Fluctuating temperatures and rainy weather have led to a hotbed of ant activity across Florida, and not just in yards, but also in homes.
Bob Belmont, Board Certified Entomologist, and the Pest Prevention Technical & Training Director for Massey Services, notes that ants are year-round pests across the Southeastern states and ant activity can be relentless, even throughout the winter months.
We may easily spot a trail of ants indoors because ants such as the Ghost ant, which typically nest outside in plant materials near a building’s foundation, can form colonies in the thousands in wall voids, behind cabinetry and in dark voids.
White-footed ant colonies may also reside in walls and under attic insulation, though they are most commonly found in decaying plant materials or within palm fronds, leaf litter and hollow plant stems.
Argentine ants and Caribbean Crazy ants can also move indoors in search of food and water, especially if disturbed by heavy rainfall.
Massey Services can help prevent these ants from taking up permanent residence. Contact us for a free pest inspection today and learn more about our Pest Prevention.
Where we live, it’s not a matter of if your home will get termites, it’s when. That’s why it’s so important to have a termite protection program for your home, backed by a strong guarantee.
Additionally, there are several steps you can take as a homeowner to make your home less conducive for termites. Here are a few tips to help prevent termites from taking over your home:
- Repair any water leaks and moisture problems. Water damaged walls, leaks in roofs, attics, bathrooms and sink areas create favorable conditions for termites to flourish.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. Keep gutters free flowing to avoid clogs that may eventually lead to water damage.
- Drain water away from exterior walls and foundation. Make sure drain spouts and air conditioner drainage lines flow away from the home. Use splash blocks to prevent soil erosion around the foundation.
- Keep shrubs, trees and wood mulch away from the foundation. Shrubs, trees and mulch provide shelter and moisture, which attract termites. Prune trees and shrubs away from exterior walls and make sure mulch is no closer than six inches from the foundation.
- Monitor irrigation systems. Ensure sprinklers are adjusted properly to spray away from the foundation, walls, etc.
- Keep stucco and wood or vinyl siding above the finished soil level. Ensure there is at least a six-inch clearance; otherwise, termites gain easy access into your home.
While many states in our country are threatened by more cold weather and snow, we have a different kind of threat in the Southeast – termites. Mid-February to early May marks Subterranean termite swarm season. And now is the time to be vigilant against a pest that causes $5 billion in property damage each year.
Below are a few recommendations to detect signs termites may have infested your home:
- Check around window panes and door thresholds. If you find discarded termite wings in your home, it’s a possible sign you have an infestation.
- Look for mud tubes along the foundation of your home. Termites prefer dark, moist conditions, so they construct mud tubes from the earth as they make their way into the interior of your home. Once they gain access, they eat away at the structural composition and contents of your home.
- Look for small sized exit holes in drywall. When reproductive termites swarm, they often create small exit holes to fly out of. As they emerge from the walls in the home, they fly toward light sources such as windows, doors or skylights.
- Finally, if you notice any soft spots in your molding and trim, baseboards or window sills, it’s a good possibility Subterranean termites have invaded your home.
“Subterranean termite swarms begin to occur during the spring. This is when winged termites leave their colony to go on mating flights to establish new colonies,” explains Ed Blumenthal, Technical and Training Director in Termite Protection at Massey Services. “It is important for homeowners to recognize the signs of a swarm so they can seek the help of a professional.”
If you see these signs in your home or want to protect your home from termites, contact us today and schedule a free, detailed inspection!
Gwyn Elias, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for Massey Services, is pleased to announce that Eric Hernandez has been promoted to Vice President of Fleet and Assets, effective January 31, 2014.
Hernandez began his career with Massey Services in November of 2001, and since that time has risen through the ranks to take on positions of greater responsibility. In his new role, Hernandez will be responsible for all vehicles, equipment, service center facilities, company uniforms, property and purchasing relating to Massey Services.
“For the past 13 years, Eric has demonstrated outstanding loyalty, dedication, hard work and leadership abilities,” said Elias. “He has contributed immensely to the success of our company and we congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”
Hernandez joined Massey Services as Director of Purchasing & Fleet Management. In his second year with the company, he was the recipient of the President’s Award, presented by Massey Services Chairman and CEO Harvey Massey. Prior to joining the company he served as Purchasing Logistics Manager for five years at Sears Termite & Pest Control. Hernandez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
This winter, we have encountered several nights of freezing temperatures in our areas of Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas and the cold temperatures aren’t over yet!
Here are a few tips from the Massey GreenUP experts on what to look for if you think your lawn and landscape may have been damaged.
- Grass blades that have turned brown from the tips of the blades downward within a few days of the frost or freeze. This is particularly true of St. Augustine grass since it would likely be in a dormant state before the freeze.
- Shrubbery leaves that initially appear spongy and then eventually turn brown.
- More permanent damage may not be known until later in the year when spring temperatures return. Based on the severity of the damage, the plant will either recover or it may not. At that time, contact Massey Services for further analysis.
