Toxic Algae: What it is and how to prevent it

July 14, 2017

In peak algae season all over the country, it is not uncommon for bodies of water to have at least a little bit of algae on them. High temperatures are perfect growing weather for algae. Algae is a normal part of a water ecosystem, but when algae overgrows rapidly, it can become dangerous. Toxic algae can occur in all 50 states.

What is toxic algae?

When algae experiences an overgrowth, this is called an algae bloom. Some large algae blooms contain toxins that are harmful to humans. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are the harmful type of algae blooms. Algae blooms can occur in salt and fresh water and can be toxic to humans and animals alike. These blooms happen in slow moving water, in high-sunlight areas, and in waters with excess nutrients that algae like to feed off of (nitrogen and phosphorus).

An algae bloom can look like paint on the water or like scum. These can vary in color, from green, red, blue and brown. It will most often smell foul as well.

Harmful effects of toxic algae:

Animals and humans can experience negative side effects of toxic algae exposure. Irritation or rashes can happen, along with vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and more. In pets that have been exposed, lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting may occur. If symptoms are left untreated, severe illness or even death may occur. If you or a pet is exposed to toxic algae, wash off and monitor for signs of exposure for the following few hours. Seek medical attention if symptoms are occurring.

If you see toxic algae, report it to your local authorities and stay away from the water. Don’t allow kids or pets in the water.

How to prevent and treat growth:

Since large algae blooms happen due to conditions such as ample sunlight, excess nutrients, and stagnant water, there are a few things you should consider doing to prevent prime algae overgrowth.

1.       Treat existing algae with an algaecide, such as Mizzen® algaecide from Lake Restoration.

2.       Use a nutrient reducer, such as SparKlear® or PhosControl® to rid your water of excess nutrients that aid in rapid algae growth. Make sure grass clippings and leaves aren’t getting into your water (this creates more excess nutrients in your pond).

3.       Use an aerating fountain, like the Vitaflume® floating fountain from Lake Restoration. The fountain will help keep water moving and gas exchanged between the water and the air.

Steps to Prevent Mid-Summer Algae Blooms

July 13, 2017

As the temperatures rise around the country this time of year, you may find that your pond is looking more green than usual. This is because warm temperatures, along with organic matter and excess nutrients in the water can create the perfect environment for very rapid algae growth.

To keep a clear pond, especially at this point in the season, you need to be proactive about making sure you are taking the right steps to keep algae away. Keeping your pond clear of algae is similar to weeding your garden; you need to keep up with it, or it will get out of control. We recommend treating every 3-4 weeks to keep your pond looking great!

Take note of some helpful tips and product recommendations to keep up with your pond.

1.       Using an algaecide regularly

Using an algaecide, like our copper-based Mizzen® algaecide, will be a key factor in eliminating algae once it is grown underneath or on top of your pond. Mizzen® is sprayed over the algae or can be applied with the TORMADA® remote controlled application boat. Mizzen® can help clear up your pond in as little as 7-14 days, with full results seen in a month. Algae can re-grow rapidly, even within a few days, so make sure you have enough Mizzen® on hand for a second treatment or spot treating throughout the season. One gallon of Mizzen will cover 20,000 square feet, and is $34.95. Mizzen® is also available in smaller sizes or gallon packs.

 

2.       Use a nutrient reducer as part of your treatment plan

Nutrient reducers, such as SparKlear® and PhosControl® can reduce the organic matter in your pond that weeds and algae feed off of. When used in conjunction with an algaecide, you will be reducing existing algae and making it harder for it to regrow. SparKlear® contains bacteria and enzymes that eat away at the nutrients in your pond, and it can help improve your pond’s water clarity. PhosControl® contains aluminum sulfate that binds with phosphorus (which algae feed off of) making the phosphorus unavailable for the algae. Monthly treatments with these products is recommended.

 

3.       Consider aeration to help keep water clear

Aerators or aerating fountains work to keep water moving and will help exchange gases trapped in the water that are aiding in algae growth. Lake Restoration offers Vitaflume® floating aerating fountains in 3 different sizes and can move 7,000-10,000 gallons of water per hour. Fountains keep water moving so that algae mats cannot form like they would in more stagnant waters. Aerating fountains help your pond “breathe,” and they also look great as a centerpiece. Vitaflume® starts at $975 and offers optional spray patterns and lighting so you can customize the look of your centerpiece.

 

4.       If you also have weeds, we recommend using the following products for an overall healthy pond:

Dibrox® herbicide: controls floating and submerged weeds like Eurasian Watermilfoil and duckweed.

Mizzen® algaecide: to control filamentous and planktonic algae in scum.

SparKlear® or PhosControl® nutrient reducers: to reduce algae fuel and sludge, and improve water clarity.

Sapphire Bay® Pond Dye: Do give your pond a pleasing blue color.

*for lakes and dock and swim areas, use Mizzen®, Dibrox® and MuckMaid® pellets.

Following these steps will help improve your pond’s health over the hottest months of the summer when algae growth is rapid.

How to Keep Mosquitoes, Ticks, and Other Pest Away This Summer

July 11, 2017

If you haven’t heard the news, ticks have been a major problem this year. Experts are saying the increase in tick population is due to the larger population of white footed mice that carry Lyme disease. The warmer weather and earlier heat up has helped mosquitoes breed and thrive this year as well.

If you live in a wooded area or are near a water source, you probably are well-aware of these pest issues. So how can you stop these pest in their tracks and maintain an enjoyable yard, free of pests?

Lake Restoration is now carrying a full line of pest control products, including products for use on ticks, adult mosquitoes, and mosquito larvae.

Most of the general pest control products can be sprayed indoors and outdoors on a variety of surfaces, including: lawn, turf, shrubs, greenhouses, kennels, parks, restaurants, warehouses, etc. These products are labeled for many pests, including: ticks, spiders, bed bugs, ants, mites, crickets, bees, wasps, cockroaches, etc. (see labels for full list of surface uses and pests controlled).

For specific pest, use the following products:

 

Mosquitoes

Larvae: Microbe-Lift (only works on mosquitoes and can be used in the TORMADA® application boat from Lake Restoration).

·         Apply to water with TORMADA® boat or sprayer every two weeks for full effects.

 

Adult mosquitoes: Bifen IT and Demon Max

·         These products can be used in a sprayer and should not be used in water.

·         Can be used on greenery, gardens, lawns and other area where mosquitoes are common.

·         Apply at average rates for adult mosquitoes.

 

 Ticks

Bifen IT, Demon Max, Cynoff EC, Talstar, and LambdaStar CS are all labeled to control ticks. These products can be sprayed on a variety of surfaces (check label restrictions on uses indoors and outdoors).

·         Do not spot treat areas for ticks, treat whole area where present.

·         Use higher rates of application for areas with heavy leaf litter.

·         Retreat during high-pest season times when necessary.

·         Continue treatments during season only if signs of tick activity still exist.

 

Deer Ticks: treat in late fall and/or early spring to low-lying vegetation

American Dog Ticks: Treat as needed along pathways and roadways, as needed, from mid-spring to early fall.

 

Other Pests

Excluding Microbe-Lift, all of our other pest products are labelled for many different types of pest and insects. See the individual product labels for complete lists of pest controlled and the surfaces and areas that these products can be used in.

Ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests can be a bother. Not only are they annoying, they can carry deadly diseases as well. Lake Restoration pest products will help keep your yard and structures free of pests, making your spaces safe and enjoyable. Visit LakeRestoration.com to shop and learn more about our pest control line. 

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