Category Archives: Lawn and Tree Pests

Prevent Pests from Ruining your Outdoor Entertaining

Summer is such a great time for outdoor entertaining around the grill, fire pit, or pool, as the days are longer and the weather is perfect for such events. Unfortunately, these fun get togethers sometimes have uninvited guests such as pests like bees, flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. Here are some simple, yet effective ways to prevent pests from ruining your outdoor entertaining this summer.

 

  • Yard Treatment – Talk to our experts about treating your yard for mosquitoes and other pests that can be a huge pain during outdoor dinner parties. Our comprehensive monthly treatment program can protect your family and guests from ticks, mosquitoes, and other flying pests throughout the active season.
  • Cover Foods – The item that most attracts pests during your BBQ or dinner parties is most likely the food! Cover all food serving dishes when possible or, better yet, move them into the kitchen and have guests serve from inside. One item that tends to attract bees are soda and beer cans. Bees love to nose around in these cans and can sting an unsuspecting drinker. Keep cans and drinks covered as well.
  • Dress for Prevention – While it may be hot outside, the pests love exposed skin. Try to wear long sleeved, light weight clothing that will protect the largest part of your body. Use insect repellent such as Permethrin on clothing and DEET on skin.
  • Use Fans – Mosquitoes and other insects have trouble landing when there is a stiff wind or human-made wind from a fan. Bring out some standing fans and direct them on guests around your patio so that these buggers can’t get a chance to land and bite.
  • Try Insect Repelling Plantings – Up the odds that your outdoors will be pest-free by planting some naturally insect repelling plantings. The following plants are known to have mosquito-repelling properties: marigolds, Rosemary, Lavender, Basil, and Catnip.

 

Talk to our team at Pro-Tech Lawn Care about how you can prevent pests from ruining your time outside with our helpful tips and treatment solutions. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Nothing can ruin a day of gardening, playing, or entertaining quite like the annoyance of mosquitoes. They buzz in your ear, bite your ankles and cause welts that itch like crazy! Not only are these little pests a nuisance, but they can also be dangerous as they can carry and transmit diseases. Zika, West Nile Virus, and a list of other mosquito-borne diseases carried by these pests can make humans very ill and, in some cases, can be fatal. Here are a few tips to mosquito-proof your yard this year so you can enjoy it for what it was intended.

 

  • Remove Breeding Sites – For a typical yard this means removing all sources of standing water around your yard, whether it is a pet bowl, an upside down frisbee, a kiddie pool, or a spare tire hidden behind the shed. Fix leaky hoses, properly store pool covers, and clean out gutters that may harbor a hidden breeding location.
  • Keep your Lawn Well-Manicured – Long grass is a great place for mosquitoes to get out of the sun. Keeping your grass short and yard well-maintained is essential to mosquito control.
  • Treat your Yard – Many homeowners are turning to mosquito treatments, especially along fence/property lines and along foundations. Talk to our experts at Pro-Tech Lawn Care to see how this could benefit your family.
  • Avoid Peak Hours – Mosquitoes tend to be most active at dawn and dusk. The lack of wind, sunlight, and heat makes this an ideal time for feeding. If you must be out during this time, wear lightweight long sleeved/pant clothing and protect yourself with Permethrin on clothing and DEET on skin.
  • Encourage Neighbors to Get Onboard – If your yard is mosquito-proofed and your close neighbor is not then your efforts may not work. So get your neighbors on board and help them create a mosquito-free zone as much as possible.

 

Need help making your yard mosquito-proof? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Don’t Make These Common Spring Lawn Care Mistakes

Sometimes homeowners find it hard to get back into the swing-of-things when it comes to caring for their lawn each spring. After all, it has been a few months and all those things you thought you would do or, at least, remember to do with your lawn have gone by the wayside. Did you remember to drain the gas and oil out of the lawn mower? Did you plant bulbs last year or agree to wait? Hmmm. Well, while you adjust to your spring lawn care chores again, let us remind you about some of the more common mistakes homeowners make every year so you can avoid them yourself.

