Keep Your Family Safe From Chiggers With Terra Bites

Bites on footIf you just moved to Georgia from the west or far north United States, you may have never heard of a chigger. Because chiggers tend to live in warmer climates, if you just moved, you may be surprised when you go out in your yard and feel a bite like you have never felt before. Chiggers are juvenile mites, members of the arachnid family (the same family as spiders and ticks) and despite their size, have a bite way worse than their bark. 

What makes a chigger so bothersome is after it bites a human, it injects its digestive enzymes into the skin after about 1-3 hours, causes symptoms and signs to begin. Symptoms include:

  • Pronounced itching
  • Area redness, flatteness, or a raised area and may resemble a blister
  • The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite, but can last up to two weeks

Although many think the chigger itself burrows into skin and remains there, this is a myth, so applying nail polish or alcohol to suffocate the chigger will not do much good. The best solution is prevention, meaning keep your lawn manicured, and weeds controlled with Terra Bites Lawn Service.

We understand that life gets busy, and you may not have the time or energy to keep up with mowing, edging, and other general lawn care. Hiring a lawn care company like Terra Bites is a great way to eliminate a chigger’s ideal home. We will be sure to keep up with the maintenance of your lawn, even when you are out of town, on vacation, or just get busy. With our basic service, we visit your lawn twenty times throughout the year, which equates to every other week during the primary growing season. We also offer weed control, eliminating another breeding ground for these tiny pests.

Keep your family safe, and bite-free with help from Terra Bites Lawn Service!

3 Misconceptions About Watering Your Lawn

Did you know June 23rd was National Hydration Day? If you are like many, you may be concerned that your lawn is getting dehydrated in the summer heat, but properly watering your lawn takes more than just putting a sprinkler on it whenever the idea hits. There are several misconceptions about watering your lawn, and here at Terra Bites Lawn Care, LLC, we would like to clear some of them up. Sprinkler on lawn

Common Misconception #1: The water from my hose is too warm

According to horticulturalist Linda Chalker-Scott, PhD, you will never be able to scorch your grass due to your water being too warm. If you choose to wait until dusk, you are just prolonging your grass’s suffering, as well as encouraging fungal development.

Common Misconception #2: Leaving footprints in grass is a sign it is adequately watered

This is actually the exact opposite of what it means! The test to see if your grass is under drought stress is to walk across it and see if you leave footprints. If you do, it needs more water. Other signs your grass needs water are if the blades start to wilt or curl, and if it turns bluish-gray, instead of green.

Common Misconception #3: The best time to water my lawn is the evening, when the sun starts to set

For optimal saturation and minimal fungal development, the best time to water your lawn is early morning. This will give your grass time to absorb the water, but allow the sun’s rays to evaporate excess to avoid fungus. If your grass is under drought stress midday, do not be afraid to water it! Water your lawn when it is thirsty, and it will stay beautiful all summer long!

With Terra Bites’ lawn service packages, you will not have to worry about underwatering or overwatering. We will take care of everything for you, making your summer stress-free and relaxing. Contact us today for more information.

Wait a second…those aren’t leaves!

Have you ever been walking around your yard noticing your trees, and all of the sudden, see something that looks off? It resembles a dead leaf bunch, but upon closer inspection, you realize it is not leaves at all. At Terra Bites Lawn Service LLC in Braselton Georgia, we want to educate you on bagworms and give some easy ways to rid your yard of them.

Bagworm

By Andrew C via Wikimedia Commons

What Are Bagworms?

Often mistaken for dead leaves or moss, bagworms are highly destructive insects that quite literally attack many deciduous and evergreen tree, as well as shrubs. When they are young, the caterpillars feed on the needles of the tree, and can be recognized by their signature “bag” they construct around themselves.

Getting Rid Of Them:

Method 1: The first removal method is to physically remove and destroy as many of the bags as possible. This can significantly reduce bagworm populations. Unfortunately, many times they build their “bags” very high in trees making easy removal unlikely. Trust your friends at Terra Bites to help you with this problem! By having proper, and regular lawn care maintenence, we should be able to spot any developing bags, and dispose of them before it is too late.

