Bug proofing your home

The best way to bug proof your home is by keeping bugs from ever entering your home. A tidy home and yard also help keep bugs away. A consistent program like our Lawn and Pest Solutions Pest360 can “seal the deal” as they say.

From the outside in

A bug proof home happens as the result of a team effort. The best professional treatment won’t work if we aren’t “all in this together”. Let’s start in the yard.

  • If you have firewood stacked next to your home, get it off the ground and move it a few feet away from the house. 
  • Clean up debris from your yard. Piles of sticks, limbs and leaves are gathering places for bugs and other pests. 
  • If there are any limbs, vines or branches touching your home, remove them. These create a corridor for bugs and other undesirable critters to get into your roof or home.
  • Repair any small holes, cracks or tears in window screens, under doors or windows. Bugs are tiny and can get in the smallest access points.

Inside the house

  • This may seem super obvious, but shut your windows and doors, all the way. Gaping doors and unscreened windows left open will allow ANYTHING to get in your home. 
  • Check the space behind your washing machine and refrigerator where water lines come in. This is not as obvious or easy to check, but a very easy point for bugs to get in your home.
  • Vacuum away cobwebs. 
  • Run your garbage disposal frequently.

What are bugs looking for inside my home?

Water is their number one priority.

Leaky faucets or sources of water are popular gathering spots for bugs. Look under your sink, washing machine, and refrigerator. Any place where water runs from outside to inside is a hot spot.

Food is their second priority. 

  • Rinse and put away dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Sweep up pet food that scatters on the floor.
  • Keep pet food in sealed containers.
  • Contact Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS and as a team, we will work to bug-proof your home. Hire our local bed bug exterminators to protect your home from unwanted guests. Our licensed pest technicians will show up promptly and treat your house the same they would their own. We serve neighborhoods and businesses from Memphis, Tennessee and all over North Mississippi. 

Nutgrass

Nutgrass or nutsedge is a persistent weed. Oddly enough, nutsedge has many health benefits for your body. Just keep it out of your lawn. 

What’s the difference?

Remember this phrase,  “sedges have edges.” Sedge feels triangular instead of round and smooth. It has a center “crease” or fold that makes it have a “v” shape.

Nutgrass is so persistent it can be recommended for ground cover. Also, to our horror…lawn replacement! Who wants their lawn replaced by a weed?

How it spreads:

The way nutgrass reproduces is through underground tubers (also called “nutlets”).  These extensive root systems can reach up to four feet deep. Don’t pull up nutgrass, it only causes spreading!

When does it spread?

Nutgrass outbreaks usually occur during and after really wet springs, especially in lawns with poor drainage. 

Later in the summer when drought conditions exist, the persistent nutgrass or nutsedge continues to thrive. 

By summer, the roots are so deep and established that they can survive almost anything. 

Will it go away?

Nutgrass survives because it beats out your grass for water and nutrients. While underground, nutlets can survive for up to 10 years before emerging again. Buried at depths like that, they are protected from cold weather and common treatments for killing nutgrass.

How bad is it?

study conducted by the Mississippi State Extension service measured the effects of nutsedge or nutgrass on a sweet potato crop. If just a little nutgrass has devastating effects on a crop, imagine what it does when it takes over your lawn! 

If DIY weed control is not for you, call Lawn and Pest Solutions to fight nutgrass, nutsedge and any other weeds that are taking over your lawn. 

Our licensed technicians can evaluate your lawn and use the correct treatments to treat current outbreaks of weeds and prevent them from ever taking root.  Our Lawn and Pest Solutions licensed lawn techs serve Memphis, Tennessee, and all over North Mississippi. Contact us, and let us start helping you today!

Wasp control

Wasp control is something almost everyone has encountered. While a wasp doesn’t usually go out of its’ way to sting, if you disrupt their space, they may get a little “stirred up”. 

Unless one is highly allergic to a wasp sting, they aren’t very harmful (but maybe painful). Those who ARE highly allergic to wasps can be in great danger from just one sting.

Just be calm.

If you happen to wander into a wasp nest, don’t start swatting! Swatting attracts more wasps, so calmly move away. Walk indoors if you can. If a wasp follows you indoors, open windows and doors and allow it some room to get out. 

