Flea and tick season is here! When you hear about ticks and disease transmission, most of us think about Lyme disease. But there are more, including: Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, and Tularemia. Who should be protected from tick bites? Both humans and our beloved pets. Preventative treatments(in both oral and topical formulations) are available for both dogs and cats that can prevent or reduce your pets exposure to fleas and ticks. What about humans? Treatment of lawn and flowerbed areas with granular or liquid insecticides is a highly effective method of taking care of existing tick and flea issues as well as preventing new infestations. At Synergy², we use combination granular insecticides to provide our customers with the most effective and longest-lasting protection from fleas and ticks!
MOSQUITO SEASON IS HERE! TIPS FOR PREVENTION!!
Our family loves spending time outdoors. Unfortunately, warmer temperatures and more time spent outdoors means exposure to one of the world's deadliest animals, the mosquito! Diseases carried by mosquitoes and transmitted to humans kill an average of 725,000 to as many as 1 million people worldwide annually. West Nile, Encephalitis, Zika, Malaria, and Chikungunya are some of the most common diseases mosquitoes are responsible for in humans. Mosquitoes don't spare our pets either with heartworm disease being among the most serious.
What can we do? Think prevention first. Mosquitoes have the ability to breed in just the cap of a water or coke bottle. Removing all sources of water that could become breeding sites for mosquitoes is essential. These include standing water in: gutters, leaky pipes, trash cans, birdbaths, grill cover, flowerpots, buckets, cups, baby pools, and even pools of stagnant water in lawns or flowerbeds.
Tips for prevention of mosquito bites outdoors, include:
1.Use a mosquito repellent spray or lotion with at least 20% DEET. DEET has been shown to be one of the most effective mosquito repellents.
2.Avoidance: Early morning and evening times are when mosquitoes are most active.
3.Clothing: This is a tough one in the South, but long pants and long sleeve shirts will reduce your exposure to mosquito bites.
4.Citronella and other organic chemicals may provide some protection against mosquitoes
5.Mosquito Misting Systems have been shown to reduce mosquito populations
6.Mosquito services provided by a licensed pest control company. This may include a mistblower application of insecticide to the areas around your home and lawn, especially the underside of leaves of trees and bushes(a common resting site for mosquitoes). The service may also include the application of larvicides to potential breeding sites as well as IGRs, or Insect Growth Regulators, which disrupt mosquitoes ability to reproduce.
For more information on professional mosquito service for both residential and commercial customers, please visit www.synergy2ms.com.
While termites are active year round devouring all types wood and cellulose products(including your home!), homeowners are most likely to be alerted to the presence of termites between early and late spring. It is termite mating season! A group of termites in the colony develop wings and have the ability to fly. Homeowners will notice these winged alates around windows, doors, and sometimes even inside their homes. Please see the attached picture to distinguish between winged ants and termite swarmers. What should you do? If your home is currently under a termite contract, call your termite service provider and request an inspection. If the inspection confirms active termite, your home should be treated at no cost. If your home is not currently under termite contract, call a local licensed termite company and request a termite inspection. Termite barrier treatments, while not inexpensive, are the best way to insure your most valuable possession is protected from devastating structural damage. Termite barrier treatments are typically guaranteed for up to 12 months. After that, the homeowner has the option of renewing protection annually with a termite bond. Termite bonds range from $125-$450 annually and are cheap insurance to guarantee your home is treated at no cost if termites re-appear. Synergy² is proud to offer cutting edge technology in the Termidor HP soil injection system. Benefits include no messy digging around your home, precise application of the termiticide Termidor, and up to an industry leading 12 year guarantee! Visit us at www.synergy2ms.com for more information.
With warming temperatures comes a really good question about lawn fertilization: Which type of fertilizer is best for my lawn, quick-release or slow-release? Quick-release fertilizers encourage rapid growth and greening but are probably not the best option for warm season turf grasses. Slow-release granular fertilizers in a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium promote root development and release nutrients to your lawn over an extended period of time. Competing with your neighbor to see who can green up their lawn first? Remember slow and steady always wins the race in the end!
If spending a beautiful spring weekend renting a back-breaking lawn aerator and punching thousands of holes in your lawn isn't your idea of fun, we completely agree! And yet, annual core aeration of your lawn is one of the best ways to insure a thick, healthy lawn that crowds out weeds and efficiently utilizes water.
Unfortunately, our area of the country is known for heavy clay soils, which are easily compacted, restricting the amount of oxygen and water that can reach the roots of the grass. Compacted soils also do not allow critical nutrients into the root zone of the lawn. Over time, soil compaction can cause serious problems related to overall turf health.
Core aerators punch thousands of holes in your lawn which allow water and oxygen to reach the critical root zone. This also provides room for extensive new root development. Benefits of annual core aeration:
1.Relieve Soil Compaction
2.Reduce Build Up of Thatch
3.Improve Overall Turf Health
4.Reduces Water Run-Off
5.Thick, Healthy Root Zone Development
Next week's blog will include tips on core aeration for the do-it-yourself homeowner! If you would like more information on Synergy², please visit us at www.synergy2ms.com .
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Causing over $5 billion in property damage in the US annually, termites are a serious pest. Unfortunately, most termite damage is done inside of walls and is not recognized until significant damage has been done. The two best indicators for termites around your home are:
1.The presence of mud tubes on walls, both interior and exterior
2.The presence of termite swarmers(termites with wings that can fly). In Mississippi, termite swarmers are most likely seen during the spring in March, April, and May. Shed wings near a window or door may also be an indicator of termites.
What should you do?
If you have a termite bond/agreement with an existing pest company, renew it annually. This is inexpensive "insurance" that guarantees the company will come back and re-treat at no cost if there is a termite infestation.
