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Florida is home to several tourist attractions, beautiful beaches, and a host of pests! There are several factors to why various insects and creatures call Florida their home. We list the top reasons why pests love Florida weather and how you can prevent them from being a nuisance this summer!
The most obvious and biggest factor to why pests are active year-round in Florida is the weather! Florida provides a variety of weather conditions, bringing moderate temperatures to allow pest colonies to grow without freezing temperatures halting them. While our warmer temperatures allow them to continue expanding and growing strength.
Termites, ants, mosquitoes, and cockroaches are just a few pests that thrive off humid weather. The humidity can cause damp wood, making it easier for pests to gain access into homes.
Florida is a popular travel destination and even a perfect location for those ready to live in a warmer climate. With plenty of people traveling in and out of our state, to locations such as Miami, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, and more, pests are bound to follow. As we know, people produce substantial amounts of trash, an ideal situation for cockroaches, ants, rodents, and more. Rodents, such as Norway rats, will dig through trash cans for a food source, leading them to our property and inside our homes.
With a wide variety of naturally grown vegetation throughout Florida, most homeowners plant, maintain, and craft a beautiful lawn. Keeping your yard healthy takes a lot of work but it does help in preventing pests being attracted to the vegetation we grow. Pests such as mealy bugs, aphids, whiteflies, and more will easily destroy all the hard work of keeping a yard maintained and healthy. If lawn care is not maintained, pests such as mosquitoes will utilize your yard – creating breeding sites, multiplying, and infesting your property.
If you have noticed more pests on your property than usual, reach out to your local South Florida pest control company for a Free Pest Control Quote.
Have you ever noticed patchy, brown spots throughout your yard? While there are several factors as to why your Florida lawn isn’t lush green, there is a certain pest that can have a lot to do with it! Armyworms are known to cause serious damage to your lawn, affecting its health and appearance. It’s important to spot the signs of these pests and know the proper steps in preventing them from destroying your grass!
Armyworms are a type of caterpillar and a larva of moths. These pests are small and striped with green, brown and yellow colors. Armyworms feed on grass, plants, vegetables, and grains. Common in the South Florida area, they also like to feed on turfgrasses too. While one armyworm won’t cause significant damage, if they infest in groups, it’s harder to eradicate them.
To find these pests, check your lawn for any patchy areas that are turning brown. This is a major sign that armyworms are active on your property. Another sign they’ve infested is noticing more birds visiting your lawn, as they will eat these pests as a food source. Often, you can find these pests in their adult form, or brown moths, feeding on nearby plants.
To prevent armyworms consider adding these measures to your lawn care maintenance routine:
The weather in Georgia is starting to warm up, which means more time will be spent outdoors enjoying your lawn. The type of lawn maintenance you need depends on the type of grass you have and what you want your lawn to look like. Here’s our top three grass types for Georgia and the best plan for maintaining each.
Zoysia grass originated in Asia was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s. This type of turf is an excellent choice for Georgia’s climate because although it thrives in warm, sunny weather, it can also tolerate the occasional cold spell, light shade, and droughts. Due to it being a warm-season species, it does perform best when given at least eight hours of sunshine. Thanks to its deep root system, Zoysia needs less water than other grass types.
This type of turf grows very densely and feels soft under your feet. The only downfall is that it can be invasive, overgrowing in lower beds or the neighbor’s lawn if it is not maintained correctly.
Bermuda grass has been in the U.S. for centuries and is a popular choice for most southern states. This warm-season grass thrives in hot weather and will perform poorly in shaded areas. This turf will quickly grow, making it difficult to control near flower beds and borders of your yard. However, it can tolerate low rainfall and can recover from damage quickly.
Since this grass grows quickly, it will need to be mowed more often during peak growth. Many homeowners love Bermuda grass as it is beautiful and resilient with the summer climate in the south.