Method 2: Products such as bifenthrin or permethrinfrom, when used from April to August can help to prevent bagworms from being attracted to your trees in the first place.

Method 3: Trees under stress, much like people, are more susceptible to illness and infestation. Proper watering, and maintenance of your trees and lawn like the services provided by Terra Bites will help deter bagworms from inhabiting.

To learn more about bagworms, or any of our services, contact Terra Bites today!

It’s A Serious Problem…

Shrooms. We hear it all the time. Someone’s family member or friend is having a problem with mushrooms. What can you do? Should you have an intervention? They do not realize how harmful it is…to their lawn! The most common cause of lawn mushrooms is poor drainage, leading to an excess of moisture. At Terra Bites Lawn Service LLC, we know that lawn mushrooms are not only an eyesore, but can be potentially dangerous to children and pets. Here are some ways to get rid of them.

  1. Let Terra Bites Mow Them

If you use our lawn services already, then you do not have to worry about these pesky, fungal eyesores; we will take care of everything. If you do not, cutting them with a knife at their base, then throwing them in a plastic bag in your trashcan is probably the best way to do it, so they do not spread spores.

  1. Reduce The Amount Of Shade In Your Yard

Mushrooms. Love. Shade. It is how they thrive. So, decrease the amount of shady spots in your yard, and decrease the amount of mushrooms. Also, overwatering your lawn creates the perfect breeding ground for these little guys. Terra Bites uses weather monitoring technology to ensure your lawn is watered just enough.

  1. De-thatch To Create Circulation

De-thatching your lawn is a great way to minimize shade and create more pathways for air circulation. You have a couple of options for doing this. You can either: manually go over your entire lawn with a convex rake, break your back with a power rake, or hire Terra Bites to help you de-thatch your lawn.

So, if you no longer want “fungus among us” or just do not think mushrooms are “Fun-gi’s” give Terra Bites a call. Lawn mushrooms

Spring Means Burning Bermudagrass?

The weather is getting warmer, the songs of birds getting louder, and the days seemingly longer because of the recent time change. Yes, with all of these changes it can only mean one thing: spring is just around the corner! Here at Terra Bites Lawn Care LLC we LOVE spring. It is a time when the smell of freshly cut grass is no longer an anomaly, but a common occurrence. In preparation for the changing of the season, one way that we often see people try to ready their lawn is by burning their burmudagrass. This is method has been around for years and years, and while it is still the most economical for fields and perhaps golf courses, we would like to offer some guidance for residential lawns. Burning grass

Not only is burning grass potentially dangerous if not monitored properly, but can also completely undermine any pre-emergent that you apply. With Terra Bites Lawn Service LLC, we provide pre-emergent services with our weed control and fertilizer treatment, and burning it up would not only be detrimental to your lawn, but also your budget. We offer services for all kinds of lawns, not just ones with bermudagrass. Services include mowing, as well as shrub maintenance, fertilization and weed control. You can trust Terra Bites Lawn Service because we are a full time local company, in business to make your life easier. Since our opening, we have treated every customer like family, and would love to do the same for you. If you are interested in any of our services, check out our services areas, and please do not hesitate to contact us!

Fall Fescue Tips

Terra Bites Lawn Service knows that fall is the prime time to plant seeds or re-sod your yard with fescue, so we want to offer our customers so tips for dealing with this great type of turf grass.

sod grassPlanting / Sodding Fescue

Typically lawn care experts prefer to plant tall fescue seeds between mid-September and the end of October (though Georgia’s temperatures/weather usually allow us to stretch this timeframe a little into November). Fescue sod can be planted December through May.

Growing Tips

If your yard has a mixture of shady and sunny spots, tall fescue should be perfect for your yard! However, any area with constant deep shade is not ideal; consider other turf or plants for this area). It is recommended to fertilize tall fescue at least three times during its rapid growth period (fall to early spring): September, early November and mid-February.

