7 Elements of a Perfect and Happy Lawn

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A Short and Complete Guide to Nurturing North Texas Yards

If lawn care chores are wearing you out, you might be trying too hard. Nurturing a Dallas landscape takes some effort, but why make it complicated? You can keep that yard perfectly happy with seven simple steps.

1. Understand the Grass – Just knowing what kind of turf you’re growing isn’t enough. Bermuda grass doesn’t like shade, and St. Augustine is a heavy drinker. Whether it’s buffalo, centipede or zoysia, show that lawn some love by learning about its preferences.

2. Watch Your Watering – Break the habit of watering on set days. Slow, deep soakings encourage healthy root systems, so wait until the yard looks a little thirsty. Whether you irrigate with a sprinkler or an automated system, water early in the morning for maximum effect.

3. Feed on Schedule – Most North Texas lawns like their nutrients served every two months from … Read Full Post »

When a Pest Infestation Has Gone Too Far

Pests may be par for the course in Texas, but infestations are still serious business. Find out when it’s time to call in professional pest control.

From pesky mosquitoes to curious rodents to ominous spiders, pests are a fact of daily life in the hot and humid Dallas area, but that doesn’t mean you should keep your guard down when it comes to pest control. While seeing an occasional critter is no big deal, it can sometimes be the first sign of a growing problem behind the scenes. How do you tell the difference between a stray and a more serious infestation? Watching for the warning signs below is a good place to start.

Dead Pests

If you keep seeing dead pests throughout your home or around your windows, there’s a good chance that a living colony is thriving somewhere on your property.

Structural Damage

The most destructive pests use homes as nesting grounds, leaving … Read Full Post »

Avoiding Summer Damage to Your Lawn

Practice proper lawn care to maintain healthy grass

When the heat of the Dallas summer meets high-traffic outdoor activity, your lawn can suffer. Try these lawn care tips to bring your outdoor environment back to life and keep it looking beautiful all summer.

Develop a Watering Routine

The general recommendation for watering is to give your lawn one inch of water per week unless the weather is extremely hot. Water in the morning before the heat begins to build. Use a sprinkler or irrigation system to get the water deep into the ground and give the grass the moisture it needs to thrive.

Mow Smart

Warm-season grasses should be cut to a height of two to three inches. Shorter grass browns in the heat and sustains damage more easily. Moisture loss increases when grass is shredded rather than cut clean, so sharpen the mower blades before the season begins. Avoid the urge to mow frequently. … Read Full Post »

Why Birds in the Trees Are Bad for Business

Nuisance birds can deter customers and hurt profits

Birds can be a beautiful part of the landscape, but they become problematic when crowded into close quarters with people. Nuisance birds can cause damage to your company property and drive away customers, necessitating costly control measures that eat into your bottom line.

Common Pest Birds

Several nuisance birds populate urban areas, including:

  • Pigeons
  • Starlings
  • House sparrows

All three species prefer to nest in sheltered, elevated areas such as window ledges. Over time, birds may become dependent on people for food and living space, making them more difficult to remove.

Problems With Nuisance Birds

Large numbers of birds gathered in public areas can cause a lot of trouble. Aside from getting in the way and sometimes reaching numbers that border on creepy, flocks of nuisance birds leave behind large amounts of droppings. These not only deface your building and property but can also cause structural damage such as rust and corrosion … Read Full Post »

Millipedes and Centipedes: Does the Difference Matter?

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Which Arthropods Should Lead to a Pest Control Visit?

Millipedes and centipedes are both lumped under the heading of Arthropod, but this doesn’t mean that they should be treated equally. In fact, millipedes can actually be beneficial if you have a garden, but centipedes are harmful and should be dealt with quickly. Many people get confused about the physical differences between these two creatures, so it’s a good idea to take some time to familiarize yourself with them so that you can instantly determine whether or not it’s necessary to contact a professional pest control company.

How Can I Tell Centipedes and Millipedes Apart?

Centipedes have long antennae and one pair of visibly extended legs per body segment. These Arthropods are also fast runners, predatory in their eating habits and able to bite as a defensive tactic. Meanwhile, millipedes have short antennae and two pairs of legs in all but three of their … Read Full Post »

As Temperatures Cool, Rodents Move In

Rodent Control Tips for Dallas Area Homeowners

Winter gives Dallas residents some much-needed respite from the brutal heat of summer time, but cooler temperatures invite rodent issues that need to be proactively addressed. After all, rats, mice and other rodents are just as interested in surviving the winter as you are, so it makes sense for them to seek out a warm, dry shelter such as your attic or interior walls. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to prevent rodent wintering from becoming a problem on your property.

How Can I Protect My Home?

The first thing that you need to do is inspect your property for any holes or gaps that’ll invite rodents to move into your house for the winter. This inspection needs to include the entire exterior of your home, your closets, drains, cabinets and all areas where your walls and floors join together. Make sure that … Read Full Post »

When Ants Fight, Are You the Winner?

Figuring the odds on fire vs. crazy

When you first heard about their amazing ability to kick the stuffing out of fearsome fire ants, you were probably impressed with crazy ants. Since the early 2000s, this invasive new species has established its own ferocious reputation, and homeowners from Houston to Dallas are caught in the middle. Should you take sides?

Different Nesting Tactics

Both ant species hitchhiked here from South America where they were already mortal enemies. Perhaps the rivalry began over homebuilding styles. Fire ants take a traditional approach by constructing large mounds in backyards. As their population grows, they branch out with those familiar dirt piles that mean trouble for bare human feet. Crazy ants start out in the lawn, but they aren’t satisfied with life outside. These deranged pests push their colonies into home interiors by nesting in walls and crawl spaces, and they enjoy setting up house in electrical … Read Full Post »

Restaurant Team Spirit: Your Staff and Pest Prevention

Serving up smart pest control tips

Folks in Dallas enjoy dining out, and their love for delicious food and great service keeps you in business. As hard as you work to make your restaurant profitable, a pest infestation can ruin inventory, run off customers, and put a dent in your reputation. Prevention is your best defense, so get your staff involved in a team effort against expensive invaders.

Back-of-House Strategies

Fresh inventory gets checked in against daily and weekly orders, but kitchen staff should give everything a second inspection before moving it to storage or the walk-in. Anything that pushes food costs over 35% sets off alarms, so there’s no room in the budget for losses from pest contamination. Red-flag meal moths around flour sacks and cockroaches in produce boxes. Stress the importance of rotating inventory, regularly sweeping out storage, and mopping floors after every prep.

Front-of-House Strategies

Your waitstaff knows the restaurant’s layout from … Read Full Post »

The Joys of Urban Farming in Dallas

Growing your own food no matter what the season

Did you know that fall and early winter in Dallas are great times to grow some of your favorite vegetables? Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can take advantage of the mild Texas climate to enjoy fresh produce all year.

Home Garden Options

The best place for a garden is somewhere that gets a lot of sun, contains fertile soil with good drainage, and can be watered easily as needed. You can plant in your front yard, backyard, or even in containers on your porch.

Urban gardening requires getting creative with the space you have available. This may mean utilizing window boxes and hanging baskets or building raised beds. As long as you can give your plants the light, water, and nutrients they need, you’ll be on track for a bountiful harvest.

Benefits of Gardening

Making space to garden in and around your … Read Full Post »

Nature’s Smallest Carpenters

Termites: tearing down, not building up

Termites are familiar to every homeowner in the Dallas area. Even if you haven’t personally experienced them in your home, it’s likely that you have a vague idea of the damage that they can cause. It’s important to note, however, that not all termites are the same. Our region is home to a number of endemic termite species, each of which have specific life cycles, patterns of behavior and consequences for local homeowners.

Types of Termite Species in Texas

There are a number of termites that are endemic to Texas, including:

•    Desert dampwood termites

•    Eastern subterranean termites

•    Formosan subterranean termites

•    Arid-land subterranean termites

•    Western drywood termites

Not all of these termites are present in the Metroplex region. Dallas-Fort Worth lies near the boundary between the subtropical forests of East Texas and the semi-arid steppes of the southern Great Plains and Llano Estacado regions. The climate here is too … Read Full Post »