Spring is the perfect time to get your lawn in tip-top shape, so why not do it yourself? Whether you have Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia grass, there’s a lot of personal satisfaction that comes with maintaining your eye-catching lawn.
First and foremost, it’s essential to know the importance of tending your lawn as the weather progresses into spring. It’s all about TEMPERATURE! As soil temperatures begin to climb, this triggers a response in warm-season grasses to “wake up,” which is the start of transitioning or “green-up.” Those warm-season grasses are ready to thrive once the weather gets warmer, but only with the proper care and maintenance. In this post, we’ll tackle the four main types of warm-season grasses, as well as give you the tips and resources needed to have the best yard in the neighborhood.
Types of Warm Season Grasses
- This warm-season grass is the hardiest and fastest-growing and is the preferred grass for sports fields and golf courses.
- Centipede is known for its excellent heat tolerance and low maintenance requirements. A favorite of lawn owners interested in minimal upkeep.
- Augustine grass is the most shade tolerant of the warm season grasses. Winter injury is a significant issue, especially if planted farther west than Columbia. Spring, summer, and early fall are the best growing times, while winter sees it dormant and brown.
- Zoysia is very thick and grows well in the sun and partial shade, but it will thin out in dense shade. Mower blades must be sharp, and you must mow the grass as low as possible. Zoysia grass is the only grass with rolled vernation.
Tips For Maintaining Warm Season Grasses
- Unless you have fescue, there is no need to put out any nitrogen until at least late April (commonly seen in “Weed and Feed” combinations).
- Putting it out before active growth (generally in May) can be wasteful and counterproductive.
- The best way to select a fertilizer grade is to have your soil tested, recommending a fertilizer grade for your need.
- Do not use too many herbicides! When the turf is stressed or when the temperature is more than 93 degrees, this will damage or kill the grass.
- Lawn Insects
- Keep an eye out for lawn insects, like mole crickets, grub worms, and fall armyworms. Learn more about types of lawn insects here.
- When watering, slowly open water lines to allow a gradual increase in pressure and ensure you have even coverage.
5 Ways To Easily Manage Your Weeds For Warm Season Grasses
- Make sure you have a proper mowing height and frequency.
- Mowing height and frequency depend on the type of grass, but it is recommended that mowing be enough so that there is no more than ⅓ of the blade removed.
- Proper watering rate and frequency are key.
- We recommend that you water with 1 inch of irrigation per week if minimal rainfall and 1 inch every 3-5 days if the weather is hot and dry.
- Fertilize at the right time.
- It will help keep a soil pH to ensure nutrients are available to your turf.
- Aerate, Aerate, Aerate!
- Core aeration is the process of mechanically removing plugs or “cores” of soil and thatch from a lawn. The best time to do this would be in May when your lawn is green and actively growing.
- Proper De-thatching.
- De-thatching removes the dead roots and stolons that live between the soil’s surface and the living, growing grass. This is best performed in May when the turfgrass is active and growing.
Great Resources for the Do-it-Yourselfer
A Homeowner’s Guide To Fertilizer:
Scotts offers excellent products and advice for maintaining your lawn.
SiteOne Landscape & Supply – Your Local SiteOne store is where the pros shop, and they also offer products and great advice to homeowners.
Clemson Extension Office– Take your soil samples for detailed analysis and fertility recommendations for your specific soil.
If You Still Need Professional Lawn Care, Look To The Turf Pros!
Our goal is simple: to be your local expert in lawn services from a company you can trust.
At Clark’s, we make your yard the envy of your neighborhood.
Call: 866-781-4991 or visit our lawn care page.
Contact us at: LawnHelp@ClarksTurfPro.com
Spring is soon approaching, which means there’s a higher chance of a carpenter bee infestation in or around your home. We’ll help you avoid the sting of carpenter bees with these tips…
WOOD is the main thing that attracts these bees. Their favorite kind of wood to attack is Redwood, Cedar, Cypress, and Pine.
Their FAVORITE nesting sites include eaves, rafters, siding, decks, and outdoor furniture. There are over 500 species of the carpenter bee. 5 of these species are in the US.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, as much as wood attracts the bees, they DO NOT eat it! They just build tunnels for shelter to raise their young.
THEY ARE MOST SPRUNG IN THE SPRING!
