Category Archives: Lawn care

Crazy Ants: The New Enemy

Anyone who takes care of their lawn can tell you how detrimental pests can be which is why you need to stay on your toes against all incoming threats to your grass. Unfortunately, a new combatant has entered the battlefield, and it doesn’t look pretty. Native to South America, the colloquially dubbed ‘crazy ants’ have proved to be a tough adversary to beat.

The Invasive March

Reports of these ants in America began in Texas, and they quickly spread across the gulf coast. While it may seem far-fetched that such a small creature can make its way from South America to Florida, it should be noted that they were found in Tampa as far back as 2012 and reports in Orlando surfaced as recently as 2013.

What Do They Do?

Even though they don’t bite humans, these tiny menaces are still a force of nature worth recognizing. Part of what makes them so powerful is their sheer size in numbers. They have multiple colonies, and within those colonies, there are multiple queens. This allows them to increase their size rapidly. They are so powerful that they can overtake lawns and even drive out their rival insects. A major problem for most homeowners is their desire to be in small and tight spaces. This results in a build up over time of their millions of carcasses in your walls and damaging your electrical equipment. In some cases, they can even get into the engine of your car and do considerable damage.

Controlling the Problem

Despite the incredible destructive force that crazy ants pose to you, this is not to say that they are impossible to fight. Many different products are required to be used over time, but soon enough the job will be done. At Miller Lawn & Pest we use our 30 years of experience to help you with all of your pest problems. Call us at 407-359-8888 for your instant quote today.

The Pros and Cons of Common Orlando Grasses

Lawn care is a major concern as a healthy lawn yields many benefits. From pest prevention to just being aesthetically pleasing, we should all strive for a healthy lawn. To ensure the best chance of your lawn prospering, you should have an understanding of the many turf options and how they stand to benefit you.

St. Augustine Grass

One of the most common grasses in Orlando, St. Augustine grass has adapted to growing in warm weather which makes it perfect for the Orlando climate. It is also able to thrive in many different types of soil which make it easy to maintain.  Unfortunately, a concern with this grass is its need for regular watering, which when done incorrectly could result in thatch buildup.

Bahia Grass

If you have dry or sandy soil, Bahai grass might be the best bet for you. Due to its tough resilience, Bahia grass is the second most common in Orlando. It is tolerant against droughts and has very modest maintenance needs, requiring minimal fertilization. However, it does require weekly mowing in the summer, and it will turn brown as the weather begins to cool.

Bermuda Grass

Considered to be quite beautiful, Bermuda grass is also very soft and strong against the elements. Installation is quick and during any time of year and it turns your lawn into a lush and pleasing view. Despite the many positives, Bermuda grass requires substantial maintenance, such as mowing twice a week, fertilizing it monthly, as well as frequent watering.

Keeping Your Lawn Healthy

There are many different types of grass available for your lawn, and you want the one that will look best, as well as function to your needs. At Miller Lawn & Pest Control, we offer many lawn care services such as soil testing at no additional cost, as well as six regularly scheduled visits per year. Call us at 407-359-8888 for an instant quote today.

Termite Treatment: Why it’s So Important

The to-do list for a homeowner often seems never-ending, and it’s easy to get caught up with the big projects like roof maintenance, replacing windows, or fixing that sticky front door. While these are all very important aspects of keeping your home in tip-top shape, sometimes the threats you can’t see are the biggest issue. Tiny terrors like termites pose a huge threat to a home if left unchecked, but the termite treatment specialists at Miller Lawn & Pest are here to help!

The Hidden Dangers of Termites

One of the biggest reasons that termites are such an issue is just how difficult they are to see. When they make their way into a home, the damage is often impossible to see initially. This because they generally begin by eating away wood that can’t easily be seen. We recommend regular termite inspections so that if there is an issue, we can catch it early before serious damage is done. Not only will termites eat wood siding, but they will destroy supportive beams, window frames, and nearly anything else made of wood.

Because termite damage has the potential to be threatening to the health of your home, we recommend regular termite inspections and treatments. Our technicians work with you to create a prevention plan that works for your needs and budget, so you can live worry free.

There are also things you can do to make your home less-appealing to termites to reduce the likelihood of an infestation. Termites love moisture, so diverting as much water away from the base of your home as possible is a great way to keep them away. Avoid using thick layers of mulch around the bottom of your home, as it traps and holds moisture against the building. Additionally, switching from wooden siding to vinyl or any other material is a great deterrent as well.

Call the Experts

While these simple steps won’t completely safeguard your home, they certainly help. If you live in Oviedo or the surrounding areas and want to make sure termites don’t put your home at risk, call the termite treatment professionals today at 407-359-8888 to schedule your free home estimate. Looking to install a new central air conditioning system? Has your heater or air conditioner stopped working? Prosco’s HVAC experts are proud to be your number 1 source for all your heating and cooling needs year round.

Tips for a Healthy Florida Lawn

With the wide range of weather types we experience here in Florida, keeping your lawn healthy year-round can be tricky. The lawn care tips below will help you keep your yard looking great regardless of what the Florida climate throws at it:

  • Mow your grass regularly

Though the summers can be brutally warm here in Florida, the regular afternoon rains ensure that your grass grows at a fast pace. All this extra water means you’ll need to mow your lawn more regularly to keep the grass at a reasonable height. An added benefit of mowing regularly is that it prevents pests from hiding in your grass.

