Fall Is Best Time To Install Your Sprinkler System

Fall Is Best Time To Install Your Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system ensures your lawn has the hydration it needs to maintain optimum health and look its very best. If you’re in the market for a sprinkler system, now is the perfect time of year. 

With summer coming to an end in 11 days, First Response Lawn Care advises that now is the best time for sprinkler system installation. Keep reading if you’d like to learn why autumn is such a great time to set up a system that keeps your grass green and nourished:

3 Reasons Autumn Is The Best Time For Sprinkler Installation

Moderate Temperatures 

North Texas summers can be uncomfortably hot, and the winters can be downright frigid. The temperatures in autumn are relatively moderate, and this makes it a lot more comfortable to be outdoors for long stretches.  

Little Precipitation

Precipitation slows sprinkler installation and there is little or no precipitation in fall.  Digging is necessary to put the sprinkler system in place, and if it’s raining, the weather will actively delay installation. Spring and summer often bring rain, and winters may bring some precipitation. Setting up your sprinkler in the fall allows us to get the job done without being hindered by uncooperative weather. 

Faster Service & Better Deals

Autumn is a quieter time of year for most sprinkler installation companies, and this means you’re likely to benefit from faster installation and possibly cost-saving deals. 

Choose First Response Lawn Care for all your irrigation and sprinkler system needs in Rockwall, Texas and the surrounding areas. Call (214) 701-7622 to speak with a representative today! 

Prepare Your Lawn For Fall

Prepare Your Lawn For Fall

The last day of summer is September 23, 2019. 

After the hot Texas summers, the cool brisk weather is more than welcome as fall approaches later this month. Now is the transitional period to take care of your lawn in preparation for fall. There are a few things to do to make sure that you and your lawn are ready for cooler temperatures. 

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your lawn for a seasonal transition in northeast Texas.

1. Continue To Mow

Regardless of the season, a rule of thumb when it comes to mowing is to never cut more than one-third of the height. Cutting your lawn too short can make it susceptible to diseases. Continue mowing even after summer to keep the lawn healthy. When the majority of the growth has stopped you won’t have to mow as often as you would in the summer months.

2. Fertilize

Mulch the grass as you mow the lawn. The grass clippings act as an organic fertilizer by applying the required nutrients to your grass while they decompose. In the fall, fertilizing your lawn will help protect it and keep it healthy when the cool weather rolls in. Before fertilizing your grass on your own, make sure you know what type of grass you have in order to choose the correct fertilizer. This should be a granulated fertilizer that is applied to the lawn using a manual spreader. First Response Lawn Care has an excellent 7-step program. All fertilizer and herbicides are commercial grade. We are licensed with the Texas Department of Agriculture Lic #450863. Our fertilizing program uses a 7 step program to ensure your yard is healthy and the best in the neighborhood.

3. Discard Weeds

Weeds are a constant problem and hassle to keep them away from your garden and lawn. Fall is one of the best times to treat for weeds allowing you enough time to completely discard of all the weeds before growth begins in the spring. When pulling weeds, it is important to grab the root in its entirety. Snipping the roots at ground level won’t remove it and it will be able to grow back. Our weed control program alleviates the problem of pulling weeds alltogether.

4. Aerate

During the summertime, it’s safe to say that your lawn gets a lot of traffic. With heavy traffic comes compact. When the soil is compacted, it can’t retrieve the vital nutrients needed to sustain healthy grass. Aerating your lawn breaks up the soil and allows it to “breathe.” First Response Lawn Care provides aeration services to Rockwall, Texas, Royse City, Caddo Mills, Fate, and surrounding communities. The results are a healthier and stronger turf and root zone that are able to better withstand turf related diseases, pests, and weeds. 

Fall lawn care may not seem like it’s that important, but in order to maintain a lush lawn in northeast Texas, it’s crucial to practice proper lawn care maintenance year round.

