Grounds Maintenance Archive

5 Backyard Pest Control Tips Just in Time for Spring

Spring brings warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a desire to spend time outside. Whether it’s for a backyard barbecue or a baseball game, spring is the time to be outside.

Unfortunately, we aren’t the only creatures enjoying the new weather. Countless types of insects thrive when warmer weather comes around.

If you want to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about creepy crawlies, keep reading for five backyard pest control tips everyone needs to know.

landscaper spraying pesticide in the lawn to control pests

1. Keep Your Grass Cut

Certain types of insects like tall grass, so one of the best ways to get rid of bugs outside is to consistently trim your lawn. As a general rule of thumb, you should keep your grass around three inches tall.  This will cut down on the number of bugs taking up residence in your yard and also help keep your lawn healthy all season.

Be sure to property prune any trees or shrubs, as well.

2. Remove Breeding Areas

One of the most important steps to limit outdoor bugs is to remove their areas of breeding. Mosquitoes, for example, breed in standing pools of water. This includes swimming pools, ponds, and areas with poor drainage.

If you have areas in your yard that don’t drain and you don’t know how to fix them, be sure to contact professional landscapers. And, if you have a pond or pool, make sure you have a strong pump to circulate the water to discourage breeding.

Taking these steps will leave you with a bug-free yard.

3. Maintain Grassy Areas

In addition to regular trimmings, keeping your yard maintained in other ways will help limit outdoor bugs. Our maintenance suggestions:

  • Water your yard properly and aerate the lawn once a year.
  • Using fertilizer is also a good idea if you want to achieve luscious, green grass.
  • If you struggle to keep your lawn looking vibrant and green, consider sodding or seeding to get that perfect outdoor area.

4. Limited Scents and Fragrances

Insects like wasps and yellowjackets love fragrances, including perfume, candles, and food items. If you want to limit the chance of these insects making nests on your property, avoid using scented shampoo and perfume before an outdoor event.

If you are hosting, always provide clear glasses for your guests. Soda and beer cans—or even just plastic bottles—are often perfect spots for stinging insects to hide.

Furthermore, keep any food sealed, and always keep your garbage as far away from the party area as possible.

5. Chemical Backyard Pest Control

One final tip to handle backyard insects is to use environmentally safe chemical pesticides. Although some options will kill many different types of bugs, they can also be harmful to pets and other wild animals. That’s why it’s important to look for a pesticide that will handle your problem insect without harming the environment or any furry creatures.

Finding ways to safely deal with insects in your yard isn’t always easy, but it’s always possible with the help of a professional.

Handle Your Backyard Insects Now

Have some additional questions about backyard pest control? Want to chat with the experts about other ways to maintain your outdoor space? Contact us to learn more!

Different Types of Mulch (And When to Use Them)

Laying down mulch is one of the best things you can do for healthy soil in your garden. Mulch not only suppresses weeds and slows moisture evaporation, but it also improves your soil’s texture. Plus, it moderates soil temperature and serves as a buffer from soil compaction caused by rain.

image of different types of mulches

So, if you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to explore the different types of mulch. Then you can decide which one is best for your garden.

Types of Mulch

Mulch is basically any material that you can spread or lay over the surface of your soil as a covering. It comes in a variety of forms and types, so choosing one should be easy.

When used right, it can improve soil’s fertility, keep it cool, and make your property landscape look more attractive. Here are just a few types of mulch you should know about:

Bark Mulch

Bark mulch is most often used around trees, bushes, and in gardens where you don’t have to do a lot of digging. It’s ideal for front walkways and foundation plantings because these spaces don’t require deep mixing with the soil.

It’s important to know that bark mulches don’t mix well into the soil. However, they last longer than finer organic mulches.


What’s great about compost and composted manure is that they can be used anywhere as long as those spaces are well-composted and weed-free.

You can use them as a coating of mulch or you can just lay them on top of your plants during the growing season. This is a great way to insulate your plants and give them a boost of nutrients to help them grow.

Grass Clippings

If you have weeds you want to suppress, grass clippings are your best bet.

It’s important to know, however, that grass clippings have a high water content, so they decompose quickly. Plus, they can get very slimy and smelly in the process. They can also mat down and not allow water to pass through. Try to limit their usage to just suppressing weeds.

Shredded Leaves

If you want a free and readily available type of mulch, shredded leaves are the way to go. They’re perfect for woodland gardens and attract earthworms to your soil. If you lay them over your garden in your fall, they’ll start decomposing over the winter.

One thing to consider, however, is that shredded leaves can often look messier than other mulch options. You may not want to use them for more formal garden areas.

Synthetic Mulches

If you care less about looks and more about practicality, synthetic mulches are a great option.

Uses for Synthetic and Inorganic Mulches

When it comes to the ease of use, synthetic and inorganic mulches may be the best types of mulch for you. Popular options include black plastic, landscape fabric, and stone or gravel. These materials do a good job of holding moisture and blocking weeds. The downside is that they don’t add any fertility to the soil like an organic option would.

