Tips to Prevent Spiders

They have eight legs. Their lifespan ranges from one to 25 years, and it’s been estimated that you’re never more than 10 feet away from one.

We are talking about spiders. These creatures can elicit a real case of arachnophobia and be an annoyance in homes, businesses, garages and attic spaces when they come indoors.

There are more than 40,000 types of spiders living around the world, and 1,200 can be found right here in the U.S.
It’s estimated that spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined, helping to control the pest population.19recluse_enl So although there may be benefits to these eight-legged creatures, for most of us they are just another pest.

Here are some tips to spot a spider infestation and prevent them from making your space their home:

  • Webs located in corners of rooms, windows, vents, and other areas in the home that reappear within hours of removal indicate active spiders
  • Small, pod-like structures in webs; these are spider eggs – a sign spiders are breeding
  • Small insects are attractive to spiders for food so it’s important to eliminate this food source with a pest prevention service to keep spiders away
  • Spiders like places where they can hide so be sure to remove clutter like stacks of newspapers or wood piles

While most household spiders are typically harmless, certain spiders can pose a danger to humans such as the Brown Recluse Spider and the Widow Spider, due to their poisonous bites. For a free Pest Prevention inspection, contact us today and we’ll eliminate all pests around your home.

Is Your Irrigation System Working Properly?

Proper irrigation is critical to the health of your lawn and landscape. Under-watering can impact the roots of your grass and shrubs, leading to an increase in chinch bug activity. Over-watering encourages fungus and disease such as brown patch and root rot, as well as uncontrollable weeds such as crabgrass and sedge.
More importantly, proper irrigation helps our environment through water conservation and can help save you money. irrigation maintenanceMisdirected sprinklers can waste our precious water supply and add unnecessary cost to your water bill.

Here are few signs your irrigation system may not be functioning properly:

  • A dull, bluish-gray coloring to your grass
  • Foot tracks that appear embedded in the grass
  • Leaf blades that are wilted and folded in half
  • Dry, crumbly soil around the roots of your grass
  • Brown areas within the lawn

Massey’s Irrigation Maintenance Program, along with our Free Water Management Audittakes the guesswork out of maintaining your irrigation system. We make all the necessary adjustments, changes, and enhancements to ensure your landscape receives the right amount of water at the right time.  In fact, our Irrigation Maintenance program can save you a minimum of 30% in water usage.

Termite Prevention is Critical

While vacuuming around the house, you may bump into baseboards, trying to suck up every last piece of dirt from the floor. But what if the vacuum breaks through the baseboard? It’s a likely sign that subterranean termites have taken over.

Termites are small in size. But they can cause a lot of damage to homes built with various materials – concrete, stucco, wood, and brick – you name it and termites can get inside and cause serious destruction. It’s estimated that termites cause more than $5 billion in damage each year, sneaking in through cracks and crevices in homes. Even worse, termites are rarely visible as they destroy your home from behind the walls and under the foundation, so it is imperative to have your home inspected regularly for early signs and Total Coverage Termite Protectionproactively treated to keep them at bay.

Massey Services offers these tips to discourage subterranean termite infestations:

  • Repair water leaks and moisture problems. Moisture is critical for termite survival and they 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. At Massey Services, we’ll provide the protection your home needs and complete a termite inspection once a year to ensure no new problems have developed.  Contact us today for a free termite inspection of your home.

Whitefly Alert in South Florida

Are your trees and shrubs starting to look unhealthy? Whiteflies could be the culprit. The pin-head sized insect from South America tends to favor the underside of leaves and can cause major damage to trees, bushes, and other leafy plants, particularly in the South Florida region. The invasive whitefly, typically whitish-yellow in color, lays eggs on the belly of leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the bugs latch onto the leaf, eating away at up to 500 different plant species until the leaves fall off. If the flies go undetected, they can devastate a lush landscape. When whiteflies reach the adult stage, they no longer feed on the plant, but continue to breed. White Fly UF

The three types of whiteflies that target the South Florida area are the Ficus whitefly, Rugose spiraling whitefly, and the Bondar’s nesting whitefly. Massey Services offers these tips for accurately spotting a whitefly infestation:

  • Clouds of tiny white swarms around trees and shrubs
  • A waxy, spiral-patterned substance on the underside of leaves
  • Honeydew residue on leaves, which is used to breakdown plant nutrients

All of these can be indicators of a whitefly infestation. Massey Services can help eliminate and prevent whiteflies from causing harm to trees and shrubs.

If you suspect you may have a whitefly problem or believe your landscape is suffering from another pest, weed or disease, contact us today for a free landscape inspection!

Tips to Avoid Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

Two weeks ago the Orlando Sentinel reported three chickens had tested positive with West Nile Virus. This disease is known to be passed along by mosquitoes and can also affect humans. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of humans (70-80%) will show no signs of being infected and will have no symptoms. The most common symptoms for those that do show signs of the virus are headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. The majority of these people will have a complete recovery but symptoms can last for several weeks.Gallinipper

How can I protect myself from mosquitoes?
Here are a few tips of what you can do to avoid mosquitoes and their bites:

  • Mosquito larvae can develop and become adults in a matter of days; drain standing water from bird baths, kiddie pools and plant pots often to eliminate breeding habitats.
  • 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.
  • Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing; use insect repellent with DEET, applying it not only to skin but clothing, as well.
  • If you prefer an organic alternative to DEET use orange spray, eucalyptus, or citronella.
  • Make sure all windows and doors in your home are closed tightly and that screens are well-sealed to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.

There are 13 species of mosquitoes which are capable of transmitting diseases in humans and animals. If you suspect you have a mosquito infestation at your home or want to protect yourself from potential attacks, call Massey Services today for a free inspection and to learn more about our Mosquito Abatement program.