This turf species has a distinct, coarse texture and a dark green color. It is tolerant of shade, though it does grow best in the sun. St. Augustine grass does not do well during dry or cold periods and will need extra watering during the hotter months of the year. It is best for low trafficked lawns since the blades are easily damaged and compacted. Although recommended for the lower half of Georgia, many homeowners in the Atlanta area have this type of grass in their lawn. St. Augustine grass can quickly grow, needing to be mowed often, even with the recommended 3-4 inches of height.
Choosing turf for your lawn may depend on how much maintenance you wish to dedicate to it. To learn more about different types of turf and maintaining each, reach out to your local lawn care company.
With springtime in full bloom, that usually means more rain is coming. Although your grass needs water to stay healthy, too much can be a disadvantage. Heavy rain can cause your grass to become waterlogged and flooded. It can also cause erosion of the soil. Every homeowner should be extra cautious when caring for their lawn after heavy rain, so it’s not damaged further. Here are some lawn care tips to follow if heavy rain is on the way.
Mowing a lawn when wet can cause compactions and create ruts in the soft ground. It’s best to wait until the grass is completely dry before mowing after a rainstorm. It’s also best practice to never use an electric mower on wet or even damp lawns.
Once your lawn is completely dry and ready to be mowed, ensure that you use the suggested cut height for your type of grass on your mower blades to keep the ground shaded enough from the sun.
When the weather is nice out, most of us want to enjoy the backyard. Unfortunately, after a rainstorm it’s best to stay off the grass until completely dry. Stepping on the grass too soon after rain can damage the blades and hinder the growth of your lawn.
The most suitable time to inspect your lawn for standing water is when you can safely walk on it without leaving footprints behind. This is an effective way to discover if leveling needs to be done or if drainage needs to be improved.
After a rainstorm is the perfect time to aerate your lawn because the soil is soft enough to penetrate with either a garden fork or a power aerator. Before using a power aerator, it’s best practice to know how to dry the type of turf that’s on your property. Aeration is beneficial for your lawn in many ways, including improved fertilizer uptake, resiliency, and reduced soil compaction.
A rainstorm is the perfect opportunity to create silt buildup and any diseases. Both are bad for the health of your grass and need to be removed as soon as possible. The buildup of silt can make it difficult for the grass to breathe, creating a lack of beneficial sunlight.
Depending on the type of turf you have, there are many lawn diseases that you could experience, like yellow to brown patches, leaf lesions, or fungal disease. Taking care of your lawn will help prevent these diseases from emerging, but sometimes it’s too much to handle without professional care.
If you have followed these tips to protect your grass after a rainstorm, but are still seeing problems, reach out to your local lawn care company. They will be able to help with any further issues by coming up with a personalized care plan for your lawn.
Named for their habit of moving in large numbers from yard to yard, armyworms are known to cause significant damage to your lawn. These pests are plump, striped caterpillars that feed on all types of grass. There are two types of armyworms: true and fall, and each come out in different seasons depending on the type of grass you have. Find out how you can prevent them and get rid of them if they ever appear in your yard.
Armyworms are a type of caterpillar with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed mostly on grass, plants, vegetables, and grains. They are common in the southern states and occasionally feed on turfgrasses. Once they infest, armyworms can cause substantial damage to your lawn and can be hard to eradicate due to how fast they can multiply.
The first thing to look for when preventing armyworms are patches of brown grass, eaten tips of grass blades, and birds picking throughout your lawn. You should monitor your yard routinely for any of these signs. An easy way to discover if armyworms have infested is by pouring a mixture of soap and water over a small section of your lawn. These pests will soon rise to the top of the mixture, indicating an armyworm infestation.
Another tip is to keep your lawn cut short and to water it regularly, which makes the grass less attractive to pests. Look to keep your outside lights off at night as they attract moths, which lay eggs that turn into armyworms.
If an armyworm invasion occurs in your yard, the damage can be devastating but given time you can rebound to a lush, healthy lawn. The grass can recover on its own as long as the growing point at the base shoot is undamaged. In other cases, some people may have to resod, re-seed, or aerate any dead patches that worms have left behind. Some DIY methods can be done to rid your yard of armyworms but applying insecticide is the best choice.
