Monthly Archives: June 2015

How to win the battle against fleas and ticks.

fleatick

Blood-sucking fleas and ticks pose potential harm to your family and pets. Besides having an irritating bite, they also spread diseases. Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are just a few tick-borne diseases.

A single flea can lay up to 500 eggs in a matter of months, while a female tick can lay up to 3,000 eggs. They can survive weeks and even months without food just waiting for a host. Controlling fleas and ticks in and around your home can be achieved by following these recommendations.

First, if your pet has fleas and ticks, consulting a veterinarian should be your first step. They can recommend the proper treatment needed for your pet.

Secondly, controlling the fleas and ticks inside your home can be done by vacuuming your carpets several times, and washing dog bedding with hot water.

Finally, treatments outside your home should also be done.

Control fleas and ticks in your lawn with these simple tips.

  • Mow it right: Both of these insects hide in longer grass. Mowing your lawn at the proper height reduces flea and tick hang-outs.
  • Avoid overwatering: Fleas and ticks prefer moist environments. An overwatered or poorly draining lawn can extend an invitation to these insects. Ensure you’re watering your lawn properly. If you have a drainage issue, aerating may help. For moist, shady areas on your property, follow the tips below to limit the attraction for fleas and ticks.
  • Keep it clean: Neatness counts when it comes to eliminating habitats for fleas and ticks to hide and lay eggs. Remove yard debris, such as piles of lumber, bricks and stones. Keep shrubs pruned and bed area cleared.
  • Check pet hang-outs: Flea and tick larvae remain within 50 feet of your pet’s favorite resting areas. Clean and treat around any cool, shady spots your pet favors, such as spaces under decks or porches, beneath low-hanging shrubs or along fence lines. Don’t forget to treat dog runs and kennels too.
  • Protect your home: Establish a barrier around your home with a perimeter pesticide treatment. This treatment can prevent fleas and ticks from migrating into your home, although they can still hitch a ride on you or your pet.
  • Let the sun shine: Both fleas and ticks like shady, moist areas. Prune trees and shrubs to allow more sunlight to enter your landscape.

Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. offers a one-time Flea and Tick Treatment or an Annual Perimeter Pest Control Program. Our one-time Flea and Tick Treatment treats your lawn, where fleas and ticks hide, along with a perimeter spray around your home. Our Perimeter Pest Control Program involves routine pest inspections along with an insecticide barrier around the exterior of your foundation. We place four bait/monitoring stations around the perimeter of your home and spray the entire perimeter, including around all entry points where insects could enter the home. We also treat fire ant mounds and place bait around your landscape to greatly reduce the number of fire ants on your property. Monthly (12 applications) and Bi-monthly (6 applications) service plans are available.

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach and ask about our Flea and Tick Treatment or Perimeter Pest Control Program.

 

Perimeter Pest Control

Ant-individual-Florida has always been known as a “buggy” place by many people. Now it’s confirmed. In a recent national survey among homeowners conducted by Infogroup, Florida received the unwelcome distinction of being the state with the worst bug problems. Cockroaches, ants, termites – they’re all very comfortable residents of the Sunshine State.

The good news, these pests can be controlled and even prevented from infesting your home. With routine pest inspections and proper applications of baits and insecticides, anyone can have a pest free home. Perimeter Pest Control is the best option to prevent pest infestations inside your home. If you can control the invading pests on the outside you don’t have to deal with them on the inside.

So what is Perimeter Pest Control?

Perimeter Pest Control is an outer barrier protection plan to reduce bugs from entering your home and foundation. Since the treatment is performed outside, perimeter pest control is a safe method, since no chemicals will be applied inside your home. In fact, most perimeter pest control treatments do not require anyone to be present inside the house.

At Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. we offer a Perimeter Pest Control Program that involves routine pest inspections along with an insecticide barrier around the exterior of your home. We place four bait/monitoring stations around the perimeter of your home and spray the entire perimeter, including around all entry points where insects could enter the home. We also treat fire ant mounds and place bait around your landscape to greatly reduce the number of fire ants on your property. The common pests controlled with our Perimeter Pest Control Program are ants, spiders, roaches, millipedes, centipedes, fleas, ticks, crickets, earwigs and many other insects that can crawl into the house. Monthly (12 applications) and Bi-monthly (6 applications) service plans are available.

Just because we live in the state with the worst bug problem, doesn’t mean we have to live with those bugs in our homes.

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach and ask about our Perimeter Pest Control Program.

Mosquito Control

600x250_mosquitoMosquitoes are not only annoying, they are also the deadliest creatures on Earth. They transmit diseases like, West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and dengue. They can even transmit heart worms to your dogs.

There are about 200 different species of mosquitoes in the United States, all of which live in specific habitats, exhibit unique behaviors and bite different types of animals. Despite these differences, all mosquitoes share some common traits, like their life cycle. All mosquito species go through four distinct stages during their life cycle:

  • egg – hatches when exposed to water
  • larva – “wriggler” lives in water; molts several times; most species surface to breathe air
  • pupa – “tumbler” does not feed; stage just before emerging as adult
  • adult – flies short time after emerging and after its body parts have hardened.

The first three stages occur in water, but the adult is an active flying insect. Only the female mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of humans or other animals.

