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 Though it made for some great “hey, watch this” memories, those outdated methods are not only unsafe, but also ineffective.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. 

Lawn care after Labor Day

Now that it’s September and we can almost breathe again, people ask, what’s left for lawn care after Labor Day? While some of us are wondering if we really need to pack away our white pants, the others of us are asking, can I pack up the lawnmower?

Are we done here?

Are you ever done? Does the laundry pile ever really go away? Is the housework ever finished? Not really. Owning a home is one thing, but keeping it up is a never ending job. Landscaping and lawns fall into this category of never ending work.

It was fun the first time around.

When you buy or build a home, it is really exciting at first. Picking out paint, windows and doors that show off your style are part of your outdoor look. Landscaping is a major investment that also accentuates your home and style. These are exciting times for a new homeowner!

 Fast forward ten years when the roof is starting to leak, the paint is peeling, the driveway is stained, and the front door is looking dated. Maybe the lawn is starting to look thin and patches have appeared. We won’t even mention the sofa you bought that was “so cool” ten years ago.

The day’s work is never done. So don’t wait.

Keeping up the work around the house every season keeps us from being ten years down the road with thousands in repairs and sprucing up to do. Maintaining the lawn, landscaping, turf and plantings are all things we need to do year round. Continuous upkeep and management keeps home and lawn maintenance manageable, financially and in terms of hard work.

To do list for the fall:

A little work in the yard every day (or week) even after a long summer can make lawn care easy and affordable. These small jobs that can be done year round and will give your lawn the best chance at being beautiful and healthy.

  • Keep mowing as long as the grass is growing.
  • Take care of your lawnmower.
  • Your lawn still needs water even when it is cool.
  • Wet piles of leaves left to rot on your lawn suffocate the turf.  Rake piles up before the job is too much to handle.
  • Aeration and fertilization will pay off when spring arrives.
  • Never stop fighting the war against pests in your lawn.  Armyworms, moles, weeds…these need to be controlled.

Labor Day and lawn care, let’s make that a “thing”

Whether you decide to pack up those white pants for the winter or not, lawn care after Labor Day is definitely a “thing”. Lawn work and home maintenance require year round attention. A little work every day makes this manageable. But you don’t have to do this by yourself. 

You have the services of licensed technicians at Lawn and Pest Solutions just a phone call, text or email away. Our licensed technicians can visit you, give you some advice about how to move forward and help you with not only lawn, plant and tree issues but also their future health. We serve the Memphis, TN and North Mississippi areas including Tupelo, Oxford, Fulton, New Albany and more. 

Moles Grubs Armadillos

If you are having a problem with moles or armadillos in your lawn, it’s because they have found a food source in your yard, grubs. Moles and armadillos like to eat grubs. If grubs are present in your yard, moles and armadillos are going to dig into your yard and possibly set up a home underneath.

What is a grub?

Grubs hatch when a beetles lay eggs in your lawn. They are white, soft and have legs up near their heads. Grubs eat on the roots of your lawn causing patches to turn brown and die. If untreated, they grow up to become beetles and lay more eggs in your lawn. The best time to treat for grubs is mid to late summer and early fall. 

How do I know if I have grubs?

The first and easiest way to attack a mole or armadillo problem is to rid your lawn of grubs. Look for spongy grass and brown patches. Pull up a piece of the brown turf. If it comes up easily like a piece of carpet with no roots attached, grubs have been feeding there. The best time to treat for grubs is mid to late summer and early fall. 

Moles

Moles can be fairly destructive, they live underground and create tunnels in your yard. Moles are small and have paddle-like feet that help them dig under your lawn. They usually leave a small mound of soil as their “entrance” to the underground. The tunneling under your lawn is not good for the roots of your turf.

Armadillos…weird but true.

The prolific songwriter/singer Robert Earl Keen, Jr. wrote a song about an unfortunate and greedy armadillo hunter. Handling armadillos frequently or eating them can result in leprosy  (a RARE occurrence, but still a fact).  The only armadillos in the US are the 9 banded variety which always give birth to identical quadruplets.

But more importantly… 

  • Armadillos will destroy your lawn looking for grubs, earthworms, food. 
  • Armadillos thrive in warm, moist climates
  • Armadillos prefer loose and porous soil
  • Armadillos live underground, specifically under your lawn
  • Armadillos are nocturnal and forage for food at night
  • Armadillo quadruplets become independent at around 6 months, so they multiply quickly 

If you are suspicious that you may have moles or armadillos, you need to act now. Start by lifting up a piece of turf to look for grubs. If you find grubs, you need help. 

