Spring Planning for Your Garden

Glimpses of spring have filled the air here and there.  Even though temperatures are unpredictable right now, it is the perfect time to plan for your garden.  Ideal conditions, like temperatures and planting zones, vary depending on your location.  The state of Georgia has 5 different plant hardiness zones or geographical areas in which specific plant life is capable of growing based on climate (source).

So what are some simple steps you can do right now to Plan for Your Garden?

  • Clean and perform maintenance on lawn equipment.
  • Check irrigation system.  Make sure that your system is working properly and that water is reaching the desired areas.
  • Get your soil tested.  Testing can help you to know what is crucial to your soil for the results your desire.  Test Your Soil
  • Make a plan.  Don’t just go buy plants on a whim.  Instead, do your research on what plants grow best where/when.  Map out what you want to do.  This will save you time and money.
  • Build raised beds for spring vegetables.
  • Prune shrubs and bushes.  Pruning stimulates growth so make sure to cut 1-2 feet lower than your desired end of season height.
  • Fertilize trees and shrubs.
  • Overseed fescue lawns.

Don’t have time for spring planning for your garden?  Northwest Lawn Care offers FREE lawn care analysis, aeration and overseeding, and tree and shrub services.  Save time and money and let the experts handle your lawn care year round!

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

Spring Wildlife Prevention Tips

Head Into Spring With These Helpful Wildlife Prevention Tips

The South (and a greater portion of the country) is making its way out of a treacherous winter.  During the recent cold months its likely that pests or wildlife may have taken shelter in your home.  Since Spring is approaching it’s a good time to get in the habit of checking around your property for areas that could have been used or could be used as entry points for wildlife.

chipmunk

chipmunk

Wildlife and pests come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some are relatively harmless while others can cause potential health threats.  Illnesses can be contracted by breathing in contaminated air with spores that develop from fungus grown in animals’ fecal matter.  The elderly, children, or those with compromised immune systems can be at high risk for contracting these illnesses.

If you hear scratching or scurrying in your walls, don’t ignore it or try to solve the problem on your own, call a professional wildlife removal team.  Guessing or attempting to get rid of the animal on your own could result in costly damage and even danger.  When hiring a trusted wildlife removal company, like Northwest Exterminating, the first order of business is to inspect the property and assess the situation.  They can identify the issue based on where you’re hearing noises, openings, droppings, gnaw marks, or nests.  Once the pest is identified a customized plan can be established.

As we say here over and over again, the key is PREVENTION.  Some wildlife are bound and determined to get into your home regardless of the steps you take, however, there are ways you can deter them.

Wildlife Prevention Tips:

  • Bring pet food and water indoors and keep in a tightly sealed container.
  • Trim trees back from the roofline.
  • Although they are fun to watch and enjoy, bird feeders should be removed.  They can attract squirrels and other animals to your home.
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Keep outdoor trash in a tightly sealed container.
  • Caulk & seal entrances around the home.
  • Hire a trusted and knowledgeable wildlife expert to remove wildlife from your home.

 

 

Preparing Your Lawn for Spring

This past weekend was a great preview of the warm Spring weather that is coming.  The sun was shining, birds chirping, and we could comfortably be outside without multiple layers of clothing.  It seems that we have almost (I repeat, almost) escaped the harsh winter that we’ve been experiencing.

After our spring preview, its made many people think about their lawn and how they can enjoy it in the upcoming months.  After the treacherous winter weather, it may need a little more TLC than usual.  Northwest Lawn Care would like to help you get your lawn back into tip-top GREEN shape!

Our FREE lawn care analysis is an in-depth inspection of your lawn that will help us develop a comprehensive plan that is unique to the needs of your lawn.  Call us today or visit us online to schedule your analysis to have your lawn healthy and green for the spring.

 

Spring Clean Your Lawn

Wednesday marked the first day of Spring.  For many of us that means one thing…Spring Cleaning!  We often think about all the things to do indoors but what about outdoors?  It’s time to spring clean your lawn as well.

backyard

Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips for your Lawn:

  • Clean up lawn debris – Remove trash, animal debris, dead grass, leaves, pine cones, sticks, etc from your lawn.  Debris removal will not only make your lawn look better but it also eliminates hiding and feeding areas for pests and rodents.
  • Rake Leaves – If you have piles of leaves left over from fall or some stragglers that have come down more recently, rake those up and dispose of them.  Raking up leaves and removing debris  will eliminate hiding spots for occasional invaders like millipedes, ants, and other pests.
  • Check leftover firewood – Check under any leftover firewood for signs of pests that often hide between and underneath wood.  Make sure that wood piles are located as far away from your home as possible.  The last thing you want is termites next to your structure.
  • Remove standing water – Standing water is a breeding ground for pests, especially mosquitoes.  Dump water from bird baths or install drains that will aid in water flowing from your yard rather than gathering.
  • Trim Bushes – By trimming your bushes you are not only making your lawn look aesthetically pleasing but you’re also reducing the risk of pests near the structure of your home.
  • Apply pre-emergent – Now is the perfect time to prevent weeds from popping up in your lawn.  Call a lawn care professional for the most effective products and treatment options for your lawn.

There’s no better time than now to trust Northwest’s Lawn Care experts to prepare your lawn to be healthy and green for the upcoming months so you can enjoy the outdoors!

 

Spring Fever and Spring Pests

Spring is here and so are the pests.  We’ve talked a lot about the unusually warm weather leading to higher numbers of pest sightings and our Ask the Mouse section on our website has been a great place for readers to ask questions about pests they are seeing.  Mosquitoes, bed bugs, and carpenter bees are among some of the common household pests that are being seen this spring.  Take a look below at some of our most common recent questions.

Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

MosquitoesMosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and can sense it from up to 30 yards away. Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what it is that makes some people more attractive than others. Research has indicated that the amount of carbon dioxide in the breath, pregnancy, body temperature, alcohol and odorant markers based on blood type are the top attractants. Pregnant women are preferable because they exhale more carbon dioxide and tend to run a little warmer than the average person. It is also thought that alcohol increases body heat making a person more appealing. So be careful who you hang around at the next cook out.

My son’s coming home from college. What do I need to do to make sure he doesn’t bring home bed bugs?

bed bugBed bugs are evasive and hard to detect. When your son brings home his clothes, make sure to leave them outside, in a detached building or in the garage. Immediately place the dirty clothes in the washing machine and dry them on high for at least 10 minutes. It is best to keep the luggage out of the house if possible. If you don’t have that option you can place the luggage in black plastic bags and leave them outside in the sun on a hot day. You can also do this with furniture. Bed bugs won’t tolerate temperatures greater than 120 degrees. Since bed bugs are tiny and can get into the smallest cracks, it is best to have a professional to inspect furniture and other items before you bring them into your house.

I found sawdust on my back porch. Does that mean I have termites?

Termites eat the cellulose part of the wood and don’t leave behind sawdust. Chances are you have a different pest, one of the most common is the carpenter bees. Carpenter bees get their name because they excavate clean round entrance holes, close to ½ inch wide, into soft wood such as pine, cedar, cypress and fir. The prefer to attack structural timbers and other wood products such as fascia boards, porch ceilings, decks, railings, siding, shutters, firewood, and other weathered wood.  They tend to avoid wood that is well painted or covered in bark. They do not eat the wood therefore they leave behind the sawdust. They bore into wood to make galleries for nesting. If left untreated, they can cause extensive damage.

What other questions do you have for Northwest Exterminating’s Ask The Mouse section?

Have you seen mosquitoes, bed bugs, carpenter bees, or other pests in or around your home?

 

Dr. Goo’s Corner: How to Survive the High Pollen Counts

Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.

Spring has arrived and brought pollen with it.  Yesterday’s pollen count is the highest ever recorded in Atlanta for that date.  According to Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, the record number was 9369 per cubic meter.

If you have springtime allergies you are probably having a tough time right now due to the extremely high pollen counts.  Even people who do not normally have allergies can be having some difficulties with the pollen.

Symptoms include:

  • Eyes: Itchy, runny, swollen eyes
  • Nose: Stuffy or congested nose, clear or colored nasal discharge, sneezing or itchy nose, post nasal drainage
  • Throat: Sore or itchy throat
  • Lungs: Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
  • Skin: Increased itching, scratching of the skin and a possible flare of eczema, atopic dermatitis or other skin conditions.

Tips To Avoid Pollen:

  • Stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity, especially in the yard.
  • Run your air conditioner in your home and change your air filter regularly.
  • Keep your windows closed for now.
  • Vacuum at least twice a week. Empty the bag and change the filters regularly.
  • Dust or clean any visible pollen from your house.
  • Wash your hands, hair, body, and clothes when you come in from the outside.
  • Remove your shoes and jackets at the door.
  • Wash off pets if they have been running and playing in the yard.
  • Keep your car windows and sunroof closed and run the air conditioner on re-circulate to avoid bringing in air from the outside.
  • Consider an air purifier if you have very bad symptoms.  Put it in the room where you sleep and shut the door to keep pollen from entering.
  • Remove any unnecessary carpets or objects that collect pollen and dust from your room during this time.
  • Avoid outdoor exercise when the pollen count is high because it may be harmful to your system. Even indoor exercise might be a problem if you have respiratory symptoms like wheezing or coughing so contact your physician before you exercise.

Treatment for Hay Fever Symptoms:

If you have a cough, wheezing or difficulty breathing, immediately call your doctor. For serious breathing problems call 911. You may be having a serious problem like an asthma attack.  Treatment may include breathing treatments or steroids. You will definitely need to see your doctor if you are concerned about your cough or breathing.

In general, anti-histamines (like diphenhydramine, loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine) are the first thing many people try because they decrease the allergic response. There are multiple over the counter preparations that work pretty well, but oftentimes one works better for one individual than another, and some have less side effects, like sedation, than others. There are prescription medications as well that your doctor can prescribe to you.

Decongestants help by relieving the inflammation and congestion that comes with the allergic response.  Medications like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are available over the counter but can have serious side effects, so talk to your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking them.

Steroids also decrease the inflammation related to allergies so they are used commonly if the anti-histamine or decongestants are not effective. Steroids are always prescribed by a physician or health care provider and cannot be obtained over the counter.

For itchy eyes (Allergic Conjunctivitis) there are many types of over the counter drops that work very well. One product has pheneramine (anti-histamine) and naphazoline (gets the red out). As with any medicine it can have side effects so contact your doctor if you are taking any other medications before you use it. Please discuss the treatment with your physician if you have any concerns.

Sneezing, runny nose, and congestion are symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis.  There are many different preparations for this as well starting with decongestants which dry up your nose. Other preparations are steroid nasal sprays and medicines that stabilize the allergic response.


Enjoy Spring, but be careful if you are having allergic symptoms and call your doctor for any medical advice.  CorrectMed Pediatrics can answer your questions and treat you if needed.

Thanks,

Dr. Goo