If you do not have a termite bond in place, consider contacting a pest control company that specializes in termites to request a quote for a termite barrier treatment around your home. Once the barrier treatment is completed, renew your termite bond annually to keep that guarantee of no-cost re-treatment in place.
At Synergy², we are proud to be one of a select group of termite companies nationwide that can offer no-dig, soil injection termite barrier treatments. With no messy digging around your home and precise application of Termidor HP through soil injection, termites don't stand a chance! Visit us at www.synergy2ms.com for more information.
“Good night and don’t let the bedbugs bite”: Tips for frequent business travelers
Whether on vacation or regular business travel, there is always a risk of bringing bedbugs back to your home. Bedbug infestations are not only difficult to eradicate but also extremely expensive. The following are a few travel tips I use during my weekly overnights for business:
1.Inspection: Inspecting your hotel room is the first step in identifying potential bedbug infestations. Bedbugs typically hide during the day in box springs, the seams/edges of mattresses, carpet, baseboards, furniture, and pictures hanging on the wall.
2.Infestation: Look for signs of an infestation. While you may not find live bedbugs, the following are signs of an active infestation:
- Bedbug skins/shells/exoskeltons
- Tiny blood spots on the mattress, walls, or ceiling
- Fecal spots or stains on the mattress or bedding
3.Luggage: Keep all luggage elevated and off of the floor. The hotel’s luggage rack is a good option(after carefully inspecting the rack)
4.Clothing: Keep clothing in your luggage or hanging in the hotel closet. Leaving clothing on the floor or on the bed makes it easy for bedbugs to hitch a ride home with you!
5.Heat: An excellent preventative practice is to place all clothing in your dryer upon returning home. Bedbugs cannot survive in high heat environments. 15 minutes in a dryer on a high heat setting is recommended.
Good luck and safe travels! And remember, don’t let the bedbugs bite!
If you think you may have bedbugs in your home or business, please contact us to get rid of them quickly and effectively.
Armyworms are Marching into Madison County!!
August is always a peak time for armyworm activity, but 2016 may be the worst year yet. Going to bed with a beautiful green lawn and waking up to a brown, half-eaten lawn is quite a shock to most homeowners. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about armyworms:
1.What are they?
Armyworms are the caterpillar of a moth. As pictured above, they are often black with green/yellow stripes. While they primarily eat grass blades, they have been known to eat certain types of vegetables too. They love well manicured bermuda lawns!
2.Do I have them?
Before noticing turf damage , a homeowner may first see moths flying around on the prop
erty. This usually is followed by a large number of birds coming down to feast on the caterpillars. The most obvious sign will be a lawn that was previously green quickly becoming brown, either in spots or across the entire property.
3.How do I treat them?
One word, “Quickly!”. An untreated lawn with a large infestation can easily be devoured over a period of 2-3 days. The good news is that armyworms can be fairly easily managed by homeowners with access to a spreader or sprayer and chemicals sold at local garden centers. Professional pest control companies are well-equipped to manage infestations for homeowners not wishing to go the “do-it-yourself” route.
4.Which chemicals do I use?
Most local garden centers have a variety of insecticides(typically pytheroids, though we have recently seen an expansion of different classes of insecticides) that come in either a liquid or granular formulation. Utilizing either a backpack sprayer for liquids or rotary or drop spreader for granular formulations, a homeowner can usually treat the average-sized lawn in less than an hour.
5.Which is better?
Liquid, Granular or Both? We prefer utilizing a dual chemical approach in most situations. Liquid insecticides work quickly but do not have much residual action and are easily washed off with rain or irrigation. Granular insecticides work a little more slowly but may also have residual activity that helps prevent armyworm re-infestations.
Do I just need to treat the spots where I see armyworm activity? We recommend treating the entire lawn as it is not uncommon to miss spots of armyworm activity which can lead to additional turf damage.
How do I know if they are gone? Armyworms are often active in the early morning, cooler hours. This is an excellent time to inspect the lawn and driveways/sidewalks for addtional armyworms.
Will they come back? It is not uncommon to see a re-infestation of armyworms between 2 and 4 weeks after the initial infestation. The same treatments listed above should be repeated for any additional infestations.
At Synergy², we love working with do-it-yourself homeowners to help them solve pest control and weed control problems on their own. As the owner of Synergy, this is how I learned and I am happy to provide this information free-of-charge to any homeowners interested in going the do-it-yourself route. Like us on facebook and twitter to subscribe to timely tips about your home and lawn. If you have additional questions, I am always available by cell or text at 601-624-6360.
Barry Pitts, R.Ph.
Cutting-Edge Pest and Weed Applications for your Home or Business
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- July 13th, 2016 -
Quarterly Pest Service
Do I really need it?
Always Think From The Outside In
Growing up in Vicksburg in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we never used a pest control company for preventative service. If you are like me, when we saw the occasional cockroach or ant, that would mean a trip to the Co-Op or garden center to purchase a general use insecticide. Once home, we would use the whole bottle spraying the interior of our home. Sometimes it worked, oftentimes it did not…..
Most occasional invader pests in our homes come from the outside seeking better environmental conditions, water, or food. A better approach to managing occasional invader pests is to focus on the outside of your home. Today’s professional-use insecticides are designed to last up to 90 days in harsh environmental conditions, including heat, rain, and irrigation. They allow us to establish an invisible barrier around a home, preventing many pest problems by keeping pests where they belong(Outside!). As the pests encounter the granular or liquid insecticide barrier outside of the home, they are either repelled or die. For the do-it-yourself homeowner, remember, think from the outside in!!
Click here to get a quote for quarterly pest service for your home.