Leopard print lawn

Leopard print lawns, are your eyes deceiving you? After the first frost of the season, you may notice that your lawn seems to have a leopard print like pattern. Parts of the lawn will have turned brown overnight from the frost, some parts won’t. This causes the “frost leopard print” effect that may cause a little panic. 

What determines a “frost” in the weather?

Frost forms when the temperature of the grass surface cools to a temperature that is below freezing, and is colder than the dewpoint of the air.  The thickest coating of frost typically occurs when temperatures are closer to 32 degrees, because colder air cannot hold as much moisture.

Dormant versus Dead

Once we have cooler weather in the fall and eventually have a frost, our lawns go into a state of being dormant. When the brown appears in patches with frost leopard print, some may think their lawn has a disease. Your lawn is not dead, it is dormant

Remember that dormancy just means that your lawn is resting for the winter. It is saving all of the nutrients and energy it needs for the upcoming spring. As a result, the grass will turn brown. Your grass will continue to hibernate until temperatures reach a consistent low in the 60’s.

Protect the fragile

Our warm season grasses here in the South are not in danger of frost. However, there are precautions that you can take to ensure a healthy lawn in the spring. 

Following a heavy frost, stay off your lawn until the frost dissipates. Until then, the blades of grass can be brittle and frozen. Walking or driving equipment across these frozen blades of grass can break them. There’s no need to stress your lawn like that!

Other precautions to follow:

  • Tender plants need to be protected from the frost, particularly any of your summer blooming plants that you may be attempting to keep through the winter.  
  • Allow your grass to grow a little bit taller as the temperatures drop. The extra leaf blades can have an insulating effect for your grass and its’ root system.

Take a deep breath of air.

As the weather gets colder, your soil will naturally harden and become compacted. Compacted soil chokes your lawn’s root system, making it difficult to draw nutrients from the soil. High foot traffic, new sod, and standing water are just a few problems that can lead to compacted soil.

Now is the perfect time for aeration. Aeration is one key element of our Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. When you take a peek to “check out the damage” of our first frost this year, you can take a deep breath and know that your leopard spotted lawn isn’t dying.

Lawn 360 is a year round program

At Lawn and Pest Solutions, we don’t think about your lawn one season at a time. Our certified lawn technicians want you to get the most out of your lawn. Our lawn care professionals work with you to create a plan that sets your grass up for a healthy winter and a more vibrant spring.

In addition to aeration for the winter, our techs can give you other pointers to get your yard through every extreme season of our wild and crazy South! Contact us today to learn more about the Lawn 360 program at Lawn and Pest Solutions. We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas. 

What are good bugs and why do we need them?

What are good bugs and why do we need them? For people who really have issues with bugs, it’s hard to believe that there are “good bugs”. Most of the time, even with “bad bugs” you can usually find at least one redeeming quality. Good bugs are protecting our gardens, crops and lawns. 

Not all bugs are bad.

Do a little research before you kill the one thing that may be saving your tomatoes! This says it all, “Some insects are destructive and should be controlled, but of the more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world, more than 97 percent are beneficial to gardens, or simply benign”. Don’t go stomping and spraying everything that crawls and flies.

A quick checklist before you stomp and spray:

  • Is the bug eating your plants, grass, garden?
  • Does the eating appear to be doing damage to the plant?
  • Is there one bug or is there an infestation ? 

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these, you may have a “bad bug”. In our region of the South, bugs that are considered to be “bad bugs” include chinch bugs and white grubs . These insects attack our lawns and cause damage there. An infestation of pests like army worms is something many of us are way too familiar with this season.

Insects that we are probably more familiar with are those that attack people (rather than lawns) like fire ants, wasps and ticks.

Examples of good bugs…

  • Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch, Lady bugs begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right! 
  • The larvae of Green Lacewing eat aphids and other insects that destroy our lawns. Brachonid Wasps lay eggs on the very destructive Tomato Horn Worm. When their eggs hatch, they eat the horn worm. 

There are good bugs and we do need them. Good bugs are abundant, bad bugs get all of the attention. Let us help you get rid of the bad bugs and we will leave the good ones alone.

Our licensed professionals know good bugs versus bad bugs and are glad to come evaluate your situation. You can spot our trucks all over North Mississippi and in the Memphis,TN area. Learn more about “The Lawn and Pest Difference”. 