Moles and armadillos are a problem that start with grubs. Our licensed lawn technicians can evaluate your situation. We answer your calls promptly. In fact, our website has an instant chat that can get you the quickest service possible. Look for it in the bottom right corner. Type in your email address and cell number and you will get an instant reply. Lawn and Pest Solutions of New Albany, MS serves the Memphis, Tennessee area and all of North Mississippi. Let us help you in the battle against whatever may be digging a tunnel under your yard! 

Why is nutgrass so persistent?

Some call it nutsedge, some say nutgrass but whatever you call it, it is a persistent weed. If you ask Google, “what is nutsedge good for” it will tell you that it’s good for ground cover or lawn replacement. That is maybe the most accurate and scary description you will find. 

Do you want your lawn replaced by nutgrass?

The most prolific way that nutgrass reproduces is through underground tubers which are also called “nutlets”. These extensive root systems can reach up to four feet deep. This is one of the conditions that make nutgrass so persistent.

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. 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.

“sedge” versus “grass”

If you are wondering how to identify nutsedge (also called nutgrass) remember this phrase, “sedges have edges”. Just pull up a piece that you think might be sedge, if it feels triangular instead of round and smooth, it is a sedge. The sedge has a center “crease” or fold that makes it have a “v” shape. Imagine if you took a piece of flat grass and ironed it like a pants leg. 

Is nutgrass or nutsedge a bad thing?

A 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! 

There are some who like the challenge of a DIY project. Taking on pesticides and tackling persistent nutgrass might be a better job for professionals.If DIY weed control is not for you, call Lawn and Pest Solutions to fight nutgrass, nutsedge or any other weeds that are taking over your lawn. 

Our licensed technicians can evaluate your lawn and use the correct treatments to not only treat current outbreaks of weeds but also to prevent them from ever taking root.  Our Lawn and Pest Solutions licensed lawn techs serve  Memphis,TN, and all over North Mississippi. Contact us and let us start helping you today!

Should I treat lawn fungus?

Should I treat lawn fungus? Of course, you should!  Why wouldn’t you treat a fungus that could destroy your beautiful lawn? Don’t feel bad. All healthy lawns contain millions of fungi spores at all times. Most fungi will never cause problems, but we never know when one is going to decide to show off. If you know and care enough to even notice a fungus in your lawn, you are probably going to take care of this matter.

It was too hard to resist.

No good blogger can pass up the rare opportunity to mention and link to the Lamisil commercial. How could you not connect a fungus article to a cartoon toenail fungus who lifts up the human toenail and climbs in? Moving on to the real mission here, treating lawn fungus. A fungus can be easily treated by our trained lawn technicians. You just need to watch for it and call us if you see the signs. 

What are the signs of lawn fungus?

The main types of fungus that tend to grow in our popular grass types include:

  • Dollar Spot/Bermuda grass: can cause 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: leaves large gray spots on your grass blades that grow larger as the infestation gets worse.

When should I treat lawn fungus?

There are a few causes for fungi to grow, so as they say… “If the shoe fits, wear it”

  • 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 appertains 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!

What can be done to rid my yard of this 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.  If you aren’t already a customer of ours, please contact us here. Our office system receives messages 24/7. We serve the areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and North Mississippi. If you need more references, feel free to read our Google reviews.

How to prepare your lawn mower for spring

It is time to get the mower ready! We have had plenty of rain and now plenty of sun is on the way. The mower may be looking a little rusty and dusty, who knows what has been thrown on top? Looks like a good weekend project has suddenly developed….

First things first.

This is an easy list to follow for preparing your mower.

Are the blades sharp? This is important. Dull blades make your grass weak. Weak grass is not good at fighting disease or pests.

Is the oil fresh? If you oil is from last season, drain it and replace with new.

Did you check the air filter? Experts say we should do this every season. If you have a washable filter, soak it in warm, soapy water. If it’s made of cardboard or paper, just pop in a new one. 

Lubricate all moving parts!

Do you need a new fuel filter? Fuel filters can’t be cleaned because they can easily be damaged, so just buy a new one.

Get a new spark plug! These are inexpensive, no need to clean or reuse old ones.

Replace the belt or battery if needed.

Check your fuel! If you have left fuel in your mower for more than 30 days, go ahead and drain it and fill with fresh fuel. 

Here is a link to a YouTube video to help you get that mower started if you are having trouble. 

And for those of us need a little more help….

While Lawn and Pest Solutions is not in the business of mowing lawns, we want to help you have the healthiest lawn you can and having the proper equipment is very important to achieving a beautiful lawn. Getting your lawn mower ready for spring is one step you can take at home. If you need more help on getting a beautiful lawn, we have a staff of professional lawn technicians. Lawn and Pest Solutions can help you, just contact us today.

