Snow Mold

Deer & Tick Guard

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a disease, which is caused by a fungus, and is active in the winter, typically underneath the snow.  It will become visible to you in the early spring as the snow melts.  It is often seen as circular patches of matted grass, which appears to be dead (don’t worry, your grass didn’t die over the winter).  It will often have webbing of gray or pink.  When the webbing isn’t present, you may instead see brown spots that can be slimy in appearance.

What are Some Causes of Snow Mold?

Although it is referred to as ‘Snow Mold’, snow does not always need to be present for Snow Mold to occur. It can also grow under leaves that were not raked and removed from your lawn, or under tall grass that was not mowed late enough into the Fall.  All of these types of…

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Snow Mold

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a disease, which is caused by a fungus, and is active in the winter, typically underneath the snow.  It will become visible to you in the early spring as the snow melts.  It is often seen as circular patches of matted grass, which appears to be dead (don’t worry, your grass didn’t die over the winter).  It will often have webbing of gray or pink.  When the webbing isn’t present, you may instead see brown spots that can be slimy in appearance.

What are Some Causes of Snow Mold?

Although it is referred to as ‘Snow Mold’, snow does not always need to be present for Snow Mold to occur. It can also grow under leaves that were not raked and removed from your lawn, or under tall grass that was not mowed late enough into the Fall.  All of these types of ‘cover’ retain the moisture in the ground that allows for Snow Mold to grow.

What Can be Done to Prevent Snow Mold?

The best thing that you can do is to properly prepare your lawn for the Winter.

  • Mow your lawn into the Fall until it stops growing.
  • Make sure that your lawn’s final cut of the season is at a height of 2-3″.
  • Rake and remove all leaf debris from the lawn.
  • Have an aeration service, which will decrease thatch, allowing for air circulation.
  • Have a properly timed Fall fertilization service.

Always remember that a healthy lawn is less susceptible to disease.

What Can be Done to Repair Snow Mold?

The good news is that,  with regular mowing and fertilization, most of the time the areas of your lawn which have been affected by Snow Mold will recover on their own, it just takes some time. To speed up the recovery, the affected areas should be lightly raked, which will help the air to circulate and allow the grass to dry.  Do not rake vigorously as that can kill the grass.

In extreme cases, when all other methods of recovery have failed, your lawn may need to have an application of fungicide to stop the growth of the disease, and have the affected areas reseeded.

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Call us today to get on our Lawn Fertilization and Weed Control schedule.

For more information on Lawn Fertilization and Weed Control, or any of our other services, please visit our website – www.deertickguard.com

The Benefits of Pre-emergent Weed Control

Why use a  Pre-emergent weed control for your lawn? Many weeds that infest your lawn in the summer survive the winter months as seeds hidden in the top 1/2 inch of soil. Crabgrass is the most prevalent and famous of these invasives, but there are also many others such as Oxalis, bitter cress, spurge, and chickweed to name a few. These weed seeds begin to grow as soon as the ground warms and begin to emerge about the time the forsythia are done blooming.

Before this time, and before the weed seedlings emerge from the soil in the spring, an application of “Pre emergent” should be applied to stop these lawn destroyers before they have a chance to take hold. Applied correctly, this pre-emergent weed control barrier (thinner than a sheet of cellophane) stops newly emerging weeds from reaching the surface but does not hurt your existing lawn. If this barrier is put down too late it won’t be able to do its job as the weeds will already be “emerged” and starting their steady spread through your yard.

Weeds (crabgrass in particular) often out compete your lawn for sunshine, vital nutrients and moisture. This makes stopping them early in the season even more important and more effective than trying to kill them once they get established. There are several steps to a successful lawn care program, but none  as crucial or time-sensitive as this pre- emptive spring strike against your lawn’s weedy enemies.

 

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Call us today to get on our Lawn Fertilization and Weed Control schedule.