If you suspect armyworms are taking over your yard, contact your local lawn care company or pest control provider who can provide you with an effective lawn care plan to help prevent armyworms and recommend effective products.
Winter can ravage your lawn, leaving yellow spots, brown grass, or even bare patches when the weather starts to warm up. Don’t worry – there’s still hope! You can bring your lawn back to life just in time for warm weather. Here are 5 spring lawn care tips to bring your yard back vibrant and green.
It’s important to know the difference between dormant grass and dead grass. If you live in an area with a warm climate (e.g. the southeastern United States), you likely have warm-season grass in your yard. This type of grass naturally goes dormant over the winter but should return to it’s lush, green state by late spring or early summer. If you walk on your brown or yellow grass and it crunches under your feet don’t fret – it’s still in its dormant state and should wake up soon.
Signs that your grass is dead include a pink, white, red, or black color; water doesn’t help it grow; the sun makes it worse rather than better; it feels spongy to walk on; or you can easily pull up sections of your lawn and not just handfuls of grass. Grass can die for a number of reasons including harsh winter weather, fungus or lawn disease, drought, thatch, overwatering, overfertilizing, pests, or excessive pet urine. If this is the case, reseeding or sodding may be in your future.
The best time to revitalize your lawn is early spring and fall. These are the optimal growth seasons for turf and provide a moderate climate for grass to thrive. Once spring arrives, the first step is to get rid of any weeds that have taken over during the winter. Weeds compete with grass for nutrients, light, and water. If you are using weed killers rather than weeding by hand, prepare ahead of time. These herbicides stop the growth of both weeds AND new grass for about 3 weeks. Once the weeds have been eliminated, mow your grass to a height of 1 inch and rake afterwards to remove any debris and dead grass. This also helps loosen the bare soil to prepare for fertilizing and reseeding.
Your lawn can be boosted with fertilizer, soil enhancer, or by seeding or laying sod. Grass can’t live without nitrogen, which promotes healthy, green growth. Applying fertilizer gives your grass a boost of necessary nitrogen at the start of its growing season. Soil enhancer are minerals you can add to your lawn’s soil to influence the soil condition in an effort to help new grass take root and grow better.
If you have brown or bare spots, you may have to reseed your lawn or put down sod. Reseeding is a less expensive, less labor intensive alternative to sod. It only allows a small window of time to plant, however, and increases your chance of weeds. Seeding means more maintenance in the early stages, as well, and a longer time for seed to mature. Sodding is quicker and gives a longer window of time to put grass down. You also have little to no weeds with sod. It is more expensive and more labor intensive, however, and the sod may not take the first time it’s put down.
It is important to water your lawn consistently to bring it back to its vibrant, green status. Grass seed needs consistent watering in order to germinate and establish strong, healthy roots. Soil should be watered daily when seed is first put down to stay consistently moist. If temperatures are considerably high, you may need to water twice a day. This should continue until the grass sprouts and grows tall enough for its first mow (usually 3 to 4 inches in height). Once you reach this point, you can transition to a regular watering schedule that gives your lawn about 1 inch of water per week.
Once you put the work into restoring your lawn, it’s important to set up a maintenance routine to keep it that way all season. Mow often enough to keep your grass at the recommended height (making sure not to remove more than 1/3 of its height in a single mow). Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate periods of heavy rain or drought. Fertilize and feed as necessary.
If your lawn could use a boost or you just need a helping hand getting it back in shape, contact your local lawn care company for a free lawn care analysis and maintenance plan that’s tailored to you and your yard.
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Now that spring is within sight, it’s time to get your lawn ready for warmer weather. Winter can leave grass, shrubs and trees weak and hungry for nutrients. Ensuring the proper spring lawn care now can lead to a lush, green yard throughout the rest of the year. Here are 8 tips for preparing your lawn for spring.
