Are Fleas Still Active During The Winter?Baby, it's cold outside! It's January here in PA, and that means frost on our windshields, dry, chapped hands, and possibly even snow in our driveways. One thing we don't think of this time of year is those irritating fleas. But perhaps we should. Some of those pesky critters may have found their way into your home through the fur of your cuddly best friend. Fleas prefer the warm temperatures, and once inside, the warmth of your home provides them a cozy place to live, survive, and breed. Fleas multiply very quickly. The female flea will drop from the host and immediately lay between 40 - 50 eggs per day. They can lay eggs in your carpet, beds, sofas, and various areas of your house where your pet spends most of their time. After the eggs hatch, they feed on digested blood left behind by adult fleas. In about one or two weeks, the larvae spin a cocoon. This cocoon can last up to a year, waiting for the ideal environment in which to thrive.
Why Are Fleas Such a Bother?Flea infestations can cause your pet discomfort, scratching, and infections. They can also be harmful to humans.
TapewormsThese nasty creatures make themselves at home in the intestines of dogs, cats, and humans. Pets obtain tapeworms by swallowing infected fleas. Though it is rare, toddlers may become infected by eating an infected flea as well. Thankfully, the tapeworm is treated with medication.
Mycoplasma haemofelisMycoplasma haemofelis is a parasitic, bacterial disease that is transmitted from fleas to cats. It has been found in rare cases in humans with compromised immune systems. Treatment typically includes the use of antibiotics.
Murine TyphusMurine typhus is rare, but if there is anything we have learned in 2020, it's that things we never thought possible could occur. Rats are the leading carrier of this disease, but cats can also come in contact with infected fleas and carry them onto humans. Humans then get infected through flea bites. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, body aches, and a rash on arms and legs. Treatment includes antibiotics, but it's crucial to catch right away as a delay in treatment can lead to a more serious illness.
How Can You Prevent a Flea Infestation?If you are a pet owner, you can take the necessary steps to protect your home from these unpleasant creatures and minimize your risk of infection. While we highly recommend calling in professionals for flea control, there are a few ways in which you can help to prevent an infestation. They are:
- Clean and vacuum the area(s) where your pet spends most of its time including, where it eats, periods of sleep, and hangs out
- Wash everything your pet uses, sleeps, and rests on. This includes beds, blankets, sheets, and toys
- Inspect and treat your pets. Check with your veterinarian on the proper treatment for your pet. Routinely check your pet’s fur for signs of fleas to help prevent future infestations
Protect Your Home Year-RoundAt Showcase Lawn Works, we take proactive measures to ensure fleas are never a problem for you. We offer a highly effective barrier spray that kills fleas and ticks on contact. Call 717-354-3226 or contact us online to learn more. For more tips and ideas, check out our other blog postings. On social media? Like us on Facebook and get all our latest deals and other info. Request A Quote
Give Someone You Love the Gift of a Green, A Healthy LawnHave an older neighbor who is no longer able to take care of their lawn? Are your parents retired, looking to sit back, relax, and enjoy life? Maybe you are tired of spending the weekends handling lawn care. This year, give someone you love the gift of a green, healthy lawn year-round. A comprehensive lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works is the perfect holiday gift for anyone. It may even be the ideal gift for you.
Planning for a Better LawnPlanning is an essential part of maintaining a lawn. Come early spring, a Showcase lawn technician will visit your recipient's property and test their soil to determine the right amount of fertilizer needed to maintain the health of their lawn. We will then come up with a schedule to keep their turf nourished at regular intervals throughout the year. By choosing a lawn care program through Showcase Lawn Works as a holiday gift, your recipient can expect six lawn care treatments starting this spring.
Six Perfectly Timed-ApplicationsOne of the benefits of giving or receiving the gift of comprehensive lawn care from Showcase Lawn Works is our perfectly-timed lawn care schedule. Our experts have spent years developing the perfect lawn care schedule to fit the needs of our local climate and your Pennsylvania lawn. Our six-step program is spaced out so that you receive treatment every four to six weeks. Each treatment includes a well-blended mix of micronutrients designed to enrich your lawn's roots and help it to flourish. The treatments also contain pre-emergent to combat the invasion of crabgrass and other broadleaf weeds. In the winter, we use a winterizer to help your lawn prepare for dormancy.
