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Lawn Care Resources And Tips For A Do-It-Yourselfer

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

  • Bermuda
    • This warm-season grass is the hardiest and fastest-growing and is the preferred grass for sports fields and golf courses.
  • Centipede
    • Centipede is known for its excellent heat tolerance and low maintenance requirements. A favorite of lawn owners interested in minimal upkeep.
  • Augustine
    • 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
    • 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

  • Fertilizers
    • 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.
  • Herbicides
    • 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.
  • Irrigation
    • 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.

lawn care near me

Contact us at: LawnHelp@ClarksTurfPro.com

What Is A Termite Bond? Your Questions Answered!

effective termite control, termite bait stations

Having a termite bond is essential when owning a home….but why?

We often get asked “Why am I paying x amount of money annually when you only come out once a year?”, or “Why don’t you spray every time?”

  • ALL of South Carolina is listed as HIGHLY INFESTED as per the SC Department of Pesticide Regulation (see photo below of a Queen Termite, found by one of our pest pros!). It is very important to maintain a termite bond because termite damage is not covered in homeowner’s insurance.  
  • You can think of a termite bond similarly to auto insurance. You hope you’ll never need it, but if you don’t have it you’re taking a risk with your home — which is even more expensive than an automobile. 
  • Your annual payment covers you for a FULL year of termite protection up to $1 million in termite damage repair.  This includes an annual inspection. During the inspection our technicians measure moisture conditions of the wood to help identify conducive areas.  
  • In the state of South Carolina you can only treat on the site of active termites or at the start of a new contract. While the termiticide we use is long-lasting, no termiticide is full-proof. Therefore, we combine the treatment with an annual inspection and damage repair coverage to fully protect your home.

How We Inspect – Going Above And Beyond!

During your annual inspection, one of our certified technicians will first inspect the Always Active Sentricon bait stations around the exterior perimeter of the home. They use scanners to ensure that if there is a termite in the station, they will find it and replenish the station as needed.

They also inspect the inside of the garage, primarily the walls and baseboards due to it being the “hotspot” for termites. If your property is on a crawlspace we inspect underneath the home. If you’re on a slab we typically inspect the interior of your home, however due to COVID-19 guidelines we will be performing thorough exterior inspections until we are able to come inside again. This will not affect your bond, you will still be 100% covered if you come across any activity in your home.

You will also receive a detailed inspection report via email after your service, showing everything the technician found and inspected while at your home. This also includes photos taken that can be accessed through our convenient online portal!

If at any time you think your home has active termites, you can call our office. One of our certified technicians will come to your home, inspect, and treat appropriately.  This is all included under the fee for your annual termite renewal. 

If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out at our toll free number

866-781-4991 or clarkscsr@clarkspest.com.

PS – It’s still rodent season!

SPECIAL OFFER: If you suspect rodents in your home, we are offering free evaluations for the month of February ($50 Value).


As the holiday season approaches, make sure rodents aren’t “decking your halls”!

This time of year everyone is thinking about turkey and presents, but don’t forget it’s also RODENT season!


The two most common invaders this time of year in the South are the House Mouse and Norway Rat.

As you can see from the images above, you can recognize this type of rat by their combined head and body length of 7-9.5 inches and a shaggy, brown body with scattered black hairs.

“What most people don’t know is that rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, while mice can sneak through a hole the size of a pencil.”


Although the name doesn’t sound real, the animal sure is! The “House Mouse” is the most commonly encountered and economically important of the commensal rodents. You can easily recognize a house mouse by their smooth, dusty gray fur and a uniformly dark, scaly, semi-naked tail.


Gnaw Marks



Fresh tracks are clear and sharp while old tracks can be partially obscured by dust

Rub marks & burrows


They frequently use the same paths, usually along walls, stacked merchandise, etc.

Damaged goods

Mice prefer seeds or cereals

– According to the NPCA Field Guide for structured pests, mice not only damage materials by gnawing, but also eat and contaminate stored food and carry diseases. Talk about a crummy holiday!

– The key to any mouse control program is pest identification, sanitation, harborage elimination, and mouse-proofing the building.

– Although mice tend to favor seeds and cereal, they also nibble on prunes, fresh pineapple, and salted peanuts.

– Reproduction is more seasonal, hitting its low between October and January. Because of the low chance of it, concentrated control efforts should be more effective in eliminating the mice during this low period.


Call us today at 866-781-4991 to have one of our well trained technicians keep your home rodent free for the Holidays!

Source: Smith, Eric H., and Richard C. Whitman. NPCA Field Guide to Structural Pests. NPCA, 1992.

Palmetto Bugs… Large & in Charge!