Now is the time to clean up leaves, twigs, and other debris in your yard. This debris can get stuck in lawnmowers and can also prevent fertilizer and other nutrients from being properly absorbed by your lawn. Use a rake or an air blower to get rid of as much debris as possible.
After the harsh weather of winter, grass is hungry for essential nutrients needed for growth in the spring. At the same time, weeds will start to emerge as the weather warms up. Early spring is the best time to go ahead and apply fertilizer to feed your turf along with a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass. 6 to 8 weeks after this, reapply your fertilizer and pre-emergent again, along with a broadleaf weed killer. There are several combination products on the market to help cut down on cost and the number of products you have to apply.
Letting grass grow too high between cuts can actually stunt roots, preventing them from reproducing and growing properly. Instead of mowing once per week, try to cut your grass every 5 days, at least for the first 6 weeks of spring. This can help lead to a fuller, thicker lawn.
Once your lawn is taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to your landscaping, especially mulch. Edge out your flower beds and trim back any dead branches on your shrubs. Now is also the perfect time to replace your mulch, giving your landscaping a much needed “spring cleaning.” Try to use a heavier mulch rather than wood chips for longer durability.
Winter can wreak havoc on your trees along with your lawn. It can be difficult to tell if tree branches are dead without actually getting up into the tree to inspect them. Falling tree limbs can cause damage to your property and injury to yourself or others nearby. Consider hiring a professional tree service to come out every 3 years and do a “safety trim” on your trees.
If you are using a pre-emergent herbicide or weed killer in the spring, new seeds you sow will not germinate. For this reason, it’s better to overseed or reseed your lawn in the fall. For brown spots, fertilize in the spring and new shoots will help fill in these areas. If bare patches are too big or you just can’t wait for fall, consider laying sod instead of reseeding.
Raking isn’t just a fall chore. Not only does it get rid of any residual leaves left over from winter, but it also removes dead grass blades, helping to prevent the accumulation of thatch which can prevent nutrients and water from getting to roots. Raking deeply can also break up any existing thatch, leading to healthier growth of your lawn. It’s best to wait to rake until your grass has started to green up, indicating roots are fully rooted and the grass is actively growing. Use a flexible leaf rake rather than a stiff metal rake. Make sure you rake deeply and vigorously.
Although it is best to aerate in the fall, circumstances may require you to do it in the spring instead. This is especially true for areas that get heavy traffic which can lead to soil compaction. An aerator creates openings in the turf to allow water and air to penetrate the soil and reach the roots. If done in the spring, these holes also provide the ideal location for weeds to thrive.
Spring lawn care can be a daunting task. Contact your local lawn care company for a free analysis and help with your spring lawn care plans.
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Winter is upon us in full force in the south. Winter in the southern states varies greatly, with the potential for snow, ice storms, rain, and fluctuating temperatures that can range from below freezing to balmy 60s and 70s, all within the same month! Regardless of the weather, it is important to maintain your lawn care plan even during the dormant winter season. Here are 5 winter lawn care tips you can use if you live down south.
Many homeowners don’t think to adjust their sprinkler settings from summer to winter. Continuing on a summer watering schedule can lead to overwatering for your lawn. During the winter, most grasses only require an inch of water per week. Warm season grasses don’t soak up as much water in the winter months and this overwatering can lead to problems for your lawn. Adjust your sprinklers to a schedule that allows for the recommended amount of water per week.
In the summer months, turf is springy and resilient. In the winter, the turf’s energy is redirected to its roots rather than its crown, leaving dormant grass brittle and weak. Heavy traffic on your lawn while it is in this dormant, brittle state can lead to severe damage. Try to avoid heavy lawn traffic by using walkways, pavers, and sidewalks as much as possible. It is also important to avoid traffic on your lawn when frost is present as this makes it much more susceptible to damage.
