Proudly Serving NE Florida Since 1992
Normally I begin our newsletters with what upcoming application you will be receiving and what to expect, but nothing has been “normal” for most of us as we all learn to navigate through our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We at Curtis Pest Control will continue to service our clients and will happily welcome new ones unless we are instructed otherwise by the county, state or federal government. Going forward, for our employee’s safety and yours, we are firmly adhering to the mandated social distancing. Should you need to speak with your lawn technician while he is servicing your lawn, please remember to keep at least a 6’ distance. Additionally, should you approach any of our service trucks to speak with any employee, please remember to do the same. Likewise, for perimeter “indoor pests” clients, should you need to speak with Ryan while he is performing your perimeter treatment, again, please maintain at least a 6’ distance. Lastly, until further notice Ryan will not be entering our client’s homes for pest issues (i.e., ants, etc.), however, he will gladly provide you with the necessary baits, gels, etc. and provide you with thorough instructions. Simply phone him or our office to discuss your interior pest issue. We sincerely appreciate your understanding and patience as we do our best to keep ourselves and our clients safe. We pray all of you stay safe and well.
The Latest Dirt
In March we applied our spring granular fertilizer and treated weeds with a post-emergent herbicide. Some of you have called to say you have an overabundance of weeds now and that is 100% normal and to be expected. While last month we treated for the weeds we actually could see, the fertilizer made any pre-emerging weeds grow. This is why our spring weed control is scheduled in April.
We use two different types of herbicides: a pre-emergent that kills the weeds that have already surfaced and a post-emergent that kills those waiting to surface. When your technician gets to your property, it is a MUST that your lawn is NOT drought-stressed. We are going into our growing season with a rainfall deficit and warmer than usual temps. Because of that we are seeing a lot of very dry lawns. Weed-killer is hard on grass and it has to be in good shape before it can tolerate an herbicide application and before the herbicide can be effective on the weeds. For those of you with irrigation systems, please take the time to check them. Make sure that the coverage and duration is correct. *Remember: when you go out for your paper in the morning, if the grass is wilted and the blades are folded you need to water ASAP. 45-60 minutes per zone for those of you with an irrigation system.
Please note: You must allow 21 days from the date of your application for the full effect of the herbicides to be reached. If after 21 days you are still having an issue with weeds in your turf, please contact our office.
Please also note: While we try to schedule our weed control applications on days when no rain is predicted, ometimes Mother Nature just doesn’t cooperate! If it rains shortly after your application, you will still need to wait the full 21 days to see what effect it had. We simply have no way of knowing how much of the herbicide has been absorbed until that time frame is met. Again, if after 21 days you are still having problems with weeds in your turf, please contact our office.
Spring Lawn Critters
Every spring we receive calls about mysterious holes in our customer’s lawns. We advise them that this is probably the result of armadillos foraging for insects. The holes caused by armadillos are generally 1-3 inches in depth and 3-5 inches wide. Armadillos dig as they search for food items such as grubs. This activity can actually be considered beneficial. The “damage” they cause is mostly cosmetic, though they sometimes uproot plants in beds.
Another common lawn mammal is the mole. If you have a mole, you will see mounds of dirt and/or surface ridges. The mounds look like puffs or piles of dirt shaped like a volcano. And, the surface ridges are raised and resemble the raised veins on the back of your hand. The surface ridges that lie just below the surface are foraging tunnels. These tunnels are created as the mole searches for the earthworms and insects on which they feed. Their diet consists of mole crickets, grubs, ants, cutworms, armyworms and slugs, though they are often falsely accused of eating the roots of grass and plants. Just as armadillos can be considered beneficial, so can moles. They also help to loosen and aerate the soil. In loose soil, moles can tunnel up to 18 feet per hour. Their living space is in the tunnels and chambers 6-12 inches below the surface. Soil from these deep burrows is pushed to the surface in small mounds. Like the armadillo, the damage caused by them is almost entirely cosmetic.
Many of you have asked if we could treat for grubs. While there are some companies that do offer so-called grub control applications, we do not. Reason being, grubs are located deep in your soil and very difficult to eliminate. Furthermore, even if we could eradicate them, armadillos will still dig to try and locate them and moles will still tunnel in an effort to locate them. There are a lot of home remedies floating around, such as using cayenne pepper, mothballs or even chewed up gum! Most of the remedies we’ve heard of are just old wives tales that truly do not work. The only viable solution we know of is to either trap them yourself or call a wildlife trapper to do the job for you. The good news is, these creatures don’t seem to hang around any certain area for all that long. In other words, what may be an issue today, probably won’t be within 2 or 3 weeks or possibly less.
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