 

  • Forgetting to Sharpen the Mower Blade – Yep, this is an easy one to forget about. The mower blade should be sharpened regularly and over the winter was a great time to do it while you don’t need the mower. If you still need to do this, now is as good a time as any.
  • Failing to Test the Soil – Too many homeowners skip this step of finding out how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Without this, you really don’t have any idea about the needs of your lawn.
  • Failing to Remove Items from the Grass – Lots of homeowners allow lawn ornaments, grills, and even cars to stay on the lawn over the winter months, thinking that they will not do any harm. Anything left on the grass can almost ensure that the grass underneath will be long dead and leave a large bare spot on your lawn. To fix this, you may need to reseed completely in this area.
  • Bagging the Lawn Clippings – Research has shown that, while it doesn’t look as clean and tidy and lawns that have every cut blade removed, the results can be astounding. By leaving clippings in the grass after mowing you are adding much needed nitrogen and organic matter to the grass.
  • Over/Under Watering – This mistake is fairly common. Do you see dry dead patches on your lawn or possibly the opposite – puddling? These two conditions are an indicator that you are either watering too little or too much, respectively. Water several times a week deeply. Check with a screwdriver to see how easily the tool sides in to the grass or if it is met with resistance, thus indicating dry ground.

 

Do you need help avoiding lawn care mistakes? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

What’s Up with the Ladybugs?

Ladybugs may be one of the more beloved pests, (if there is such a thing). They have cute songs written about them, children love drawing them, and dog-gone-it they are cute. Well that is unless they and hundreds of their closest friends have become your housemates! Why is it that in the fall, and again in the spring these critters find themselves crawling all over your home, sometimes even inside your home? It may be enough to ask, “What’s Up with the Ladybugs?”

 

Ladybugs, while somewhat adorable, are cluster hibernators, which means that every fall they secrete a pheromone that attracts hundreds of their friends and family in search of a place to spend their winter hibernating. Unfortunately, this location may be the walls, eaves, and other hidden places inside your home! This event usually occurs on sunny days in late October or early November. You may notice them right around trick-or-treating time. They are most attracted to homes with natural wood siding and ample sun exposure. They’re also attracted to houses in wooded areas, light-colored houses warmed in sunlight, and especially older houses with lots of crevices to find their way in.

 

In the spring these same Ladybugs are beginning to awaken, which means we repeat the process except in reverse. At first you may notice one or two crawling out from their hibernation into the light, confused but ready for the spring. Then as the days and weeks progress you may see many more working their way back to the outdoors. Help them along their journey or leave them be. Unfortunately, Ladybugs can leave stains and may be seen as a nuisance. The good news with Ladybugs is that these pests are really just an annoyance since they do not pose a health threat and do not damage structures. Do you have questions about the pests in and around your house? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

 

Mow the Right Way

Every Saturday and Sunday we see our neighbors going at it, mowing and trimming their lawns. They all seem to be doing it pretty much the same way. Why is it, then, that some lawns look picture-perfect while others just don’t. Is there some magical secret that some people follow when mowing? Probably not, since lawns are dependent on many factors including: sunlight, water, nutrients, aeration, fertilization, oxygenation, and the list goes on. Mowing is another factor that can help make a property look its best. Here are some ideas to help you Mow the Right Way and get your lawn looking amazing.

  • Keep your Equipment Running Well – It is hard to do a great job caring for your lawn if your trimmers, mower, and lawn tools are not at their best. Get a check up at a local hardware store where they can examine spark plugs, oil, blade sharpness, and general running of the motor. A healthy mower can only help you during the growing season.
  • Mow when it is time. This means that several things should be taken into account. For example: don’t mow when the grass is wet. Mow when the grass is dry. The blades will be upright and less likely to clump when cut. Also avoid mowing in the heat of the day to prevent heat stress on your grass and yourself.
  • Change the mowing patterns regularly. This keeps the grass from bending too much the in direction that you mow. Instead switch it up a bit each time to avoid grass bending and ruts in the lawn where you commonly mow.
  • Stick to the ⅓ Rule of mowing. Never cut off more than one third of the grass at one time to reduce injury to the crown and generate new growth.
  • Consider not bagging the clippings when you mow. The clippings can serve as a great organic addition to your lawn.

