Frequently Asked Questions

Perf-A-Lawn FAQ

Below you will find a list of the most common questions and answers about the services we provide.


Why should I use Perf-a-Lawn?

Perf-a-Lawn, Inc. began in Erie in 1980. Perf-a-Lawn is a locally owned lawn care company that cares about professional, I.P.M.-inspired turf management. Our number one goal is to keep our customers satisfied through education and cooperation–that is why we offer free service calls. I.P.M. stands for integrated pest management, and it is this very practice that will ensure you have a healthy lawn with the least amount of inorganic help. This means we encourage our customers to mow at proper heights, sharpen their mower blades, and if feasible, water their lawn. Nutrients can only do so much! Our flagship offering is a 6-application fertilizer and weed control program that includes free service calls to retreat weeds. We apply the fertilizer and weed control, and if you ask us, we will give you all the tools and advice you need in order to propagate a beautiful lawn. Our offerings include fertilization, weed control, soil amendments, aeration, slice-seeding, over-seeding, hydro-seeding, tree & shrub care, and pest control. We want every customer to be happy with us and their lawn!

What is crabgrass and what can Perf-a-lawn do about it?

Crabgrass is an annual grassy weed that sprouts in bare spots/thin areas of the lawn. South-facing sections of the lawn are particularly susceptible due to extended sun exposure throughout the day. Crabgrass emerges in late May or early June and dies off naturally when the weather cools down in the fall. Our first two rounds of fertilization contain crabgrass preventative that is up to 80% effective in preventing crabgrass emergence. If crabgrass does emerge in your lawn, it is best to let it be and plan on slit-seeding or aerating and over-seeding your lawn in the fall. A thick, dense lawn–inoculated with new grass seed–is your best defense against crabgrass. Our grass seed will sprout if you water it as directed–it has a 99% germination rating!

 

BOTTOM LINE: We prefer pre-emergent control of crabgrass, we do offer post-emergent control of crabgrass, but we recommend remedying the underlying issue–not the symptom (crabgrass). 

Is there a contract to sign?

No, there is no contract to sign and you may cancel at any time. Perf-a-Lawn has several different payment options to choose from, including a “pay as you receive” plan and a discounted “pre-payment” plan.

DISCLAIMER: If you have never treated your lawn or are new to lawn care please understand it will be 2 to 4 seasons before your lawn will truly show results. We are working in conjunction with Mother Nature; we feed the lawn, but water and sunlight are out of our control. Mowing height and irrigation techniques are essential components of lawn care.

How safe are your applications for my kids and pets?

Perf-a-Lawn is a licensed and insured lawn maintenance provider. Our applications are typically chemical based (unless you are on our 100% organic program). All of Perf-a-Lawn’s products are registered through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are used in accordance with their labeling. We only use products the EPA has tested and certified as safe when used as directed. Our technicians are all licensed through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. We are an environmentally-aware company and use the best practices to service your property safely. ONCE DRY, OUR PRODUCTS ARE SAFE. Our treatments often contain the same active ingredients you can buy at a local nursery or garden store. In essence, stay away from the treated area for about 2-4 hours or until the application is dry. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding our products please visit Perfalawn Products so that you can get the detailed chemical breakdown of all of our products. 

Why did the Perf-a-Lawn technician make the weed control application on a rainy day?

If the weed control was applied in a light rain, results should still be satisfactory. The weed control is foliar absorbed and applied with a material to help it stick to the leaf surface before being taken in through the pores of the leaf. As long as the material is not washed off the leaf, control will occur. If you do not see leaf curling in 10 days, please call our office for a free re-treatment.

Why won't my weeds die?

Our liquid weed controls are the most effective available. The weeds begin to curl and disappear in 2-3 days, but it may take up to two weeks before they are completely gone. Unusually hot weather, a heavy rain within 12 hours of treatment, or mowing immediately after treatment can reduce control. The good news is that as a Perf-a-Lawn customer, you can simply give us a call and we will be out to retreat your lawn within 48 hours … at no extra cost to you!

Why do I have moss and what can be done?

Shade and moss go hand in hand and most turf grasses require 4 to 5 hours of full sun, or a full day of filtered sunlight. A major event that may occur because of shade is the presence of MOSS. Moss can occur because of too much moisture in areas of the lawn. Since these areas are not getting the proper amount of sunlight, the moisture sits idle eliminating grass and creating conditions for moss to grow. We recommend trimming tree branches  as needed to allow proper sunlight to reach the soil. We recommend getting our spring and fall lime applications to help balance out the pH level of the soil and help prevent soil conditions for moss to grow. Lime applications DO NOT KILL moss but rather help prevent it from spreading. If you currently have moss we recommend raking it out, applying lime, aerating the soil, and reseeding.

Remember: Sunlight is key to creating ample soil conditions for grass to grow; without proper sunlight it is an uphill battle to grow and maintain a healthy turf.

My lawn has mole acitivity, what can be done?

Mole activity can cause damage to the lawn that usually comes in the form of tunnels or mounds that can disturb root systems and provide travel lanes for other small animals. Moles can dig surface tunnels up to 18 feet per hour! A mole typically travels more than one-fifth of an acre. No more than three to five moles live on each acre; two to three moles is a more common number. Thus, one mole will usually use more than one person’s yard! Moles feed on mature insects, snail larvae, spiders, small vertebrates, earthworms and, grubs. If your lawn has grubs we can apply an insecticide to rid them. A grub application may solve the mole problem, but keep in mind their diet is vast and they might be feeding on something else as well. If the problem persists we recommend for you to contact a local exterminator to see what steps can be taken to rid lawn of the problem. The PA Dept. of Agriculture recommends trapping above all else when eliminating moles.