For more information on Lawn Fertilization and Weed Control, or any of our other services, please visit our website – www.deertickguard.com

How To Prevent Summer Pests from Damaging Your Lawn

Lawn damage can occur at any time of the year, but the hot, dry weather conditions in the summer can often cause your lawn to be more susceptible to diseases and pests.  A healthy, well-maintained lawn is better able to resist these problems.

What lawn pests are common in our area?

White Grubs

Grubs

White grubs are the larvae stage of the Japanese Beetle.  They damage your lawn by feeding on grass roots near the surface of the lawn or just below the thatch layer, which causes the lawn to wilt, turn brown and die.

How do you know if you have grubs?  Moles, racoons and skunks like to eat grubs, so if you see them digging up your lawn, chances are, they’re looking for grubs. You can also identify the problem by pulling on the affected area of the lawn – if it rolls up like a carpet, most likely there are grubs present.

A properly timed application of grub control will prevent the destruction that these pests can cause.

grub-life-cycle

Chinch Bugs

Website - Chinch Bugs

Chinch bugs feed on your grass and cause damage to it by taking away grass fluids and injecting it with toxins that cause it to turn brown and die.

How do you know if you have chinch bugs?  Chinch bugs are very small in size, about 1/16 – 1/5th of an inch long, so it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to spot them easily.  You’ll know you’ve got them because of the damage they’ll leave behind, such as patches of lawn that first change to yellow, then turn brown.  Most damage is likely to appear near paved areas and hot, sunny areas.

Lawn Sod Webworms

Website - Lawn Sod Webworms

A sod webworm or ‘lawn moth’ is a general term which encompasses numerous species of caterpillars that infest lawns, including blue grass sod webworm, burrowing sod webworm, and the silver-striped sod webworm. They damage your lawn by feeding on the leaves and stems of the grass, just above the crown, which causes brown patches.  Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine Fescue, Bentgrass, and Buffalo Grass are examples of turfgrasses which are susceptible to larval damage.

How do you know if you have sod webworms?  The damage from the sod webworm often shows up as brown patches in the lawn, about the size of a baseball. In some cases, the brown patches are punctured with holes the size of a pencil, which are caused by birds searching for the webworms.  The most severe damage usually occurs in July and August.   Damaged areas do not always turn not yellow before turning brown.  Most damage is likely to appear near paved areas and hot, sunny areas that are difficult to water.

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Call us today to get on our Fertilization and Weed & Insect Control schedule.

For more information on Lawn Fertilization, Weed & Insect Control, or any of our other services, please visit our website – www.deertickguard.com

Dandelions Are Pretty…….But Not In Your Lawn

Dandelions, like some other perennial weeds, such as sweet violet, are pretty when they’re growing where you want them to.  This isn’t the case when they’ve taken root in the middle of your lawn.

Dandelions

What do we know about the dandelion?

  • The dandelion is photosensitive; its flower opens in the morning and closes at night.
  • Dandelions have the longest flowering season of any plant.
  • Dandelion is used as an ingredient in some wines and root beer.
  • The entire dandelion is edible.  They are high in Vitamins A, C and K, Calcium and Iron.
  • On a breezy day, dandelion seeds can be transported miles from where they originated.
  • The dandelion does not need to be pollinated to form seeds.
  • Dandelions are known for their herbal remedies.
  • The dandelion’s bright yellow color is used for making dye.
  • A good dandelion tea is used for its calming effects.
  • The dandelion can reach a height of up to 17 inches.
  • We can get rid of them for you with our weed control program.

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

For information on Weed Control, Lawn Fertilization, or any of our other services, please visit our website –http://www.deertickguard.com/

What is Thatch?

Spring and Fall are the times of year that you may hear the word “Thatch” being used quite often in reference to your lawn  But what is thatch exactly?

Thatch is a layer of grass stems, roots, clippings, and other organic debris that settles on the ground and builds up faster than it is being broken down. It develops beneath the soil, so you cannot see it.  Some thatch (1/2″ or less) is good because it provides insulation from extreme temperatures and changes in soil conditions. Too much thatch can choke your lawn, preventing vital nutrients, water and oxygen from reaching your lawn’s root system; this leaves your lawn susceptible to disease, drought and lawn pests.

