Take Back Your Yard: Repel Ticks Naturally

Take Back Your Yard: Repel Ticks Naturally

Members of the arachnid family, ticks are parasitic pests that are quick to catch a ride on hair, clothes, or a pet’s fur. Once there, the tiny tick takes its meals by sucking blood from its host. Time spent in the backyard risks bites from these blood-sucking bugs. Or worse, catching a dangerous disease that they can carry. It’s time to take back your yard and repel ticks with these natural methods.

Keep up on Yard Work

Ticks prefer moist shaded conditions. By cutting back tree branches and shrubs, you’ll let more light in and keep your yard drier. Mow regularly, too. Overgrown areas and tall grasses are great hideouts for these blood-sucking bugs.

Tidy up to Avoid Ticks

Give your yard a good cleaning to repel ticks. This includes removing anything that makes a good hiding place for bugs, like old furniture, toys, debris, and layers of leaves that need to be raked. Stack your firewood neatly in a dry area that’s not adjacent to the outside of your home. And because these bugs love moist environments, repair any drainage issues where water puddles in the yard.

Build Bug Barriers

Fence your yard to keep out wildlife like deer and foxes that often host ticks. Also, get rid of bird feeders or pet food that attracts animals. These parasitic pests are prima donnas. They won’t cross wood chips, pebbles, or gravel for fear of irritating their feet. Build a barrier around your yard using one of these materials to make it a tick-free zone. The smell of cedar chips naturally repels ticks, so if you use this material to make your border it’s a double dose of prevention.

Nature’s Remedies to Repel Ticks

Certain plants and their essential oils naturally repel ticks. Lend your landscaping a lovely look that doubles as a deterrent for ticks by planting chrysanthemums, pennyroyal, rose geranium, rosemary, lemongrass, and citronella plants. Or make a mixture that repels ticks using a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle of water. Try cedar, lavender, peppermint, and rosemary oils for some popular scents.

Call in the Cavalry

Ticks are tiny and often attach themselves in hard-to-see places like in your hair or on your armpits. Their bites don’t hurt. For these reasons, these bugs typically go unnoticed for long periods of time. This increases the likelihood of contracting illnesses like Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If natural methods aren’t enough to repel ticks, call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone]. We provide a program to prevent these parasites from taking over your backyard.

How to Stop Dog Urine from Destroying Your Lawn

How to Stop Dog Urine from Destroying Your Lawn

Is man’s best friend making a mess of your yard? Brown or burnt spots in your grass are not only unappealing to the eye, but these areas where your dog does his business take their toll on your lawn’s health. Find out how to prevent dog urine damage and get your grass green again.

Lawn Damage: Did the Doggie Do It?

Before you blame Spot for the burnt spots in your turf, take a closer look. Lawn burn looks a lot like many other issues that can plague grass, such as disease, drought, or a pest infestation. One way to determine if the dog did it is to watch where he goes. Most dogs frequent the same places. Also, another approach is to grab a handful of damaged grass and tug on it. If it comes up roots and all, you may have grub damage. Burnt grass that stays firmly rooted after a good tug is probably from your pet.

Dog urine has a high content of nitrogen because the canine diet is rich in protein. And concentrated amounts of nitrogen kill grass over time, just like if you over fertilize. Female dogs do more damage because they tend to squat in one spot depositing a concentrated amount of nitrogen, while male dogs lift their legs over a variety of spots.

Dog Urine Damage Prevention

Keeping your dog off the lawn is not always a realistic option. But there are other ways to prevent dog urine damage. The best way to preserve your lawn’s health is to designate one particular spot for your dog to do his business. Choose an area less visible or create a small place with gravel or pavers that can be easily rinsed off.

Forego the fertilizer. Fertilized grass already gets enough nitrogen, so consider feeding your lawn less or avoiding the areas your dog frequents.

Water down the waste. When your dog relieves himself, take the hose and water down the area to dilute the nitrogen.

Get Your Grass Green Again

Has man’s best friend already left his mark? To repair damaged areas of your lawn, remove dead grass, aerate the area using a pitchfork, and spread new grass seed. Water the newly seeded areas regularly for the next few weeks.

If you follow the advice for preventing dog urine damage, your lawn should eventually recover if the damage is in smaller areas. Dead grass and larger areas need a professional’s attention. Call Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone], and we’ll help you get your grass green again.

