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Around Your House…

Around Your House…

What the Home Pros Know with Shaun Henry

Summer is upon us. Kids are out of school, Memorial Day has passed, and the swimming pools are open. Barbecues every weekend, basking in the sun, camping trips, fishing, and maybe even a float trip down the Niangua this year. I plan to enjoy as much of it as I can this summer and I hope you do, too.

Here are some reminders of things to pay attention to around your home this summer to help maintain or even improve upon the value of your home and your summer experience:

It has been dry this past winter and spring. Drought stress showing up in April and May is unheard of! You might be thinking of an easier way to water. A new inground irrigation system may be the answer.

If you have a system already, but it isn’t quite doing the job, check the coverage of each sprinkler head and make adjustments as needed. Effectively managing the runtime for each sprinkler zone based on the plant needs in that area can make a huge difference to your lawn and landscape.

There are all sorts of tree-boring insects, but most of them are beetle larvae which build tunnels in stems, trunks, and sometimes roots. Borers can damage the tree aesthetically and terminally in some situations. These pests often attack weakened trees, so good practices from proper planting and watering to pruning and fertility can reduce chances of infestation and damage.

Because the tunnels are typically behind the bark, these pests can be very difficult to identify. Often damage shows up in the crown of the tree with thinning branches and foliage or even die-back. Because borer damage can kill the tree in a short period of time, you may have to consider chemical control measures for the more valuable trees on your property.

Keep an eye out for exit holes in your tree bark, increased amount of woodpecker activity and/or the thinning of your tree’s canopy. Healthy trees on your property certainly add value.

Pest management around your home
Outside the house, ticks, and chiggers can be bad. Manage the vegetation and mow frequently to help limit their hiding places. In the house, crickets will hang out in a cool, dark place during the daytime and emerge in the evening to do their chirping and feeding.

Wasps can be beneficial in that they feed on other insects and flies but tend to become more of a nuisance late in the summer as they move to our outdoor areas to scavenge for crumbs and water. Knocking a wasp nest down repeatedly will typically result in the wasps abandoning the nest and setting up shop elsewhere.

We also see a lot of critters moving inside like ants, spiders, pill bugs, and millipedes. Treating the exterior of your home can help to protect it from this sort of invasion. We have some images of some of our common pests on our website, but we’re always happy to inspect in person, too!

Turf care
Disease and insect pressures increase this time of year. Brown patch, a fungus that thrives in most all tall fescue lawns as the evening temperatures stay above 65 degrees, is one of the top issues we see. Good management practices to reduce fungal pressure include mowing as high as possible and as often as possible, reducing traffic on the lawn when hot and dry, watering deep and less often, core aerating, and overseeding in the fall.

Most cultivars of fescue are susceptible to this disease and likely to occur at some level this summer. Just because you have an active fungal disease in your lawn does not necessarily mean that you are going to lose it, however if you couple disease damages with heat and drought stress you certainly can lose some of the grass.

We also want to remind you that if you have had issues with white grubs in the past, you are more likely to have a recurring issue this season (damage usually appears in late July through early September) and you may want to treat your turf as a preventative measure in the month of June.

Columbia has seen epic growth. I’ve seen it firsthand from living here all of my life. Maintaining your property or finding a new one in Columbia will be a good investment. With so many amazing things Columbia has going for it, there’s no wonder so many people want to move here.

Good luck with everything this summer, be sure to slow down every now and again,
enjoy the people you are close to, and make some great memories. If ever you need help with anything, Atkins is here to help. It’s what we do!

Shaun Henry

A Columbia native, Shaun Henry found a home at Atkins in 2000 when he started his career as a turf technician. Shaun holds a commercial applicator’s license through the Missouri Department of Agriculture and is a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Mid-America Green Industry Council, and the Missouri Green Industry Alliance. Shaun strongly believes in the importance of a great customer experience where the Atkins staff knows their clients and anticipates
their needs accordingly. Shaun is an MU alumnus and has a degree in plant science.

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(573) 874-5100

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