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.

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!

Dealing with drought in lawns

Dealing with drought in lawns may seem a bit untimely for our area. It seems like it has rained every day for months now. Even if we aren’t in an official time of drought today, your lawn may be in a bit of distress due to the extreme heat. However, a time of drought is probably inevitable at some point in the upcoming months.

Be prepared

With our recent extreme heat, you may be seeing some brown appear. As rain becomes less frequent, this may become more evident. Don’t worry too much, most of our grass species can take three to four weeks of dormancy without dying.

Dormancy doesn’t mean “dead”

Dormancy just means your grass has gone to sleep. You can tell if your grass is dead or dormant by tugging on the plants. If the plants 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”. 

What is footprinting?

Walking over the same areas of lawn compacts the grass and compacted soil can’t absorb water.  On a lawn that is already parched, these are the areas that suffer first. Footprinting is when you step on your parched lawn and footprints don’t disappear right away. 

Preventative measures to fight drought

  • Your lawn needs about an inch of water or rain per week to thrive. At the first sign of stress, begin watering!
  • 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!

Are you feeling hesitant to use these methods to deal with drought in your lawn? Just remember all of the time, money and effort you put into your lawn and landscape. It is less costly and certainly easier and quicker to water your lawn than to replace it when it’s too late. The same goes for your landscape plants and trees. 

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

A little water and care will go a long way when dealing with drought in lawns. 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, TN area as well as all over North Mississippi. You will see our trucks and techs in Oxford, Tupelo, New Albany, Germantown, Olive Branch, Fulton and more. You can contact our office 24/7 to get started with our program. 

Don’t Pull That Weed!

Can’t you just hear your mom scream, “Don’t pull that weed!”. Why wouldn’t you want to reach way down, gently extricate the weed from the bottom, lift the roots and all from the moist soil? And why wouldn’t you want to do this 10,000 times a day, every day? Pulling one weed is oddly satisfying. Pulling a lawn full of never ending weeds is a chore

What’s wrong with a few weeds?

It is easy to think of weeds as just something ugly that sprouts up in our lawn. Some weeds aren’t really ugly at all. Surely all of us have at one time wondered “should I pull that?”. In a newly landscaped lawn, every homeowner has played the game of “weed or plant?”. But weeds aren’t all about looks…weeds are robbing your lawn of nutrients from the soil and moisture. The lovely lawn you have spent so much time, money and love to nurture is being robbed of all the “good stuff” and weeds are the culprit.

Pulling weeds vs. Treating Weeds

Pulling weeds is something that doesn’t seem daunting as you stroll around your yard. You spot one, bend over, pull up the entire root system. Good pull! Now you are left with a big chunk of weeds, roots, soil and what do you do with it? You can’t throw it back in your yard. You didn’t bring a bag or a cart or a box…and now that you look around, there are one million more weeds. 

Fun fact… when you pull weeds, you can end up spreading the seeds to create even more weeds than before. Some might compare weed pulling to sweeping up glitter. It never goes away. Scroll to the 6:54 mark of this video to see a very high definition, slow motion example of how easily seeds fly off of weeds.

The slightest disturbance of a weed can cause thousands of seeds to fly all over your lawn. Whether that disturbance comes from you mowing, the wind blowing or even a bird walking, the seeds are being spread. Sometimes you can even wake up dormant weed seeds by digging in the ground to remove or plant new material. 

So, don’t pull that weed!

Treat the weeds BEFORE they grow. Treat the weeds before they spread. Reduce their growth. If the weed doesn’t grow in the first place, you never have to pull that weed. Realistically, you are always going to be dealing with weeds. It’s just a matter of control. How are you going to control them, reduce them and keep them from completely taking over your lawn? 

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 weeds lurking just under the ground. Remember, it’s easiest to deal with weeds that never actually grow! Our lawn technicians apply pre-emergent and post-emergent to take care of weeds at every stage of development. 

Whether you have a newly landscaped lawn or a mature one, you are going to have weeds. Don’t pull that weed! Let our licensed technicians handle this issue. You can Google “how to pull weeds” all day long. There are more “oddly satisfying” weed pulling videos on YouTube than you can imagine. It’s a thing. Lawn and Pest Solutions is based in New Albany, MS. We service neighborhoods and businesses from Memphis , TN to all over North Mississippi. You can Google us and read our reviews, we hope you do! 

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.

Should I bag or mulch my lawn clippings?

Should I bag or mulch my lawn clippings? Does it matter? In order to have a weed free, beautiful dark green lawn you need to consider these three things:

1. Mowing

During this time of year (from May through August) you need to mow at least once a week. Sometimes you need to mow every five days. Grass is growing at a super fast rate right now! Mow your lawn with your blade set at the correct height for maximum effectiveness (Check previous blog for info on blade height). Proper mowing can make all the difference in the look of your lawn and set it apart from the rest. 

2. Bagging or mulching, which is better?

Bagging your lawn clippings is one option to consider. If you can’t commit to once a week (or more) mowing, bag it! If you leave clippings piled up on your lawn all summer during this rapid growing season, you will have weed problem in the form of thatch.

Bagging your clippings doesn’t mean putting them in big piles of garbage at the curb. We now know that the responsible way of disposing of clippings is to return them to compost. 

Mulching grass clippings means returning your clippings to the lawn. These mulched clippings provide great benefits to your lawn. The mulched clippings help retain moisture and nutrients. Deciding to mulch your clippings means that you have committed to the frequent mowing program!

3. Weed control

We can’t let this go without saying, weed control is important and the third element of this bagging or mulching issue. To have that beautiful, dark green lawn you must have a healthy lawn. Weed free lawns will continue to prosper. 

Let’s wrap this up.

Mulching is good for your lawn, but you need a good machine, set to the right blade height and you need to be mowing every 5-7 days. Bagging is not bad for your lawn, especially if you can’t commit to mowing frequently. Weed control is essential, you can’t allow thatch or any other weeds to overgrow your healthy lawn.

Bagging or mulching, whatever you decide, you can always contact our licensed lawn techs at Lawn and Pest Solutions for help. We help people from the Memphis, Tennessee area and all over North Mississippi with weed control. Our licensed professionals can help you nurture your lawn into the one you have been dreaming of. Contact our office here for more info today!