Where to find wasps

Wasp nests are generally found around loose piles of wood and under porches. They can also be found along rafters or in rarely used empty cans, buckets and boxes.

What’s good about wasps?

The best redeeming quality of a wasp is that it helps us out by eating other insects. Spotting the difference between wasps and bees is pretty easy. Bees are “husky” and wasps are “slim”. Bees are “hairy” and wasps are “smooth”.

What attracts wasps?

  • Flowers and plant life
  • Outdoor eating areas
  • Uncovered and overflowing garbage cans 
  • Properties with many insects and spiders (prey for wasps)

When to control wasps?

Wasp nests are generally designed by the queen in the spring and they grow all spring and early summer. By August, nests are at their peak size and the wasps are at their most aggressive. If you have waited until now, get wasp control with the help of a professional or just try to avoid stirring them up. 

If you decide to just keep calm, let the frost do its’ work.  Then get rid of the nests so they don’t move back in next spring.  Be proactive and start looking for them early in the year. When you find them, destroy the nests and the queen before they grow and get really angry. 

Wasp prevention:

  • Remove abandoned nests in winter
  • Seal gaps in your home
  • Eliminate loose piles of wood and refuse in your yard
  • Clean up rotten fruit under fruit trees
  • Keep outdoor garbage tightly sealed

If you aren’t into wasp control, call a professional pest service like Lawn and Pest Solutions. They can control wasps while you stay safely indoors. Our techs can assess the situation and handle it promptly and safely. We serve the Memphis, Tennessee and North Mississippi areas. Give us a call to control wasps, hornets, bees and other angry pests!

Dealing with drought

Dealing with drought is one of the extremes of our region. We are either drowning in too much rain or thirsting for just a drop. Currently, we are in need of rain, so your lawn may be in a bit of distress. 

With our recent extreme heat, you may notice your grass turning brown. Don’t get too concerned just yet, as most of our grass species can take three to four weeks of dormancy without dying.

Brown grass isn’t always dead grass

In a time of drought, our grasses take a break and go into dormancy. This just means your grass is stressed. If you don’t believe us, you can tell if your grass is dead or dormant by tugging on plants. If they pull out from the ground easily, they’re probably dead. If the roots hold fast when pulled, the plants are dormant. Brown grass is not the only sign of stressed-out grass,  another sign is “footprinting”. 

Footprinting

Footprinting is when you step on a parched lawn and your footprints don’t disappear  right away. On a parched lawn, these are the areas that suffer first.

How does this happen?

Walking over the same areas of lawn compacts grass and soil. Compacted soil can’t absorb water. 

Preventative measures to fight drought

  • At the first sign of stress, begin watering!
  • Your lawn needs about an inch of water or rain per week to thrive. 
  • If using a sprinkler, that means about 20 to 30 minutes/three times per week.
  • Skip at least a day between waterings. 
  • Move sprinklers around to cover all areas of your yard.
  • Water in the mornings, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. Watering before the sun rises helps to keep evaporation to a minimum.
  • Don’t mow the lawn too short or too often during times of drought. 
  • Stay off the lawn!

A little water and care will go a long way when dealing with drought in lawns.

Before you file this drought recovery plan away, remember all of the time, money, and effort you have put into your lawn and landscape. It is easier and cheaper to water your lawn now than to replace it when it’s too late. 

You can always Ask Paul

We work year-round with our customers to protect their investments. Whether preventing and treating disease and invasive pests or nurturing with lawn fertilization and aeration we want your lawn to look the best it can! 

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, our licensed lawn technicians can help you achieve your lawn goals and maintain them all year long. We serve the Memphis, Tennessee area as well as all over North Mississippi. You can contact our office any time of day or night.

Are Bed Bugs back?

As children, we may have envisioned bed bugs a little differently than we do today. The phrase “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”  has a whole new meaning! 

How did that happen?

Back with a vengeance, and this new generation of bed bugs is stronger and more resilient than ever. We once thought that they had been eradicated, however, the treatment was found to be extremely dangerous to humans.

We are now more aware of health and safety issues with harmful chemicals. What once wiped out infestations of roaches and bed bugs turned out to also cause cancer. We are now strictly monitored on the usage of chemicals and thankfully so. 

Where do they come from?

First of all…bed bugs have nothing to do with cleanliness. 

Some call them “hitchhikers” because they ride home on the bottoms of your shoes, your luggage, purses, and backpacks. 

Watch where you sit, as they usually hide out on soft or upholstered surfaces like beds, sofas, carpets.  

Unfortunately, they can travel from room to room in apartment buildings, five star hotels, and dormitories.

What do they want?

All bed bugs are looking for is a good meal and a place to hide, they don’t need trash or filth, just your blood. These pests like a good “blood meal”. After engorging themselves on your blood (while you sleep), they scurry away to hide in the seams of a mattress, under the baseboards, sometimes behind the paintings on the walls.

Signs of bed bugs

How do I find bed bugs?

  • Tiny blood stains that look like rust on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark/rusty spots of bedbug excrement on bedding, mattresses and walls
  • Fecal spots, eggs shells or shed skins in hiding places
  • A musty odor

What can I do to get rid of bed bugs?

The treatment is no longer harmful to humans, but it takes a team effort and multiple treatments to rid a home or business of bed bugs. 

If you think you have bed bugs, call professionals ASAP. There are plenty of DIY applications you can attempt, but are you comfortable with baking soda to get rid of a pest that eats a “blood meal” and hides in your bed? 

Our company offers the best bed bug treatment! Contact us at Lawn and Pest Solutions and we will inspect your home and treat it very thoroughly if needed. We will return in 7-14 days and treat it again (because eggs will have hatched by then). You will have some work to do as well. Our technicians will leave you with a checklist of things to do, like washing and drying all linens with high heat.

Getting rid of bed bugs is not fun, it’s not easy, but it can be done. Our licensed pest technicians are making their way all over the Memphis, Tennessee area and North Mississippi including Oxford, Tupelo, and New Albany. Let us help you fight the war against pests.

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

We talk about Crape Myrtle Bark Scale often, and the term “Crape Murder” is popular as well. When looking at photos, it is hard to tell exactly what you are seeing. Is it a plant, a growth, a bug? 

What is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is actually a type of insect/pest that attaches itself to the trunk of a Crape Myrtle tree. Before you see the pest, you might first notice black areas forming on the trunk or branches of your tree.

It covers parts (or eventually all) of the Crape Myrtle tree with a black, sticky soot-like substance. The actual pest, the Bark Scale is a flat, light gray or white pest that feels like felt. If you press on the Bark Scale and it oozes a pink substance, it is active.

According to Clemson University, Crape Myrtle Bark Scale was first found in Texas in 2004. It has now (2022) spread across the South as far across as North Carolina. Most attribute the spread of CMBS to the movement of plant material across the region.

How does it do the damage?

You might first notice that sidewalks, driveways, shrubs and flowers, garbage cans, pools, toys under your trees are turning black. Everything under the infected tree will get a black, moldy, sooty stain. 

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale typically gathers in the branch crotches or at pruning areas, also under loose bark. As Crape Myrtle Bark Scale takes over, it begins to literally suck the life (sap) from your tree. The thick, black moldy soot will cover the tree and begin raining down onto everything underneath the tree.

Should I get rid of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

For some, the black sooty mold that covers your trees and everything underneath is more cause for concern than tree health. Deciding to treat Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may come down to you deciding to protect the investment you have made in your trees, your landscape, and your property.

It is commonly accepted that CMBS won’t kill your trees. In addition to being unattractive, the black mold prevents sunlight from reaching the tree. 

Bark Scale will most likely affect the number of flowers on your tree. The size of flower clusters and overall vigor in the plant health of your Crape Myrtle trees may also suffer. Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may even cause your trees to flower later than healthy trees. 

How is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale treated?

Treatment starts by systemically injecting treatment at the roots of the trees. This will slowly and methodically begin treating the entire tree and ridding it of the pest. 

In addition to the systemic treatment, we spray the entire tree with a growth regulator. This doesn’t improve the growth of the tree, it speeds up the process of getting rid of the Bark Scale. 

In the fall, Lawn and Pest Solutions applies dormant oil to the affected tree. This oil smothers and eliminates any remaining insects on the tree except those which are beneficial to the tree (like ladybugs). 

Each year afterwards, we do an annual systemic treatment as a preventative to keep the CMBS from returning. This treatment also has lawn fertilization  which will help your Crape Myrtle thrive in the future. Even if you don’t have Bark Scale now you might consider this preventative treatment. 

