Are Those Circles in My Lawn Brown Patch Fungus?

diseases_03brownpatch_enlIs your lawn dotted with large yellow or brown circles? A fungus in your lawn’s soil might be the reason for these spots. Brown patch fungus is common in the fall, winter and spring and the beauty of a lawn can be quickly destroyed by the fungus. So as the temperatures begin to change this fall, your lawn is changing too.

Brown patch fungus thrives in cool temperatures and high moisture, and may lie dormant in the summer months before making its appearance. Shaded areas that receive and hold water are most at risk.

If brown patch fungus goes untreated, it can cause major damage to your lawn by attacking the lower portions of the plant and thinning large areas of turf. When turf thins due to brown patch fungus, weeds that flourish in cooler temperatures and high moisture will take advantage of the empty space and fill it in.

Massey Services offers the following signs to help identify brown patch fungus problems in your yard:

  • Circular patches of damaged turf that may be several feet in diameter
  • Turf changing from green to yellow, or even orange or purple
  • Blades of grass that are rotten and slide out easily when pulled

Prompt responsive treatment is the best way to keep brown patch fungus at bay. In addition, here are some prevention and treatment tips:

  • Irrigate grass only when needed and to a depth of 4 to 6 inches (generally 1/2 inch of irrigation per watering event and no more than 1 inch of irrigation or rainfall per week), but do not subject the lawn to drought conditions. Watering in the morning, ending by sunrise is best since the grass blades have plenty of time to dry during the day.
  • Avoid spreading the disease to other areas. Remove clippings if brown patch fungus is present and avoid walking through the patches to prevent spread to other areas.
  • Mow your lawn at the highest recommended height for your grass type. Different types of turf have different recommendations for mowing height. Standard varieties of St. Augustine should be mowed at 3.5 to 4 inches. Seville is a dwarf variety of St. Augustine and should be mowed at 3 inches. Empire Zoysia should be mowed at 2.5 inches. Bahiagrass should be mowed at 4 inches.
  • Have the soil pH tested and treat according to test recommendations.

If you need professional assistance to control brown patch fungus or to evaluate your irrigation system, contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

Learn How to Avoid Furry Pests During Rodent Awareness Week

rodent_02housemouse_enlAs the seasons change, homeowners aren’t the only ones looking to keep warm indoors. In fact, many homeowners may start to notice they have unwanted houseguests – rodents – as they, too, seek shelter from the elements. To promote public vigilance against rodents and the hazards they pose, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has declared October 23-29 to be Rodent Awareness Week. Massey Services is joining NPMA in this important effort by educating homeowners on the threat of rodents and how they can lessen their chances of an infestation.

Rodents, such as mice and rats, are the most common pests this season. These pests are capable of causing damage to property by chewing through drywall, insulation, wood and electrical and automotive wiring, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also known to spread a variety of diseases, including Salmonella, murine typhus, infectious jaundice, rat-bite fever and the potentially fatal Hantavirus.

The NPMA offers the following advice for preventing rodents from coming indoors:

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages for evidence of rodents before bringing them indoors.
  • Regularly check under the hood of the car for signs of a rodent infestation.

For more information on rodents, including the signs of an infestation, please contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

Asian Lady Beetles – From Beneficial Bug to Pest

asian-lady-beetleMulticolored Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis Pallas) were introduced into the United States from Asia to control crop pests between 1978 and 1981. They are now common throughout the United States. As predators of arthropod pests such as aphids, mites, thrips, scale and Lepidoptera eggs, they are considered beneficial most of the year.  Unfortunately, as the weather gets cooler, the adults cluster in high numbers to overwinter and can become significant pests.

Asian lady beetles are usually recognized as typical ladybugs; however, they are slightly larger than native species. Coloration varies from a mustard-yellow to a dark reddish orange. Often, a number of spots are present on the wing covers, but in some specimens the spots are absent.

Colder weather and lack of prey triggers their flight to overwintering locations. They are attracted to light colored dwellings, and can enter homes and buildings through cracks, crevices and other small openings around windows, doors and roofs.

