Homeowner Tips to Fight Fleas

Spring has officially arrived and as the weather begins to warm up, pests that we usually encounter outside may soon be attempting to make their way indoors.

fleas

For the most part, these pests are mainly bothersome to us humans but some can also make our pets crazy!  With loyal customers stretching across from Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina to Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, Massey Services reminds homeowners that fleas are common outdoor pests that can make your home their own by traveling on our pets.

Tips to Get Rid of Fleas:

  • Remove and wash pet bedding in hot soapy water or replace.
  • Thoroughly vacuum all rugs, carpeted areas, baseboard areas and closet floors. Also vacuum under beds, furniture, as well as between and under furniture cushions. Special attention should be given to common pet resting and sleeping areas. Vacuuming removes flea eggs, feces (food for the larvae) and some adult fleas/ticks.
  • fleas

    Quick Stats on Fleas by National Pest Management Association

    Vacuum and then mop all vinyl, wood and concrete floors. Special attention should be given to cracks along the edge of walls.

  • Be sure to discard the vacuum bag or empty the canister into a plastic bag that can be tightly closed and place in a trash receptacle outside of the home.

It’s important to keep fleas out of your home, not only because their bites cause severe itching, but they can cause diseases in humans and animals. Fleas can transmit cat-scratch fever, typhus and plague. If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your home or want to protect yourself from potential attacks, call a professional service for proper control methods.

fleas

The experts at Massey Services can conduct a thorough inspection at no charge and provide you with a detailed report of their findings. They will also recommend a customized abatement program that’s right for your home.

The Importance of Lawn Aeration

Roots need more than just water and fertilizer to survive. They also need oxygen!

Aeration

Roots absorb neither water nor fertilizer unless oxygen is also present in the soil. Aeration dramatically reduces soil compaction by removing plugs of soil from the lawn and leaving holes which allow oxygen to reach the roots, creating growth pockets for new roots. This practice intensifies rapid and healthy root growth.

A healthier root structure improves the lawn’s ability to reach water and other nutrients deep in the soil. This makes your lawn more resistant to heat and drought.

Benefits To Core Aeration:

  1. Helps conserve water
  2. Enhances heat and drought stress tolerance
  3. Enhances soil water uptake and use
  4. Reduces water runoff and puddling
  5. Reduces soil compaction
  6. Improves air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
  7. Improves fertilizer uptake and use
  8. Improves turfgrass rooting
  9. Improves resiliency and cushioning
  10. Enhances thatch breakdown

Essentially, aeration lets your lawn eat, drink and breathe!

aeration
If you would like to learn how you can have your lawn aerated, schedule a Free Inspection or call Massey’s GreenUP Landscape Services at 1-888-2MASSEY (262-7739).

Get Your Kids Into Insects

When reflecting on the interaction of kids and bugs, you’re reminded of how fascinating these little creatures can be – not only to adults, but especially to children.

insects

Unlocking the door to a miniature universe of wonder can be as simple as just poking around under a rock or in the grass. Collecting insects can be a rewarding and educating experience for both you and your child as well as a great opportunity to bond and build a stronger relationship.

You and your little explorer can try these fun ideas, courtesy of Scholastic:

  1. Listen! Catch a non-stinging insect that makes noise in a paper cup. Crickets and flies are good candidates. Cover the cup with waxed paper and hold it on with a rubber band. Now place your ear against the paper and listen.
  2. Plant a butterflyinsects garden. In a sunny spot out of the wind, plant blooming varieties like geraniums and hydrangeas, plus plants that provide food for larvae such as Mexican milkweed. Find out what else the butterflies in your area need at butterflywebsite.com.
  3. Do the worker-bee waggle! Honeybees “dance” to communicate the location and distance of a nectar stash to the other bees. Talk with your kids about this fascinating communication, and then make up your own version.
  4. Take an umbrella out on a sunny day. Place it open upside down under a leafy, low-hanging branch. Shake the branch like you mean it — then identify what lands in your umbrella with an insect book or online.

Tools for the Trade
These items will make your child feel like a real scientist:

  • Butterfly net
  • Tweezers (only for dead specimens)
  • Observation jar (punch holes in the lid of a clean jar)
  • Magnifying glass
  • Notebook for recording thoughts and sketches
  • Bug and spider identification book like Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Insects and Spiders (Simon & Schuster, $23; ages 9 to 12) or Don’t Squash That Bug: The Curious Kid’s Guide to Insects (Lobster Press, ages 4 to 8, $15)
  • Referencing Massey’s Bug Database
insects

As part of our CFHLA Adopt-A-School program with Killarney Elementary School, we brought displays and educated students on a variety of insect species!