The 6 Best Lawn Fertilizers For Your Yard

A lush green lawn throughout the year is a dream come true for every American homeowner. However, keeping your yard that way isn’t an easy feat. You need to mow, water, and fertilize your lawn at regular intervals to maintain it.  Choosing the right fertilizer also plays a vital role in maintaining the health and beauty of your yard.

However, with so many options available, choosing the right lawn fertilizer is challenging. Here’s our list of the six best lawn fertilizers to make your job easy:

Scotts Green Max Fertilizer

If you are looking for a fertilizer that provides quick results in less time, then Scotts Green Max Fertilizer is the product you are looking for. What makes it one of the best in the market is that it is beneficial for those homeowners who cannot invest much time in lawn care but want good results. It provides your lawn with a healthy dose of iron for that rich emerald green color and also helps kill weeds.

Jonathan Green Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer

As the name suggests, it is one of the best fertilizers for your lawn for winter. It is specifically designed copious amount of nitrogen to meet the nutrient requirements of grass, and you should use it during your fall fertilization routine. The additional dose of potassium in it also helps protect your lawn against snow mold during winters.

The Andersons 21-0-4 Turf Fertilizer with 0.2 percent Merit Insecticide

If your lawn is suffering from grub problems and you are looking for a solution, then this slow-acting fertilizer is just for you. Apply it around mid-summer before the grubs get active. It also provides the essential nutrients your lawn requires to help it recover from any existing damage.

Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Fertilizer

This fertilizer made the list due to the unique feature that it does not contain any phosphorus. Phosphorus is a common ingredient in most fertilizers as it helps strengthen the roots of your grass. However, phosphorus can also be very harmful, and some states have laws against using phosphates. The lack of phosphorus in this fertilizer doesn’t make it any less efficient as it is rich in other vital nutrients.

Scotts Turf Builder

Scotts turf builder fertilizer is another phosphorus-free fertilizer that you can use for your lawn. It is especially beneficial for those lawn grass that is just starting. It makes young grassroots strong and helps them survive harsh summers when you can’t water the lawn as required.

Milorganite 0636 Fertilizer

Many homeowners prefer to use organic fertilizers these days as they are safer for their pets and kids.  Milorganite 0636 Fertilizer is one of the best organic fertilizers you can use for your lawn. It contains nitrogen and microbes that enrich your soil and a distinctive odor that keeps animals like rabbits and dear away.

About Lawn & Pest Solutions

If you are looking for professional help to care for your lawn, Lawn & Pest Solutions should be your one-stop destination. Our services include de-weeding, pest control, and deep root fertilization. In addition, we ensure that your lawn looks lush and healthy. You can reach out to us at 662.534.4535, 901.560.2399, or fill our online contact form to know more.

Spray foam insulation and termites

Spray foam insulation is a cost effective way to insulate your home. The foam is sprayed on as a liquid and it hardens to fill in the spaces between the wood framing of your home. Your walls and ceilings have a hard, waterproof barrier that effectively keeps heat and cold in or out. Many builders prefer spray foam insulation for all of these reasons.

Termites are tiny little pests that eat just a little bit of wood at a time, but they never stop eating. Termites can destroy your home or business if left untreated. Termites thrive in high humidity environments where they travel in mudtubes or stay underground. Termites are a fact of life for us in the South.

When spray foam insulation is present, termites can travel quickly through that and not go to the trouble of building mudtubes. Spray foam insulation provides what some call a “superhighway” of travel for termites in your home.

Spray foam is a great insulator, but it’s too good for the South

The hardened foam can trap moisture between the wood in your walls and frames. Moist wood is the preferred meal of all termites. In our high humidity South, moist wood which can’t breathe due to the highly effective waterproof barrier of spray foam insulation becomes an easy target for termites.

Because it can hold a tremendous amount of water, spray foam insulation can hide water leaks for years. Hidden leaks and water damage plus the presence of moisture creates a perfect environment for termites to thrive.

When conventional insulation is in place, water leaks are more easily detected. These types of insulations can be easily removed and replaced which is not the case with spray foam.

Termites are not drawn to, nor do they eat spray foam insulation. 

Termites like to eat wood. Termites are drawn to moist wood. Termites are not attracted to spray foam and they don’t like to eat it. They DO use the foam as a way to move faster than ever between the wood framing of a home. Spray foam does make termites much harder to detect. 

Even the most trained and experienced technicians have a very hard time finding termites in a home insulated with spray foam. Sometimes by the time that termites are discovered, it is too late.

Homeowners insurance does not cover termite damage.