In the southern United States, this process peaks in October and November and can take a few weeks or more. As the beetles aggregate in the walls and other parts of dwelling, they may enter houses in large numbers. Inside walls, floors, attics and crawl spaces, they look for cool places to spend the winter. Sometimes this annoying movement can be heard from inside the house.

If the interior walls are warmer than they require for dormancy, they may exit into the interior of the home. It is not advised to use insecticides to kill them.  Once inside, they fly around and land on walls, window coverings and furniture. When disturbed, Asian Lady Beetles produce a yellow viscous, foul-smelling defensive compound. They can also lightly bite but do not have venom.

To avoid an indoor Asian lady beetle infestation, Massey Services recommends the following tips:

  • Make sure you have a tight seal around doors and windows.
  • Use caulk to seal any cracks, crevices or holes in exterior walls.
  • Use a black light sticky trap without an electronic zapper in rooms where the pests are observed as soon as they are seen.
  • If Asian lady beetles gain access to a structure, they generally swarm in by the hundreds to overwinter in wall voids. It is not advised to use spray or dust insecticide into wall voids, because if they were to die in the wall void, it would cause a bad odor in the the home. Instead, allow them to emerge to the inside and outside of the home. They will usually die after a day.
  • Be aware that use of a vacuum or other cleaning tools while they are alive will cause the beetles to produce a foul smelling defensive compound.

If you need professional assistance with an Asian lady beetle infestation, contact Massey Services for a free inspection.

Massey Services Named A Top 100 Company by the Orlando Sentinel

For the second consecutive year, Massey Services has been recognized on the Orlando Sentinel Top 100 Companies list. For over 20 years, the Orlando Sentinel’s Top 100 program has honored companies across Central Florida that are committed to making their companies great places to work.

top100_2016_colorMassey Services features a comprehensive benefits package including paid vacation, affordable healthcare with minimal out-of-pocket costs for high medical claims and ongoing employee recognition programs. The company boasts a 93% 401(k) participation rate with a generous matching program and also grants annual scholarships to deserving children of team members. In addition, Massey Services recently implemented a new Wellness Program for its Team Members.

Companies are evaluated via surveys and each organization is measured on several qualities such as workplace flexibility, company leadership, career opportunities, community service, compensation and benefits. The program acknowledges employers within three categories (15-99, 100-499 and 500 employees and above) to ensure organizations of all sizes are represented.

For more information about job opportunities at Massey Services, visit

Winter Weeds Thrive in Cooler Temperatures

weedsFall temperatures are finally making their way to our Southern regions. While summer annual weeds will begin to die, perennial weeds, like dollarweed, continue to be an issue.

With the rainy season behind us, you may think additional watering is needed, but dollarweed thrives in wet conditions that may be caused by overwatering. It’s important to have a professional that can help control your landscape weeds and prescribe proper irrigation. The professionals at Massey Services will ensure your lawn is receiving the correct amount of water and can help to control any winter weeds that may begin to invade your lawn and landscape, like winter annual broadleaf weeds.

Winter annual broadleaf weeds thrive in the cool temperatures. While these weeds die naturally when it warms up, they are problematic during the winter creating competition for the turf you want on your lawn.

This is the last month to apply a pre-emergence herbicide in order for it to be effective before the winter annual weeds sprout. A thick healthy lawn maintained through proper nutrition and proper watering and mowing is important. Please contact the experts at Massey Services for a free landscape inspection. They’ll build a a customized plan to keep your lawn and landscape looking its very best year-round and to help prevent winter weeds.

Avoid Pest Problems After the Storm

hurricane-1712071_960_720Hurricane Matthew is forecasted to make landfall in Florida tonight with sustained winds, heavy rain and localized flooding. In addition to the potential damage left by the storm, heavy rain and flood waters can also cause many pest problems.

All of this rain will cause pests to seek shelter just like us. A likely place to move their colonies is into the drier areas of the landscape or even into your house.