Palmetto bugs, aka cockroaches, are one of those annoying pests that love to reside as an unwanted guest in your home…

If you are unfamiliar… They are HUGE roaches that typically grow up to 1.5 inches.

They also love the heat of the summer in South Carolina!


  • There is no actual pest named “Palmetto Bug”. This is a widely used slang term for any large cockroach seen outside or inside.
  • The term “Palmetto Bug” is thought to have been coined from seeing large cockroaches crawling/flying out of our South Carolina State tree – the palmetto palm.
  • The actual pests you are seeing could be one of the a few types of cockroaches: American Cockroach, Smoky-brown Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, Brown-banded Cockroach, German Cockroach and Asian Cockroach. These all have different characteristics and different ways of treatment.
  • Cockroaches have existed since the Carboniferous Era, meaning they have been around since the time of dinosaurs.
  • A cockroach can live for one week without its head. More specifically, without its mouth. The only reason it dies, is due to the fact it can not drink and it dies of thirst.
  • They are also fast! They can reach speeds of up to 3 miles per hour and can change directions up to 25 times in a single second.

If you are one of the many people that suffer from these relentless pests, you can breathe a sigh of relief!

Clark’s Termite and Pest Control has been treating roaches for 63 years and counting, so you know you’re in good hands.

Our highly trained technicians are ready to get rid of those unwanted guests with our top-of-the-line, multi-step treatment.

Call our office at 866-781-4991 to set up an appointment!

COVID-19 Protocol

To Our Valued Customers,

Our priority at Clark’s Termite & Pest Control is the safety and health of our customers and employees. In March 2020, we implemented “Smart & Simple” social distancing solutions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to protect people first. We hoped that limiting customer contact for a couple of months through quarantine would be sufficient, and we would be back to business as usual in short order.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. With increased testing, businesses opening back up, and increased interaction in our communities, the statistics published are disturbing. After careful consideration and the Governor’s strong urging, Clark’s will continue our original social distancing practices until further notice.

Our standard operating procedure for your pest control service provides a comprehensive four-step process on the exterior of your home.  For many of our customers, we have provided effective pest control services for many years from the exterior only.  If you are accustomed to having treatments done on the inside and the exterior, we want to assure you, we are confident we can continue to provide you quality service with the outside only treatment, and our guarantee remains the same.

Unfortunately, due to the continued increase in the COVID-19 virus cases, for the safety of our customers and our employees, we will be suspending inside services until further notice, unless there is a pest emergency. A pest emergency is defined as an extreme infestation of a particular insect, with visible signs of pests upon arrival, such as bedbugs, German roaches, fleas or wildlife intrusions. We are committed to controlling your pests from the exterior. Your pest control and termite warranty service will be guaranteed, and your satisfaction is our number one goal.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, our technicians will not come to the door for one on one interaction. In most cases, we will call the phone number on file when the technician arrives to make you aware that we are on your property. Additionally, we will leave a service door hanger indicating that the service has been completed.

We appreciate your patience and support during these unprecedented times. 

If you should have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 866-781-4991or ClarksCSR@ClarksPest.com

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all continue to work through this.


            I’m a 52-year-old “crazy lady.”  I’ve had many names in my lifetime, but what folks call me round here is Alligator Lady. I grew up on a dairy farm near Booger Bottom, Georgia; yep, you heard it right, Booger Bottom. My friends in college and some round here call me Miss Booger Bottom, it’s not a town but more of a place in backwoods Georgia. We don’t have gators there; however, we have got all kinds of critters. When my youngest daughter, Caroline, was asked to explain “why her Momma catches gators,” her response was, “Well, she is just like Pop, he’s not afraid of anything, not even a unicorn.” I don’t know about you, but that is a mountainous legacy to live up to.

I started catching gators 12 years ago this June. My (now ex) husband was the alligator agent for Georgetown County, he and my youngest son Mick, were under the bug truck dropping a transmission. My oldest son Justin was out in the other bug truck running a route. I was in the office with Justin’s newly wedded bride Tiff, when a “gator call” came in. It was a reasonably large gator in a culvert pipe in North Litchfield Beach; the word was folks were getting a bit too close trying to get that perfect picture. Now when these calls come in, we are contracted to get there ASAP. Since the ex was going to be under that truck for a while he said, “you can get it, you’ve seen us do it…just don’t put your hand in its mouth, take Tiff to help you, and she can call 911 if there is trouble”. I kid you not, that is just how it went. So Tiff and I, dressed in our sundresses with long bloomers, gathered the poles, nooses, and duct tape and went along our way. No need to bore you with the details of the capture, but it was textbook. I lured that gator out of the culvert pipe with some old stinky chicken backs (crab bait) an on-looking vacationer had in his golf cart. You would have thought I had done it a hundred times, when that gator came out of the pipe he grabbed those backs and threw his head back to swallow, and I slipped the noose around his neck. IT WAS ON!!!!!!!!! Pluff mud and pipe juice went flying as the gator rolled, and flipped, and flopped. I let him wear himself out, and when I figured it was safe, I handed Tiff the rope attached to the noose, and I slowly inched down on that gator pressing down on his snout and sat right down on that fella’s back, he didn’t move-a skinny girl can’t do this job. The on-lookers cheered……….. and my first gator was in the books.