- The bees hibernate during the winter… the springtime is when they are out and about.
- Male carpenter bees are harmless, but female carpenter bees can sting but only do so when provoked.
- The BEST time to control carpenter bees is before tunnels are fully constructed.
Other Carpenter Bee Facts:
- Female carpenter bees bore into wood, excavating a tunnel to lay their eggs.
- The entrance hole is perfectly round and about the diameter of a small finger.
- Carpenter bees do not eat wood, they create those tunnels or “entrance holes” for shelter.
- There are over 500 species of the carpenter bee (5 of these species are in the US).
- They are known for evacuating holes in wood and prefer unpainted, weathered wood.
- They enjoy the nectar of flowers.
- The holes may only appear an inch or two deep, the size can vary to as long as four feet. The more holes they create, the more susceptible you are to damage.
HOW TO MINIMIZE THE STING OF FUTURE CARPENTER BEE PROBLEMS
- Make your home inhospitable to them! They love unpainted, old wood.
- Wood shingles, shakes, siding, eaves and shutters are all objects of attack.
- Make sure to paint over the bare wood in your home or cover it up with finishes.
- The bees will create these tunnels in the wood at any given opportunity.
Learn more about our pest control services here.
Sources: http://www.allisonpest.com/blog/2014/07/14/five-fun-facts-about-carpenter-bees/; https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef611 ; https://www.pestwiki.com/carpenter-bee-facts/; https://www.natureswaypestcontrol.com/learning-center/faq/carpenter-bee-facts/
“Is That A BUG in my Christmas tree?” Read more to learn which bugs can get into your Christmas Tree and put a damper on your holiday, and how to get rid of Christmas tree bugs.
Rodents invade over 21 million homes worldwide. Follow these tips on rodent prevention to make sure they don’t invade yours.
Get your home ready for Christmas by making sure it’s PEST FREE. The holiday season can be a stressful time with baking, shopping, and decorating to prepare for your guests.
Keep reading for DIY Pest Control Tips For The Holidays.
Baking Christmas cookies?
According to a recent article from PestWorld, they encourage homeowners to make sure your festivities aren’t unknowingly attracting pests!
“While preparing for the holidays, it’s important to make sure your festivities aren’t accidentally attracting pests. Taking simple precautions while baking and decorating is a must to protect your home from pests.”–Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs for NPMA
Baking and cooking during the holidays can attract Indian meal moths and merchant grain beetles, as well as other typical household pests, including Palmetto bugs, (aka American Cockroach), spiders, and ants.
DIY Tips To Prevent Pantry Pests
- Store food in airtight containers.
- Inspect boxes and bags for any damage before buying items at the grocery store.
- Keep kitchen surfaces clean, mop floors regularly, and be sure to dispose your garbage in a sealed receptible.
- Remove water dishes for pets at night.
- Do not leave dirty dishes on the counters or in the sink.
- Run the garbage disposal daily! This will eliminate food in the drain to keep pests out.
- Clean surfaces in your kitchen to reduce grease on oven hoods and walls near stoves.
- Wipe out the insides of cabinets regularly.
Decorating With Pests In Mind
This is for those who decorate their homes with fresh greenery like wreaths, trees, or garlands. These beautiful and classy decorations are great for the Christmas season, but can bring in lots of pests!
- Before decorating, be sure to thoroughly inspect all live greenery for any pests or eggs.
- Shake out all of the live greenery before bringing decorations indoors.
- Place the greenery far away from the home when disposing of it to avoid attracting pests.
- Do not place lights directly above the entry doors to your house. The further lights are from the door, the less likely pests are to fly in at night.
Before lighting up your fireplace…
- According to Clemson’s home and garden information center, firewood brought into homes is a “classic route” for some beetle and ant species to enter the structure.
- Other insects may also be brought into the home on potted plants that were moved indoors to avoid the cooler temperatures.
- According to our sources, taking firewood or infested plant material back outdoors or removing pests like aphids around a Christmas tree typically does the trick to removing pests and does not require insecticide treatment.
Still Having Pest Problems?
Let our trained pest professionals come eradicate your pest problem to keep your home bug free during the holiday season, and throughout the year!
We offer quarterly, guaranteed pest control or a one-time interior, exterior treatment. Click here to learn more about our services and pricing.