Weed ControlWeed control is essential to the health and vitality of any lawn. Protecting a yard from weeds ensures your grass has unlimited access to water, nutrients, sunlight, and space needed to grow. With a lawn care program from Showcase Lawn Works, your loved one's lawn will be protected from broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, violets, clovers, and nutsedge. And we stand by our word. So much so that we offer a weed-free guarantee. If your gift recipient experiences any problems with weeds or is not satisfied with our results, they can give us a call, and we will correct the issue.
Don't Stop at Lawn CareWhile the gift of lawn care is an excellent choice for the holidays, perhaps your loved ones need something else. Here in Pennsylvania, we often see a ton of snow. Save a friend, family member, or neighbor time and energy this winter and give them peace of mind. With Showcase Lawn Works, they will never have to worry about snow removal again. Listed below are a few other additional services we provide that would make a good holiday gift.
- Aeration and Overseeding
- Tree and Shrub Care
- Lime Application
- Grub Control
- Perimeter Pest Control
- Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control
- Snow Removal
Give the Gift of Comprehensive Lawn Care From Show Case Lawn WorksDon't waste time and money on the perfect gift this year. Show someone you really care about them with the gift of comprehensive lawn care or one of the many services listed above. Call Showcase Lawn Works today at 717-354-3226 or request a quote here. Keep up with our top tips and tricks by reading our latest blog postings. And get to know us more intimately by liking us on our Facebook page. Request A Quote
How Your Lawn and Garden Can Benefit From a Soil TestA soil test is a process by which your soil is tested to see the number of nutrients that exist in the area. The results of the soil sample determine the amount of fertilizer that is recommended. A soil test also measures soil acidity. These analyses indicate whether lime is needed and, if so, how much. Most of us use fertilizers without knowing the content of our soil. Without knowing what nutrients are in available, you could be just wasting your time and money. Performing a soil test can reveal the secrets of your soil so you can take action. Soil pH Your soil’s pH balance is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. Soil pH affects the ability of plants to absorb nutrients. Soil pH is scored on a scale from 1 to 14, 7 being the ideal number. Anything below 7 is acidic or “sour”, while anything above 7 is alkaline or “sweet”. Your plant’s growth and health depend on your soil’s pH level. Soil pH is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline your soil is. This might not seem important but the soil pH affects how well plants can take up nutrients. Soil pH balance is measured on a scale from 1 to 14, with 7 considered neutral. Measurements below 7 is considered acidic or “sour'', while any number above 7 is alkaline or ''sweet”. Most plants prefer a pH balance between 6.2 and 7.2. Fixing Soil pH Overly acidic soil prevents phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients from being absorbed by the plant. In the eastern part of the U.S., the soil is naturally acidic which means if you use fertilizers on your yard they probably won’t work. Soil acidity can be neutralized with the addition of lime. Don’t overdo it with the lime. It is much easier to raise pH than to lower it. Alkaline soils can be remedied with the addition of sulfur, iron sulfate, or aluminum sulfate. Should I Get My Soil Tested? You can test your soil at any time of the year as long as the soil isn’t frozen or wet. Performing a soil test can help you better decide which plants will grow best in your yard. Sandy soils should be tested every 2 to 3 years and clay soils every 3 to 4 years. First Step To Gathering A Soil Sample The first step you want to do when taking a soil sample is to make sure you know where you are sampling from. Your yard isn’t uniform when it comes to soil composition. That’s why you should take samples from different parts of your yard. This will allow you to visualize what areas need fertilizer, lime, or sulfur. Gather Your Samples Pick out leaves and other debris from the area before you sample. All you need is a garden trowel to take a small core sample. Place the samples in separate buckets. Mix the soil in the bucket until it is smooth and lump-free. Spread the samples on a newspaper to dry out. Collect a pint for your sample. When you are finihsd you can send your soil samples to a soil testing facility and wait for the results. Call Experts At Showcase Lawn Works If you want to ensure your Pennsylvania lawn has the best spring possible, then it’s time to invest in lawn care services near you. Here at Showcase Lawn Works, we have the experience, expertise, and custom lawn care programs to ensure your lawn gets the care it needs. Trust your spring lawn care to the pros at Showcase Lawn Works. Give us a call at 800-503-3426 or contact us here for more information. Keep up with our helpful monthly blog for more tips and tricks from the industry experts. Request A Quote