Crape Myrtles are some of the most beautiful flowering trees we have in the South. These majestic trees enhance our properties, parks, cities, and lawns. Contact us today to check on your investment! Lawn and Pest Solutions has a great system to treat your Crape Myrtles before this Crape Myrtle Bark Scale has a chance to infect your trees. Our licensed technicians are trained in recognizing and guiding you in the right direction for treatment and/or prevention. We treat Crape Myrtles in the Memphis, Tennessee area and all over North Mississippi.

Weed Pulling

Weed pulling is oddly satisfying…at first. What is more rewarding than gently extricating the weed, lifting roots and all from the moist soil? Now, repeat 10,000 times. Pulling a lawn full of never ending weeds is a chore

Weed or plant?

In a newly landscaped lawn, every homeowner has played the game of “weed or plant?” It is easy to think of weeds as ugly sprouts in our lawn, though some aren’t ugly at all! 

No matter what weeds look like, they are robbing your lawn of nutrients and moisture. Weeds compete with your lawn for all of the “good stuff.”

Why you should NOT pull weeds

Pulling weeds doesn’t seem daunting when you just spot one. That first good pull leaves you with a big chunk of weeds, roots, soil. Now what? This is usually when you notice that there are approximately one zillion more weeds!

When you pull weeds, you usually end up spreading the seeds, creating more weeds. Some might compare weed pulling to sweeping up glitter. It never goes away. 

The slightest disturbance of a weed can cause thousands of seeds to fly all over your lawn. Whether that disturbance comes from the lawnmower, wind or even birds, seeds are being spread. Dormant weed seeds can even be awakened by digging in the ground while adding or removing new plant material. 

Treating weeds is best

Treat weeds BEFORE they grow and spread. Realistically, you are always going to be dealing with weeds. It’s just a matter of control. Reduce their growth. 

Using a lawn service like Lawn and Pest Solutions can end your weed control issues. A year-round program like Lawn360 will take care of existing weeds as well as those lurking just beneath the ground. 

Our lawn technicians apply pre-emergent and post-emergent to take care of weeds at every stage of development. 

Lawn and Pest Solutions is based in New Albany, MS. We serve neighborhoods and businesses in the Memphis, Tennessee area and all over North Mississippi. Google us to read our reviews!

Lawn fungus treatment

Lawn fungus treatment shouldn’t even be a decision of “should I or shouldn’t I?” Yes, you should!  A fungus can destroy your beautiful lawn.

It’s not your fault.

All healthy lawns contain millions of fungi spores at all times. Though most fungi will never cause problems, we never know when one will to decide to show off. If you know and care enough to even notice a one in your lawn, you are likely going to treat the lawn fungus.

Treating lawn fungus

A fungus can be easily treated by our trained lawn technicians. You just need to watch for it and call us as soon as you see the signs. 

Signs of lawn fungus

For our area, these are the types of fungus that grow in our common grasses:

  • Dollar Spot/Bermuda grass: this fungus causes spots of brown or straw-colored that start as small as a grapefruit. Beware, they can grow to take over your whole yard.
  • Rust/Zoysia grass: To check for rust fungus, take a white tissue and rub a few grass blades. If an orange color comes off on the tissue, you have a rust problem.
  • Gray Leaf Spot/St. Augustine grass: This fungus leaves large gray spots on your grass blades that grow larger as the infestation gets worse.

What causes fungus to grow?

  • Fungi can become a problem when we have had too much rain.
  • Fungi can become a problem when we haven’t had enough rain.
  • Fungi can appear when we mow our lawns too low.
  • Fungi can appear when we have a dull mower blade.
  • PRO TIP: if you have a really large lawn you should sharpen your mower blades a second time mid season!

We can treat your lawn fungus.

If you suspect you have lawn fungus, call us. A licensed lawn technician will investigate your issue and determine the best plan of treatment. A fungicide will be applied to your lawn and have the fungus problem under control in no time.

As with any lawn health issues, when you are working with professionals like Lawn and Pest Solutions, we are only a phone call away.  Let us know now before more damage occurs. Your lawn is your investment and we want to help you not only maintain it, but allow it to thrive.  

We serve the areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and North Mississippi. If you need more references, feel free to read our Google reviews.