  • Keep an eye on your watering schedule

During our rainy months, it’s important to cut back on how frequently you water your lawn. Excess watering not only wastes one of our most precious resources, it also promotes insect infestation. A good way to tell if your lawn needs water or not is to look at the individual blades. When your grass needs water, the blades will fold up in order to conserve water. A good rule of thumb is to water your lawn 2 to 3 times per week during warmer months when there is no rain, and about every 2 weeks during the winter.

  • Keep pests under control with insecticides

No matter how well you keep up with your lawn maintenance, there will always be pests wanting to ruin your hard work. Pests like Chinch Bugs and Armyworms are common in Florida but can be kept away with commercially available insecticides.

  • Let your grass grow higher

Though we recommend regularly mowing your lawn, especially during the warmer months, leaving it a little bit longer than usual during the summer is a good idea. Mowing your lawn at the longest recommended length helps promote a healthy root system which is extremely helpful for preventing damage during the winter months.

For more information about lawn care or questions about the lawn and pest services we offer, give us a call today at 407-359-8888.

5 Techniques for Shrub Care

Shrubs in general are low-maintenance plants, making them very common amongst yards and gardens. However, it can be easy for them to get unruly and become an eyesore when not properly cared for. If you want your shrubs to flourish and have a long life, the following are good shrub care techniques.

1) Give them room. Whether you are planting your own shrubs or just maintaining the ones you have, it is important to make sure each plant has enough room to grow. If shrubs grow too close together, not only can it look messy, but it can stunt the shrub’s growth.

2) Prune. Not only does pruning help shrubs look clean and stay manageable, but it also helps the plant grow. When pruning, make sure to look for the dead or dying branches on the shrub. You have to cut the dead ones in order for fresh, new branches to grow.

3) Keep it clean. Make sure the area around your shrubs are free from debris, especially after pruning. A build-up of dead foliage at the base of a shrub can lead to mold and root damage.

4) Mulch. Much can be helpful for shrubs if done properly. It can provide a source of fertilization as well as protect the base of the shrub. It is best to lay mulch in the fall in order to trap heat in preparation for the winter. Be mindful to not lay the mulch too thick, as this could damage the roots.

5) Know your shrub. Most shrubs only need to be fertilized once or twice a year to stay healthy. However, some flowering shrubs may need more than that. Make sure you know what kind of shrub you have in order to adequately care for it. Each shrub is beautiful and unique in its own way, and in order to play to its strengths you must be familiar and know what helps it grow to its fullest potential.

If you have questions about the type of care your shrubs require, or need help with the maintenance of your shrubs, call Miller Lawn and Pest at 407-917-2106.
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Choosing the Best Grass Type for Your Lawn

The type of grass you choose for your yard can greatly influence the value of your home. Choosing the right type of grass ensures that your lawn will stay healthy, even if you live in the same home for decades. At Miller Lawn and Pest Control, we want you to be as happy with your yard as you are with your home, so we’ve provided a guide to choosing the best grass type.

Consider Use

When choosing your grass, consider how much traffic it will get. If your active family likes to be outdoors, your grass will probably wear down faster than the grass of a quiet retired couple. If you have several pets, you’ll need a durable grass that can withstand walks, digging, chewing, and yes, waste deposits. Ask Miller Lawn and Pest Control which grasses are best for heavy traffic.

Watch the Weather

The climate where you live will tell you much about the type of grass you need. All grass should be resistant to drought and heavy rain, but certain types are better suited to dry or wet climates. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll need a grass that holds up well despite heavy snow or ice.

These are only two of the major factors influencing the best grass for you. Ask a professional at Miller Lawn and Pest Control about other factors to consider before investing in grass.

Lake Mary Lawn Care

Lake Mary lawn care can be tough, especially if you have St. Augustine lawn. On one hand, keeping up a healthy, beautiful lawn on your own can offer a great sense of pride. On the other hand, hiring a professional lawn care company like Miller Lawn & Pest comes with professional knowledge and products not available to home owners.

We’ve come up with our top 4 considerations for lawn care in Lake Mary.

  1. Time
    You’re a weekend warrior. Don’t spend all day Saturday sweating in your yard. Mowing the grass eats up a fair amount of time on its own, but that’s not all it takes. There are several other jobs like edging, tending to shrubs and bushes, and weeding that need to be done on a regular basis to keep your lawn looking great. Doing it yourself means losing a whole lot of time.
  2. Expertise
    We have no doubt that you know your lawn. However, our lawn care technicians have years of experience and training on their side servicing lawns in Lake Mary. Hiring a professional means you’re going to get professional results. Don’t be surprised if your lawn starts turning heads in the neighborhood.
  3. Cost
    People tend to think that doing yard care themselves will be a big money saver. More often than not, DIY lawn care costs are less obvious but cost more when you factor in your time. Most homeowners do not have access to the special solutions we can use to treat your lawn. There’s nothing more frustrating than toiling in your yard and not getting the results you want.
  4. Protection
    Your lawn may look fierce and mighty, but it can be vulnerable too. Depending on location, season, and a number of other factors, your lawn could become a victim of disease, weather damage, insect/pest damage, weeds, and more. Hiring a lawn care company means not having to worry. We can anticipate most problems before they happen. For the things we can’t predict such as weather damage, we have procedures in place to quickly and effectively repair damage and nurse your lawn back to health.