Termite damage is considered to be preventable. Read that again. If you aren’t protecting your home or business from termites, they are eventually going to get you. All structures including metal buildings are at risk for termites. We all have cabinets, sheetrock, flooring, papers, trim and wood to protect.

If you have a home that is not insulated with spray foam, Lawn and Pest Solutions can help you to stop current termite troubles, or to prevent inevitable termite troubles. We are located in New Albany, MS and cover Memphis, TN and the entire North Mississippi area. Our licensed technicians can come and inspect your home for termites and advise you on a plan of treatment. Contact us here to get a very fast and efficient response to your needs.

An introduction to The Basics of Lawn Fertilization

One of the crucial elements in keeping your lawn lush green throughout the year is to provide it with the nutrients it needs. Some soil is rich in nutrients, while others need additional nutrients that you provide in fertilizers. However, simply adding what you choose to your yard can make matters worse. You need to follow due process to ensure that your fertilizers make your lawn grass lush and healthy.

Here is everything you need to know about lawn fertilization:

Test your soil

The first and most crucial element of your lawn care is understanding your soil. And for that, you need to give your soil for testing. A soil test can help you determine what type of soil you have in your lawn. You can identify your soil’s nutrient deficiencies, surpluses, and PH balance through a soil test. The results will help to determine which is the most suitable fertilizers for the land.

Excess of everything is bad

The fertilizer you add is essentially food for your plants, and adding anything in excess is harmful to them, just like us. And it goes for both the quantity and frequency of your fertilization process. You need to fertilize your lawn two to six times a year, depending upon the extent of deficiencies in the soil. Anything more than that can turn your soil toxic.

The timing matters

When you fertilize, your lawn is as crucial as how much and how often you do it. There are specific seasonal intervals during which you need to fertilize to achieve the desired results.

The best time to fertilize your lawn is around labor day if you do it only once a year. 

Adding fertilizers during early September prepares your lawn for upcoming fall and winter hardships. 

If you plan to fertilize twice a year, you should make the second application around mid-October. If more than twice, then divide the duration evenly between the spring and summer seasons.

Application methods

The application method varies depending upon the type of fertilizer you are using, whether solid or liquid. The spreader you use also affects the application process. However, the best practice is to ensure that the fertilizer is spread evenly throughout all the lawn layers. Also, avoid adding fertilizers near ponds or water creeks as it promotes weed and algae growth.

Monitoring and re-adjustments

Adding fertilizers and not monitoring your lawn is like investing money and not measuring returns. Check your yard for any signs of malnutrition once every fortnight. If you notice the yellowish-brown color or thin brow patches of soil, it is a sign that your grass is not getting the essential nutrients. Therefore, you need to increase the frequency or quantity of the fertilizers. 

If the problems persist even after that, you should consult a professional for any underlying issues in your lawn.

About Lawn & Pest Solutions

If you are looking for professional help to care for your lawn, Lawn & Pest Solutions should be your one-stop destination. Our services include de-weeding, pest control, and deep root fertilization. In addition, we ensure that your lawn looks lush and healthy. You can reach out to us at 662.534.4535, 901.560.2399, or fill our online contact form to know more.

Lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs

Lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs fall into the category of “occasional invaders. Meaning they aren’t really bothersome until they infest your home. Having one or two of any of these pests isn’t really an issue, until it becomes an infestation.

It’s all about the numbers.

With many of the pests and issues that involve home pest control, it’s all about the numbers. “infestation”. With any infestation of pests, it is very important that you keep these pests out of your home. It’s easy to avoid stink bugs and lady beetles when they are gathered on your porch. When an infestation makes its’ way into your home, it’s time to get serious.

Lady bugs or lady beetles, what’s the difference?

Around our North Mississippi and Tennessee area, we are most likely seeing Asian Lady Beetles. These Lady beetles are slightly different from what most of us refer to as “ladybugs”.  The Asian Lady Beetles often appear when the weather cools.  The Lady beetles will congregate on the side of a house by the hundreds or thousands.  If Lady beetles can find an entry point into your home, they will make their way inside. 

Aren’t Lady bugs the “good” bugs?

Lady bugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. While there are many species of lady bugs or lady beetles, most of them are useful because they prey on aphids. Aphids are true pests that suck the life right out of our plants, trees, crops. 

When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch,  Lady bugs begin feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right!

But on the other hand…

As cute as ladybugs are depicted in art, children’s books they do have a few unappealing characteristics. In order to protect themselves from predators, ladybugs secrete a fluid from the joints in their legs. 