If you like their functionality but not their look, add a thin layer of bark mulch on top to make it look more natural.

Making the Most of Your Mulches

Mulch is an amazingly easy way to keep your soil healthy and your garden bed looking great. By following these mulch tips and best practices for using them, you can maximize their effect! Just follow this handy guide and you’ll be able to pick the best mulch for your garden or lawn.

Still not sure what type of mulch you should use? Contact us to discuss your options.

Home Mosquito Control Options

Believe it or not, the humble mosquito is the most deadly insect on the planet. Its bites are responsible for the deaths of more than one million people each year. So, if your backyard is infested with mosquitoes, you need to start exploring mosquito control options. This way, you’ll be able to protect yourself and your family from these nasty pests.

Mosquito resting on green leaf

Tips for Mosquito Control

Nothing can ruin your outdoor spaces more than a bad case of mosquitoes. Here are some tips and control options that can help prevent and eliminate these nasty bugs.

Drain Excess Water

Mosquitoes thrive on stagnant water and only need a little of it to reproduce. Thus, the first thing you need to do is dump any water that could serve as a breeding ground for them. Even something as small as a plant saucer has enough water to help them breed.

It only takes eight to 10 days for mosquito eggs to grow into full adult mosquitoes. So, dump dog bowls, plant saucers, and bird baths on a regular basis to discourage breeding.

Buy a Mosquito Killing System

If you already have a mosquito problem, take active steps in eliminating them.

Mosquito control machines mimic the human body by simulating body heat and CO2. This will cause the mosquitoes to fly into the trap, which will then kill them. These systems are ideal for larger outdoor spaces (an acre or more) because they’re most effective for killing lots of mosquitoes at once.

Buy a Bug Zapper

An electronic bug zapper works well in areas with swamps or stagnant waters, which are notorious breeding grounds for mosquitoes. A bug zapper uses a black light to attract the mosquitoes to an electrical grid, which will trap, electrocute, and kill any insects that come close to it.

What’s great about this option is that these zappers come in a variety of sizes, so they can meet the needs of most yards.

Buy a Mosquito Misting System

Another great option is a misting system. Misting systems spray insecticides in a fine mist to kill mosquitoes and other pesky insects. These devices have spray nozzles that you mount around the perimeter of your home. Better yet, you can hide them in your landscaping or along a fence, so they aren’t an eyesore for your property.

When using one of the systems:

  • Don’t apply the pesticide when people, animals, or food are present.
  • Set automatic times for when people are unlikely to be near the misting source.
  • Only use the system when mosquitoes are active (early morning and evening).
  • Avoid using the system during high winds.
  • Be aware of the maximum daily rate noted on your product label.
  • Follow these best practices to make sure you’re using the system safely and efficiently.

Next Steps for Controlling Mosquitoes

If your backyard is full of mosquitoes, you need to be proactive and take measures to eliminate them. There are a variety of mosquito control options available in Milwaukee, so if you need help, simply contact a mosquito control company.

We can send you individualized recommendations for eliminating these pests in no time. Contact us today.

Grounds Maintenance Services Can Save Homeowners Time and Money

In today’s hectic world, it can be hard to find time for the things that really matter. Most modern families consist of parents who both work full-time (or more) and kids with busy schedules of sports and other activities. How does one find time to keep up around the house? Many families are learning what business have known for many years, that outsourcing tasks such as grounds maintenance and snow removal, can actually result in a net savings for them in terms of time and money. In Milwaukee and Waukesha, trust your landscaping maintenance needs to the experts at Central Services.

Busy schedules and lack of time for planning and executing the regular maintenance involved with keeping an outdoor living space at it’s full potential causes stress. This leads to a dissatisfaction with the appearance of your grounds, and family plans get cancelled or postponed in favor of yard work. In summer, when families typically take advantage of open schedules for long family vacations, it becomes even more difficult to keep up with tedious landscaping projects. With modern families, it all comes down to time, and time is priceless.

Central Services, as full-service landscaping, grounds maintenance, and snow removal firm, has the expertise, experience, and quality equipment necessary to make short work of all projects. Take snow removal, for instance. Consider the hours you spend after every Wisconsin snowstorm clearing snow. Between pulling out the snowblower, getting it running, clearing as much as it can handle before clearing the rest with the shovel, and then putting everything away, you’ve just spent a large portion of your day on this project, and the snow keeps falling. Factor in the cost of the snowblower, maintenance, shovels, and more, and you start to understand that outsourcing could save you money in the long term. Central Services averages only a quick half hour for most snow removal projects; our work is efficient and thorough, and it’s done without you having to lift a finger.

Also consider the opportunity costs of other projects you’re not getting done because of your time spent on grounds maintenance. Whether it’s missed work opportunities, home improvements, hobbies, or much-deserved relaxation, you can’t always put a value on the things that you miss out on because of time spent on yard work.

Contact us Today!

Take the weight of yard work, cleanup, and maintenance off of your mind and save money as well! Call Central Services, your local experts in landscape design, grounds maintenance, snow removal, and much more! Contact us at (262) 548-0005 to get started on your project today!