How to Identify and Prevent Crabgrass

How to Identify and Prevent Crabgrass

Fast growing and quick to spread, crabgrass is an aggressive annual weed that easily finds a home in thinning lawns and bare spots in the turf. It creates a thick mangled mess in an otherwise tidy lawn, crowding out grass and robbing it of nutrients. Besides its invasive nature, homeowners hate this weed for turning their turf into an eyesore. Find out how to prevent crabgrass now.

Identification

Correctly identifying crabgrass is difficult because several weeds look similar. In its early stages, crabgrass seedlings look like tiny corn stalks. As it matures, the weed grows in clumps low to the ground. Thick, bending grass-like blades make up each clump and branch outward to create a crab-like appearance. Mature crabgrass has thicker blades than grass and the blades are attached to a star-shaped stem.

Getting Rid of Crabgrass

Killing crabgrass is all about timing. Your best bet is to apply a preemergent herbicide, but this must be done in the early spring before the weed develops. If you have a small amount of crabgrass in your lawn, hand pulling is an effective method. This process requires patience and time. Make sure to only pull out the weeds before they set seed. Don’t perform this task on weeds that have visible seed head tines. You may want to treat the areas where the weeds were with an herbicide to prevent any stray seeds from growing.

Use a postemergergent herbicide on crabgrass after it sprouts, but before it sets seed. This typically requires a hand pump sprayer. Reapplications are sometimes necessary, but be sure to follow the directions on the label for effective results.

Prevent Crabgrass from Making a Mess of Your Lawn

The crabgrass plant dies in the fall. However, it leaves behind thousands of seeds that lay dormant in the winter, ready to take over your turf come springtime. To prevent crabgrass maintain a thick healthy lawn that crowds out weeds. Perform a routine maintenance schedule of mowing at the proper height, fertilizing at the right time, and watering regularly. Reseed bare or thinning areas of your lawn where weeds target and fertilize the grass at least once a year.

If you need help identifying and fighting invasive weeds, contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at [phone]. We’ll help your lawn stay healthy and weed free.

Natural Methods to Repel Mosquitoes

Natural Methods to Repel Mosquitoes

Hosting an outdoor gathering? Or just enjoying some fresh air on your deck? Either way, mosquitoes can make spending time outdoors in the summer an agony, especially at dusk or after dark. The itchy welts their bites leave behind are enough to keep you indoors. Not to mention the diseases they can potentially carry! But there’s no need to kill off these problematic pests with chemicals. Try out these tips to naturally repel mosquitoes and bask in the beauty of your backyard again.

Let Your Landscaping Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

Plenty of plants naturally repel mosquitoes, so add them to your garden or place them around your patio. Rosemary, basil, and lavender are aromatic herbs that mosquitoes dislike. Not only do these plants keep the pests away, but they add beauty to your garden and flavor to your cooking. Citronella, lemon balm, catnip, and marigolds are other plants that naturally repel mosquitoes.

Make Your Environment Less Appealing to Pests

Build a few bat houses. Give these creatures a happy home and they eat what bugs you. Bats dine on mosquitoes during dusk, reducing the population in your yard.

Remove any standing water. Bird baths, empty flower pots, buckets, and kiddie pools create great breeding grounds. So do clogged gutters. Make sure areas in your yard that are prone to puddling have proper drainage. Flowing water won’t attract mosquitoes, so you can keep any fountains or moving water features.

Get Personal

What you wear is an important factor in attracting mosquitoes. Stay away from beauty products like lotions and hair sprays that attract pests. Replace these items with ones that are unscented or feature scents that naturally repel mosquitoes, like lavender and rosemary.

Use your outdoor wardrobe to ward off pests. Wear light colored clothes that provide plenty of coverage. Darker colors and bright floral patterns attract mosquitoes.

Home Remedies to Repel Mosquitoes

Make your own concoctions to repel mosquitoes using essential oils. Peppermint, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, and geranium oils work well when you mix them in a spray bottle with water. Or add a few drops to olive oil and rub on your skin. Never place undiluted essential oils directly on your skin because they can irritate.

Create your own traps with dish detergent. Mix dish detergent into a few shallow dishes of water and place around your patio or deck. Mosquitoes use standing water to breed, but when they land in this dish they get stuck in the detergent and die.

Call Us

Don’t let these blood-thirsty bugs keep you inside this summer. If these natural methods to repel mosquitoes aren’t enough to keep the bugs at bay, call in an expert. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and we’ll help you ban unwanted pests from your backyard.