minimize pest susceptibility. Mowing lawns high and in different directions can help minimize weed invasion. All management practices (e.g., deep and infrequent irrigation) must minimize plant stress to reduce the plants susceptibility to pests. Frequent scouting is absolutely necessary to identify primary and secondary pests, as well as, beneficial organisms. When pests are identified, tolerance levels must be established and a complete management plan needs to be designed. When designing a control strategy all available data needs to be collected, recorded, and evaluated. This should include pests identified (primary and secondary), beneficials, current cultural practices etc. Weather and similar climatic data must also play a role in the design of an IPM program. For example, there may be no need to control a pest in late fall if it is frost sensitive. Simply waiting for nature to kill the pest in a few days or weeks may eliminate the need for any action. Spays should not be applied prior to expected rain. When all of the above information is gathered and recorded, the cause of the pest infestation should be determined. Traditionally, when a pest was discovered a pesticides was used to kill it. This only treated the symptom of the problem not the cause. When designing an IPM program the cause of the problem needs to be treated. Only elimination of the cause of the problem will eliminate the pest long term. In IPM program needs to include necessary changes in cultural practices (e.g., mowing, irrigation amounts and timing), physical and mechanical controls (e.g., daily water sprays), use of beneficial insects, and only when all other options have failed the use of organically acceptable pest control products. If the proper IPM procedures are followed the use of even organically acceptable pesticides should be kept to a minimum. (Note a traditional IPM program would include chemical pesticides.) Finally, an IPM program must also include recording data and evaluation. During and after the management process, procedures and products must be evaluated for their effectiveness. Changes may be required to improve its effectiveness.

 

Is pest management performed on a specific schedule?

Pest management will always need to use a specific schedule for its practices. However, this does not mean the application of pesticides on a specific schedule! Scouting is a vital component in IPM. Monitoring for pests is done regularly so pests can be identified before they exceed tolerable levels. Once discovered, more frequent monitoring may be required to determine if and when action is necessary to keep the pest below tolerable levels. Regular, frequent monitoring allows cultural, physical and mechanical controls a better opportunity to keep the pest below tolerable levels. Each situation will determine the frequency of monitoring. Specific pesticides should never be applied on a specific schedule, with one exception, application of horticultural oil (organically acceptable) to dormant plants that have a history of pest problems. Even the application of these sprays should be altered as necessary to accommodate the weather and climate, which can vary from year to year. To maintain landscape plants resistance to pests, LRC utilizes the application of an organic, liquid fertilizer to the leaves of landscape plants. This is usually done monthly to ensure plants do not undergo nutrient stress, which if left untreated, could increase a plants pest susceptibility. In the traditional sense of pest management, this might not be considered a pest control procedure (not the application of a pesticide), however, LRC believes regular foliar feeding is critical in maintaining a plants health and natural resistance to pest attack. Healthy plants are better able to resist pest attract than stressed plants.

 

How are pest problems identified?

Pests are identified through monitoring.

What practices do you use to prevent and/or control pests?

Maintaining healthy plants is the key to preventing pest problems. That begins with the creation of a fertile soil with an abundance and diverse beneficial organisms. Proper plant selection is vital. Maintenance practices are performed to minimize plant stress which maximizes pest resistance. Frequent monitoring identifies potential problems before they result in a serious pest problem. This allows softer control procedures to be implemented with a better chance of success.

 

Do you use biological controls?

Living Resources Company utilizes a variety of biological control which include ladybugs, encarcia wasps, beneficial nematodes, bacillus organisms (e.g., Bt, Bti), and lacewings. LRC also installs plants that attract beneficial insects to the landscape.

 

Do you use borates?

Borates may be a viable least toxic pest control product when other forms of pest control have failed.

Do you use synthetic chemicals?

The only synthetic chemical that Living Resources utilizes is horticultural oil, which is considered organically acceptable. Horticultural oil, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), neem, insecticidal soap, pyrethrum, diatomaceous earth, boric acid, sulfur (when absolutely necessary), Bt israelensis (for mosquitoes), garlic barrier.
   

What are the top 10 pesticides you use/sell/recommend?
   

If pesticides are used, how much are used per year of each?

All the pest control products used below are considered organically acceptable. Horticultural oil - approximately 90 ounces mostly on dormant plants; insecticidal soap - approximately 24 ounces; sulfur - 16 ounces (dormant season only); neem - 13 ounces (a botanical pesticide); Bacillus thuringiensis - 15 ounces.

 

Does your company perform habitat modification?

Yes. Plants that are not suited to particular situations making them susceptible to pest attack are replaced with plants that are adapted to the growing conditions of the site.

 

Do you use any physical or mechanical controls?

Yes, flame, long handled and hand weeding tools, as well as frequent forceful blasts of water physically remove pests. Barriers are used to deny pests access to plants.

 

What type of fertilizers do you use/sell/recommend?

Living Resources Company utilizes only organic materials in combinations as recommended by a soil analysis. Ingredients may include, feather meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal(organic), rock phosphate, granite dust, humate products (e.g., menefee humate), gypsum, kelp meal, oyster shell lime, ground limestone, sulfate of potash (mined), composted chicken manure, fish meal, soil sulfur, alfalfa meal, and iron sulfate. Our foliar fertilizers are made from liquefied kelp, water soluble fish fertilizers and manure/herb teas.

 

What do you usually use/sell/recommend for addressing:

termites Not applicable.

cockroaches Not applicable

fleas Beneficial nematodes and regular vacuuming.

carpenter ants Not applicable.

fire ants Not applicable.

ants (indoor) Not applicable.

crabgrass Mow high to shade out weed seeds. Cultural practices to encourage a dense turf stand (irrigation, fertilization, core aeration, overseeding). Corn gluten meal, physical removal and tolerance are also options.

dandelions Mow high to shade out weed seeds as well as physical removal.

How do you evaluate effectiveness of your pest management

Monitoring and record keeping allows LRC to regularly evaluate our pest management allowing for improvements in all aspects of our maintenance program. Customer satisfaction and feed back also plays a role in evaluating our programs.

 

References

Did Not Respond (DNR)