How to choose a weed control company can feel like a complicated task. With these tips, you will know HOW and WHEN to start using a weed control company that fits YOUR needs.
Cost - How to Compare
Cost is definitely NOT most important, but hey, as I am also a consumer, this is often where people like to start and in the weed control industry it can be a little confusing. So BIG QUESTION is “how to compare prices when companies have different programs?” (“Apples to Apples”.)
Weed control companies in the OKC metro continue to have variations of 6 - 8 application programs. The number of applications is not a deciding factor, rather just different philosophies of how and when to apply different applications.
Consequently, the only way to actually compare "just cost" from one company to another would be to look at the total cost of each company’s program for a year.
Company A - 6 applications X $60 per app = $360 per year.
Company B – 8 applications X $55 per app = $440 per year.
So, if “only looking at price”, Company A is cheapest, NOT company B.
Products Used/Applied to Lawn
The backbone to all weed control programs are the pre-emergents. I would recommend 3-4 pre-emergents a year, but again, don’t get hung up on just the number of applications. Some companies will have 3 pre-emergents because they do not “split app” their pre-emergents. “Split-app” is not a negative, it can actually be very beneficial in some cases. Additionally, I think it is beneficial for a company to change up their programs a tad here and there, so the weeds don’t build up resistance.
The other important part of the program is the fertilizers. Fertilizers can be applied in liquid or granular form. One is not necessarily better than the other. But not all fertilizers are the same. I would recommend going with an established company that knows what they are doing (and that will also know how to manage their expenses and therefore less tempted to use less inferior products simply because budget is tight).
BOTTOM LINE, don’t skip the fertilizer applications as you want your “good grass” to become thick an
nd healthy to keep the weeds smothered out. Oh…and all the fertilizer in the world does not do much good if your lawn does not get the proper amount of water (but that is a whole other blog).
Are These Chemicals Harmful to My Children and/or Pets
Well…they are chemicals.
After each application, people and pets should stay off grass until it is dry.
If you want to be even be more cautious, water in each application for 20 minutes per zone/area. Now your really good. (But also know that many of our customers wait and let Mother Nature water in their applications-which is fine too. But all applications must be watered in!)
If a chemical has the potential to be really harmful, there will be a lot of rules to using it and more than likely too much trouble. Additionally, back in the “old days”, many pets stayed outside all the time and it was COMMON practice to treat lawns with pets outside. But, today, my Sadie would seriously be upset if I left her outside for longer than necessary.
What’s HOT in the Weed Control Industry
While we are on this topic….think back to the most recent recession. Often things “start on the coasts” and then slowly but surely make its way to our region. This is exactly what is happening in the green industry in regards to weed control. In the NE part of the United States, legislators have been passing tougher laws for years now, as a result of popular chemicals being over-sprayed on residential lawns and ending up in the water.
Here in Oklahoma, about 10 years ago, a popular chemical used to control grassy weeds was completely taken off the market when it was found in our water. I can also think of a popular insecticide that was taken off the market about the same time, and this is just two well-known examples.
For a more recent example, the City of Norman issued an Ordinance a just a few years back due to finding a high amount of phosphorus in Lake Thunderbird.
To learn more about ordinace, Click Here.
Often people think that “more chemical, is better” or will “make sure those weeds are dead”. This is simply NOT true. Plants can only take in so much chemical at one time. And there is the very real possibility that a lawn will be over-sprayed and therefore stunt the lawn’s growth for a period of time (or in the case of fescue lawns, even kill it). So bottom line, lawn care companies and homeowners must always try to balance between what is needed to kill a weed/make it green, with both its effectiveness and potential harm to our environment…our watersheds.
Good News! With demand, comes supply. So the “hot news” in the green industry is the development of organic products that can be mixed with the more harmful synthetic chemicals. When the base of the weed control program is the right balance of organics, probiotics, etc, we have found that the synthetic chemicals can be reduced by as much as 50 % here in the OKC metro and still achieve the same weed control and color as a traditional synthetic chemical program. Consequently, an organic based program is SAFER, BETTER, GREENER for your children, your pets, and our watersheds! See graphic below.
At Irish Green Lawn Care, we switched all of our customers over to the Hybrid Program in 2017. We have a blog that gives you a more detailed look at the pros to the organics we use in our treatments.
For more information about a Hybrid Program, click here.
I love the saying “these are interesting times”. Right now with 3 different generations of homeowners, “preferred payment options” is an important topic.
Many people no longer use or even buy paper checks. (The times of learning to write checks or to write in “cursive” is gone!) Today, many like to setup auto-pay options, “set it and forget it”. Us Americans are busy people. I think most companies realize this. Again, I recommend only giving your credit card or checking account information to established companies, but after that, paying by credit card or auto debit from ones checking account is much safer and convenient than the “old days” when it was often standard practice to leave a check or even cash under the door mat. (Yikes, I think I might be showing my age!)
For Payment Options, click here.
1. How many applications do you apply each year and why?
Most established OKC weed control companies continue to have variations of 6-8 application programs. The only way to actually compare cost from one company to another would be to look at the total cost of each company’s program for a year. (See example at top.)
2. Is the company/person licensed and insured? In Oklahoma, a person who applies chemicals to someone’s lawn, other than their own, must have a pesticide license and a fertilizer license to legally buy and apply many products used in a traditional weed control program. Additionally, applicators are also
required by law to have liability insurance specifically for a pesticide applicator.
3. Does the company use Green Dye? "My Two Cents" - If you have pets and/or concerned about thegreen dye getting tracked into your house or on your fence, etc, then we do NOT recommend green dye.There are no real benefits to using dye. Dye is purely for marketing. (Yes, I said it.) We have a blog on this topic if you would like more information.
To read our blog on Green Dye, click here.
4. How long has the company been in business? Many new lawn care companies will pop-up each year in February or March. Hey this is the American Dream…it is a great thing! But also know that 80% of companies fail, so ask your friends and neighbors for referrals. Referrals are a safe bet in this industry.
5. How easy will it be to get in touch with someone if you have a question or concern? Does the company have office staff during normal business hours? If you have a question, who would you contact? Does the company have the capability to communicate through your preferred method, whether that be text, email, web chat, or phone call?
6. Does the company offer “additional services” such as grub control or aeration? Or if you have pets, do they offer a flea and tick program for your lawn? There are many different diseases and bugs that your lawn and trees can come up against during the year.
To learn about our "additional services", click here.
7. If you are concerned about your pets, children, or chemicals seeping into our watersheds, ask the company what they do to safeguard your priorities.
For additional information on Irish Green Lawn Care's services, prices, etc...please visit our website for some great resources.
For urgent/timely updates and concerns, we are active on Facebook and Google just to name a few. A great example of how we use social media to communicate with our customers: Do you often wonder how much you should water your lawn when the temperatures change? As the seasons change in Oklahoma, we post to our Facebook regularly, or simply Google us at Irish Green Lawn Care.
Please do not hesitate to contact us by email, instant chat on our website, or by phone if you have any questions.
And the entire team at Irish Green Lawn Care