Need help with preparing your lawn for Fall? Whether it is mowing, fertilizer and weed control, aeration of any other lawn maintenance, contact First Response Lawn Care today at 214-701-7622. We can help!

Mud Daubers Are Okay

Mud Daubers Are Okay

Are you seeing a lot of mud daubers (wasps) buzzing around your house this summer? With that comes a bunch of little mud homes they’ve built in brick grout, under eaves, etc. And usually it means you have an abundance of spider webs closeby. These insects do not generally sting people and are more of an annoyance than a risk, but read on beccause they do have some signfiicant benefits.

Mud daubers are solitary insects, meaning each nest only has one wasp that is responsible for all the necessary tasks.  The nests are constructed from mud by a single mated female and they can vary in shape, from pipe-shaped to globular.  These nests can be found in any protected such as area under eaves, in garages, and the like.

Mud dauber is a common name given to a number of wasps that build their nest from mud. Also called “dirt dauber,” “dirt dobber” or “mud wasp”.

What’s inside those mud dauber nests anyway?

Good question. The nest of the black and yellow mud dauber is a simple, one-cell, urn-shaped nest that is attached to crevices, cracks and corners. Each nest contains one egg. Usually several nests are clumped together and covered in mud.

How can you tell a mud dauber from another wasp?

Adult mud daubers are three-quarters of an inch to 1 inch in length and, depending on the species, vary in color from dull black to black with bright yellow markings to iridescent blue black. The feature that best identifies the mud dauber is its long, narrow waist — the section between the thorax and abdomen.

What do mud daubers eat?

Mud daubers are solitary insects and like most wasps, they are predators. They sting their prey with paralyzing venom. The venom does not kill, but paralyzes and preserves the prey so it can be transported and stored in the nest cell as food for the larva. Although the black widow spider is the preferred food, the mud dauber also will dine on flies, crickets and leaf hoppers, with some flower nectar and pollen for dessert.

Two species generally found in Texas are the black and yellow mud dauber and the metallic blue mud dauber. Both are predators, but each function in different ways. These two species may occupy the same sites year after year, creating a large number of nests. These nests can last many years in a protected area and are often used as nest areas by other kinds of wasps and bees, and sometimes other types of insects.

The black and yellow mud dauber will prey on small, colorful spiders, like the crab spider, orb weavers and some jumping spiders. These are usually found around vegetation. The black and yellow mud daubers build simple, one-cell, urn-shaped nest of mud, attaching it to crevices, cracks, and corners of buildings. The nest is composed of a series of cylindrical cells that are plastered over to form a smooth nest almost the size of a lemon. Each cell will contain only one egg.

The metallic-blue mud dauber is one lazy wasp. Instead of building their own nest, they use abandoned nest of other species, usually old nests of the black and yellow mud dauber. They carry water to the abandoned nest and recondition it for their own purposes. The blue mud dauber is the main predator of the black widow spider. They prefer the immature black widow spiders found in dry areas around outbuildings, rocky areas and stone piles.

Why are mud daubers beneficial to my yard?

Mud daubers are considered extremely beneficial insects. They keep the spider population in check. Mud daubers are wasps and even though they can sting, they don’t generally sting people. Most wasp stings happen when people get too close to the nests of the more aggressive social wasps, like the hornet or yellow jacket. The solitary mud dauber does not defend its nest as aggressively as the social wasps and is very unlikely to sting even when provoked. However, you might get stung if you attempt to handle them.

If you just don’t give a hoot about the benefit of the mud dauber and want to get rid of the nests, call First Response Lawn Care at 214-701-7622. We offer a pest control program that will rid your yard of insects. We are licensed with the Texas Department of Agriculture License #450863. We can help!

Mosquitoes Like Beer Drinkers

Mosquitoes Like Beer Drinkers

14 Not-So-Fun Facts About Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol found in our breath and sweat. They may have a preference for beer drinkers!