It is important to have patience and allow recovery to occur on its own. Do not remove damaged foliage at this time as it will protect the plant for future frosts or freezes. It is also recommended to not cut back foliage – this will stimulate new growth that could be easily damaged when the temperatures drop again.
Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services is pleased to announce that Gwyn Elias has been promoted from the position of Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer (CIO), effective January 1, 2014.
Massey Services has just completed its 29th consecutive year of profitable growth, and has gone from four service centers in 1985 to currently having 104 service centers, with more openings planned for 2014. The company is running approximately 1,300 vehicles a day. The size and scope of the Company‘s territory, assets, and real estate require more intensive oversight and management, making Gwyn’s promotion an important part of the Company’s future plans for expansion.
In this new position, Elias will assume responsibilities for all company owned assets and investments, real estate and all Company owned Subsidiaries.
Gwyn started with the company on January 29, 1987, and over those 27 years has been an integral part of the company’s success. “Gwyn has been a trusted member of Massey Services’ executive team, and has been one of the key cornerstones in our Company’s history,” said Massey. “I am honored to work with him and congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”
Elias is a chartered accountant and a graduate of the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services is pleased to announce that Jean Nowry has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective January 1, 2014. Nowry previously served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration for Massey Services.
In her new role, Jean will manage all financial matters relating to Massey Services, including corporate strategy, budgeting and planning, business integration, as well as all corporate administrative operations, such as accounting and human resources.
Jean started her career with Massey Services on November 23, 1998. “For over 15 years, Jean has provided outstanding service to our company,” said Massey. “Her background in finance, accounting, auditing and management has brought tremendous value to our company and I am confident she will play a critical role in leading Massey Services as we continue to grow and expand.”
In addition to her work at Massey Services, Nowry is extremely active in the Central Florida community. She currently serves as Chairman-Elect on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Central Florida, as well as Treasurer for the United Arts of Central Florida Board.
Prior to joining Massey Services, Jean had over ten years of experience holding Senior Financial Positions in both the not-for-profit and real estate industries, along with having been a CPA with Arthur Andersen.
In the spirit of giving, Massey Services team members rallied together to bring holiday cheer to children and families throughout Central Florida by donating toys, food, gift cards and clothing to many organizations in Central Florida. Each Corporate department selected an organization and our team members enthusiastically shopped, wrapped and delivered gifts to The Christian Sharing Mission; Children’s Home Society of Florida; Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care; Fern Creek Elementary School Foundation; Second Harvest Food Bank and State of Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Osceola.
Tony Massey, President & COO of Massey Services, was proud of each department for their participation. “We simply distributed a list of organizations that were in need of help and our team members pulled together and sprang into action,” stated Massey. “It was amazing and heartwarming to see all of the packages designated to all of the different organizations.”
Massey Services believes in being a contributing member to all communities it serves.
This week the forecast is calling for freezing temperatures which can result in severe and sometimes permanent damage to lawns, trees and shrubs. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the freeze:
- Irrigate before the frost or freeze to ensure there is proper moisture in the soil root zone, however make sure irrigation is stopped early enough to allow time for leaves to dry in order to avoid ice forming on them.
- Please Note: Do not irrigate during a freeze. This practice is beneficial in nurseries and citrus groves only because they are equipped to water non-stop until the ice is melted. If not done properly, this practice can prolong the amount of time that plants are subjected to the harsh, cold temperatures.
- Cover cold-sensitive plants with blankets or boxes but NOT plastic. Be sure to remove the covering as soon as the temperatures begin to warm up.
- Do not mow turf that is frozen, and keep the lawn mowed high. This can reduce cold injury in a number of ways. First, it will promote a deeper root system, which will provide greater stress tolerance. In addition, higher mowing heights can create a warmer micro-environment due to the extra canopy cover provided by the longer leaf tissue.
- Avoid foot traffic or vehicular traffic on frozen turf as this can increase damage.
For more tips and information, click here or contact us at 1-888-2MASSEY (262-7739).
Tony Massey, president and COO of Massey Services, is pleased to announce that Suzanne Graham, director of governmental affairs for the company, has been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRP) Region 9.
SWFRP is one of 11 regional planning councils statewide that serve as a bridge between state and local governments on planning and growth issues. The Council conducts research to develop and maintain area-wide goals, objectives and policies, while working with local governments to protect natural resources and promote job creation in a six county region. Graham’s appointment is for a term beginning in late 2013 and running through 2015; she will fill a currently vacant seat.
“Suzanne is a perfect fit for this role because of her significant experience in the building industry through her work with the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA), as well as her passion for improving our state for the benefit of future generations,” said Massey.
Graham served as President of the FHBA in 2012-2013, where she served as the principal spokesperson for the Association’s 7,000 members, presided over board meetings and executed policies of the Association. Graham is also past president of the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association where she was recognized as Builder of the Year, and is involved in the National Association of Home Builders where she represents Florida as a Build-PAC Trustee. She was one of three people appointed to the SWFRP, which was created in 1973 and has 36 members from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota Counties.