Massey Services offers a few tips to help prevent pest issues after the storm:

  • Make sure your window screens are in good repair and that door sweeps and window seals are in good condition to reduce the chance that pests will relocate into your home this week.
  • As soon as the inclement weather passes, our Service Technicians will be out serving our communities to take of the problem.

Another problem that will likely develop over the next week is a significant increase in mosquito activity. Follow these tips to reduce the mosquito population around your home.

  • Drain standing water from the places it collects around your home (bird baths, unfiltered pools) to eliminate breeding habitats. (Drain often; mosquito larvae can develop and become adults in a matter of days.)
  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters and drains to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
  • Avoid working or playing outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be outside at these times, wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Use insect repellent, applying it not only to skin but to clothing, as well. (Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing.)
  • If there is an excessive amount of water outside your home, request professional help to apply a larvicide to reduce the mosquito population.

As a reminder, with the added rainfall your irrigation system should be adjusted and monitored to account for the additional water that your landscape received. Over-watering your landscape can result in weed, insect and disease problems. If you have any areas that start to decline, give us a call and we will be happy to provide you with a diagnosis and proposal to solve the problem.

Homeowner Tips to Avoid a Termite Infestation

termitesThey’re quiet. They’re hidden. And they’re destructive. Most people don’t think about termites until they’ve already caused costly damage to their homes. It doesn’t matter if your home is made of concrete, stucco or brick, termites can get into any home through tiny cracks and crevices less than 1/16 wide, and they can create havoc within the structure of your home. It’s estimated that termites cause more than $5 billion in damage each year.

Since these destructive pests work behind the walls and under the foundation, it is imperative to have your home inspected regularly for early signs of termites and proactively treated to keep them at bay.

Massey Services offers these tips to discourage subterranean termite infestations:

  • Repair water leaks and moisture problems. Termites flourish in moist areas.
  • Keep a close eye on irrigation systems to ensure sprinklers are adjusted properly to spray away from the foundation, walls, etc.
  • Trim back bushes and plants to prevent moisture from being trapped against the walls.
  • Keep gutters free of build-up so that water can flow freely and away from the foundation.
  • Avoid any wooden items that touch your home from having contact with the soil. Elevate decks on concrete.
  • Position stucco, wood, or siding six inches above the finished soil level to prevent termites from gaining access into your home.

The best prevention against the risk of expensive termite damage repairs is to have guaranteed termite protection for your home before a problem occurs. Massey Services recommends termite inspections should be done at least once a year, and include a thorough inspection of the inside and outside of your home.

For a free termite inspection of your home, contact us today and we’ll schedule an inspection at a time that’s convenient for you.

It’s National Good Neighbor Day, Pass It On

It’s great to have a good neighbor…someone who lends a helping hand, watches out for your home when you’re away, or meets you with a friendly greeting when you’re walking your dog, mowing your lawn or washing your car. National Good Neighbor Day celebrates the importance of good neighbors.

Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation that called upon people to observe National Good Neighbor Day, noting that “the noblest of human concern is concern for others” and that a sense of community “is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family.”

Often neighbors rely on neighbors for recommendations regarding services for their home.

pass-it-on-and-earn-with-massey1Massey Services customers already know how great Massey’s Guaranteed Pest, TermiteLandscape and Irrigation services are. By recommending our services to their friends, family and neighbors, they not only show that they are good neighbors, they also have opportunities to earn gift cards for themselves and their neighbors through Massey’s Pass It On program.

Massey’s customer referral program, Pass It On, allows current Massey customers to earn a $25 Publix gift card* for everyone they refer to Massey who signs up for service! And the new customer receives a $10 Publix gift card*.

In order to participate, have your neighbors, friends or family call 1-866-302-7950 to schedule a free, no obligation inspection. There’s no limit to the number of people you can refer!

So Pass It On and Earn with Massey Services!

*Louisiana customers earn Cabela’s gift cards. Texas (excluding Austin) customers earn Kroger gift cards. Austin customers earn HEB gift cards, and Oklahoma customers earn Crest gift cards.