Lawn and Pest Solutions serves Memphis and North Mississippi region with knowledgeable and licensed lawn and pest technicians. Our techs are friendly, dependable and trustworthy employees who will go to great lengths to provide you with the best service.

Why is nutgrass so hard to get rid of?

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

Have you ever heard someone use a quote and wonder, “who said THAT?” When writing about nutgrass/nutsedge and why it’s so hard to get rid of, the need to search for quotes using the word “nut” was too much. And after researching the power of nutgrass or nutsedge, this quote just seemed to make sense. “Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut, that held its ground.” And here is where it would be better if you didn’t know too much about “who said THAT?” But if you really need to know, this quote is attributed to author David Icke, who if you click this link, you will discover is truly, a nut.

But back to his quote…

“Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut, that held its ground”, is so relevant to the underlying conditions of what makes nutgrass so persistant. The most prolific way that nutgrass reproduces is through underground tubers which are also called “nutlets”. These extensive root systems can reach up to four feet deep. 

Does your lawn really need the competition?

Nutgrass typically breaks out during really wet springs, especially in lawns with poor drainage. However, it doesn’t take much moisture to thrive afterward because nutgrass can withstand drought. Because it doesn’t need much moisture to survive, nutgrass beats out grass that is starving for water and nutrients. 

There are two types of nutgrass, yellow and purple. Even though the purple nutsedge produces more tubers, the yellow is still able to produce thousands of nutlets with patches several feet wide. As these spread underground, shoots pop up and become new plants. 

They really are nuts holding their ground!

While underground at depths of 6” to 18” nutlets might hide and 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. Some people like taking on the battle against nutgrass on their own like this guy .

Now we see why nutgrass is so hard to get rid of!

If you are interested in the DIY pesticide application, you will probably also need to do some research on the difference between “sedge” and “grass”, this video is very helpful. While DIY is enticing for many projects, taking on pesticides is probably best reserved for those who are a little more “tried and true”. If reading the instruction manual is not your strength, then you probably should call Lawn and Pest Solutions to fight nutgrass, nutsedge or any other weeds that are taking over your lawn. Our licensed technicians can evaluate your lawn and use the correct treatments to not only treat current outbreaks of weeds, but also to prevent them from ever taking root.  Our Lawn and Pest trucks can be found from Memphis and Oxford to all over North Mississippi. Give us a call and let us start helping you today!

Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar really based on Armyworms?

Do you remember how this popular children’s book goes?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (an excerpt)

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.

One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and pop! – out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.

He started to look for some food.

On Monday he ate through one apple. But he was still hungry.

By Sunday he wasn’t hungry anymore, so he built himself a cocoon,  took a big nap, and two weeks later he was a beautiful butterfly!

Or was he a moth? There are a LOT of similarities when you start reading….

Armyworms aren’t really worms at all

Armyworms start out as night flying moths that arrive in swarms after a cool, wet spring. You might notice them flying around the lights on your porch at night. The gray moths will arrive en masse and cover your lawn while you sleep. There they can lay up to 300 eggs per night for 3 nights, meaning each moth can lay up to almost 1,000 eggs. (Are you starting to see how they got the name “Army” worms?) Seven days later, they hatch as “very hungry caterpillars” and start feasting.

He ate and he ate and he ate.

The caterpillars or Armyworms will spend the next 20-25 days eating everything green, yellow or red. They can destroy lawns or crops almost overnight. Their only objective is to eat as much as possible. After the feast ends, they rest for about 2 weeks before emerging as a moth. The cycle continues….with the possibility of three generations of Armyworms in just one summer through fall. This newscast from 2018 shows how crops in Texas were devastated by an invasion of Armyworms.

This “very hungry caterpillar” isn’t so cute anymore.

If you aren’t convinced this is a pest instead of a cute little caterpillar, look for these signs:

  • Little bits of chewed up leaves
  • “Skeletonized” leaves 
  • The presence of birds (who like to feast on Armyworms)
  • Moths swarming around your outside lights at night

How do you stop the invasion?

Because they arrive at night and hide themselves so well, you may not even know you have been invaded until the damage is done. You can be on the lookout, you can read up about Armyworms here but whatever you do, if you THINK you have them, act immediately. Just remember after the eggs have been laid, you have 7 days before the feasting begins. The feasting on your lawn. 

Every story doesn’t end like this…

“Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out, and…he was a beautiful butterfly.”  Now that you know more about Armyworms, you definitely know better. If you see any signs of an Armyworm attack on your lawn, please give us a call as soon as possible. Let our licensed lawn and pest technicians evaluate what is happening and plan an attack on these pests. Our Lawn and Pest Solutions crew will help you recover your lawn and protect it from future invasions. We send our trucks all over the Memphis and Oxford areas as well as all of North Mississippi.