Archive for category autumn

Yellow Jackets and your Lawn Care Business

Hi Everyone, this is Keith with

Bees and wasps are hazards to every lawn care business owner and late summer through Autumn is a time of increased bee and wasp activity. I found this nest in a lawn recently. It was very easy to see the yellow jackets flying to and from the nest so I decided to put a camera on a tripod. I was able to film them for a few minutes and they did not seem to notice I was there.

However, they eventually became annoyed and attacked my camera.

Yellow Jacket - Vespula Maculifrons

Yellow Jacket – Vespula Maculifrons

The yellow jackets in this video are most likely Eastern Yellow Jackets (Vespula maculifrons) from the order hymenoptera(1). They are highly territorial and will aggressively defend their nest when they feel threatened.

According to the National Institutes of Health, deaths attributable to Hymenoptera account for more than 79 fatalities per year in the United States(2). Though most stings can be remedied through treatment at home, up to 10 percent of stings result in more extreme reactions requiring elevated care(3). This statistic is especially concerning for lawn care business owners who spend their days on lawns and in flower beds where ground burrowing hymenoptera like to build their nests.

What is also concerning to lawn care business owners is that some hymenoptera, especially ground dwelling vespid wasps such as yellow jackets, are particularly sensitive to the vibrations of lawn mowers and string trimmers. Given that a typical colony of yellow jackets can contain from a few hundred to several thousand individual wasps(4) it behooves anyone operating a lawn mower or other lawn care equipment to remain vigilant during late summer and autumn months when yellow jacket populations swell and become most active.

Although annoying, yellow jackets are beneficial to our ecology. They kill flies as well as caterpillars and beetle larva(5) which do damage to ornamental and vegetable garden plants. Yellow Jackets are also adept at scavenging fallen fruits from trees. And, since they eat raw meat they help clean up road kill and other dead animals. So, due to their beneficial nature, unless a Yellow Jacket nest poses a threat to humans or pets, I normally leave it alone until winter time. The wasps die sometime after the first few frosts and I can then dig up and destroy the nests without fear of being stung.

If you find it necessary to destroy a yellow jacket nest in the duty of your lawn care business, think carefully about a few things.

1) If you apply any chemical to a customer’s lawn or landscaping in the course of your lawn care business you will likely require an applicator’s license(6). Now, I know a lot of people laugh at this advice. Many people operating their own lawn care companies think they can purchase an over the counter wasp and hornet spray and use it to kill yellow jackets in their customer’s lawns. You might get away with it, but, technically, in many states, you should have an applicator’s license before applying any chemicals including wasp spray.

2) If the pesticide control board catches you applying a pesticide without an applicator’s license, you will face a fine which can amount to several hundred dollars. I even know of one lawn care business operator that was fined $5,000 for applying a pesticide without an applicator’s license.

3) If someone is injured while you are applying a pesticide to a yellow jacket’s nest , you could be held responsible for their injuries.
Also, please don’t ever pour gasoline or any other unapproved chemical into the ground. I have seen videos and blogs where people talk about pouring gasoline into yellow jacket nests. We know better, these days, than to do things like that. It pollutes the ground and, from a business standpoint, it sets you up for criminal and civil charges if you are ever caught doing it.

If a nest must be removed, have your customer call a licensed pest control management company to perform the extraction.
Knowing that they are a threat, there are steps you can take to avoid the dangers of yellow jackets.

1) Ask your lawn care customers to inform you of any yellow jacket activity in their lawns.

2) Be observant. Watch for yellow jackets flying to and from their nests. You can often see yellow jacket activity long before your lawn mower disturbs them.

3) Mark nest sites with marker flags. You can avoid the nests during the late summer and fall active months and then come back in the winter to dig the nests up and destroy them once the yellow jacket have left their nest.

4) Wear long pants and other protective clothing.

5) Know your sensitivity to stings and carry an epipen if necessary.

One of the reasons many of us enter the lawn care business is our love of the outdoors and nature. Bees and wasps are simply part of the outdoors and they are some of the creatures sharing our earth. It is unfortunate that they are so territorial and sting so violently when they feel threatened. However, that is just their way of protecting themselves. They are not actively seeking people to sting(7). So, when you encounter yellow jacket nests, do your best to avoid contact and leave them alone and avoid getting stung. They will be gone when the weather cools. If you can’t avoid yellow jackets, use an Integrated Pest Management approach and try to do as little ecological damage as possible.

Once again, this is Keith with If you are thinking about starting your own lawn care business, we have developed a professional and comprehensive lawn care business strategy guidebook and estimating software program that will help you start and operate a successful lawn care business. You can learn more about this program and purchase it through our main website:


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Starting a Lawn Care Business During Winter (December, January, February)

Hi Everyone:

This is Keith from SALCB.

If you have ever thought about starting a lawn care business or if you currently own a lawn care company and are thinking about expanding your business in the coming year, the next few months (December, January, and February) are target rich months for: performing winter cleanup jobs for your current customers, purchasing used and last year’s model LC equipment, securing new (larger scale) contracts.

Additionally, the customers you acquire during the winter months will be your first customers once spring rolls around. This will give you a solid customer base to grow your business.

Don’t ignore the next few months. You can still make a lot of money during the winter and you will be ready to go in the spring.

My company started our lawn care company 1992. We started small and grew rapidly. We have developed a professionally produced lawn care business guidebook and estimating software package. If you are having problems starting your business, acquiring customers, choosing equipment, doing the work properly and efficiently, and estimating your prices, visit our website to learn more about the lawn care business program.

Once again, our website address is: Start A Lawn Care

Tags: , , , , ,

Start a Leaf Raking & Lawn Care Business – November 2011

So, here we are in November 2011. Another mowing season is coming to an end. Many lawn care business owners are busy storing their lawn care equipment for the cold winter months.

If you are one of these lawn care business owners that thinks the lawn care season has come to an end, you might be leaving THOUSANDS of dollars on the table. Right now is a prime money making season. Through much of the country leaves are falling and your customers will pay GOOD MONEY to have their leaves raked. For additional money you can provide aerating services, overseeding, pre-winter cleanup, gutter cleaning and clearing, and a number of other money making lawn care services.

To learn how to make money during November with your lawn care business, take a look at our guidebook and estimating software package on our main webpage.

The lawn care website address is:

Start A Lawn Care & Leaf Raking Business

Tags: , , , ,

Summer Grass Mowing Season is Coming to an End.

Summer’s grass mowing season is coming to an end. Leaf raking takes over.

How do I know this? Is it the shorter days? Is it the cooler nights? Is it the lengthening shadows? Is it the falling leaves? Is it the start of football season?

Summer Grass Mowing vs. Autumn Leaf Raking

Summer is coming to an end.

No, none of these things tell me that summer is coming to an end. I don’t need a weatherman or a calendar. I only need to take a walk through my local Walgreens to see a “25% Off Summer Toys” sign to let me know that the lucrative and profitable grass mowing season will soon come to an end.

Actually, if you own a lawn care business, there is NO NEED TO PANIC. Though it is already the end of August, many lawn care companies (especially in the southern states) will be mowing grass well into November. And, if you don’t make enough money mowing grass for the next two month, leaf raking season should easily carry your lawn care business well into next year.

So, when you see signs of summer’s end, rest assured that there are still PLENTY of opportunities to make a TON of money mowing grass raking leaves for the next several months.

If you have ever thought about starting a lawn care business but don’t know where to start, we have developed a comprehensive lawn care business training course that will teach you practically everything you need to know about starting and operating a successful lawn care business. For more information about our business course, please visit our main webpage.

Start A Lawn Care Business

Tags: , , ,

November Rains Bring Lawn Care Pains

by: Start a Lawn Care Business

Ouch! My neck hurts.

No, it doesn’t hurt because of a recent car crash or an old football injury.  It hurts (figuratively) because I’m getting whipsawed back and forth with this November weather. 

November weather is notoriously fickle in the southeast and this November’s weather is no exception.  Two weeks ago, we had freezing overnight lows, last week we were into the high 70’s with cloudless skies, and this week is starting on a bleary note with showers and highs in the mid-40’s.

Ahh, November, it keeps life interesting for a lawn care professional. 

As much as you might like to complain about the weather, I hope you realize what a blessing November weather is for your lawn care company.  For instance, if you are in the southeast, last week was a perfect time to aerate and overseed all your customer’s lawns before this rainy spell kicked in.  Aeration before seeding allows perfect seed-ground contact.  Seeds will have a great oportunity to germinate and set roots as the rains moisten the soil before harsh winter weather.

We are already hearing from many of our readers in the North and their issues with the first snow plowing jobs of the season.  And, as always, sunny south Florida and Texas are the envy of us all being able to mow practically year-round.

No matter in what part of the country you reside, November weather brings its challenges.  However, if you play it right, November can be a very profitable month for your lawn care business.

Don’t forget, if you need to learn how to properly price-estimate all your lawn care customers, pick up a copy of our lawn care estimating software on our main web page:

Tags: , ,

Where did the summer go?

It seems like only yesterday I was complaining about 100 degree temperatures. Now, though the days are warm, I am waking to 50 degree mornings. Ah, I love Autumn. The air is crisp, the temperatures are comfortable, and the night’s sky is clear and full of stars.

Autumn is a very active time of year for most lawn care companies. In addition to leaf cleanup and gutter cleaning, important services such as core aeration, overseeding, bed maintenance, and pre-winter cleanup should be added to your list of services. Autumn is a perfect time to prepare a lawn for next spring’s growth. Aeration and overseeding is especially important during the next few weeks for cool season grasses.

Since many customers do not understand that prep. work now sets the stage for a much healthier lawn next year, it is our duty to educate customers and suggest services.

What services can you think of to add to your lawn care business?

If you are having trouble coming up with a list of services and corresponding prices, take a look at our Lawn Care Business course, it is packed with ideas to keep your lawn care business running all year long.

Tags: , , ,

Goodbye Summer. Hello Autumn.

I am sure many of you noticed that Wednesday, September 22, 2010 was the Autumnal Equinox. This year’s full Harvest Moon rang in the new season.

Temperature wise there was not much of a change as we are still reaching the low to mid 90’s each day. However, there is a chill in the air once the sun sets. The sky is golden and the leaves are definitely changing. Though summer is over, I hope you are weighing your options carefully for the upcoming season. Here in the southeast we have had scant showers the last 6 weeks. I am sure the lack of precipitation will change as weather patterns will alter in the near future. Autumn rains will bring bursts of growth as parched lawns rejuvenate for one last chlorophyll-laden green up before winter arrives.

Lawn care business owners who are prepared will be able to take advantage of their customers’ need for “one last mow.” In reality, one last mow can easily turn into 4 or 5 mowing cycles with plenty of leaf raking and winterizing jobs.

Though the sun is climbing lower on the horizon, there’s still money to be made, guys. Now is not a time to get lazy. If you hustle, you can put some much needed money in the bank in the months before winter.

Do you want to know how to keep your lawn care business running all winter long?  Our lawn care business training course shows you how to make money even during the cold months.

Check the program out on our website:

Tags: , , , , ,