Those pesky mosquitoes. Why do they love us so? They hover around our porches ready to take a bite from our face or, worse, follow us indoors where they can munch on us during our sleep. To add insult to injury, we’ve got to be concerned about the dreaded West Nile Virus, which adds a layer of worry on top of the itching. We thought we’d share these 14 facts about our pesky summer companions:

1 ) There are around 3,500 species of mosquitoes, but only a couple hundred feast on human blood.

2 ) If you’ve been bitten by a mosquito, it was a female. Male mosquitoes make do just fine with plants, but females need a blood meal before they can lay eggs.

3 ) The female’s saliva contains an anti-coagulant that lets her more easily suck up her meal. The saliva induces an allergic response from her victim’s immune system; that’s why your skin gets an itchy bump.

4 ) Females lay their eggs in shallow water or even damp soil that’s prone to flooding. Get rid of any standing water near your home to reduce the mosquito horde.

5 ) The best time to avoid mosquitoes is in the afternoon, when temperatures are hottest and the insects rest in cooler spots.

6 ) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists only four chemicals as being effective for repelling mosquitoes: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (or its synthetic version, called PMD) and IR3535.

7 ) Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, lactic acid and octenol found in our breath and sweat, and they also sense the heat and humidity that surrounds our bodies. They may also have a preference for beer drinkers.

8 ) Some scientists think that eliminating mosquitoes wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Others aren’t so sure, though, and worry about the effects on the ecosystem of the loss of an insect that is eaten by spiders, salamanders, frogs, fish and other insects.

9 ) Malaria infects around 250 million people each year worldwide and kills about one million, mostly children in Africa. About a fifth of those deaths can be attributed to counterfeit anti-malarial drugs.

10 ) George and Martha Washington both suffered from malaria. George contracted the disease when he was a teenager. In the second year of his presidency, he experienced severe hearing loss due to quinine toxicity.

11 ) Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) that hang over a bed have been shown to reduce malaria incidence among children and pregnant women by up to 50 percent. The nets last only a few years before they have to be replaced.

12 ) The last time there was an outbreak of yellow fever, another mosquito-borne illness, in the United States was in 1905 in New Orleans. At the time, the city was trying to prevent the disease by fumigating all the ships that entered the city. However, a smuggler’s ship full of bananas avoided the quarantine and by June cases began to emerge among Italian immigrants who unloaded banana boats.

13 ) Birds were originally blamed for the spread of the West Nile Virus across the United States. But a 2010 study says that it was the mosquitoes themselves, which can travel up to 2.5 miles per day, that were responsible for the spread of the disease from 2001 to 2004.

14 ) The emergence of a worldwide outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya can be traced to a 2004 drought in Kenya. The disease hasn’t made it to the United States yet, but scientists think that could occur at any time.

That about sums up what we learned from Sarah Zielinski, an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and a lot smarter than we are.

So put the beers down and call First Response Lawn Care at (214) 701-7622 if you have any issues with mosquitoes dive bombing you while you’re trying to chill. Our Mosquito Abatement program can eradicate those pests and get you back to your beer drinking in no time!

Winning the Battle Against Fire Ants

Winning the Battle Against Fire Ants

Have you discovered an army of fire ants in your yard? Summer in the south is known for many things, and unfortunately one of them is pesky fire ants.

The impact of red imported fire ants in the state of Texas is estimated to be $1.2 billion annually. Red imported fire ants are pests that can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals.

These creepy crawlers create nests all over your yard and venture into your home for food. If you encounter them, you might end up with some nasty stings. Fire ants can even attack small animals and kill them. 

If left untreated, fire ants can run rampant in your yard and even start nesting in or underneath your home. First Response Lawn Care is fully equipped to handle even the worst fire ant infestations. 

If you are experiencing an army of fire ants in your yard that won’t go away, call First Response Lawn Care today at (214) 701-7622. We’ll win the fire ant battle for you with our professional fire ant control treatment.