As you know, we love celebrating holidays and that includes the celebration of our great country’s independence! As we celebrate our freedom, Massey Services proudly honors and thanks the men and women who serve our country. We are also thankful for the opportunity to be a part of our community and provide services to families such as yours. In honor of the 4th of July and the picnics and barbecues we enjoy as we celebrate, here is a patriotic burger to make at your cookout!
Star Spangled Burgers
2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 large red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 (4 ounce) packages crumbled blue cheese
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Mix ground beef or turkey, red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl; divide and form into 16 patties. Place 1 ounce blue cheese in the center atop each of 8 of the patties. Top each cheese-topped patty with an unadorned patty, pressing the sides together so the cheese doesn’t fall out. Cook on the preheated grill until the burgers are cooked to your desired degree of doneness, 7 to 10 minutes per side for well done. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services is proud to announce that the company has been recognized by the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) as one of Orlando’s “Best Places to Work.” This is the second consecutive year and fifth year in the last nine that the company has been named to the list.
“It is an honor for Massey Services to be recognized by our team members as a “Best Place to Work” in Central Florida,” said Massey. “Our dedicated and knowledgeable team members make our company what it is today. At Massey Services we value our team members and we thank them for helping us to achieve this recognition.”
Placement on the OBJ’s Best Places to Work list is determined by an anonymous online survey in which Massey Services team members participated. Questions included inquiries about teamwork, job satisfaction and benefits. Massey Services team members were given the opportunity in the survey to share some of their favorite unique company benefits, which include recognition of their hard work at the Annual Eagle Circle Awards Banquet, the MAD (Making a Difference) Team Member Recognition Program, and the many opportunities to show support through community involvement, just a few of the many team member perks.
Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services, proudly announces the purchase of ECOSHIELD Pest Control of Atlanta, Georgia and ECOSHIELD Pest Control of Austin, Texas.
“We are pleased to welcome the Atlanta and Austin ECOSHIELD Pest Control team members and customers to the Massey Services organization,” said Mr. Massey. “We look for companies who have a reputation for exceptional customer service and ECOSHIELD Pest Control has done an outstanding job in their commitment to total customer satisfaction.”
The acquisition of the Atlanta, Georgia and Austin, Texas divisions expands Massey Services presence in the Atlanta and Austin markets. Massey Services is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and currently provides service to over 450,000 customers throughout Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina.
Massey Services was founded in 1985 by Harvey L. Massey, who is a leading industry voice and a 52-year veteran of the pest management and landscape services industries. Currently celebrating its 30th consecutive year of profitable growth, Massey Services is the fifth largest pest management company in the industry. In addition, Massey Services is the largest, privately-owned family company in the industry.
The Potomac Company represented and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to ECOSHIELD in the sale.
For most of us, our homes are the largest financial investment we’ll ever make in our lifetime. Termites can destroy that investment by causing major damage before we even know they’ve invaded our homes. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), it is estimated that termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year. Spring marks Subterranean termite swarm season, which is when you’re likely to see termites. It’s important to note that even though spring is essentially over and it’s June, termites are still active all year round. They get in through plumbing or other openings as well as tiny cracks and crevices about 1/64 of an inch. And it doesn’t matter if your home is made of brick, block or stucco, or even built on a concrete slab. Preventive treatment is critical and is recommended because every home is at risk.
Here are several tips to help you identify termite activity in your home:
- Termite Wings: Often present after a swarm, wings are typically found in small piles near window ledges or other light sources.
- Mud Tubes: Made of particles of soil, wood and debris, these allow subterranean termites to reach food sources above ground level.
- Damaged Wood: This can include wood that sounds “hollow” when it is tapped with the handle of a screwdriver or wood that is soft when probed with a sharp object.
- Small Holes or Ripples in Drywall: When termites damage wood within your home, they often create tiny holes in the drywall. Extensive damage to the wood can make the drywall look rippled.
- Pellets: Drywood termites excrete pellets that are kicked out of holes. These pellets often accumulate in piles on window sills, baseboards and under wooden objects.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your home from termites. The financial impact can be devastating. Contact Massey Services for a free, thorough inspection of your home and learn more about your choices for termite protection.
The hot summer weather has arrived and so have the bugs! This includes cockroaches, and according to the Smithsonian, there are 4,500 different species of cockroaches in the world! Fortunately, they are all not in the United States! Where we live, there are seven species that are most common.
American Cockroach: This group is commonly referred to as “Palmetto Bugs” and is the largest of the roaches infesting homes. They have reddish-brown wings and are good flyers. They often invade from sewer systems and heavily mulched areas. They can be found nearly anywhere in a home and can contaminate food, carry disease, damage book bindings, fabrics and wallpaper.
German Cockroach: This roach has two dark stripes running from front to back on its body. They can be found throughout the world, thriving wherever man lives, eating the same foods and sharing the same habitats. Populations build rapidly from egg capsules being produced about every 20-25 days. Each capsule contains about 35 eggs, with the young maturing in about 100 days. German roaches contaminate food, leave stains, create foul odors and carry diseased organisms.
Asian Cockroach: These roaches are nearly identical in appearance to German roaches. Adults are light brown to tan in color and possess two dark stripes on the top rear portion of the head. They are strong flyers and prefer to live outdoors. They can be found in places such as horse trailers containing hay, strawberry flats, mulch and ornamental plants.
Brown Banded Cockroach: Easily recognized by alternating light and dark bands across its back and about the same size as the German roach, these roaches can be found in any structure. They can be harder to control because they tend to be scattered all over the structure. They are often found high on walls, in picture frames, behind molding, near appliance motors, in light switches, closets and furniture.
Florida Woods Cockroach: This roach is often called the “stinking cockroach” because of the foul smelling fluid it produces to protect itself from predators. They are mainly found in North and Central Florida and are commonly found in leaf mulch, wood piles and under rotting logs.
Australian Cockroach: These roaches are large and reddish to dark brown with yellow bars on the front edge of their forewing. They are good flyers and enter homes through windows, doors, soffits and gables, especially where moisture problems exist. They breed and live in moist, decaying vegetation outdoors.
Smoky Brown Cockroach: This roach is uniform in color, typically brownish-black and very shiny. They are good flyers and are attracted to lights at night. They can be found in warm, dark, moist areas such as treeholes, ivys, mulch, woodpiles and soffits/eaves of attics with moisture problems. These pests have the reputation as being the most difficult to control because they are so active and have many habitat preferences.
Chinch bugs are attacking lawns earlier than normal this year, which means it’s critical to protect our landscapes from this destructive lawn pest. Their early appearance is due to the warm and dry weather that we experienced in May in Florida.
Chinch bugs can occur almost anywhere in a St. Augustine lawn but usually prefer areas in hot, dry locations such as along sidewalks or driveways. You can often see them by examining the grass near the soil surface. According to the University of Florida, this tiny pest, rarely measuring over 6 mm in length, causes millions of dollars in damage per year.
What do they look like?
Chinch bugs are tiny, hard-to-see insects that cause damage that is often confused with drought stress. They are red (when young) or black (when mature) with a white spot on the back in the shape of an “X.” As adults, they grow to about 1/4″ long.
How do they cause damage?
Chinch bugs suck the juices from grass blades and inject toxins back into the leaf blade. Irregular patches of the lawn first look drought-stressed, gradually turn yellow and then brown. Unless they are eliminated, they will continue to spread throughout the lawn.
What can a homeowner do to prevent them?
Follow recommended mowing and watering instructions. Allow treatments to move through the thatch layer of your lawn. Water deeply, but infrequently, paying close attention to ensure you’re not watering during or right after rainfall. You should also monitor your irrigation closely to ensure proper coverage and that irrigation heads are working properly. It is important to sod damaged areas to speed recovery and prevent uncontrollable weeds from invading.
If you suspect you may have chinch bugs in your lawn or want to prevent them from invading, contact Massey Services for a free landscape inspection and a customized solution.
With Memorial Day this weekend, we all know summer is essentially here! And in the Southeast that can mean hot, humid weather and rain, which makes irrigating your landscape very tricky!
Typically the summer months bring unpredictable periods of dry and wet conditions. So watering with the right amount of water can be tricky. Here are some tips to help:
- Be sure to have a rain sensor installed and that it’s working properly
- Check your coverage to ensure all your sprinklers are covering each zone evenly with 3/4 to 1″ of water
- Check your landscape frequently for browning, dry areas and hand water if necessary
- Look out for areas that are saturated and overwatered, and reduce your watering time in those zones
Water conservation is critical to ensure we protect one of our most precious resources. That’s why a properly functioning irrigation system is so crucial. Over time, landscapes change (as does the weather!) and may require different watering practices. We’ll provide a free, written irrigation inspection along with a recommended Irrigation Maintenance Program that can take the guesswork out of maintaining your irrigation system!
If you’ve driven on any interstate during the past few weeks, chances are your car came away with a few (or hundreds of) new hood ornaments. May and September in the Southeastern United States are notoriously known as “love bug season.” And there are some very interesting facts about these bugs that we wanted to share.
- Love bugs are not native to Florida. They migrated slowly across the Gulf States from Central America and reached the Florida Panhandle in 1949.
- Female love bugs will fly up into swarms of male love bugs. When a lucky male unites with a female, their abdomens will stay attached for up to 2 days, although mating only lasts about 12 hours. The male then dies and is dragged around by the female.
- When they are united, the male transfers nutrients to the female so she’ll produce healthy eggs. Soon after she mates and lays eggs – a mere 150 to 600 of them – she will soon die.
- Under laboratory conditions, females live for about 72 hours, whereas males survive for about 92 hours. In nature, the adults live just long enough to mate, feed, disperse and deposit a batch of eggs, about three to four days.
- Love bugs can be seen almost every month of the year but their populations generally peak in May and September for a period of four to five weeks. When the bugs are gone, that just means all the adults have died, and it is a matter of months until the larvae developing in the ground finally mature into pupae and new adults emerge.
- The bugs are not the product of a botched experiment by the University of Florida. Urban myth suggests that the school created the love bugs to help solve a growing mosquito problem – all untrue.
- Wind currents have lifted love bugs up as high as 1500 feet in the air.
- Adult love bugs often feed on the nectar of flowering plants. Upon reaching maturity the love bug spends almost the entirety of its remaining life copulating with its mate, hence its numerous romantic nicknames like the honeymoon fly, telephone bug and kissybug.
- While annoying, love bugs are actually beneficial as larvae because they help to decompose dead plant material. The larvae develop on decaying plant material and under cow manure. That’s why emerging adults are often more abundant when you’re driving by cow pastures.
- Love bugs don’t bite or sting, nor do they carry any infectious diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is warning people who live in areas where encounters with mosquitoes are prevalent, such as along lakes and canals, to be aware that these pests may be carrying the Chikungunya virus. From January to October 2014 there were 272 cases of the virus reported in Florida, which had more cases than any other state. Nationwide, there have been more than 1,100 cases of Chikungunya.
Symptoms of the virus 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. The illness is rarely fatal, but the pain it produces could last for months.
Massey Services offers the following information about Chikungunya, the mosquitoes that carry the disease and tips to combat it:
- Mosquitoes that transmit Chikungunya typically bite during the daytime; other mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk
- Chikungunya is passed from a mosquito to a human. A mosquito will bite an infected human and then bite another, passing the virus
- When outdoors, use insect repellant with DEET as an active product on any exposed skin and clothing to keep mosquitoes away
- 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, including children’s toys that may have been left in the yard
There are 53 species of mosquitoes worldwide capable of transmitting diseases in humans and animals. If you suspect you have a mosquito infestation at your home or want to protect yourself, contact Massey Services to schedule a free inspection and mosquito abatement to reduce your risks.
As the warmer months return, so do a variety of pests that can be very troublesome to both humans and our pets. One of these pests is ticks. There are two common kinds of ticks found in the Southeast region: the Brown Dog Tick and the American Dog Tick, and while ticks can easily be removed from your pet, an infestation in your home is much harder to handle. The adult female tick can lay clusters of 1,000 to 3,000 eggs, and these egg clusters can usually be found in homes around baseboards, window and door casings, curtains, furniture and the edges of rugs. Sometimes ticks will even climb the walls and lay their eggs in the crevices of crown molding, leaving you with a floor to ceiling problem.
Here are a few facts about ticks to keep you informed:
- Ticks are not insects and are closely related to the spider. Adult ticks have eight legs. Their life cycle is divided into four stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. All ticks feed on blood during some or all stages in their lifecycle.
- Ticks can transmit Lyme disease. Though mostly found in New England states as it is transmitted primarily by the deer tick, there have been cases of Lyme disease in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. Sportsmen and people who work outdoors may encounter the tick that carries Lyme disease.
- Although cats are rarely infested, the most common indoor tick on dogs is the brown dog tick. This tick may transmit diseases to dogs such as canine ehrlichiosis and babesiosis.
- Outdoors, ticks hide near foundations of buildings, in crevices of siding, or beneath the porch.
- The American dog tick may carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people. Dogs are not affected by these diseases, but people have become infected through contact with these ticks.
Our Pest Prevention program identifies and removes even the most stubborn pest challenges and then through regular service we keep pests out of your home. If pests return at any time, we’ll come back at no charge to eliminate the problem. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection.