In wintertime, as the temps continue dropping, most of us are trying to think of excuses for staying out of the great outdoors. Whether you blame it on having a Southerner’s ultra-thin blood or simply consider yourself a summer person, in Alabama we tend to not take too kindly to these dark midwinter months. Even though the grass is looking a little browner these days and you haven’t had to roll out the lawnmower since back in November, your lawn requires some serious love. In fact, now is the perfect time to ready the yard up for brighter days to come. Here are 3 lawn care tips not to miss in winter:
Unshorn grass = rodent haven
So you mayyyyy have skimped on doing that last big mow to get the grass way down before the winter struck. If this is the case, you may have developed some new, living lawn ornaments. Varmints like field mice and other burrowing animals search for warmth in the winter, and an unshorn lawn makes for the perfect spot for these rodents to nestle in. Their constant presence in your yard creates dead, brown spots that can leave your lawn appearing patchy once fresh growth commences. Fortunately, you can contact Alabama Professional Services (APS) to handle your light weight here! If you’ve noticed digging nuisances like mice ruining your home’s curb appeal, the knowledgeable team behind APS’ Creature Catcher services will not only remove the threat of these unwanted guests, they’ll take all the necessary steps to keep them away.
Keeping the yard clear and unobscured
So you’ve done everything right in preparation for the cold. The grass was cut down while we still had some 65-and-sunny days, and now you’re patiently (or perhaps not-so-patiently) counting down the weeks until spring breathes fresh life into your corner of the world. Now is the time of year when, unfortunately, you’ll spend much time wishing—not only for warmer weather and more hours of sunshine, but also that the leaves would JUST. STOP. FALLING. Sure, it was cute to watch the kiddos jump into those first few piles, but now it’s just getting ridiculous. While it may be tempting to leave those dead leaves be, it’s important to get them up to keep moisture from collecting beneath. Any spots left covered by leaves can end up susceptible to fungus that is certain to leave your lawn appearing spotty once new growth begins. If you’re over raking your yard, give yourself a break by contacting the lawn care specialists at APS. With over 40 years of experience in making homes the very best they can be (which translates to you living your best, most comfortable life at your place of respite!) through lawn care service, general repair, pest control, and even crawl space encapsulation, this local family-owned and operated business is proud to offer an array of lawn care and maintenance services suitable for your unique needs! Leave the raking, bagging, and removing leaves to an Alabama Professional!
Pre-emergent care is a preemptive strike against weeds
You may not be able to see them, but weeds are out there just waiting to spring up in the spring! Pre-emergent lawn care is your preemptive attack against stopping unwanted growth like crabgrass, bluegrass, sorrel varieties, and the dreaded burweed (stickers!) from peppering your lawn. Pre-emergent weed control uses products that are designed to work before a plant germinates in early spring. For difficult annual weeds, multiple applications may be required—first at the start of the spring and then at carefully timed intervals as secondary flushes of germination come on as the seasons progress. For these pesky and often prickly weeds, Alabama Professional Services offers an eight-month, comprehensive lawn care service strategy. During this time of year, the team at APS places a pre-emergent granule treatment in your yard, which creates a barrier that smothers the weed seeds before they have an opportunity to flourish. As the seasons progress, different phases of the treatment will be enacted to ensure that once spring rolls around, your yard will be lushly green and looking great!
APS is proud to provide a completely free consultation to assess the specific needs of your home. From lawn care to foundation repair, Alabama Professional Services is ready to take your domain to the next level! Call 205.538.2743 or click here for a FREE estimate today! For a complete list of the services provided by APS, visit calltheshield.com!
Around here, we are well aware that we must combat mosquitoes and fire ants throughout the summer (which seems to extend well into September and even November some years). Now that we’re finally seeing some holiday season temperature drops, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to the bug battle. After all, a reprieve from the heat must mean those creepy crawlies and buzzing biters are finally at bay, right?