Maintenance

Be careful not to fertilizer your tall fescue during the summer; while fertilizing turf seems like a good idea year-round, it can actually cause brown patch disease with this form of turf grass! Also, in general this grass looks nicest when mowed two inches high, though mowing to three inches high can help the grass better tolerate dry and shady environments during the summer.  

If you have any questions about planting or re-sodding fescue in your landscape, please give us a call anytime! Contact our lawn care experts at Terra Bites Lawn Service by calling our office at 706-389-5296. We look forward to speaking with you.

***For more information about choosing the best sod for this time of year, please refer to UGA’s Lawn Calendar.

The Leaves of Fall

 

fall

Northern Georgia is so beautiful during the fall! People from all around Atlanta often make special trips north to see all of the stunning scenery our lovely area has to offer. However, if you are a homeowner with lovely trees that have tons of color-changing leaves on them, you may not feel so happy when they begin covering your yard. That is why Terra Bites Lawn Service of Braselton, Ga. offers lawn care maintenance, like leaf removal, for our customers!

Importance of Leaf Removal

Although your yard may look colorful with all of your fallen autumn leaves, it is important that you remove these leaves. Although the temperature is likely falling in your area, you turf grass is not yet dormant; is it actually still growing during the fall, meaning photosynthesis is still happening. This process of getting energy from the sun is crucial this time of year, as it will provide your grass with all of the stored energy it will have to sustain itself during the winter. Obviously, this important process will not be able to happen if your grass is covered up; so removing leaves from your yard is very important.

Leaf Removal Tips

  • It may be a pain, but removing leaves at least every seven to ten days is a good rule of thumb.
  • Try not to wait for your leaves to become a thick, decomposed mat. This can kill your grass and invite in lawn disease.
  • Be prepared with lawn tools and eco-friendly leaf bags. Some tools you may want could include a wide-prong rake (great for removing wet leaves), leaf blower (gas or electric; electric is the more eco-friendly option), yard vacuum (can be pricy) or even a lawn mower with a bag attached will work.
  • Some people find that laying out a large tarp, then raking or blowing their leaves into it helps the bagging process go smoother. However, this is personal preference really.
  • If you have a compost pile, add your leaves to it or check how to make a DIY ‘compost tea’ with the leaves to later use on your plants.

Rely On Terra Bites Lawn Service

While some people enjoy playing in the leaves with their families, sometimes you may not want to deal with leaf removal (especially on rainy days). In that case, please reach out to our Terra Bites lawn care experts! We would be happy to provide leaf removal, as well as any other lawn care services your residence or business may need.

For more information or for a free service quote, please call us at 706-389-5296.

Get Organized for Fall

tool shedIf you live in Georgia, then October is the perfect time to get organized for fall! Getting organized in your home is always good, but don’t forget to put your organizational skills to work in your garage, tool shed or wherever you keep your yard tools as well! Follow these tips from Terra Bites Lawn Service to get started!

Organizing Lawn & Garden Equipment

  1. No matter what type of space you use to store your lawn and garden equipment, the first step to organization is always downsizing what your have. Gather any broken, worn out, rusty, etc. equipment that you no longer use and put in it the ‘get rid of’ pile.
  2. Sort your tools and equipment into similar groups; for example, hand tools that trim or cut, hand held digging tools, large digging tools, gas powered tools, etc.
  3. Look for ways to optimize your space. Adding shelving, pegboards with hooks and hangers, cabinets and drawers, or even a magnetic bar (great for garden tools, shears, pliers and trowels), can make you space more functional and allow easier organization. Bungee cord can even be used to keep tall equipment, like rakes, hoes and edgers from falling.
  4. Be careful when storing hazardous chemicals, pesticides or other potentially harmful equipment. Dangerous chemicals or liquids should be stored securely out of a child’s reach in a high cabinet or shelf. Heavy items should always be stored low to the ground; ladders should always lay horizontal (hanging or on the ground).
  5. To make everyday/weekly lawn care tasks easier, have a place for your most used small equipment, such as a pair of gloves, goggles, a trowel, etc.; also, have your larger lawn equipment that you use frequently (like your mower) easily accessible as well.