Since then, I’ve caught hundreds of gators, some with assistance, some solo, but those are stories for another day. After a few years of working under the ex, DNR decided that since I caught all the gators, I should probably be the Alligator Agent. I have never gotten rich from catching these gators, so I consider it a service to my community, and the free press has served me and now Clark’s very well. I am delighted to be a part of the Clark’s Termite & Pest Control family, and would like to invite any of you to come to visit us in Murrells Inlet, and who knows, maybe we’ll get a gator call.

Rachel Lankford aka Alligator Lady


    “Alligators, particularly large specimens that live in close proximity to human populations, may pose a threat to human safety. Such animals are deemed “nuisance alligators” and may have to be removed and destroyed. The Department has developed a program to handle nuisance alligators that is enabled under SCDNR’s regulatory authority. The nuisance alligator program is managed such that it does not threaten the long-term survival of this species in the state.” 

Excerpted from Supplemental Volume: Species of Conservation Concern SC SWAP 2015 http://dnr.sc.gov/swap/species2015.html#reptilesandamphibians

Integrated Pest Management

In 2015 Clark’s Termite & Pest Control adopted an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that included an inside/outside service at the initial visit with outside only service at subsequent visits unless there is a significant pest issue inside. Most pest control companies are encouraging this approach to minimize chemical application inside the home. Clark’s comprehensive multi-step exterior service has proven to be very useful. In addition to limiting chemical application to the interior, the exterior only service simplifies scheduling for you. With this approach, you do not have to be home when we service the property.

We understand that you may get an occasional invader inside your home. If the problem persists, we will do our best to resolve your issue while keeping everyone safe. Pest control is not a one size fits all service. Clark’s can provide tailored solutions to each of our customer’s needs under normal circumstances. However, we appreciate your understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters during the pandemic to keep you, your family, and our employee’s safety.

If you have quarterly pest control service, your service is guaranteed. That means if you have a pest emergency or heavy infestation inside your home, we will make arrangements to treat, even during a pandemic. Your satisfaction with our service is our number one priority.

If you have any additional questions, please contact our customer service department at 1-866-781-7991 or ClarksCSR@ClarksPest.com

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Ants are America’s number one pest problem and fire ants are a special breed. These aggressive stingers can have colonies of up to 250,000 workers ready to strike.

They can ruin your landscaping, cause problems with the electrical components in your air conditioning unit and trigger allergic reactions in some people and pets.

These ants are extremely aggressive and anything that intrudes into their colonies are met with repeated stinging.

How to Identify Fire Ants:

They have a red color and are about a quarter inch long and have a nasty sting that’s well fitting to their name! Fire ants also love to nest in unsightly mounds of one or two feet in diameter and about eight inches high.

Clark’s offers three types of treatments:

(1) TopChoice, (2) Fire Ant Baiting, and (3) Traditional Pesticide Applications.


It is a selective pesticide and will not kill beneficial organisms. Proper application only requires 1 treatment per year for fire ants. Fleas and ticks are guaranteed for 30 days and it yields 90% control for most of time. It is guaranteed for one year from date of initial treatment.

Fire Ant Baiting-Dupont Advion/Extinguish Plus 

Can kill mounts outside treated area, i.e. neighbor’s yard. It is a selective pesticide and will not kill beneficial organisms. It is a great choice for areas where ground is covered with concrete, stone, brick and other obstructions and has cheaper unpfront cost!

Traditional Pesticide

Similar in cost to baiting approach and is non-selective pesticide: it kills most other insects that are affecting the health of your lawn. The residual killing effect lasts for 30-90 days!

In Conclusion…

Many yards have unique circumstances that require different treatments. Some may require a combination of the three treatments. If your problem is fire ants only, Topchoice will save you money in the long run with fewer treatments. We’ve seen lawns go as long as 18 months to 2 years before we are called back for another treatmen! If your problem includes non-biting ants, the traditional pesticide application should be selected. Fire Ant baiting is recommended only if you want a scheduled spring and summer application, or as a part of the TopChoice application to speed up control. Call us today for more information!