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CURTIS PEST CONTROL, INC.
locally Owned & Operated
FULLY LICENSED & INSURED

1702 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 6 ◦ St. Augustine, FL 32084 ◦ (904) 827-1781

◦ Weed Control, Pest Control & Fertilization for Residential & Commercial Turf

◦ Quarterly Perimeter Pest Control for Residences

december 2022 newsletter

Early this month we will be finished with our last annual application consisting of our pre and post emergence herbicide. Wnter weeds are, much to our chagrin, normal and expected while our lawns are dormant. Why? When our lawns are in dormancy they stop growing and thin out which means more soil is exposed than during the growing season. The exposed soil then allows for weeds brought in by mowers, or blown in by the wind, to easily propogate. Additionally, frost and freeze damage allows for even more room for those pesky weeds to grow. Don't worry, that's why our Annual Lawn Program commences in February with our next blanket weed control application.  

We will be closed for our annual winter break from December 19 to January 2; voicemails will be returned as soon as possible on Monday the 2nd and service calls will be promptly attended to upon our return. 

Lastly, below are some holiday season tips for your lawn, garden, home and pets that I hope you find helpful.


LAWN & GARDEN
  • DO water your lawn 24 hours in advance of a predicted freeze.
  • DON’T water your lawn when temperatures reach near freezing or if frost is evident.
  • NEVER mow your lawn if you see frost.
  • As we know, Florida can get its share of cold weather. DON'T put fertilizer on your grass to keep it tropical green. North Florida lawns are not meant to be green all year and fertilizing in our winter months is a sure recipe for damage when our temperatures drop.
  • Due to our grass being dormant, and because lower temperatures result in less water evaporation, St. Augustine grass requires much less water during the winter. If we are experiencing cooler temps and some rainfall, you may find you do not need to water at all until the spring.
  • Your lawn will not require mowing nearly as often until springtime. In fact, you may not need to mow it at all. If you do, it should be done at the highest setting possible to protect the grass blades. Leaving the grass blades longer through the winter provides a canopy that traps the heat near the soil allowing the runners to stay warmer during the night. Keeping the runners and soil surface warmer for as long as possible each night makes freezes less intense and helps to minimize cold weather damage to your lawn.
  • Keep your lawn leaf free. Doing so lets in more sunlight which aids in preventing fungus and reducting insect acttvity. Outdoor roaches love lawns covered in leaves and guess where they will go when the temperatures drop?!  
  • If you are planning to prune any deciduous plants and/or trees, wait until the leaves have completely dropped and the plant is dormant. Crape myrtles, apple and peach trees, roses and grapes all need annual pruning to increase flower and fruit production.


PETS
  • Ivy, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs & cats. If you use these plants to decorate your home they should always be kept away from areas within your pet's reach.
  • Ornaments and edible tree decorations, such as cranberry or popcorn strings, can be like ticking time bombs waiting to happen. They can be very enticing for curious pets which could result in tugging and and a knocked down tree, or worse, they may mistake them as treats and end up with a serious intestinal blockage. As a precaution you might consider leaving your tree's lower branches bare.
  • Wagging tails and curious noses are at risk near lit candles, so be sure to place them out of harms way. You might even consider using battery operated candles instead. 
  • If you have a fireplace, always use your screen to avoid accidental burns. Not only is the fire dangerous, but flying sparks are a hazard as well.
  • Dogs with a propensity for chewing should be kept away from fire starter logs. They contain sawdust and paraffin which can cause an irritated stomach or intestinal blockage when ingested.
  • Having company or hosting a holiday party? Even the most well intentioned guest may accidentally leave a door open, leading to the panic of a lost pet. Make sure your pet has on their collar with current ID tags that offer a way to reach you. 
  • Keep your pet away from you when wrapping gifts. If ingested wrapping paper, ribbons and string can also cause a serious intestinal blockage. Scissors can also be a hazard so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.
  • Many foods can be detrimental, and even lethal, to pets. When in doubt, go to https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/holiday-safety-tips-pets for a complete list.


HOMe
  • Look for a "fire resistant" label when purchasing an artificial tree. While that does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • Always check for freshness when purchasing a live tree. It should be green, the needles should be hard to pull from the branches and the needles should not break when bent between your fingers. Additionally, the butt of the tree trunk should be sticky with resin and when tapped on the ground the tree shouldn't lose many needles.
  • Are you putting lights on your tree or the exterior of your home? Check each set of lights, new and old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Dispose of any damaged sets. 
  • Always secure outside lights to the side of your home to prevent a tripping hazard or an accidental electrocution.
  • Do not connect more than three standard size sets of lights per extension cord.
  • Lights can short out and start a fire, so be cautious and turn off all the lights when you leave your home and when you go to bed.
  • Resist the urge to burn wrapping paper if you have a fireplace. Wrapping paper quickly ignites and burns intensely and the end result could be a flash fire.