First Day of Fall – A Beneficial Time for Landscapes

halloween-decoration-in-fall-871287575948rvtwIt’s the first day of fall. Along with the many reasons that we welcome fall — cooler temperatures, football, fall festivals, harvest colors and pumpkin spice lattes — are the benefits our lawns can experience from the change in seasons.

Fall is a great time of year for lawns. You don’t have to mow them as often, and turf and shrubbery thrive without the stress of the summer heat.

Here are a few of the climatic changes that benefit turf and shrubs in the fall.

  • Cooler Temperatures. Plants, like people, prefer our fall temperatures over the sweltering heat of summer. Turf and ornamentals just naturally look better and have more energy for good root development when they are not wilted and stressed by the heat.
  • Shorter Days. The number of daylight hours changes the growth habits of plants (especially turf). Leaf growth is excessive in the summer. As a result, plants expend a tremendous amount of energy in order to keep up with the leaf growth that is stimulated by the extra hours of light. Turf in the shade is especially affected as it grows excessive leaves reaching for light. All of this energy for leaf production is taken from energy that would otherwise be used for root production. In the fall, the available energy is redirected to enhance root growth, which creates a stronger turf that can withstand pests, weeds and disease.

Fall is a great time for our landscape to recover from the damage done by summer’s stress. You will start to see the brown areas that were caused by disease, drought and heat stress begin to fill in much quicker now. Turf begins to lie down and use the extra energy to crawl and spread.

Take advantage of the fall conditions with seasonally focused nutrition and fertilization and pre-emergent weed treatments. To schedule your free landscape inspection, contact Massey Services today.

Eight Tips for a Lake Friendly Landscape

water-lilies-on-the-water-surface-among-other-aquatic-plants-and-weedsProper landscape care and healthy landscapes help our environment. Fertile green spaces reduce pollutants and dust in the air, minimize heat buildup, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and minimize water pollution.

Massey Services promotes sustainable lawn and landscape practices in our communities and offers the following water and lake friendly tips for homeowners:

  • Homeowners are encouraged to follow guidelines from the University of Florida’s Florida Yards and Neighborhood program for strategies on proper design, installation and maintenance for healthy landscapes that use minimal water, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Massey Services has been using phosphorus-free fertilizers for nearly 20 years. Phosphorus-free lawn fertilizers have now become common in lawn and garden centers and are readily available for homeowner use. We recommend phosphorus-free fertilizers with a minimum of 50 percent slow-release nitrogen for a healthier more sustained feeding for your lawn.
  • Homeowners should always read and follow label directions for proper fertilizer usage. Applying fertilizer at rates greater than what the plant can utilize serves no beneficial purpose.
  • Hard surfaces such as concrete driveways, sidewalks and roadways act as funnels into the storm sewers that lead to waterways. Fertilizer and organic debris from these hard surfaces should be removed and deposited into turf areas where the turf can utilize the nutrients. If not removed, this debris can reach waterways, which feeds algae and can create algae blooms.
  • Turfgrass areas have the ability to capture tons of organic debris such as leaf litter. Mow the debris into the turf with a mulching mower and the leaf litter virtually disappears. Leaf litter can provide valuable nutrients to the turf.
  • Utilize a water smart irrigation program – smart technologies like advanced sensors which measure factors such as temperature, humidity, wind and rainfall accurately monitor the amount of moisture in the soil which help prevents wasted water.
  • Homeowners, at a minimum, should maintain an irrigation system equipped with a rain shutoff device. Irrigating at a time when rainfall has been sufficient is a waste of precious natural resources.
  • Use targeted and timely weed control applications. Many weed control materials used after weeds have emerged will kill weeds through contact. Be targeted in your use of weed control applications as no benefit is gained by applying these types of materials to areas that do not have weeds.

If you would like to learn more about our lake friendly landscape care, contact the experts at Massey Services today and schedule a free landscape analysis.

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