How can you breakdown thatch and relieve soil compaction?

You can have your lawn either Dethatched or have an Aeration service.

Lawn Dethatching, which is usually done in the Spring, can be either performed by hand raking, or by running a power raking machine over your lawn. The power raking machine has vertical blades that will cut into your lawn, breaking up the thatch, which can then be raked and removed.

An Aeration service, which is usually performed in the Fall, is the process of using a machine to pull 1/2″ wide ‘plugs’ of soil from the lawn. These plugs are typically 2.75″ deep and spaced about 6″ apart.  When combined with an over-seeding service, it gives the seed direct contact with the soil, which is ideal for germination.

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.   Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Call us today to get your property on our schedule for a Dethatching or Aeration service.

For more information on this or any of our services, please visit our website – http://www.deertickguard.com/

De-Icing Products and Your Lawn

Winter is coming to an end, which means warmer temperatures and melting snow.  The melting snow may reveal an unwelcome surprise: lawn damage from de-icing products. De-icers that have made their way onto your lawn can burn it, leaving brown patches bordering the street, driveway and walkways where the products are used.

What are de-icing products?  De-icing products are chemical agents, such as rock salt, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, which are used to melt snow and ice, making their removal much easier.

How do the de-icing products get onto the lawn?  They are applied to your lawn by town plows when they’re treating the roads, or by you when you’re applying the products to your driveway and walkway.  They’re also get onto the lawn by the plows when they push the salty snow onto your property, or by you when you snow blow or shovel the snow and throw it onto your lawn.

Can the damage be repaired?  The damage can be repaired, but the smaller amount of de-icers that are on the lawn, the less severe the damage will be. Unfortunately, you won’t know the extent of the damage until the lawns start greening up in the Spring.

Minor lawn damage will most likely recover on its own as the de-icers are flushed out by melting snow and spring rains.  In a severe case, the damaged areas may need to be raked out and reseeded.

Protecting your Plants, Valuable. Protecting your Family, Priceless!

For more information about us or any of our services, please visit our website –   http://www.deertickguard.com/

Facts About Fleas

Fleas are a nuisance…….they bite, they cause itching, and they carry disease.  Once they find their way onto your pets and into your home, they can be difficult to get rid of.  Did you know that you can have your property sprayed to reduce the population of fleas before they have a chance to come into contact with you and your pets?

Some interesting facts about fleas:

  • Fleas have 4 stages of life:  Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult.  It’s in the Adult stage that they will bite.
  • A female flea can lay 2000 eggs in her lifetime, but can not lay any eggs until after she has had her first blood meal.
  • A flea must consume its first meal within 7 days of hatching or it will die.
  • The average lifespan of a flea is from just a few days to a few months.
  • The female flea consumes 15 times her body weight in blood each day.
  • There are more than 2000 known species of fleas.  In the United States it is the Cat Flea that most affects dogs and cats.
  • Fleas are insects that jump onto their hosts (up to 4 feet!).  They do not have wings, so they can not fly.
  • Flea eggs are laid directly onto a host.  It’s when the eggs fall off of the host that the infestation is spread to other areas, such as the inside of your home.
  • For every flea that you see, there are hundreds that you don’t see, meaning that if you’re seeing fleas, then you have an infestation already.
  • Fleas are very small, only 1/12″ – 1/16″ long, making them incredibly difficult to see on your pets.
  • Fleas cause diseases, such as Flea Bite Anemia & Tape Worms.

 

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Tick control programs can be adjusted to include flea control.  Call us today to get your property on our schedule.

For more information on Flea & Tick control or any of our other services, please visit our website:  http://www.deertickguard.com/

Oh ‘Deer’, the Plants Have Been Eaten!

Have you noticed the deer hanging around in your neighborhood?  Do you think they’re just there to visit?  Most likely they’re scoping out your beautiful landscape (all-you-can-eat buffet!) and deciding what looks like the most appetizing meal for them.  Do they choose those annuals and perennials that you planted for a pop of color?  Absolutely!  They also choose to eat those established trees and shrubs, which you’ve been growing for years and are expensive to replace.  A simple meal for the deer not only ruins years of work, but also the curb appeal that you are so proud of.