Alabama winters—as mild as they are—bring a host of brand new pest problems. It turns out that a select few insects are scurrying to get out of the cold by getting into your home. Here’s what to be on the lookout for and what you can do to safeguard your domain:
1) Argentine ants
These little buggers hate the cold and the rain. This time of year is a drizzly, chilly one in Alabama, meaning Argentine ants are on the move and headed straight for the comforts of your home! While they do not cause structural damage, they do have massive colonies as the result of being a species with multiple queens reigning supreme.
2) Brown marmorated stink bugs
You may sniff these little suckers out before you ever actually see them. Your oil diffuser and apple pie-scented plug-ins, unfortunately, are no match for these smelly insects. With a need for warm shelter to survive the winter, you may find them setting up shop in the warmth of your home or in nooks of trees in your yard. They don’t reproduce inside, but they do smell disgusting.
3) Carpenter ants
Night crawlers like the carpenter ants tend to feel more ominous than other varieties of bugs. Not only are they especially creepy with their midnight movements, carpenter ants can wreak total havoc on your home’s structural integrity. As moisture-seeking nuisances, you’re most likely to spot them marching around sinks, toilets, and tubs.
4) House flies
Unfortunately, these buzzing bothers are a year-round issue in our state. Persistent as a nagging step-aunt at a Sunday supper, house flies get their name from, well, invading your home! They seek out any cracks, vents, or other unsealed openings, eager to zip around your home, landing on the lane cake you painstakingly spent all afternoon preparing (all three layers perfectly symmetrical!) and annoying the ever-loving sanity out of you!
When you were little, your momma may have told you these cuties were good luck. Now that you’re an adult with a home of your own, seeing hordes of these spotted monsters congregating throughout your upstairs bedrooms has you thinking momma didn’t exactly have the story straight. They seek to hibernate in your home and will gladly move right in to your guest bedroom to escape the wintertime chill outside.
So what can you do about these cold-hating creatures? First, avoid the urge to squish at all costs! Many of these insects either emit horrible odors or leave unsightly stains upon their pressure-induced demise. Your best bet is to Call the Shield! Otherwise known as Alabama Professional Services (APS), calling the Shield means contacting Alabama-based pest control and home improvement services with over 40 years of experience in making your home the source of respite it was designed to be! Included in the host of home services offered by APS, you’ll also have the Shield on hand to fix walls that have fallen victim to carpenter ants along with pest control experts able to get rid of the less-than-lucky ladybugs making your upstairs their wintertime vacation resort. Additionally, APS offers a team of experienced professionals who can help you trace the very spot where the pest problem originated! For many homes, the crawl space is the gateway to that pest problem as this area of the home often left unintended and subject to flittering, skittering insects to sneak in. APS is proud to offer crawl space repair and encapsulation services to create a safer, more secure home for you and your family.
Your home is meant only for invited guests! Take back your domain from the state’s most notorious wintertime bugs by calling APS today. The first step is a conversation followed by a completely free home evaluation! From there, an APS expert will determine what your home’s specific needs are and what needs to be done in order to eliminate these sneaky squatters! Whether it’s securing your crawl spaces, repairing structural damage, or simply putting those insects out in the cold where they belong, APS is happy to tackle your home woes with unparalleled courtesy, care, and competence. To begin the process of liberating your home from cold-weather creatures, Call the Shield at 205-538-2743 or visit calltheshield.com today for a FREE evaluation!
Unfortunately, all those tantalizing smells and wayside crumbs from the cooking process can also draw in some seriously uninvited guests. Worse than the on-and-off again girlfriend your uncle is certain to bring to the gathering this year. More obnoxious than your third cousin who sticks his fingers in the mashed potatoes when he thinks nobody is looking. Crumb-hunting, creepy-crawling, holiday-ruining pests.
They come in droves: Rodents and bugs, maybe even a wayward raccoon who caught wind of the windowsill pie. Nothing could be more catastrophic than a critter darting through the holiday spread, ruining all the days upon days of prep work you put into your family’s celebratory feast. Fortunately, you have backup—you can Call the Shield!
Calling the Shield means contacting Alabama Professional Services (APS). APS is made up of a team of home improvement experts skilled in not only removing your pest woes, but also keeping them from a stealthy return. APS is a locally owned and operated pest control and termite control business with over 40 years of experience in making homes more comfortable.