What do squirrels and snowbirds have in common? They both love warm weather! Keep reading for squirrel removal tips and how to keep your home rodent free this winter.
Squirrels: Are they harmful?
“These common animals can be found across the country, but some homeowners may not realize the threats these furry creatures can actually pose. Similar to other rodent species like rats and mice, squirrels can cause problems during the winter in particular, as they search for food and even shelter indoors. Although they are not known to spread serious diseases to humans, they can bite and can also cause significant property damage.” – Pest World
Squirrels are cute and furry creatures…but although they look harmless, they can wreak havoc in your attic!
Here are a few facts about squirrels that you probably didn’t know:
- Squirrels mainly eat acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts and a variety of fruits. They love to eat a homeowner’s garden vegetables, and in late winter and early spring they eat tree buds.
- They will bury food to save it for colder months when it becomes scarce.
- You can find a squirrel resting up in tree nests out of leaves, twigs, and bark, as well as residential homes.
- Squirrels can do a number on heating and air conditioning systems and can chew through electrical wiring like its their job!
- If you hear a sound from inside your walls, it could be these small but powerful furry creatures gnawing at your wires and insulation.
How You Can Prevent Squirrels From Entering Your Home:
- Seal all possible points of entry around the house, including small openings and cracks around doors and windows. Squirrels will take advantage of small openings on rooflines of homes to gain access to nesting areas in attic spaces.
- Be mindful around gutters! We notice tons of homes with openings behind gutters which squirrels can enter through easily.
- We recommend trimming tree limbs at least 10 feet away from your home.
- Screen any vents and openings to chimneys.
- Keep food in airtight containers and take your trash out regularly.
source(s): Mike Gibson, Clark’s Wildlife Manager & PestWorld.org
How Clark’s Handles Squirrel Removal
If Squirrels do become a issue in your attic, Clark’s Wildlife Team can customize a removal plan which offers live trapping and eviction services, using one-way door eviction traps.
The wildlife specialists even offer traps for the squirrels that keep trying to get back inside of attic spaces once we’ve trapped all squirrels from the attic areas. We also offer disinfectant services which will help eliminate any odors left behind by squirrels. The repairs can seal off all entry points squirrels have created and will help ensure squirrels will not be an issue again.
To learn more about our squirrel removal services, click here.
To schedule an estimate, give us a call at 803-732-2528, or email our team firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t get spooked by bats this Halloween! Read more to learn how to get bats out of the attic, tips on removal, and the first question that needs to be answered: How in the heck do they get into your house in the first place?
How Bats Can Creep Their Way Into Your Attic: What To Look For
- The first sign of bats for many homeowners would be guano, aka bat fecal matter. Lots of homeowners will discover guano accumulation around homes and can cause confusion on to what’s causing the fecal matter.
- Another way bats get into your home is through any cracks & crevices around the foundation, like attic vents, shutters, and under facia boards.
- Bats tend to scratch on the walls or ceilings as they creep around the inside of your home. You also might hear chirping or squeaking as the bats communicate with each other!
- Bats tend to thrive at dusk and dawn, so pay special attention to the exterior of the home at those times to observe where bats enter and exit.
Bent slats of attic vent showing signs of rodent entry
Steps You Can Take To Keep Bats Out Of The Attic:
- We recommend homeowners seal any cracks or crevices with caulk and steel wool.
- Pay special attention to holes in the structure that lead to dark areas, like attics and belfies.
- Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
- Install door sweeps.
According to PestWorld, exclusion is the only method to keep bats out long term. Well, you’re in luck!
Exclusion Services – How We Keep ‘Em Out
Exclusion is simply sealing up a home to prevent further wildlife issues with bats, rats, mice, squirrels, and more. Once we have removed the critters, we will seal off all openings to prevent future entry. This includes adding crawl space doors, screening up foundation vents, (or any gaps a home might have) that could invite critters into your home would get closed up to prevent further entry. NOTE: We do not harm bats in any way, and we abide by all state regulations and do not offer any eviction or exclusion services for bats during their prime mating season.
One of our Clark’s Wildlife Professionals will come to your home twice for the exclusion:
- The first trip is inspecting any entry points, set up a plan of exclusion, and netting where they can easily fly out but can’t fly back in.
- The second trip we seal up the area which keeps the bats from coming back in.