  • After she obtains a blood meal, the female mosquito lays the eggs directly on or near water, soil and at the base of some plants in places that may fill with water. The eggs can survive dry conditions for a few months.
  • The eggs hatch in water and a mosquito larva or “wriggler” emerges. The length of time to hatch depends on water temperature, food and type of mosquito.
  • The larva lives in the water, feeds and develops into the third stage of the life cycle called, a pupa or “tumbler.” The pupa also lives in the water but no longer feeds.
  • Finally, the mosquito emerges from the pupal case after two days to a week in the pupal stage.
  • The life cycle typically takes up two weeks, but depending on conditions, it can range from 4 days to as long as a month.

Different species of mosquitoes prefer different types of standing water in which to lay their eggs. Some examples are old tires, buckets, toys, potted plant trays, gutters, around air conditioner units, etc.

Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. can control your mosquitoes to make sure your family stays healthy, and is able to enjoy the outdoors comfortably. Our Mosquito Control Program treats your landscape, where mosquitoes hide, along with areas where they breed, like standing water in gutters, retention areas, water features, etc. Each visit we inspect your yard for breeding and harborage areas and treat not only the adults, but the larva as well. Monthly (10 applications February – November) service plans available. We can make your backyard enjoyable again with our mosquito control program.

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Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach and ask about our Mosquito Control Program.

 

More on Watering Your Lawn.

spinkler-systemHeading into summer, we always get the same question, “How much should I water my lawn?”

That question is not an easy one to answer, because every lawn and every irrigation system is different. According to many experts, 1/2 to 3/4 inch is needed for replenishment of moisture every 2 to 3 days during warm periods of active growth, and every 10 to 14 days during less active growth periods. This water can come from rainfall or an irrigation system. However, no irrigation system can provide the uniform coverage needed like Mother Nature. This is because most systems are poorly designed (inadequate coverage, lacking head to head coverage, etc.) and/or over time sprinkler heads can get clogged, need readjusting, the flow rate of your pump may change, etc. A few other factors that affect how much water your lawn needs are, sunny areas require more water than shady areas and sandy soils need more than clay soils.

The best way to water your lawn is on an “as needed” basis. The easiest method to determine whether your turf needs water or not is to use the “footprinting” technique. If you step off the grass and you can still see your footprints there after a few seconds, your turf needs water. Another way to tell if your turf needs water is to look at the leaf blades. Dry leaf blades will fold in half making your turf look spindly. The turf will also take on a blueish grey color. If you see any of these symptoms in your turf, it’s time to irrigate.

Irrigation systems need constant monitoring due to rain events and environmental conditions. “Set it and forget it” should never be the method used. Even if you hire a professional irrigation company to monitor your system regularly, you as the homeowner, should work with that company to keep your lawn healthy.

A general rule is to irrigate your lawn 45 minutes for rotor zones and 30 minutes for spray zones 3 days a week during the summer months in the absence of rain. However, as stated above, that may or may not be what your turf really needs. For more information about Irrigation visit the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach for all your Irrigation needs. We have a Licensed Irrigator on staff.

 

Consider redoing your old weedy lawn.

downloadSome people use herbicides to control weeds in an old, declining lawn. Then, with all the weeds gone, the lawn’s owner suddenly realizes that he or she has no lawn left.

Sometimes the best solution is to start over. Many older, thinning, declining, weedy lawns need to be reestablished. As lawns decline and thin, the weeds move in. When you reach the point where there is less than sixty percent desirable turf coverage, reestablishment should be considered.

In the process of redoing a lawn, attempt to determine why the lawn declined and correct mismanagement practices that were contributing factors in the lawn’s demise.

 

 

Common causes for lawn decline:

Soil compaction – Mowing equipment, vehicles and foot traffic (from adults, children and pets) all result in the soil becoming compacted within a lawn. Compacted soil results in less water and oxygen getting to the lawn roots and less than favorable growing conditions for the roots.

Nutrient imbalances – Routine fertilization can result in some fertilizer elements building up to excessive levels while other elements may be lacking. It’s common to find high levels of phosphorus in older lawns. Phosphorus does not leach readily even in our sandy soils. Other elements such as potassium leach readily. Over time, we’ll end up with too much of some nutrients and too little of others, which contribute to growth difficulties and possible decline in our lawns.

Tree competition – Trees and larger shrubs can compete with a lawn. As a tree gets larger with time, it becomes more competitive with lawn grass. The tree’s demand for water and nutrients increases as it becomes larger. Its root area becomes more extensive and it progressively produces more shade. Lawns usually thin significantly in association with older, large trees and shrubs.

Soil pH- pH levels that are too acidic (below 7) or too alkaline (above 7) can have negative affects on your lawn. Nutrients can bind up in the soil making them unusable to the turf.

Root pests numbers may slowly build to damaging levels as a lawn ages. Some common examples include nematodes (microscopic roundworms), soil inhabiting fungi such as Gaeumannomyces and ground pearls (a scale insect found in soil).

Improper lawn maintenance practices may be a contributing factor in the decline of an older lawn too. Common contributing factors to a lawn’s demise include routinely mowing too low, excessive fertilization and improper irrigation.

Sometimes herbicides are only a “band aid” approach when dealing with an old, mismanaged lawn.

Call Grass Roots Lawn & Landscape, Inc. for a Lawn Consultation today. (850)897-3073 Niceville  (850)832-4212 Panama City Beach

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