This secretion tastes really bad to a predator and smells really bad to humans. In an infestation, many homeowners experience staining on walls from the secreted fluid. Some people are even allergic to the dust from crumbling shells of dead lady bugs.

While stink bugs are never depicted as “cute” they are also not much of a problem until an infestation occurs. Much like the lady beetles, they produce a foul odor and are best swept up and safely thrown away.

How to keep lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs out of your home:

Repair cracks around windows and doors

Repair torn window or door screens

Remove piles of branches and leaves in your lawn

Eliminate areas where water collects

Check under sinks for leaking pipes and repair

Now is the time to check out what is happening outside your home.

The first thing you can do as a homeowner is keep pest out. Immediate action would be to vacuum up lady bugs, lady beetles and stink bugs and throw them away. If you are beyond that solution,  Lawn and Pest can help.

In addition to “occasional invaders” we are also here to protect your home from termites, roaches, ants and more. Our licensed pest technicians will thoroughly spray inside and outside of your home on a regular schedule to ensure this problem is taken care of now and later. 

Contact us here to learn more about our #pest360 program. Our website has a user friendly app to leave your messages with our office. Leave us a message and let us show you #thelpsdifference .

Fire Ants

Is there ever a “best time” to treat for fire ants? Yes! Now is the time to tackle those ant mounds. After a long, wet summer of growing and building underground, the ants are at maximum capacity. 

Fight fire ants now while “everyone is home” and next spring they should be very weak and hopefully, all gone. Fire ants struggle in the winter, so attack now in the fall. Because they haven’t burrowed too far underground, they will have a tough time surviving. 

When the mound is disturbed, fire ants get angry.

Disturbing fire ant mounds is not the best plan of attack. According to a Lawn and Pest employee, “You are just chasing them around your yard with those DIY products. You may think you are rid of the problem, but you really just made them move a little.”

The best way to fight fire ants is with a bait system. This doesn’t disturb the mounds, so the fire ants get the bait and return to their underground system of tunnels. They then “share” the bait with the army below your lawn.

“Old School” is not always the best plan

Many of our dads would pour concoctions of powders, liquids and even gasoline down into fire ant mounds. Anything to rid our yards of the ugly piles of hardened dirt seemed worth a try. Though it made for some great “hey, watch this” memories, those outdated methods are not only unsafe, but also ineffective. 

The best plan for fire ants

Lawn & Pest Solutions has the technology and expertise to provide season-long control for fire ants. Our fire ant control treatments target the queen, not just the mound. Our plan is efficient and effective.

In just two strategically timed bait applications, we typically wipe out 95% of your fire ants. We will visit two more times per year just to assess the effectiveness or apply more bait (if needed) at no extra charge. 

Give us a call or click here and we will send out a licensed technician to address your issues! We serve the North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee areas with lawn and pest services. 

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale

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

According to Mississippi State University Extension Services, “It is now well established in more than 20 Mississippi counties and will likely continue to spread. All members of Mississippi’s gardening and landscaping community need to know how to identify and control CMBS in order to help slow its’ spread and reduce its’ impact.”

What IS Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a pest that covers parts (or eventually all) of the Crape Myrtle tree. The first sign is a black, sticky soot-like substance that will cover the tree. The soot will then begin raining down onto everything underneath the tree. 

Sidewalks, driveways, shrubs and flowers, garbage cans, pools, toys are at risk.  Whatever is under the infected tree will get a black, moldy, sooty stain. 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.

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale typically gathers in the branch crotches or at pruning areas, also under loose bark. In addition to being unattractive, the mold prevents sunlight from reaching the tree. As it takes over, Crape Myrtle Bark Scale sucks the life (sap) from your tree.

Should I get rid of Crape Myrtle Bark Scale?

It is commonly accepted that CMBS won’t kill your trees, but it will most likely affect the number of flowers on your tree. The size of flower clusters and overall health of your Crape Myrtle trees may also suffer. Crape Myrtle Bark Scale may even cause your trees to flower later than healthy trees. 

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.

How is Crape Myrtle Bark Scale treated?

Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is being treated by our licensed lawn and pest technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions in New Albany, MS. 

  1. We start 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. 
  2. 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 Bark Scale. 
  3. In the fall, Lawn and Pest Solutions applies a 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). 
  4. Each year afterwards, we do an annual systemic treatment as a preventative to keep the CMBS from returning. This treatment also has a fertilizer 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)

We are here to help.

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! We have a great system to treat your trees 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, TN area and all over North Mississippi.