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January 18, 2018

About Tonight: February 12, 2015

MetroATFeb12.jpg
Photo by Beau Finley.

FILM: Gather your change and loose bills and pay what you want to see HITS, “a dark comedy about fame in YouTube America.” West End Cinema (2301 M Street NW) 7-10 p.m. RSVP here.

MORE FILM: Watch VHS recordings of the made for television teen comedies The B.R.A.T. Patrol, starring Sean Astin, and Poison Ivy, starring Michael J. Fox. Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Avenue NW) 7-11 p.m. Free

MUSIC: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. presents “Love Rocks!” a performance of your favorite pop and rock love songs from Freddie Mercury, Melissa Etheridge, Adele, U2, The Beatles, and more. New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (1313 New York Avenue NW) 8 p.m. $39

CAKE: Pops by Haley, the company specializing in cake push pops (not to be confused with cake pops), leads a push pop making workshop. West Elm (1728 14th Street NW) 6:30-8 p.m. $30

MAIL: This month’s edition of the Mail Social Club will have you creating embroidered valentines. To improve your experience, the Mail Social Club now serves beer and wine. Byrne Loft at the National Postal Museum (2 Massachusetts Avenue NE) 5 p.m. $11.50

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About Tonight: February 12, 2015

Goats That Eat Poison Ivy, Brush And Weeds

The landscape of brush-clearing is changing.

The organic, more natural way of removing weeds and thorny vines is a healthier alternative to herbicides–so why send a brush hog to do a goat’s job?

The Goat Girls, an Amherst, Massachusetts-based company, has a herd of 19 goats they rent out to clear brush, even if a property is overrun by a rash of poison ivy.

“The two white ones really like poison sumac,” Chade Conrad, the assistant field manager for The Goat Girls, said.

The more goats on the job, the faster they’ll eat away an overgrown area.

The Goat Girls have taken calls from prospective clients in Connecticut, but the business stays local because every time the herd crosses the state line the goats each need costly health certificates.

However, if you’re interested in grooming a goat to mow your lawn, the business is offering a two-day course to teach others how to run a business of rent-a-goats of their own.

“Two landscapers from the Hartford area expressed an interest,” Hope Crolius, founder of The Goat Girls, said.

An added bonus after the herd clears the way and moves on is the valuable manure left behind, which clients get to keep to fertilize the garden they really want.

Jobs start at $500 per week.

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Goats That Eat Poison Ivy, Brush And Weeds

Report: Mosquitoes, poison ivy to grow with climate change

Report: Mosquitoes, poison ivy to grow with climate change

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August 22, 2014 12:00 AM

There’s bad news for nature lovers this week: The most annoying outdoor bugs and pests will only get peskier and more prevalent with climate change.

Tiger mosquitoes, poison ivy, deer ticks and fire ants will all be conquering new ground and expanding their range as temperatures rise with global warming, according to a report released this week from the National Wildlife Federation called “Ticked off: America’s outdoor experience and climate change.”

On SouthCoast the pest that is most concerning is the tiger mosquito, said Dr. Doug Inkley, who authored the report.

Tiger mosquitoes can carry 30 different types of diseases, including West Nile Virus, EEE and Dengue fever, among others. Unlike many species of mosquitoes which are mostly active at dusk and dawn, tiger mosquitoes are active all day long, posing a particular threat to humans.

Currently, tiger mosquitoes, an invasive species from Asia, are present in southeastern Pennsylvania and the “very coastal areas” of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

By 2020, that will change thanks to global warming, Inkley said. By 2020 tiger mosquitoes could be present in all of coastal Massachusetts as rising temperatures encourage them to come north.

“Basically this host species, which carries diseases, is going to be out there all day, greatly increasing the exposure risk to humans,” Inkley said.

Just because a warmer climate will be favorable to tiger mosquitoes does not mean it will be favorable for all 30 of the diseases they can carry.

Still, Inkley said there is a cause for concern.

Another pest that will impact SouthCoast is poison ivy. Like all plants, poison ivy thrives when there is more carbon dioxide, a symptom of global warming. Poison ivy can also thrive in a warmer environment, meaning the plant will become more prevalent.

Perhaps more concerning, however, is that the combination of added heat and carbon dioxide will also increase the toxicity of urushiol, the part of poison ivy that causes allergic reactions in humans.

“This report shows that there are significant pests that we do deal with now but that we will have to take more effort to deal with in the future,” Inkley said.

He said he did not want the report to discourage people from spending time outdoors, noting that “the outdoor experience is so important to children and their health.”

But, he said, unless public policy changes so that the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere decreases significantly, people will have to be much more vigilant when they are outside.

“We already know how to protect ourselves by wearing long clothing, and we should continue to do that,” he said. “But we also need to cut our carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy.”

Follow Ariel Wittenberg on Twitter at @awittenberg_SCT


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Report: Mosquitoes, poison ivy to grow with climate change

NYC Parks Seeing Rash Of Poison Ivy Cases This Summer