Sure, you can plant flowers, shrubs and other plants that are deer resistant, but that can hinder the overall look that you’d like to see in your landscape. (When no other food is available, they’ve been known to eat deer resistant plants.) You can also put up an expensive deer fence, but do you really want to look at that in your yard?  On rare occasions, we’ve seen deer get caught inside the deer fencing, leaving your landscape vulnerable to being eaten.

Having your trees, plants, and shrubs sprayed with our all-natural deer repellent can help prevent the devastation that the deer can cause.  That’s an important reason to spray, but it’s not the only one.

Ticks are carried onto your property by deer, in addition to the smaller animals who carry them, such as mice, squirrels and chipmunks.  Each deer carries an average of 200 or more ticks, so imagine how many of those can fall off into your landscape while the deer are grazing on your plants.  Spraying the landscape will help deter the deer from coming into your yard because they know there is no food for them there, which in turn will reduce the number of ticks being introduced to your property.  Changing the feeding patterns of the deer benefits not only your plants, but also your family.

 

Protecting your Plants, Valuable. Protecting your Family, Priceless!

For more information about plant protection or any of our other services, visit our website –   http://www.deertickguard.com/

Interesting Facts About Ticks

If you live in the Northeast, you know that ticks are prevalent and that they can transmit diseases to us, but what else do you know about these nuisance pests? Here are just a few interesting and not entirely pleasant facts about ticks………..

  • Ticks are arachnids, which means that they are related to spiders, mites, chiggers and scorpions, not insects.
  • Ticks aren’t born carrying the bacteria that transmits disease – Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  They obtain the bacteria by feeding off of hosts, such as mice and birds.  When feeding on humans, and our canine & feline pets, the bacteria are then passed to them. Some ticks can be the carrier of more than one of these diseases, thus transmitting multiple diseases with one single bite.
  • There are more than 800 species of ticks worldwide, but only the deer tick (black-legged tick) carries the bacteria that transmits Lyme Disease.
  • Ticks don’t fall from trees; they also don’t jump or fly.  They crawl up from the ground, or from the ends of twigs & low growing plants, where they lie in wait for a host from which to feed .  So, if you find one on your back, neck or head, that means it has been crawling on you for hours.
  • Ticks are not generally found in lawns as a properly maintained lawn is too hot and dry to sustain the tiny ticks.  They prefer to live in the cool, shady, moist woods; in ground covers, such as mulch beds and pachysandra; in stone walls; in brush, leaf and wood piles; and in fields of tall grass.
  • Ticks can find a host to feed off of through the sensing of body odor, temperature, moisture and vibrations.
  • Ticks have 4 life stages – Egg, Six-Legged Larva, Eight-Legged Nymph, and Adult.  Each stage requires them to feed off of a host for survival. Depending on the species, they have a life span of about 2 months to 2 years.
  • Female ticks can produce an average of 2500 eggs, which are usually laid under a pile of leaves.
  • In some ticks, the saliva acts like a cement.  It not only helps to hold the tick in place when it’s feeding, but it also makes the tick more difficult to remove from its host.
  • Ticks should be removed by using tweezers; pull it straight out, grasping it as closely to the host’s skin as possible. Be sure to remove the entire tick, including the head, which can be burrowed under the skin, making it difficult to see.
  • Ticks are active in temperatures 40 degrees and above, which means that during a warm, mild Winter, you’re likely to see them.
  • Tick bites can be prevented if the right measures are taken:  tick control protection for your property; thorough ticks checks after you, your family and pets have spent time outdoors; and the wearing of  treated clothing when hiking.  These are just a few ways to reduce the threat of ticks and the diseases that they carry.
Tick ID

Tick Identification Chart

Protecting your Plants, Valuable.  Protecting your Family, Priceless!

Call us today to get your property on our tick control schedule.

For more information on tick control or any of our other services, visit our website  – http://www.deertickguard.com/