Winter lawn debris can be leaves, branches, or any other organic material that accumulates. Leaving this clutter on top of your grass can lead to disease and bacteria and can also suffocate the turf. Removing organic debris allows your lawn to breathe which allows it to soak up the nutrients it needs from the limited amount of sun it gets during the day.
If your lawn is swampy or has bare spots, winter may be the time to consider resodding. Although the roots will be dormant and grow slowly, once the weather warms up they will take hold and flourish. If you decide to resod in the winter use caution – your lawn will be overly sensitive and can be damaged more easily.
Depending on what type of grass you have, winter may be a good time to aerate. Soil compaction is exponentially worse in the wintertime. Aeration not only helps alleviate this compaction, but also allows oxygen, nutrients, and water to get to the roots where it is desperately needed. Aeration also makes your lawn less susceptible to invasive weeds that can run rampant in the winter months. For this reason, it is also important to continue weeding during the winter.
If you need help getting a jump on your winter lawn care, contact a local lawn care company who can give you a free lawn analysis and help set you up for a lush, healthy lawn come spring.
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Lawn care doesn’t end just because the weather gets cold. Even if your turf goes dormant during the winter months, it can always benefit from a little TLC. Here are 6 of our favorite winter lawn care essentials to help ensure a lush, green yard in the spring.
Your soil can become compacted for several different reasons, including lots of foot traffic, heavy machinery, etc. Soil compaction causes the soil to dry out because it isn’t getting adequate hydration which in turn leads to poor nutrient uptake by the roots leading to drainage problems, dead turf and bare spots. Thatch is the layer of material and debris between the soil and the visible grass. A thatch layer of 1″ is considered healthy; anything greater than 1″ blocks air and water penetration to the roots which leads to drainage issues. Aeration is a solution to both of these issues. Holes are made through the turf into the soil below, allowing air and water to penetrate through. Aeration can be done manually or with a power aerator. It can also be done in the warmer months or in the winter, as long as the ground isn’t frozen yet.
Help avoid the need to aerate by minimizing soil compaction in the first place. As mentioned before, compaction decreases nutrient intake by the turf, causing it to dry out and leading to drainage issues. Soil compaction in the winter is often caused by increased foot traffic, parking cars on the grass, and storing machinery and equipment on top of it. Avoid compaction by limiting storage on top of the grass and sticking to walkways and sidewalks when outdoors.
Winter is also a perfect time to fertilize, as long as the ground isn’t frozen. Check the pH of your soil. If your soil is acidic, winter is a great time to add a little lime to it for balance. You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer to help winterize before the spring.
Raking is not just a chore for the fall. Leave can drop at different times during the cold season. Wet leaves on the ground can cause water to buildup, fungal growth, pests, and bare patches on your lawn. Rake up any leaves that fall, even if you’ve already done it multiple times.
Winter storms can leave behind a mess of branches, tree limbs, and other debris. Even though it’s cold outside, it’s best to clean these up ASAP. Heavy limbs can impede water drainage and compact your soil, and lead to crown hydration, all of which can cause bare patches on your lawn. Crown hydration, also known as grass freeze, is when warm weather spells cause the soil to thaw and tricks the grass into thinking it’s spring. The grass sucks up water and nutrients in preparation for spring growth, but the cold weather comes back and refreezes the soil and the water it has retained, causing it to expand inside the crown of the grass and kill it.
Winter is a great time to make repairs and perform maintenance on your lawn machines and tools since they aren’t in regular use. Give your mower a once over and follow the appropriate maintenance instructions (e.g., fuel stabilizer in gas powered equipment). Give it a thorough cleaning and repair or replace any parts that are necessary. Sharpen your mower blades so they’ll be ready for spring. Check the gears on your height adjustment mechanism and store equipment in a dry, protected area.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the need for lawn care slacks off. Use this time to get ahead before the spring to ensure you have a lush, healthy lawn you can enjoy year-round. For help with all of your lawn care needs, contact your local lawn care company for an analysis and ongoing maintenance plan.
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