If you’ve had the misfortune of a run-in with a skittering little mouse looking to capitalize on a stray piece of pecan or you’ve noticed a trail of ants weaving their way throughout your china cabinet, now is the perfect time to Call the Shield. You can get ahead of that infestation way before your guests begin pouring in thanks to the Creature Catchers component of APS’ vast services offered. In addition to removing whatever wildlife foes you face, APS professionals are dedicated to repairing any damages that your uninvited guests have left in their wake (including the dirty job of safely ridding your home of rodent droppings before your hyper-critical mother-in-law can tsk tsk you to death).
Included in the host of home services offered by APS, you’ll also have the Shield on hand to fix walls that have become a feast for some rapscallion rodent and even a team of experienced professionals who can help you trace where the problem originated! For many homes, the crawl space is the gateway to that pest problem as this area of the home is often left unintended and can become a hotspot for creatures to sneak in. APS is proud to offer crawl space repair and encapsulation services to create a safer, more secure home for you, your family, and all those incoming guests!
Keep your holidays merry, bright, and filled with all the delicious foods your family adores! APS can’t stop your Pop Pop from sharing an embarrassing story, but the team of professional home improvement experts affectionately known as The Shield can certainly halt the threat of an embarrassing insect or rodent run-in from ruining all of the time and effort you’ve put into your family’s holiday gathering! Stop those pests in their tracks way before your guests begin to arrive with Alabama Professional Services! Call the Shield today at 205-538-2743 or visit calltheshield.com today for a FREE evaluation.
If you’ve seen the original “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” you’ve likely heard the word “guano.” If slapstick isn’t your style of film entertainment, though, know that “guano” is the official term for bat droppings—a sure sign that you’ve got flying rodents roosting somewhere in your home. Bat droppings are easily distinguishable from other types of animal excrement as they contain shiny bits of undigested insects and never contain white chalky substances seen in other critter dung. Aside from the fact that it’s downright gross to realize your uninvited guests are doing their business right inside your place of respite, bat droppings may pose a health threat to the inhabitants of your home. When touched, guano crumbles apart, releasing a powdery, dust-like substance into the air that may contain the airborne disease known as histoplasmosis. Because there’s no way to know whether or not the guano will contain this respiratory illness, it is critical that you leave the removal of any bat droppings to the expertise of a professional.
Alabama Professional Services (APS), a locally-owned and operated pest and termite control business with 40 years of experience in making homes more comfortable, offers guano removal as a facet of their Creature Catchers offerings. In addition to removing wildlife such as bats from your home, APS professionals are dedicated to repairing any damages that your uninvited guests have left in their wake—including safely removing that guano.
Bat guano and bat urine emit a distinctly pungent, putrid odor that can permeate the entire home! This smell is wildly offensive to your human nose, while critters like mites and insects find it enticing. Bat poop begets more unseemly visitors? You betcha.
Another of the unpleasant side-effects associated with a bat infiltration is an unsightly brown stain often found around entrance holes on the exterior of your home. As if there needed to be an upped ick factor, these stains are actually the result of oils secreted by the bat’s body upon contact. Talk about leaving a mark! Again, this is where the professionals come in! APS boasts a team of skilled home improvement professionals who can safely remove any remnants of bats (and damages caused by birds, bugs, mosquitoes, opossums, termites, etc.!) without inconveniencing you or disrupting your family.
Whether you have bats roosting behind shutters or under shingles, or if they’ve set up shop in the eaves or attic of your home sweet home, the long-term solution to any bat problem involves not only getting them out, but keeping them out. Because bats are capable of entering any structure through tiny holes that may be imperceptible, a careful inspection must be conducted by a professional to find these miniscule entry points. Then, those bats can be blocked out once and for all! In addition to bat removal services in compliance with the guidelines outlined by the Alabama Department of Conservation for the humane capture and relocation of animals, APS offers a comprehensive list of services designed to correct any bat mishaps that have occurred in your home while working to bar any would-be batty intruders from wreaking havoc in your home again!
The only bats found in your home should be plastic or rubber replicas used in spooky Halloween décor! Banish bats once and for all by Calling the Shield at 205-538-2743 today! And if you have rats, squirrels, or snakes creating other creepy bumps in the night at your home, APS’ Creature Catchers services can remove and exclude those unwelcome visitors as well! To schedule a free estimate courtesy of the skilled, knowledgeable team at Alabama Professional Services, visit calltheshield.com today!
Post-hurricane conditions like stagnant water on the ground or in gutters can serve as a breeding ground for would-be bloodsuckers. And while a mosquito’s bite itself is both unsightly and itchy, the implications of having one of the winged nuisances latching on to your skin can equal a heightened risk for disease. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, mosquitoes are still notorious carriers of West Nile virus and the Zika virus. While most mosquitoes tend to be active during the evening and dawn hours, those carrying the Zika virus are buzzing about in the daytime hours, seemingly waiting to wreak havoc on your health.
Even as the threat of flying bloodsuckers seems to come on as quickly as hurricane winds, APS is known for prompt response and reliable service—even on short notice. In choosing APS as your defense against mosquitoes, you choose dedicated individuals who seek to quell your pest woes with minimal disruption to your family’s routine.
The change in weather during this storm season may also have you and your family battling allergies. Kicked up coughs, an increase in sinus headaches, difficulty breathing—all the details of seasonal allergy discomfort! This rainy season can also lead to an increase in humidity, creating prime real estate for mold to develop in the crawl space of your home. Mold growth can be detrimental to your family’s comfort and safety as the spores circulate from the crawl space to other aspects of your home, resulting in a decrease in air quality. For those with allergies, the consequences can be even more severe as these individuals may even experience difficulty breathing.
In addition to seeking pest control services to thwart the threat of mosquitoes, you can also create a longer term solution for the next bouts of inevitable plague-bringing bad weather! Many of your home’s problems—from mosquitoes to mold—are likely to stem from the often forgotten portion of your place of respite and relaxation: the crawl space. Even if your home’s crawl space has never been impacted by water damage, uninsulated spaces are open to devastation in the form of bugs, bats, and other unwanted critters. In order to provide the healthiest indoor environment possible for your loved ones, now is the time to complete any needed crawl space repairs and then seal the space through encapsulation.
During the encapsulation process, a vapor barrier is put in place to seal the area off from the threat of moisture lingering in the outside world. Once sealing is done, the air can be conditioned or dehumidified, as needed, and the space can be used for storing your holiday decorations or summer clothes without worrying about becoming a mosquito’s snack in the process. A properly sealed crawl space also creates cleaner, healthier air in your home, and you may even see a drop in heating/cooling costs!
While encapsulation might sound like a daunting task, APS is poised to tackle the job from start to finish. Encapsulation essentially creates a barrier throughout your crawl space to protect it from pests and moisture seepage. In recent years, APS has adopted the mantra, “Call the Shield,” when describing their services. Given the company’s multiple decades of experience creating these barriers, “Calling the Shield” is exactly what you do when you seek the professional home services offered by the longtime home savers.
Now is the ideal time to stop those post-storm mosquitoes mid-flight! Call the Shield today at 205-538-2743 or click here to schedule a FREE estimate.
Come see APS at the Southern Women’s Show in Birmingham October 5-8, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex! Four days of shopping, food, and fun! Use this coupon for a $4 savings! We look forward to seeing you!
First, it’s important to know that while stagnant water serves as a cesspool for mosquitoes to multiply, there are other culprits lurking at home can be responsible for mosquito influxes. Just as we see plenty of rainstorms in Alabama during the summer months, our region can also be susceptible to long, dry spells. Dormant or drought-stressed summer lawns can be more susceptible to insect infestations, such as fire ants, fleas, and—yep, you guessed it—mosquitoes. To keep your lawn from becoming a hotbed for uninvited guests, APS is proud to offer comprehensive lawn care service. This eight-month-long, personalized service includes an extra pre-emergent treatment each year and an exclusive aeration treatment which involves perforating the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots, resulting in a good-looking yard you’ll be proud to have the kids playing in. As part of this comprehensive strategy to creating a stronger, more vibrant lawn, during July APS works to fertilize your yard with expert precision. A lush yard not only looks better, it can keep those bug invaders at bay.
While minor infestations can take care of themselves, severe problems of the creepy, crawly variety are definitely a job for the professionals. If your infiltration has gotten out of hand, quality mosquito control is needed, which is precisely where APS comes in again! APS offers a variety of options for mosquito reduction and will create an effective strategy based on your unique situation. As licensed and trained pest control professionals, the APS team has years of experience eliminating mosquitoes from many local properties in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. Even on short notice, APS is able to tackle whatever mosquito woes you’re facing. Not only will they work to keep your family safe, the APS team strives to work quickly with minimal disruptions to your family’s routine. The summer should be fun, after all!
Locally owned and operated, APS professionals care about the people of Alabama and seek to make every family they work with as comfortable in their homes as they deserve to be. Alabama Professional Services is dedicated to providing quality customer service, using the best products and practices available in the industry. As members of the National Pest Management Association, APS adheres to the highest standards in safety and quality in all of the work they do. Forget those fly-by-night businesses—with 40 years of pest control service and over 20 years of home improvement service, when you “Call the Shield,” you call upon folks dedicated to quality. Make this summer (and all the ones to follow) full of outdoor fun. Stop hiding from those mosquitoes once and for all! Call the Shield today to set up your FREE estimate! For more information about the skilled work Alabama Professional Services can offer to help make your home better than ever, visit calltheshield.com today!
In childhood, many of us loved things that bounced—trampolines, inflatable houses at birthday parties, even the rubber balls that cost just a quarter out of the grocery store machine and would launch sky-high! In adulthood, our tastes have refined when it comes to what we like to see bounce—our hair should be lustrous and bouncy and certainly we want that cushiony softness in our skin. However, one thing that should never take on that springy quality is our hardwood floors.
If you’ve noticed a soft spot in your floor—as in an area that seems to give when weight is placed upon it—it’s likely that your issue extends much further beyond that bounce. And more than just feeling weird and appearing unsightly, saggy areas on your floor can have unpleasant effects on the items in your home that you hold dear. For instance, that China cabinet with all of your grandmother’s Wedgwood can end up tilting, sliding, and even falling if left unchecked. That means heirlooms (and memories) obliterated—not to mention an unnecessary expense to replace the damaged pieces in time for your next holiday dinner.
Often times a bouncy or sagging floor is the result of improper floor support. Luckily, the experienced, knowledgeable team at Alabama Professional Services (APS) is well-versed in getting to the root of the problem. And “root” is appropriate as many unsupported floors must be dealt with on a foundational level. By using APS for your drooping floors, you are calling in reinforcements to reinforce the very surface you stand upon!
APS’ team of driven floor fixers will professionally assess and inspect floor framing elevations and construction types. After the inspection process, they provide recommendations and offer an installation proposal to correct sagging floors, deficient framing issues, and/or damaged floor systems.
Repair proposals may require installation methods involving excavation of soil to install steel reinforced concrete footings—all in an effort to help regain steady footing on the floors of your home! APS then custom manufactures steel columns (based on your home’s specific needs) to be installed and anchored to concrete footings. Just as the APS team makes it their mission to provide you with the best possible support from start to finish, these columns are designed to support either existing floor girder systems or new ones. Once concrete footings have been installed, hydraulic jacks are used to raise the floor system to desired elevations—all based on what your unique home requires. And every inch of the lifting process is monitored and overseen by APS professionals to ensure the lift goes smoothly. As the final step, steel columns are installed and attached to girders for permanent support you can count on to last. The bouncing will be left to your child’s trampoline and the pep in your step when you feel the difference in your newly APS-reinforced floors!
If you’ve noticed sagging or bouncy floors, call Alabama Professional Services at (205) 951-9717, or fill out the online form. APS will provide you with a free estimate and develop a comprehensive plan completely individualized for your needs. Take the bounce out of your house today by visiting calltheshield.com.
Watch Alabama Professional Services on ABC 33/40. Vincent Winfrey (APS) discusses being in business for over 40 years running, pest control, termites and more.