A healthy lawn can transform your property from a patch of grass to an outdoor oasis. Instead of slaving away in the heat, hire a company with experience and expertise in caring for Lake Mary lawns. We’ll keep your yard looking larger (and greener) than life, freeing you up to simply enjoy it.

For more information on lawn care services in Lake Mary, fill out the contact form on our website or give us a call at 407-359-8888.

When to Install Sod in Florida

Florida is home to St. Augustine grass, a warm-season turf that thrives in tropical and subtropical climates. St. Augustine grass is a rich, dark green grass with thick blades. It forms a dense layer of stolons, or runners, aboveground which makes it difficult for weeds to penetrate through. When installing or replacing St. Augustine turf in Orlando, timing is critical. Miller Lawn Care can help you install new sod in your yard, making your house the green envy of the neighborhood.

St. Augustine grass is naturally dormant in cool and cold temperatures, which is why you don’t have to mow your lawn often or at all during the winter. To ensure your sod forms healthy roots and survives the long haul, the temperature can’t be cool enough to make the turf dormant.

The ideal temperature for installing sod in Orlando is 65-70 degrees at night and 80 degrees or hotter during the day. St. Augustine thrives at these temperatures and will quickly grow. The sod installation experts at Miller recommend you install your sod during early summer to give your new grass several weeks of warm weather in which to form a strong root system.

Installing your sod in late summer or early fall is risky, as cool temperatures may start to show up before your grass has formed a sufficient root system. If the soil temperature drops below 55 degrees, St. Augustine grass will stop root growth. If this happens, your lawn can suffer major dieback throughout the cooler months.

Installing sod in the spring isn’t ideal either. If you install the turf before the soil has warmed up enough, it will simply stay dormant, failing to create a root system until the temperatures rise. This gives weeds ample opportunity to grow between sod patches. If you must install sod in the spring, try and install in an area with a lot of sunlight which will help to increase air and soil temperatures.

St. Augustine sod is fragile when first installed. To ensure your Orlando lawn will be healthy and green, try to install sod during the ideal temperatures. Make sure to water the grass immediately after it’s installed. From then on, carefully monitor soil moisture. Depending on the weather, you may need to water your lawn daily to keep the soil moist, which promotes root growth. In ideal conditions, St. Augustine grass should take about two weeks to be firmly rooted.

For more information on sod installation in Orlando, give Miller Lawn and Pest Control a call today at 407-359-8888 fill out the contact form on our website.

3 Lawn Care Tips to Keep Your Lawn Green

Studies have shown that in the United States, the average homeowner spends around 40 hours just mowing their lawn each year, and we collectively spend a whopping $8.5 billion on lawn care products and equipment. Your lawn is a huge part of the aesthetic of your home, and a cornerstone of home maintenance.

It can seem daunting to maintain something as large as your entire lawn, but here are a few tips to get you pointed in the right direction:

Fertilize your lawn

Fertilizer is an important part in keeping your lawn healthy. One mistake that many people make is over-fertilizing their lawn, which can cause grass to grow incredibly quick, creating more work for you. Try to fertilize a couple times a year, once in the spring, and again around the middle of the summer. Be sure to use a product that is high in nitrogen, because that is what stimulates growth and that deep green color we love.

Fertilizer spreading

Generally, it’s best to fertilize your lawn after it’s been freshly cut. This allows the fertilizer to work its way into the soil easier. You should also make sure the grass is dry when you go to spread the fertilizer; if the grass is wet the fertilizer may stick, burning your lawn severely and undoing your hard work.

Investing in a fertilizer spreader may be a good idea, as it ensures an equal distribution across the entire lawn. Be sure to load it on your driveway though, just in case you spill any fertilizer accidentally. After the fertilizer is spread, run your irrigation system, or water the fertilizer in with your garden hose.

Lawnmower tips

Often, the lawnmower is one of the most overlooked tools in the homeowner’s arsenal, which is strange because it is often the most expensive. Practicing some simple maintenance techniques can go a long way to ensuring that your mower gives you top-notch results for years to come.

When the summer is over and it’s time to put the mower into hibernation, start with draining the gasoline out of the tank. Any gas left in the tank for that long can break down and gum-up things like the fuel lines and carburetor. A useful tip is to use a turkey baster to extract the gasoline, this is much easier and less messy than turning the mower upside down.

When the weather begins to warm back up and it’s time to get the mower out, you should consider taking it in to have the blade sharpened and balanced. This will allow your mower to cut effortlessly and leave you with a much smoother product.

While there is more to caring for your lawn than what is listed here, these tips will get you started in the right direction. If you have any questions about our lawn or pest control services, give Miller Lawn & Pest Control a call today at 407-359-8888.