Fall Pest Prevention For Pennsylvania HomesYou have spent the summer fighting weeds and mosquitoes, but summer is over, and fall pests are a new threat you have to contend with. As the weather cools, insects and rodents will be seeking out warm places to overwinter. Insects and rodents usually find their own places to overwinter in trees, under logs, or underground. However, when there are better options available, such as your cozy home, they will take the opportunity. Trim Your Trees and Bushes Away From Your Hose Tees and bushes can act as a bridge for pests. Squirrels, especially, can easily hop onto the roof of your house from a low hanging branch. From there, they can chew through rotten wood and get into your attic and crawl spaces. Make sure that all branches are trimmed far enough away from your house that squirrels cannot jump to your roof. Repair Your Screens Despite their intended purpose to keep insects out, screens can be the main entry point for a number of fall pests. In the fall, many pests will congregate on the sunny side of your home and other buildings trying to stay warm. This is why it’s so important to make sure your screens are in good repair more so than any other part of the year. Keep Firewood Away From Buildings As winter approaches, there’s one thing we can look forward to; a cozy fire and a cup of hot chocolate. Some homeowners bring their woodpiles closer to the house or even into their garages. This is a big mistake. Firewood is home to many different insects that have found it an ideal place to spend the winter. When you bring firewood into your garage or into your home, the warmth will cause the insects to become active and disperse throughout your home. The ideal place to safely store your firewood is twenty feet away from any building. Check Your Moisture Whether it’s condensation on your pipes or a slow leak, moisture attracts pests. Over time that moisture can weaken boards and cause even more damage. Pests like carpenter ants and termites are attracted to damp would and can cause even more damage. Go around and check your basement, attic, and crawl spaces for moisture or signs of pest activity. Store Food Properly Food is another way pests are attracted to your home, and your kitchen is the number one place to find pests like ants, cockroaches, and pantry pests. To make sure you aren’t inviting pests to dinner:
- Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take out the trash.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight.
- Put cereals and grains in plastic containers.
- Store fruit in the fridge.
Fall Lawn Care Tips for Your Pennsylvania LawnAutumn has just begun here in Pennsylvania and that typically means cooler temperatures and shorter nights. Once the leaves begin to shift and change to their magical colors, that means old man winter is just around the corner. Taking time to get your yard prepared now for the cooler weather will save you time and money next spring. Here’s a list of the top fall lawn care tips to set up your lawn for success and get it ready for the white stuff ahead. Trim and Prune During the growth season, our trees, shrubs, and plantings can get a bit out of control. Always include trimming and pruning in your fall cleanup efforts. Cut back any branches that are close to the house and could cause damage in a storm. You’ll also want to eliminate any dead limbs on branches and cut back the overgrowth as well. If you have blooming perennials in your gardens, take the time to prune them now, so they are ready to come springtime. Mulch Give your ornamental landscapes, beds, and gardens an added layer of warmth this fall. Mulching along the base of trees and throughout decorative beds can help protect your plantings from the cold as well as pests, and diseases throughout the frigid temperatures.
Consistent Lawn MowingHere in Pennsylvania, most of our lawns are made up of cool-season grasses. That means your grass will continue to grow up until the first hard freeze of the season. Until that first hard freeze, you will need to continue mowing your lawn. To give your lawn a healthy foundation, try to keep it mowed to a consistent height. Mowing your lawn will also help keep your leaf litter to a minimum. Remember to only mow over your leaves when they’re dry and crunchy. You’ll be creating a nutritious mulch to give back to your lawn.