Massey Services Acquires Green Pest Services in Austin, TX

Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services, proudly announces the purchase of Green Pest Services, a pest management company in Austin, Texas.

“We are pleased to welcome the Green Pest team members and customers to the Massey Services family,” said Mr. Massey. “We look for companies built on the values we share and have a similar culture as our own.  Green Pest was a perfect fit for our organization as they share our same commitment to total customer satisfaction and to providing environmentally responsible services.”

The joining of the two companies further expands Massey Services’ residential pest prevention services footprint throughout Texas.  Massey Services currently provides residential and commercial services in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio markets.

Green Pest Services was recognized with the 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award, provided for outstanding service based on member feedback. This prestigious honor is provided to less than 5% of the companies on Angie’s List.

Massey Services was founded in 1985 by Harvey L. Massey, who is a leading industry voice and a 51-year veteran of the pest management and landscape services industry.  Currently celebrating its 29th consecutive year of profitable growth, Massey Services is the fifth largest pest management company and is the largest privately owned, family company in the industry.


Summer Lawn Alert – Sod Webworms

Sod webworms can be serious pests for your lawn…and because of the summer rains and heat, the most severe damage usually occurs in August.

What are sod webworms?
These lawn pests are 3/4″ to 1″ long and can cause noticeable damage to your landscape within days. They look like tiny caterpillars but you may not see them as they hide in the soil. You may, however, be able to see the green sod webworm larvae 2pellets they leave behind on grass blades. You may also notice the moths that lay the eggs flying around in late afternoon. Sod webworms chew off the grass blades in your lawn and the damage looks similar to a badly-cut lawn.

What should I do if I suspect I have sod webworms?
Act quickly! If you keep your lawn well irrigated and fertilized, you probably will not sustain significant damage. For lawns that are not constantly cared for, however, sod webworm damage can be quick, severe and is often mistaken for a damaged lawn.
If you already have damage from sod webworms, you should have your lawn treated immediately. If you think you have sod webworms, contact Massey Services for a free landscape inspection.

Massey’s Landscape Program takes a preventive approach to lawn pests by building a strong root system that creates a thick, healthy lawn which is more resistant to sod webworm damage. We take measures to keep these summer pests from invading your lawn.

Beware of Chikungunya

The itch of mosquito bites is usually the price we pay after an encounter with these pests. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cases of a mosquito-borne illness with flu-like symptoms called chikungunya (chick-un-gun-ya), is affecting people throughout the U.S.  As of late-July, the illness, which has not been prevalent in the United States, has a total of 497 cases reported from U.S. states. Of these, 197 were locally transmitted in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  All other cases occurred in travelers returning from affected areas in the Caribbean and South America, the Pacific Islands or Asia.

With the recent outbreaks in the Caribbean and the Pacific, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting mosquito-abatementor returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in additional local spread of the virus in the continental U.S.

Here are a few tips to protect you and your loved ones as you travel and at home:

  • Mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya bite mostly during the daytime; other mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk
  • When outdoors, use insect repellant with DEET as an active product on any exposed skin
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce the amount of skin exposed
  • Make sure all windows and doors in your home, or in your home-away-from-home while traveling, are closed tightly and that screens are well-sealed to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside
  • Empty standing water from outdoor containers

Symptoms of chikungunya usually begin 3‒7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. They include fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands and feet, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. There is no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya.

There are 13 species of mosquitoes which are capable of transmitting diseases in humans and animals. If you suspect you have a mosquito infestation at your home or want to protect yourself from potential attacks, contact Massey Services for more information on our Mosquito Abatement programs to reduce the risk faced from contact with disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Our 2014 Fourth of July Treat

Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate this Independence Day with parades, cookouts and fireworks, we honor our nation’s history, heritage and freedom.

Today and every day, Massey Services proudly honors and thanks the men and women who serve our Country.  Closer to home, we are thankful for the opportunity to be a contributing part of our community and to our customers for their continued confidence in the services we provide.

Every Fourth of July, we select a patriotic dessert to share with our Team Members and Customers and this year, we’ve chosen the American Flag Cookie Tart.  Enjoy!

American Flag Cookie Tart


  • 1 package refrigerated sugar cookie doughget-attachment
  • 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1-1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1/4 cup apple jelly
  • Flour for forming crust


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray.  Cut cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices and place on the pan.  With floured fingers press down to form crust.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely, about 25 minutes.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice until fluffy.  Spread over baked crust.  Arrange berries in star pattern.  Drizzle or brush with melted jelly. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.  Store in refrigerator.

Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!


Take the Bite Out of Mosquitoes Around Your Home

Summer is here and the mosquitoes have started biting. Summer rains lead to standing water, which is a primary mosquito-abatementlocation for mosquitoes to breed. It’s an important reminder to all homeowners that mosquitoes are not just a nuisance because of their bites; they are also known disease carriers.

Here are a few tips to help reduce the population of mosquitoes around your home:

  • If the weather has been rainy, be sure to drain standing water from bird baths, kiddie pools and plant pots on a weekly basis.
  • Clear gutters and drains to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
  • Avoid working or playing outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • When you are outdoors, wear insect repellent with DEET as an active product.
  • Make sure all windows and doors in your home are closed tightly and that screens are well-sealed to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.

There are 13 species of mosquitoes which are capable of transmitting diseases. If you want to reduce the mosquitoes around your home, call a professional service company for proper control and elimination. The experts at Massey Services can conduct a thorough inspection at no charge and provide you with a detailed report of their findings. We will also recommend a customized mosquito abatement program that’s right for your home.

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