Home owners guide to cutting and maintaining your lawn

Homeowner advice- Do you mow your lawn?

Homeowner tips for mowing your lawn. If I missed a subject or you would like to add something email me at owner@totalsprayllc.com.

How high should I mow my grass?
  • St Augustine- We recommend mowing at the highest setting on your lawn mower. The grass should be four to five inches after cutting.
  • Bahiagrass- We recommend mowing at three inches. When Bahia goes to seed it may require making two passes.
  • Empire zoysia- We recommend mowing at 3 inches. Zoysia will require extra watering during dry periods. This type of turf will go into dormancy or protection mode during dry conditions.
  • Bermuda should be mowed around 3 inches.
How often do I sharpen my blade?

We recommend monthly during growing season or at least 3 times per year. Dull blades are harmful to the grass and can cause the lawn to look brown.

Should I bag my clippings?

You should not bag St Augustine grass unless directed by a fertilization technician. If you have an excessive thatch issue or weed issue you may temporarily bag the clippings. This should be a short-term solution. These issues could be caused by overwatering or improper fertilization.

Bagging clippings will take away important nutrients from the lawn.  Leaving the clippings could reduce the required fertilizer by 25 percent.


Fertilization and Treatment Questions

I have a fertilization company, should I apply products to boost the results?
Fertilization of St. Augustine Grass
Fertilization

If you are paying a professional, you should never apply products in between treatments. You should trust he is giving your lawn everything it needs.

You could damage the lawn by applying more products than needed. It is also harmful to the environment. Fertilization companies follow IPM to ensure we do not damage our waterways and our natural resources.

Another factor to consider is if the products have a different mode of action they could cancel each other out and neither product will work. Some products are designed to attract the insect and other products are designed to repel the pest.

I pay a fertilization company, why does my lawn have bugs?

All responsible fertilization companies practice IPM. This means we only kill turf destroying pest when they have reached a destructive level. If we overuse pesticides the pest will grow immune. We also need a couple destructive bugs to attract the natural enemies.  The big-eyed bug is a natural enemy of chinch bugs and is mistaken for chinch bugs.

Should I aerate my lawn?

If you have compacted areas in your turf, you could benefit from a core aeration. It will allow water and nutrients to enter the soil. It will also help with puddling and water runoff.

Thank you for reading a Total Spraying Post,

John Hesford (904) 982-2500

Termite treatment vs. Termite bait stations

I always recommend a termite treatment over bait station protection. We do use bait stations in addition to our treatment. If we have seen termites in the area we will use stations for monitoring and treatment purposes. They have different types of bait stations.

The red-eye station allows you to see if there is activity and apply treatment without touching the trap. This is why we dislike the competitions stations. They require pulling the trap out of the ground for inspection. This can cause technician error.

One example would be if the technician has something on his hands that can contaminate the trap. A smoker touching the traps could make the termites avoid the trap. With no treatment protecting your home, the termites will go past the trap and straight for your home.

Why does the competition use one trap exclusively?

They sign an agreement to exclusively use this one trap. This means if there was a better treatment they could not use the better method. We will never let a product company control our treatment methods. When it comes to treatment and detection I want to use every tool in my tool belt.

Are they checking every trap?

The one thing I learned while doing landscaping is we cover the traps up. Spacing is very important when it comes to detection. If the inspector misses a trap because it was covered up, it could cause them to miss the signs of termites on your property.

Most companies charge for missing or damaged stations. The parts can only be purchased by these companies.

What is in the competitions traps?

They use a cellulosic (wood) base to attract foraging termites. They only apply treatment if they find active termites. This means multiple and potentially costly visits, that gets passed on to there customers.

Continous barrier vs discontinuous barrier?

This is the most important question. Do you want to trust your biggest investment to a continuous barrier versus traps that have gaps between the traps?

Why use a nonrepellent termiticide?

When a termite comes into contact with a nonrepellent they spread it to the rest of the colony.  The product has a growth regulator that controls the termite growth. This will keep them from reproducing and growing the colony.

How long will the treatment last?

It depends on the type of chemical. They typically last 5 to 10 years. Some factors can affect the time the product will maintain its strength. Flooding is one example, we recommend reporting any flooding on your property.

How is the treatment installed on my property?

The first step is to dig a continuous barrier around your home. The driveway and some porches will require drilling and inject the chemical. After the treatment, we will patch the holes. The patch will depend on the drilling surface. We have foam, plastic, and concrete patches.

Thank you for reading the Total Spraying  post,

John Hesford (904) 982-2500

Roach Issues

Tips for German Roach infestation issues.

Roach control starts in the kitchen area, I always start by pulling out the refrigerator and stove. I vacuum and clean out under the appliances.  I spray under the appliances and let the area dry before pushing back the appliances. We place glue traps behind appliances to monitor the area. If your home has been treated in the past, remove all the old bait in the cabinets. Vacuum all dead bugs in the cabinets and wipe with cleaners. Apply new bait to cabinets and electric outlets. Make sure to hide the bait in the corner of the cabinets.

 

Roach Bait
Roach Bait

For the rest of the living area. Remove all trash, old papers, and clutter. Wipe all baseboards and vacuum all floors. We will apply bait behind the electrical outlets in all living areas and bathrooms.

 

We offer cleanouts for roach and bug infestations by a licensed pest control technician. Call Melanie at (904) 982-7583 or visit totalcleaningllc.com.

Why do store products fail?
    It may work the first treatment but over time the pest in your home will grow immune. All pest companies practice product rotation. A lot of products have the same mode of action or similar ingredients. You would need to read the label to make sure the competitor’s product had a different mode of action.
Am I poisoning my household?

The products on the store shelves are outdated and no longer useful to pest control companies. Developing pesticides is very costly, manufacturers sell to pest companies first. As products stop working the manufacturer re-labels the product and they sell it to homeowners. This is why it is important to hire a professional.  The products are commonly misused by homeowners. The most common mistake is believing a product is safe because it is natural. The natural products are not put through the extensive testing that other pesticides are put through.  Tobacco is natural, but when combined with chemicals it becomes unsafe. The same can be true with natural pest control products. Hiring a professional is recommended when using any pesticide in your home or on your lawn. Saving money can cost more than doing the job right the first time.

What makes your products safer?

We practice IPM (Integrated pest management). All pest control companies follow these guidelines. To keep your lawn, home, and business a safe environment. The pressure of maintaining a perfect space has caused us to overuse pesticides.

There are 5 rules in IPM, the most important rule for our customers to understand is the chemical control rule.  Only using chemicals when necessary. This means not blanketing pesticides over the entire area.  Also targeting the pest causing damage or the pest you are trying to remove from the environment. Some bugs in the lawn are beneficial or a natural enemy of the damaging bug. This would be the biological rule.

What makes your company the best?

We are locally owned and invest our money in high-end products. Continuing education is also an important factor, this allows us to have highly trained technicians. Long-term employees that like coming to work is the secret to my success. Visit our website Totalsprayllc.com.