DIY Organization Solution

Use your creativity to really maximize your space. Need inspiration? Check out this great video from Craftsman® that shows how to make a do-it-yourself Garden Tool Rack.

Fall Lawn Care

Once you have your lawn equipment organized, the key is keeping it that way! (We know you can do it!) However, if you would rather not mess up your newly clean and organized lawn care tools, Terra Bites Lawn Service will happy happy to come finish up your Georgia fall lawn care before winter! Simply contact us to schedule a lawn care service soon and ask about getting a Free Quote.

garage

Got Grubs?

grubDo you know how to distinguish if your yard has a grub problem? If not, let our Braselton, Ga. Terra Bites Lawn Service experts give you some information to help you figure out if you have a grub problem!

Grub FAQs

What are ‘Grubs?’

Grubs are small insects that live in the soil under your turfgrass. They are tiny, white creatures that can really harm your grass by eating grass roots, and sometimes the entire root to grass blade! We only refer to these larva as grubs when they are in this form tiny, wormish form; when they mature they actually turn into beetles, but not the kind of beetles you want hanging around in your yard.

Why are grubs such a nuisance?

The problem with grubs is that they reproduce very quickly if left unchecked. Also, they can easily turn healthy grass into ugly dead patches across your lawn, as it is an unending buffet for them.

How can I check for grubs?

Check for grubs in your yard in the late summer to early fall season, if you notice dead patches of grass in your yard and cannot easily find the cause. Simply peel back a small section of turf near the affected area. Brushing away the top layer of soil underneath, check for visual signs of the small, white grubs. Finding a few is normal; but upwards of ten, you may have a problem.

Other signs of grubs:

An even easier way to discover if you have a grub problem is to be aware of the wildlife that is attracted to your yard. If you are seeing an abnormal amount of birds, moles, raccoons or even skunks feeding from your lawn, then this could be a sign that you have a huge grub problem, as these natural predators can sense where to find these tiny insects. However, in some cases earthworms can cause the same type of animal activity, so be sure to have your Terra Bites lawn care professional come out and diagnose the problem ASAP!

Another sign of a grub issue is the actual texture of the lawn. If your lawn has become spongy (well after watering), then grubs may be the cause of these odd texture.

Don’t let grubs ruin your lawn!

Contact Terra Bites Lawn Service anytime for more information about how to get rid of these pesky insects or to set up a lawn care appointment. Please give us a call at 706-389-LAWN (5296).

Interested in reading more about grubs or in grub prevention? Check out publications from the UGA Extension Office on the subject!

Fall Lawn Care Prep

fall

Fall lawn prep is important when it comes to whether or not your lawn survives and thrives next spring. This is why Terra Bites Lawn Service wants you to know what lawn care measures should be taken during the fall, to get ready for upcoming seasons.

Lawn Care Tips

  • Just because summer is ending, doesn’t mean that you should already stop mowing your grass. Continue to cut your grass by the ⅓ rule up until right before winter, slowly lowering the mower blade throughout the fall season.
  • Fall is the perfect time to aerate your soil. Terra Bites offers core aeration to our customers throughout the year, with spring and fall aerations typically the best time of year to do this process. Aeration helps oxygen, water and fertilizer reach the roots of your turfgrass easier and is an important step to take for the overall health of your lawn.
  • Rake or mow fallen leaves in your yard as soon as you can. Leaves (particularly moist leaves) can create a dense mat that can suffocate your lawn. Leaves left on your grass can also invite turf diseases and fungus.
  • If you have any bare spots in your yard, fall is a great time to repair them! If you are unsure about the best way to ‘fix’ a bare spot, please reach out to your local lawn/garden center or call the experts at Terra Bites!
  • Fall is also a great time to have some weed control done to your yard. Terra Bites can also help you with this, as we provide excellent weed control services. However, if you want to take care of small areas yourself, a good weed spray may be effective for spot control too.

Contact the Experts

For more information about our great lawn care services or to schedule an appointment for your fall lawn prep, please contact Terra Bites Lawn Service by calling us at 706-389-5296 today. Also, please feel free to request a FREE quote!