 

Is your lawn still not as green, lush, or beautiful as your neighbors’ lawns? Find out why by calling Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

3 Common Lawn Care Mistakes – Spring Edition

Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. Caring for our lawns is one such area where mistakes are made. The spring is an especially vulnerable time for lawns as they are emerging from dormancy and trying to re-establish itself while battling spring weather, pests, and human traffic. Here are some common springtime lawn care mistakes that you will want to avoid this year.

  • Ignoring Pest Control – Many homeowners have a wait-and-see attitude about their lawns, especially in the spring. Unfortunately, those brown marks, mushrooms, or critters are not going away without assistance. Don’t be fooled into thinking your lawn will get better once the weather gets better. Take action as soon as you recognize a pest problem. Better yet, schedule regular lawn care checks to be proactive and prevent a pest problem.
  • Not Caring for Equipment – It has been a long winter and those tools and your lawn care equipment probably need some TLC. Don’t jump into trimming and mowing without having a check up performed on your gear. Blades on mowers should be sharpened and oil and spark plugs changed out regularly.
  • Not Testing the Soil – The spring is a great time for a soil check up. Find out the pH and soil needs before you start applying fertilizer, seeds, or even watering. You need to know a starting point and a soil test can help you do that. Grass thrives in soil with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Send a soil sample to your local extension service for testing and they’ll tell you what your soil needs to make your grass healthy.

Have questions about how to care for your lawn this spring? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Think Ahead and Prevent Pests this Spring

Sure, the weather is still cold outside and the growing season is still a little ways off, but now is the perfect time to start thinking about pest prevention for your lawn and garden. Now is the time for planning so that grubs, fungus, tree diseases, and pests in general do not find a way to ruin your beautiful lawn/garden this year. Here are some suggestions of how you can think ahead and prevent pests this spring.

 

  • Drainage – Last year, did your lawn or garden have a drainage problem? Were there puddles in some areas and dry patches in others? Drainage problems can be caused by many things such as excess thatch, compaction and other reasons. The problem with poor drainage is that it makes your lawn vulnerable to pests who thrive in wet, moldy environments. Have a lawn care expert evaluate your lawn early this spring to see what can be done about your drainage issues.
  • Fertilization and Aeration Problems – Red Thread, probably one of the more common grass diseases, can be caused by nitrogen deficiency and lack of air circulation down to the roots. Do your grass a favor this year and get on a schedule for proper fertilization as well as start the season off right with proper ventilation through aeration for your lawn.
  • Proper Pest Treatments – Think ahead and plan pest control treatments so that grubs, mold, fairy rings, and any of the hundreds of other grass diseases don’t take hold of your lawn this year. Pro-Tech Lawn Care has excellent programs to keep your lawn healthy all growing season.
  • Wildlife Prevention – If you had a problem with critters getting into your garden, trash barrels, or digging up your property last year, plan ahead by building proper fencing for your garden, buy locking barrels, or talk to a pest expert who can evaluate what is attracting the wildlife to your yard.

 

Do you need help planning for this spring? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Preventing Dog Damage to your Lawn

If you are like most people, your dog is one of the family. S/he provides unconditional love, protection, comfort and constant companionship. You will do pretty much anything to keep your beloved pup happy and healthy. Unfortunately for many homeowners, having a pup means that their lawn has paid the price, from excessive digging, urine burns, or puppy poop! Is there a way to prevent dog damage without making your pooch unhappy?

With over 62% of American households having a dog or multiple dogs, these backyard scenes are probably not a shock for any of you, but let’s review anyway.

 

  • Brown Spots – If your pup is anything like ours s/he will urinate around trees, bushes, and the general perimeter of the yard to mark the territory as theirs. The brown spots associated with this bodily function are caused not by “acid” in the urine, but rather the high levels of nitrogen in canine urine. There are several methods to treat this including diluting the main areas where Fido goes to the bathroom with water from your hose, checking with a vet for adjustments to his/her diet, and planting grass that is more nitrogen resistant.  Fescue and ryegrass are the most resistant to nitrogen due to the genetic makeup of the roots.