Leaf Clean-UpRaking, the bane of every homeowner with one too many trees, is everyone’s least favorite fall lawn care chore. Unfortunately, whether you choose to rake, to leaf blow, to mow and bag, or to mulch, the bottom line is: leaf removal is important and beneficial to your lawn. An excess of wet, matted, piles of leaves on your lawn can spell disaster for the grass beneath. From lawn fungus to overwintering pests, there really isn’t a benefit to leaving the leaves for later. Remove Debris All those leaves, twigs, branches, and various other debris that have fallen into your beds and gardens make an ideal home for pests throughout the winter. Piles of organic matter can also decompose, leaving your lawn susceptible to disease and fungus once the temperature begins to drop. Remove all fallen debris from your lawn to help fortify your property against unwanted guests and illnesses this winter. Give Your Lawn a Boost with Aeration The best way to give your lawn a boost going is with lawn aeration services. Fall is actually the best time to aerate your cool-season lawn. All the hours spent outside in the yard playing in the summer sunshine can take its toll. By the end of the season, our lawns are often riddled with thatch and compacted soil. Aeration strengthens your grass and will help ease the transfer of nutrients, air, and water down to your roots.
Get Help From the ProfessionalsFall lawn care will help create a foundation of health for your lawn while giving it a boost going into the winter. At Showcase Lawn Works, our landscaping services include seasonal cleanup, debris removal, pruning, and mulching. We also provide aeration services in the fall. Contact us online now or give us a call at 717-354-3226. To get to know us on a more personal level, visit our Facebook page. Request A Quote
Grubs; These Tiny Lawn Destroyers Pack a Massive Punch!It’s summertime in Pennsylvania, and that means longer nights and hotter days. With most concerts, festivals and large events being canceled, now more than ever, your family will be spending more time in your own backyard. But there are tons of things out to destroy your lawn, creating damage that can hinder your outdoor fun and create a nasty eyesore on your lawn. These white ugly, worm-like creatures are called grubs. Pennsylvania Lawns Are Under Attack! Grubs are by far one of the biggest threats to Pennsylvania lawns. These tiny beetle larvae have giant-sized appetites, and your grass is their favorite meal. In technical terms, grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles. If you’ve ever seen one, you know that they sort of look like a cross between a worm and a caterpillar. Either way, they can be disturbing for both you and your lawn. Adult grubs seek out cozy spots in your turf to lay their eggs and bury them right underneath the surface. This makes them hard to spot. The eggs take anywhere from six to 50 days to hatch and move onto the next step of larvae. Once they hatch, they begin to feed on your lawn’s roots devouring everything in sight. Even the healthiest and robust greens can fall prone to the devastating damage grubs can cause. Symptoms of a Grub Problem The first sign of a grub problem is noticing that parts of your grass are turning brown or dying. Brown patches and wilting grass show up in random spots throughout your lawn. Your grass may feel unusually soft while you walk on it, giving way. Moles and other wildlife begin to rip up your lawn, creating holes where they create tunnels, foraging for food. While we might think grubs are gross, moles, raccoons, skunks, and other medium-sized animals consider grubs a gourmet meal. A lawn infested with grubs will usually attract these types of animals causing you even more lawn damage as they rip up your turf. How Do I Know for Sure if it’s Grubs? Grubs are tiny and bury inside your soil, making them hard to find. The best way to determine if you have a grub problem is to call in the professionals at Showcase Lawn Works. However, there are a few tried and true methods you can use. Take a shovel and dig up a section of your lawn where you suspect the varmints live. Make sure to check a few spots. If grubs are there, you will spot them. Another way to look for these pesky lawn destroyers is by tugging on a soft, spongy area of your grass. If it pulls up like a piece of carpet, you most likely have a grub problem. Grub Prevention Preventing grubs is not always easy. Grubs are always searching for their next lawn. However, a healthy and robust lawn will be better able to fight off a grub infestation should one occur. The best way to prevent a grub problem is through year-round care and a fertilization program such as the one we offer at Showcase Lawn Works. Our Standard Lawn Care Program provides an organic-based fertilizer and broadleaf weed control to strengthen your grass, making it more resistant to pests, weeds, stress, traffic, and drought. Unfortunately, even the healthiest and robust lawns can get infested with grubs. This is why we offer a Grub Control Program as an add-on service for customers with a severe grub problem. Contact us now to learn more about our Grub Control Program and how we can help you eliminate this root destroyer and get you back to enjoying your lawn. Or give us a call at 717-354-3226. Our staff is always available. Get to know us on a more personal level by liking us on Facebook. Request A Quote
The Best Maple Trees to Plant in PennsylvaniaThe first image that comes to people’s minds when they think of maple trees is delicious, dripping, maple syrup. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a variety of different maple trees that make up our rich and diverse forests. Maples are a favorite among homeowners because of their rapid growth, beautiful shapes, and of course for the cool shade they provide in the hot summers. Here is a list of the best maples to plant in Pennsylvania.