Massey Services provides pest prevention services for residential and commercial properties, but not all insects are harmful.
Have fun exploring!

 

Homeowner Tips to Avoid a Termite Infestation

They’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.

termite infestation

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.

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.

A house with termite damage often looks the same as any other house…on the surface

termite infestationThe 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.

How Do We Effectively Handle Weeds?

Everybody loves a lush, green and healthy looking lawn, but growing and maintaining a beautiful landscape requires constant care and attention.

weeds

At Massey Services, we continuously work on eliminating or minimizing the number and types of weeds that you may commonly find in your landscape. Our focus is on growing the thickest lawn possible because the best defense against weeds is a thick, dense turf. So how do we do it? Below are just a few of the proactive steps we take to ensure you have a healthy, beautiful lawn year-round.

Steps To Maintaining A Healthy Lawn:

  1. Choose the Proper Type of Grass: We’ll first identify the species and variety of turf grass presently growing in your landscape. Some varieties do best in semi-shaded areas while others need full sun areas to survive. This is important because a grass poorly suited for shady locations will be thin and susceptible to chronic weed infestation.
  2. Managing the Health of your Soil: Using soil pH testing and our years of experience in managing soils, we apply a customized fertilization program that balances the need for high lawn quality and color while maintaining the healthiest root system possible. The end result is a thick, green and healthy lawn.
  3. Recommendations for Proper Mowing: Different grass species have different mowing height requirements. When your lawn is mowed too low, the grass will become less able to promote growth. A scalped or closely mowed lawn will allow weed seedlings to receive the light and space required to root in your lawn. It’s important to mow with a sharp blade and often enough to not remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing.
  4. Watering Only as Needed: Many weed problems that develop in your lawn are symptomatic of over-watering or another irrigation problem. As a general rule, you should water deeply (3/4 to 1 inch of water per session), but infrequently (no more than twice a week in most cases).
  5. Controlling Pests: By reducing the amount of insects and diseases active in your property we will reduce the number of thin turf areas where grass weeds can develop.
  6. Stopping Weed Seeds Before They Germinate: We’ll apply pre-emergent herbicides in the spring and fall to manage weed seeds before they germinate. While good turf management practices and pre-emergent herbicides are an effective way to manage many types of weeds, they cannot guarantee that weeds will never develop in your lawn. Once a weed is established, there are four ways to eliminate it:
      1. Wait for it to die of old age
      2. Crowd it out with a thick lawn
      3. Mechanically remove it by hoeing/hand pulling
      4. Treat it with a post-emergent weed control product (part of your GreenUP Landscape Services program)

Now, let the Experts of Massey’s GreenUP Landscape Services make your  Lawn the Best on the Block

weeds

We know no two landscapes are alike. That’s why before we develop a customized program or provide you with a price, we perform a detailed landscape analysis to understand exactly the type of care your landscape needs. Once our landscape analysis is complete – we develop a customized program for YOUR landscape to ensure it remains healthy and beautiful.

Contact us today for a free landscape inspection!

Avoid Furry Pests From Entering Your Home

If your home has small openings to the great outdoors, even cracks and crevices, insects and furry pests, like rats and mice — could be making their way inside.

furry pests

Rodents: The Dirty Truth

Rats can squeeze through holes half an inch wide and mice can get through holes one quarter of an inch wide, taking up rodent residence in your attic, in the crawl space under your home, even where the dryer vents to the outside. Rodents are generally nocturnal animals, with peak activity occurring shortly after dusk and again prior to dawn. Inside occupied structures, they often become active within about 30-60 minutes following the subsiding of evening human activity.

Rodents 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.

Tips To Avoid Furry Pests:

  • 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.

Do You Suspect Rodents In Your Home? Don’t Worry!

Contact Massey Services for a free pest prevention inspection and recommendations on how you can help keep rodents out of your home.

Milder Winter Means More Spring Pests

spring pests

A unpleasant consequence of a milder winter is earlier and heavier pest activity in the spring. In colder winters, many pests will die due to freezing weather. In warmer winters, the majority of pest colonies survive, and as soon as the warm spring weather arrives, pest colonies will begin to thrive.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) releases a bi-annual Bug Barometer, forecasting what to expect from pest populations in regions across the country.

In the Southeast, rainier regions collected more standing water, creating ideal mosquito breeding grounds. Areas that were hotter and drier may experience increased rodent pressure in buildings as temperatures cool in fall and winter. The warmer winter season can yield above normal ant and occasional invader activity through the winter months.

Tips To Prevent Spring Pests:

  • Maintain a one-inch gap between soil and wood portions of a building.
  • Keep mulch at least 15-inches from the foundation.
  • Seal cracks and small openings along the bottom of the house.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants trimmed back from the house.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor trash containers clean and sealed.
  • Screen windows and doors.

Massey Services offers additional homeowner tips for preventing pests around your home.

Massey’s Pest Prevention program will identify and eliminate the avenues and other unseen entry points pests use to gain access to your home.  Contact us today for a free pest inspection!

Massey Services Acquires Insight Pest Solutions of North Carolina and South Carolina

insight pest solutions
Harvey L. Massey, Chairman and CEO of Massey Services, proudly announces the purchase of Insight Pest Solutions of Charlotte and Raleigh, NC and Charleston, SC.

“We are pleased to welcome the Insight Pest Solutions 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 Insight Pest Solutions has demonstrated a strong commitment to their team members, their customers and our environment.

The joining of the two companies expands Massey Services presence into the North Carolina and South Carolina markets. Massey currently has residential service centers in Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Massey Services provides service to over 500,000 customers throughout Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Harvey L. Massey, an industry leader and 53-year veteran of the pest management and landscape services industries, founded Massey Services in 1985. 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.

Warning Signs of Termites

termites

There’s no such thing as a home that isn’t vulnerable to termites. It doesn’t matter if your home is made of brick, block, stucco or even built on a concrete slab. The truth is, termites can get into any home through tiny cracks and crevices less than 1/16 inches wide. To make matters worse, your home may be sitting on up to six subterranean termite colonies in a single acre plot, with each colony housing millions of termites.
Termites eat non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And most homeowners don’t realize they have a problem until the damage is already done.
There are some warning signs you can be on the lookout for if you suspect there may be a problem.

Warning Signs of Termites

  • Termite Wings:  Often present after a swarm, they are typically found in small piles near window ledges or other light sources.
  • Powder:  Powder post beetles leave evidence of their presence with piles of a fine, talc-like powder around furniture, flooring and any housing structure made of wood.
  • 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.

If you see any of these signs, contact a professional termite protection company immediately to prevent further damage.  It is also critical for your home to have an annual termite inspection to thoroughly inspect for any new activity and conducive conditions around your home.

Training Thursday: Protecting Pollinators

Massey Services is pleased to support the health of bees in the communities we serve. Some experts say that the domestic honey bee population has declined nearly 50 percent in the last 50 years. Wild honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators have also experienced losses. Massey Services has taken steps to develop service protocols and share important information with our customers to aid in protecting pollinators.

Why is protecting pollinators important?

  • Pollinators are important because every fruit, vegetable or nut we eat comes from a flower.
  • Bees account for one third of the food we eat.
  • They also contribute to the diversity of flowering plants we enjoy around our homes and gardens.

Why have pollinators experienced losses?

Potential causes have been debated and include:

  • Bee-keeping practices
  • Diseases
  • Use of certain pesticides
  • Lack of available nectar and pollen sources due to urbanization.

What steps does Massey Services take in protecting pollinators?

Our landscape specialists and pest technicians have been trained to:Massey Services GreenUP specialist

  • Recognize the importance of pollinators on our environment.
  • Use alternate control measures or to delay treatment when plants are in bloom and pollinators are present.
  • Avoid the application of pest control materials when pollinators are foraging and plants are currently in bloom.

What can you do to protect pollinators?

Consider planting a bee-friendly garden. Here are a few tips for planting wildflowers that provide natural habitats for foraging pollinators:

  • For mild-winter areas: You can plant almost anytime,
    except during your hottest season.
  • In Florida, fall is best.
  • In cooler climates: Plant after the last frost.
  • Seeds can be planted in a pot or directly into the ground.
  • Plant in an area that receives full sunlight.
  • Loosen soil and scatter seeds generously.
  • Rake lightly to cover seeds.
  • Keep seeds moist. They may need to be watered
    more than once a day in warm conditions.
  • Seeds should germinate within two to three weeks.
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