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How To Fertilize Your Lawn

a homeowner fertilizing their lawn

Every homeowner wants lush, green grass in their yard. This means grass that is thick, healthy and free of weeds. Knowing how to fertilize your lawn is an important part of regular lawn maintenance. But it can be tricky knowing the right products to use and steps to follow. When should you fertilize? How often? What’s the right nutrient mix for your soil? Let’s explore these questions and more as we learn the right way to fertilize your lawn.

The first step in fertilizing your lawn is to determine the right mixture of nutrients for your grass. Warm-season grasses, like St. Augustine, bermuda and zoysia, need different fertilizer blends than cool-season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass or rye.

Most yards in southern states have warm-season grasses. These grasses grow best in warmer weather, when it’s at least 75 degrees outside. Warm-season grasses go brown and dormant in the fall if they are not … Read Full Post »

Types of Crape Myrtles

a miami crape myrtle which is a type of crape myrtle that is tall

Throughout late spring and summer, you may notice trees with multiple slender trunks that have smooth bark, green leaves and branches bursting with clusters of frilly blooms. These trees are crape myrtles, and they add gorgeous splashes of color to any landscape. There are many different types of crape myrtles, so their flowers can range from white to blush pink to cranberry red and even vibrant purple.

These trees also do well in small, confined spaces. They can thrive even when planted in a small strip of yard between the sidewalk and the street, for example. Their versatility makes them a great addition to almost any outdoor space.

In some yards, crape myrtles look more like bushes or shrubs than trees. This may be because they are still young, but it could also be due to the particular variety. The different types of crape myrtles grow to varying heights, ranging from just … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Fertilizers

Springtime means that homeowners are fertilizing their lawns. If you want to keep your lawn looking its best this summer, you will want to get an effective fertilizer.

Still, there are so many different fertilizers to choose from. So how do you know which types of fertilizer you need for your lawn?

The main reason you need to fertilize your lawn is to improve soil nutrition. Soil alone does not contain enough nutrients like potassium, phosphorus or nitrogen. Commercial fertilizers are labeled according to their NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) levels. These nutrients are the keys to healthy, green grass.

Keep reading to learn more about different fertilizers and which ones may be best for your lawn. You will also learn about plant food versus fertilizer and whether the best time to fertilize is before or after rain. With a better knowledge of fertilizer types, the grass will always be greener on your … Read Full Post »

Types of Bees in Texas

bees on a piece of wood

Springtime in Texas is an enjoyable season to get outside and relax in your yard. But as a homeowner, you may be concerned by the presence of bees around your house. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that most bees are not dangerous for humans and play an important role in our ecosystem.

By understanding more about the different types of bees that live in Texas, you will be better prepared to keep your family safe from bee stings.

The Most Common Types of Bees in Texas

Across Texas, there are many different types of bees, including some that are native and others that migrated here. All bees may appear the same from a distance, but up close, there is huge diversity in the bee population.

Some of the most common types of bees in Texas are honey bees, bumblebees, mason bees and carpenter bees. Some of these bees prefer their time alone while … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Bed Bug Casings

bed bug casings and feces in a corner of a dresser

Bed bugs…just thinking about them is enough to make most folks itchy. Cimex lectularius, or bed bugs, are small insects, about the size of an apple seed. Typically, they are brown in color with a flat and oval shape. Like ticks, bed bugs are parasites. They feed on blood and can swell to considerably larger sizes when feeding, which can last up to ten minutes.

Part of what makes these pests difficult to eradicate is their ability to go months at a time without feeding. In the right conditions, bed bugs can go for months without a meal. Additionally, these pests have become resilient to many of the products on the market. To make matter worse, females can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime. And, they begin reproducing after only a month, laying eggs three or more times per year.

If you think you may be dealing with bed bugs, look … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Bed Bug Eggs

two bed bugs next to an egg

If you wake up in the morning with red bites on your body, your home may have bed bugs. Bed bugs can be a major hassle to homeowners, and this is a much more common issue than you might expect.

But how would you know if your home has bed bugs or other pest problems, like mosquitoes? By better understanding the appearance of bed bug eggs, the life cycle of bed bugs and the habits of adult bed bugs, you will be empowered to address this problem.

It’s best to get professional bed bug control help as soon as you suspect bed bugs. Experts can put a stop to bed bugs so that you and your family can sleep in peace again.

If you are asking yourself questions like, “Do bed bugs fly?” or “How do bed bugs get in my house?” keep reading.

Learning the Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are unique … Read Full Post »

Identifying & Controlling Subterranean Termites

subterranean termites in soil

Subterranean termite damage costs American homeowners billions of dollars every year. These pests are discreet and it’s hard to spot the signs of an infestation unless you’re a trained professional. Many times, homeowners are unaware a problem has developed until a full-blown population has been established. So, what can you do if you think you have a subterranean termite problem or want to prevent a termite problem?

The first step to determine if there is a problem is to learn more about subterranean termites. It helps to understand the appearance, behavior and signs of these pests.

What Do Subterranean Termites Look Like?

Subterranean termites are separated into three different castes: reproductives, workers and soldiers. The reproductives include the king, the queen and the winged alates. The queen is the largest termite in the nest. She stays hidden underground, so you will likely never spot her. The alates, which are pictured above, are also … Read Full Post »

Toilet Bubbles When Flushed: What’s Going On?

a toilet in a house

If your toilet starts making a gurgling noise, or there is bubbling when you flush it, you could be facing issues with your plumbing or septic system.

Slow draining, bubbling or gurgling toilets are common signs of a blockage somewhere in the pipes. These are warning signs of bigger, and even catastrophic plumbing issues down the road, as drainage is blocked and mounting pressure begins to damage your plumbing.

Toilet Clogs

The most common issue behind a noisy or bubbling toilet is a clog somewhere in the system. Waste or other non-flushable materials can get caught and continue to build up, restricting flow and leading to a backed up or overflowing toilet or even pipe damage.

Because of both the expenses and unsanitary conditions this can cause, possible toilet clogs should be dealt with at the first sign of trouble. A few bubbles may not seem like much at first, but they can be … Read Full Post »

What To Do if You Find White Ants in Your Home

a termite that can confused as a white ant

If you’ve found white ants in your home, you’re probably wondering what to do. Are they pests that need to be treated? Is there a product you can use to get rid of them? The important thing to understand is that white ants don’t actually exist. If you see what looks like white ants in or near your home, what you’ve actually found is termites.

Different ant species do come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, black and even yellow. There is no such thing as white ants, however. What some people call “white ants” are actually termites. Depending on which type they are, adult termites are either black or white. They do look a lot like ants, and it’s common to confuse the two. Termites need identification and treatment as soon as possible because they can cause major structural damage to your home.

Subterranean termites are the most common … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Smell Blood?

a mosquito on a pair of jeans

Being a homeowner is overwhelming. There are so many details to keep up with—both inside and outside of your house. After a long day of household chores, the last thing you want is to deal with pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are both annoying and dangerous. You deserve time to enjoy outdoor relaxation without the threat of itchy bites. Even worse, you do not want to expose yourself or your family to diseases like Zika or the West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes are a common problem for homeowners across the United States. Are you a homeowner who has been dealing with a mosquito problem in your yard? You may be wondering what is attracting these pests to your home and to your skin.

It’s common to hear that mosquitoes can smell the “sweetness” of human blood, but is this idea actually true? In reality, mosquitoes zero in on the smell of your sweat, not your blood.

It … Read Full Post »