 

  • Holes and Worn Areas – If your pup loves to dig, like so many of them do, you may want to cordon off an area of your yard for your dog to dig. This means each time you let your dog out you will need to train him/her that the designated area is theirs. Many homeowners also create a physical barrier so that pups can roam that area freely. In addition, if your lawn has worn areas you may end up spending many a weekend seeding and nurturing grass to grow in a high traffic area. You may want to create a pathway that is commonly used and cover with mulch or pavers so that you can stop the seed-water-patch cycle.

 

We all love our pups so as a last suggestion, be sure that the treatments you use are safe for your furry animal. If you have questions, call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

 

Planning for a Green Lawn

Sure the temperature is below freezing and your lawn is under inches, if not feet, of snow, but this is as good a time as any to get planning so that your lawn will be thick and healthy this coming growing season. A little pre-planning can really help with nurturing a healthy,  pest-free, and green lawn this spring, summer, and fall. Here are some things to consider now to be ready come the first thaw.

 

  • Equipment – Are your mower, trimmer, leaf blower, and other gardening tools in good shape? Are blades sharpened, spark plugs replaced, and oil changed and ready to go? Now is a good time to get this done as you really don’t want to be on a waiting list for repairs come spring.
  • Create a Timeline – Homeowners who are true “green thumbs” know the value of having a calendar of when things like aeration, fertilization, pest treatment, and general maintenance should be done. Do a little research online or with your lawn care expert to find out what type of grass and plantings you have so you can create your own calendar of lawn and tree care that can help keep your lawn growing in a healthy way.
  • Have a Pest Plan – Most homeowners have a good idea of what to do to mow, trim, and fertilize their lawns regularly, but they often forget about treating for pests including mushrooms, grubs, and grass diseases. Think about problems that you had with your lawn this past year and find out what needs to be done to avoid the pests this year. We suggest having one of our lawn professionals visit your lawn in the early spring and determine soil composition, grass needs and potential pest problems so you can tackle them head-on or prevent them from occurring once the weather warms up.

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.

Preventing Salt Damage to Lawns

Wow! What a winter it has been so far with record breaking low temperatures, ice and, of course, the memorable Blizzard of 2018. The plows and road crews have done a great job of making roads not just passable but safe as well. Homeowners have gotten in the spirit too with shoveling driveways, walkways, digging out hydrants, and salting potentially slippery high foot traffic areas. While this is admirable, especially given the severity of the winter thus far, this salting and the use of chemical deicers could harm your lawn and plantings. Let’s take a closer look at salt damage and what you can do to prevent it on your property.

 

While sprinkling salt products along your hardscape areas such as your driveway and walkway may seem like the right solution for the weather that Mother Nature throws at us, it may be doing some serious harm to the grass and plantings along the way. When the snow and ice melt periodically over the course of the winter, the rock salt mixture washes into the soil and can quickly build up to a toxic level. The melted mixture leaves plants with ample moisture in the ground, unfortunately the plants are unable to absorb any of this because of all the salt. This causes wilting and drought-like damage, including the appearance of scorched leaf edges, yellow or brown needles on evergreens, stunted growth, and twig dieback. Salt buildup in the soil also has a negative effect on the soil structure because it causes compaction.

 

To prevent salt damage to your organic areas, try the following tricks to keep salt from damaging your lawn and garden.

 

  • Choose the least corrosive deicers you can find. Talk to your lawn care professional about what might be right for your lawn since all salts are not created equal.
  • Consider using kitty litter or sawdust in areas where deicing is not needed but you are still looking for a little traction.
  • As soon as there is a milder day (not any time soon) try washing down areas that you can access to limit the salt collection.
  • If the snow clears enough sweep up extra or residual salt and place in the garbage instead of letting it sink into your lawn.
  • Avoid piling snow around plantings and along the edges of the driveway. Spread it out as much as is feasible given the weight and type of each storm.

 

Have questions about the type and amount of salt you are using this winter? Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website.