Silver MapleSilver maples are great for showing off your yard. Don’t be fooled by their name. Silver maples aren’t actually silver. The leaves are green but the undersides are white, making it shimmer like silver when the wind blows. Growing to heights of 50 to 75 feet and 45 feet wide, the silver maple is a great shade tree to keep your deck and backyard cool during the heat of the summer. Plant these maples in areas with plenty of direct sunlight and plenty of room to grow. They are not fussy about soil quality and can recover quickly from wind damage.
Sugar MapleIf you enjoy syrup on your pancakes in the morning then you have the sugar maple to thank. These gentle giants can make a huge statement in your landscapes. They can soar to 75 feet tall and 50 feet wide. They grow in nice thick, naturally rounded shapes that provide plenty of shade. Sugar maples also make easy climbing trees for adventurous children. In the fall you will thank yourself for planting this tree. Not only can you tap the tree and collect your own maple syrup, but you also get to experience an autumn show of yellows, reds, and burning oranges.
Striped MaplesThe striped maple is a much smaller tree that resembles more of a shrub than a tree. It grows between 10 and 25 feet tall and can be identified by the usual three-lobed leaves that are characteristic of maples. Striped Maple bark is green and smooth. It has long white or pale vertical lines running up and down the trunk. As the tree matures, the bark turns reddish-brown with dark lines. While this tree doesn’t cut it as a shade tree, it can be used to attract all sorts of wildlife to your yard, including whitetail deer, moose, and the black-throated blue warbler.
Red MapleNot to be confused for the crimson king, red maples are not actually red at all. They are named for the brilliant shades of red it puts on display in the fall. These trees have smaller leaves but still grow up to 70 feet tall and provide ample shade for any back yard or driveway. Small pink flowers bloom in the spring and attract pollinators from far and wide. Red maples produce large quantities of samaras or “helicopters” which can be a nuisance as they clog gutters and drains but they can also be used to grow new saplings.
Call The Tree Specialists At Showcase Lawn WorksTo keep your maples and other trees going strong, call the pros at Showcase Lawn Works From dormant oil sprays to deep root fertilization, our tree care program will ensure your trees will stay healthy and are protected from diseases and pests that carry them. If you want to ensure your Pennsylvania lawn has the best spring possible, then it’s time to invest in our custom lawn care program to ensure your grass gets the care it needs. Give us a call at 800-503-3426 or contact us here for more information. Keep up with our helpful monthly blog for more tips and tricks from the industry experts. Request A Quote
Common Lawn Problems in PennsylvaniaAs our grass starts to emerge in the spring, so too does common lawn diseases. Lawn diseases in Pennsylvania can weaken or severely damage your lawn. Spotting the signs of problems early can save your lawn and save you from a lot of expensive repair work. Here is a list of the most common lawn problems in Pennsylvania.
Snow MoldThere's a valid justification for why we urge you to rake your lawn in the fall and prevent snow mold. Snow mold develops under heaps of leaves, snow, and other organic debris. When spring arrives, you'll see a web-like substance on your grass. Fortunately, the condition normally clears up after raking it and letting it dry out.
Dollar SpotWhen you start to notice batches of small, round, sunken patches of pale-colored grass about the size of a silver dollar start popping up in your lawn, then it is probably a fungus called dollar spot. Usually known for affecting golf courses and recreational turf, dollar spot has become a common lawn problem in Pennsylvania. Dollar spot can affect almost all types of cool and warm-season grasses, including: