Greenbug System FAQ

Questions and Answers about the Greenbug System

How does the Greenbug System work?

The Greenbug System integrates with an irrigation system to provide automatic pest control. Your irrigation watering schedule stays the sameon Program A and the Greenbug runs on Program B.  

For the Greenbug programming, the sprinklers will run and from a reservoir holding the diluted Greenbug Concentrate, the pump injects the precise dosage into the main irrigation water line, kind of like an I.V. drip. The Greenbug runs for 2 minutes per zone per day and the Greenbug Concentrate is distributed everywhere water is directed. It is all done via the programming, so a Greenbug System offers set-it-and-forget-it, automatic watering AND automatic pest control. 

Does Greenbug get rid of all pests?

A Greenbug System controls bugs you don't want. Specifically, all pheromone-driven or smell-driven pests meaning those that get their food source through sense of smell. These are the bad guys - mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, fire ants, mole crickets and roaches plus garden pests like aphids, white fly, etc. 

Greenbug has no effect on creatures that get food through sense of sight - so it is harmless to humans, animals, and beneficial pollinators like honeybees and butterflies.  

What are the ingredients?

The active ingredient in all Greenbug products is cedar - just like cedar chests and closets where you never find bugs. That is because cedar controls pests easily. The ingredients used in the Greenbug System are cedarwood oil mixed with Ethyl lactate which is a by-product of corn and a common ingredient in many foods we eat. 

How does cedar control pests?

Cedar controls pests and therefore it is an excellent repellent. The reason you do not see bugs in a cedar chest is because no creature knowingly goes where it will die. Once bugs ‘smell’ the cedar (and if it hasn't touched them to control them), they go away and won't come back!

A Greenbug System distributes a very diluted Greenbug Concentrate with the active ingredient of cedar each day to create and maintain a barrier that bugs will not cross. Bugs do not nest or breed where a Greenbug System is present, so you have successfully controlled the bugs! 

How does the Greenbug System change my irrigation system?

The Greenbug System allows an irrigation system to perform two functions: Automatic Watering AND Automatic Pest Control. To perform both functions, a Greenbug System ‘brain’ is needed that includes a control panel, reservoir, pump and other components.  

Program A is irrigation which runs exactly how you choose – say three times a week, for 20 minutes a zone to optimize the watering needs of the landscape. Your existing programming for water continues as it always has. 

At a completely different time, the Greenbug System uses Program B which runs for just 2 minutes a zone per day to distribute the diluted Greenbug Concentrate. 

How often do I run it?

The Greenbug System runs for 2 minutes per zone per day.  

We strongly recommend you run the Greenbug programming year-round as it interrupts the breeding cycles of a lot of different bugs throughout the year. 

There are bugs that nest and breed in the Winter that will drive you nuts in the Summer (Mole Crickets, Grubs, etc.) so running the Greenbug System year round prevents these pests from breeding in your property.  You'll appreciate it months later!

Will I smell the Greenbug?

The first week after installation of a Greenbug System, it is run at maximum output to establish the Greenbug barrier. When running at 100% like this, it is likely you can smell the pleasant aroma of cedar as it runs. After a week, the output is cut back significantly to a level necessary to maintain the barrier and it is not likely you’ll smell it unless you put forth some effort (like putting your hand in the water stream as it goes through the irrigation.) But it is at a parts-per-million that the bugs can smell exceptionally well and will stay away! 

What about Honey Bees? Butterflies?

Greenbug has no effect on honeybees or butterflies. That is because cedar only affects smell-driven or pheromone-driven pests that get their food through sense of smell. These important pollinators are sight-driven, meaning they find their food source through sight and therefore cedar is a pleasant, natural aroma to them that causes no harm. 

What about pets, birds, animals, fish, reptiles, etc.?

Greenbug is fine for all of these! Greenbug offers control of bugs ONLY. And unfortunately, it does not get rid of bad neighbors or poorly behaved children. 

How much will the Greenbug Concentrate cost me each year?

The cost per year is dependent on several factors - how many irrigation zones you have, if you run your Greenbug System year round, and how ‘buggy’ your climate is.  

The average cost of a 4 irrigation zone Greenbug System run year-round in a buggy climate like the South Carolina Lowcountry is around $300. If you have 8 zones, it is closer to $600 but if you winterize and only run in warmer months, it could be below $300. Typically, the cost is between $300-600 year which has an average of 6 irrigation zones running the Greenbug throughout the year.  

However, something that is very important… A Greenbug System creates a barrier around your entire property – both inside and outside your home. Therefore, most Greenbug System customers have no other pest control expenses for the entire year. You do not need quarterly pest control either inside or outside, no need for supplemental pest control for mosquitoes or fire ants, etc.  Therefore, a Greenbug System saves you money and can actually pay for itself over time. 

Is this cedar from managed forests?

No, and here is why… Most of our cedar oil comes from West Texas where cedar trees are considered an invasive, indigenous (native) species. That means it grows all over the place where people do not want it. Literally, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! 

How do you get irrigation and Greenbug to run at separate times?

It is all in the programming. Typically, Program A directs Irrigation and Program B directs Greenbug. 

Does the Greenbug System offer flexibility in programming when my irrigation runs?

Absolutely! There are multiple programs, start times, days to water, etc. that can be used. Once it is programmed, it is set-it-and-forget-it based on your preferences. And the Greenbug control panel is easy to understand!

What about the plants in my Garden? What about my vegetables?

Greenbug causes no issues for plants and has no more photo-sensitivity than regular watering.  Just like regular irrigation, a Greenbug System should not be run in the heat of the day or in full sun.

As for vegetables, Greenbug is NOT systemic so it does not alter a plant’s taste. We do suggest you wash your vegetables before eating them regardless. Our ingredients of cedar oil and ethyl lactate have been identified as friendly to organic crop production. 

Will I use a lot of extra water with a Greenbug System?

Absolutely not!  The Greenbug System runs for only 2 minutes per zone per day while some regular irrigation programming runs for over an hour per zone!  If you don't want to use any additional water, you can lessen the irrigation watering by 2 minutes each zone to accommodate the Greenbug cycle.  If you are faced with water restrictions and can only water every other day, the adjustment is to run the Greenbug System pump every other day at a slightly higher output.