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What Do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

a person holding fertilizer

Figuring out fertilization on your own without the support of a lawn care specialist can be challenging for homeowners. Fertilizers at a home and garden store include a list of numbers that homeowners may be unfamiliar with.

If all this feels a bit too overwhelming, consider reaching out to a lawn care expert. A specialist knows how to fertilize your lawn best and can put in place a lawn care schedule.

What is the N-P-K Ratio, and What Do The Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

Many homes in the United States do not have soil that is healthy enough to sustain the perfect lawn or garden. For this reason, homeowners usually need to add nutrients to their yards.

Using natural or synthetic (chemical) fertilizer increases the nutrient count of your yard. Fertilizer works with bacteria and fungi in the soil to create an ideal environment for your plants to grow. Natural fertilizers are more effective … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Wasps in Oklahoma

a paper wasp which is a type of wasp in oklahoma

If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you know how painful it can be. Regardless of whether they have been stung before, most people go out of their way to avoid wasps. There are several different types of wasps in Oklahoma. Many build nests near human activity, which can make it hard to stay out of their way. This is why it’s good to know which types of wasps are aggressive toward humans, and which are less likely to bother you. It’s also helpful to know how to keep wasps away from your property.

Although some types of wasps look a lot like bees, they have many characteristics that set them apart. One is that, unlike bees, many types of wasps are solitary insects. Also, whereas bees can only sting once, wasps can sting multiple times. And, you can usually tell the difference between a bee hive and a wasp … Read Full Post »

What Are the Benefits of Water Softeners?

a shower head

So what does “hard” water really mean? 

When rain falls, it is pure water. Once it seeps into the ground, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water that has collected a large amount of such minerals is called “hard.” In fact, about 85 percent of water in the United States can be classified as hard water.

Is a water softener worth it? It’s important to first see if you are noticing the signs of hard water. Seeing stains on your sinks and tubs or on your kitchen utensils? It’s a good bet you have hard water. Seeing scale deposits on kitchen appliances and plumbing is another sign. Are you having to use more soap than usual? Hard water doesn’t lather well, so you have to use more. Hard water will also face your clothing and make your skin and hair feel dry after a shower. 

Water also has a continuum of … Read Full Post »

How Fast Do Bed Bugs Move?

two squirming bed bugs

If you notice small, itchy bites appearing on your skin or your family’s skin, you no doubt have questions about what is causing them. Maybe you have seen little brownish oval insects flitting around a bed or a couch. Surely these can’t be bed bugs, can they?

Bed bugs do not discriminate when choosing their meal. They go where the food is, and for these little bugs, blood is their food source. Having an infestation doesn’t reflect housekeeping habits. It simply means bed bugs have found their way to a new meal ticket.

Before assuming that bed bugs are your problem, it’s best to get an inspection from a licensed pest control professional. There are a couple of other insects that look similar, including some spiders, carpet beetles, booklice, cockroach nymphs, fleas and ticks. You want to be sure any treatment you undertake is effective.

One sign that your visitors might be bed … Read Full Post »

How To Start an Herb Garden

an herb garden

An herb garden makes a beautiful, fragrant and useful addition to any yard. If you don’t know how to start an herb garden, it can seem like a daunting task. But starting an herb garden is actually a perfect project for beginner gardeners. There are many herbs that are very easy to grow and care for. You can use them in cooking, making delicious drinks or even in homemade flower arrangements. Here are the basics of starting an herb garden, to get you started on your gardening journey.

To start your herb garden, you’ll need just a few basic things: a space for the garden, sunlight, soil that is good for growing herbs and seeds or starter plants. Yes, it really can be as simple as that!

You can grow herbs right in the ground, or in an existing garden bed. Whether you’re building a new herb garden or using an existing … Read Full Post »

Hammerhead Worm in Texas

a hammerhead worm on a driveway

You’re digging in your garden or spending time on the patio, and you spot what looks like a long, weird earthworm. Its head is reminiscent of a hammerhead shark, which is where it got its name. What you have spotted is actually a hammerhead worm. Finding a hammerhead worm in Texas is unfortunate because these pests prey on beneficial earthworms. They can also be tough to eliminate. So what should you do if you find one?

The first thing to know is that you should not try to kill it by chopping it in half with a shovel. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s real: When the body of a hammerhead worm is divided, it will regenerate into separate living worms. This is called fragmentation, and it is actually how this species reproduces. Its numbers multiply when it is cut into pieces.

Another important thing to know is that you … Read Full Post »

Bumblebee Versus Carpenter Bee

For most people, when you hear or see a bee buzzing about, the first instinct is to get away. No one wants to get stung, and some people are allergic to a bee’s sting. But, not all bees are the same. Consider two common types you likely encounter around your home: bumblebees and carpenter bees.

Bumblebee Nests

You have probably seen large bees with yellow and black stripes flitting around shrubs and flowers. These are most likely bumblebees, which can also be white and black. They have hairy bodies right down to their bellies and love to spend time with other bumblebees.

These bees usually make their nests underground, either in soil or under trash, like dumps. Unlike other types of bees, bumblebees don’t make enough honey to sell, though they do make some. These bees get almost all of their food from flowers and are known to be helpful … Read Full Post »

My Dog Has Fleas: What To Do in the House?

Temperatures are rising, bringing more opportunities for outdoor activities and fun in the sun. It isn’t just people and pets that love to be outside and active in warmer weather. Fleas love it, too!

Fleas thrive when temperatures hover between 65-80 degrees and humidity sits between 75 percent and 85 percent. These pests are a summer problem in some parts of the country and almost a year-round menace for more southern states.

Different species of fleas can be found hopping around your home, your yard, your pets and you. You can find dog fleas, cat fleas, rabbit fleas and human fleas, named for the species’ preferred host. However, any type of flea can infest more than one kind of host.

How Do You Know Your Pet Has Fleas?

An obvious way to know Fido has fleas is if you see little dark specks in their fur or tiny brownish insects hopping around on them. … Read Full Post »

Where Do Roaches Come From?

an American cockroach in a home

If you turn on a light in the middle of the night and see a cockroach scurrying out of sight, you may be wondering: where do roaches come from? Why is this pest in my home? Is this a sign of an infestation?

To answer these questions, we must first determine which type of roach is in your home. While there are over 70 species of cockroaches that live in America, there are two types that you’re likely to see in your home. On your property, you’ll most likely see American cockroaches and German cockroaches.

The American Cockroach

The reddish-brown adult American cockroach, which is pictured above, averages a body length of around two inches. This roach has lighter-colored edges along the pronotum. Males tend to appear larger than females. But, this is most often due to the fact that the male’s wings extend past their abdomen while the female’s wings do not.

American … Read Full Post »

How Many Sprinklers per Zone?

a green yard due to having enough sprinklers per zone

Most homeowners would expect installing sprinklers to help their yard thrive in the summertime. Yet the wrong type of irrigation or too much water can damage your lawn. That is why it is important to learn more about sprinkler systems before making a major change to your yard’s irrigation.

Before you install a new sprinkler system, you will have to decide how many sprinklers per zone. Considering the different types of sprinkler heads and understanding the best times to run sprinklers will also help you make the right choice for your lawn.

Some homeowners feel confident enough to redo their sprinkler system on their own. However, it is often more convenient and affordable to consult a sprinkler repair company. Lawn care experts can help keep your yard looking great all year round, even in the heat of the summer.

Figuring Out How Many Sprinklers to Install

Many different factors come into play when deciding … Read Full Post »