What are chinch bugs?

Chinch bugs are small above-the-soil-surface insects that prefer dry, sunny lawns. You may notice these tiny insects in the summer between June and early September. Lawns that are suffering from chinch bug infestations will have large patches of irregular, yellowish, stunted, wilted grass. Chinch bugs extract the sap from grass blades which injures the grass causing it to wither and look overall unhealthy. Adult chinch bugs are 3/16″ to 1/8″ in length with black bodies and white across their back. If you are noticing chinch bug activity please notify our office immediately and we can send a certified technician to diagnose the issue.

Do you service residential or commercial properties?

We service both! Perf-a-Lawn not only serves residential properties, but also local businesses, housing developments, condominium complexes, college and university campuses, places of worship, and all sorts of living communities. Our programs can be tailored to meet specific needs of your residential or commercial property. If you wish to utilize our free service call offer you must be signed on for 4 applications of fertilizer and weed control; if you are under our minimum applications for service calls we can retreat by request at a modest charge. Remember, we offer more than just fertilization and weed control! We can perform perimeter pest applications at your place of business and keep the insects found outdoors, outdoors! We understand that timing is essential when it comes to servicing commercial properties–we are flexible and will work with you to find an application schedule that meets your needs. Please give us a call today! Estimates are free and we would love to talk lawn care with you!

Why do I have snow mold? Can I prevent snow mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that develops under snow cover. It shows up as rings or light-brownish patches throughout the lawn. Areas that receive snow buildup with minimal sunlight are particularly susceptible to this fungal disease. Constant freezing and thawing (excessive moisture in an area that lacks air circulation) creates the perfect environment underneath the snow cover to generate fungus. In addition, heavy thatch buildup in the lawn and leaves matted together can also cause snow mold to develop. Typically, the best remedy for snow mold damage is to leave it be–if you aggressively rake out specific patches you will need to reseed! If you can gently rake the affected area and un-matt the grass, without tearing out patches, then please do so–it will help air circulate in the area which in turn will reduce snow mold. Though it depends, often the form of snow mold that has developed has left your lawn’s root system intact. If this is the case, once your lawn receives an application of fertilizer with nitrogen it will begin to grow out those unsightly mold matches. If you have regular issues with snow mold we can apply a fungicide application by request in the Fall to prevent these issues. We highly recommend patience, air flow, and nitrogen-based fertilizer to remedy snow mold patches.

It is much easier to prevent snow mold than to treat it once it is established. Avoid letting grass grow high in the fall. It is vital that your last cut of the season is shorter than normal. This will prevent your grass from matting together when the snow arrives. Lastly, remove all leaves in the fall. 

What is Red Thread and can anything be done?

Red Thread is a disease that develops in late spring/early summer when conditions are wet, humid, and hot; basically, if it is hot and overcast the conditions are ripe! It appears on the lawn as reddish colored, or pink colored threads that go across the tips of the grass blades. Red Thread typically goes away once the weather conditions change from hot and humid, to just hot. Moreover, Red Thread dissipates when conditions become dryer and the sun is out in full force to relieve excessive moisture. Typically, Red Thread is a cosmetic issue that does not affect the root system of the grass. If you have a serious case of Red Thread we recommend a fungicide treatment. With minor cases of Red Thread we apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to grow out the fungus. If you would like to do a little more research on your own, we highly recommend searching the Penn State Extension website or the Purdue Extension website; both universities offer science-backed articles explaining Red Thread and treatment options.

Can I mow the same day my lawn is treated?

Yes, but we do not recommend mowing the same day because it will reduce the effectiveness of the weed control. However, if only our granular fertilizer was applied, you may mow immediately if you leave the clippings on the lawn. However, if weed control was applied, do not mow your lawn for 48 hours. Your invoice has detailed information about what we applied, but if you have further questions please call us. 

When we perform an application it is in your best interest to not mow for several days. The fertilizer we apply, even granular, takes days and weeks to breakdown into the soil, or to be absorbed by the target plants. A tall lawn not only better retains moisture, but also helps prevents the sun from reaching the soil–meaning new weed seeds cannot germinate.

What is Nutsedge and can anything be done about it?

Yellow nutsedge, a lime greenish plant that is noticeably taller than the rest of the lawn, is a common grassy-like weed that is actually part of the sedge family! It is not a species of grass. It spreads across your lawn using an underground system of tubers, making long-term control challenging. It appears when temperatures get hot and moist. The best preventative for nutsedge is to create a healthy, thick lawn with proper drainage. If you want to know more about nutsedge and how we can help you control it—just ask!

Should I bag or mulch (leave) my clippings? Will the clippings contribute to thatch (organic buildup between the blade and the soil)?

If you can, you should always mulch your clippings. Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn will help return key nutrients to the soil. They will not contribute to thatch. However, if the lawn is very tall when you mow you should remove the grass clippings (bag them). Removing the clippings will prevent any yellowing of the turf due to lack of light and oxygen. Remember, never remove more than one third of the grass blade when you mow. 

Should I water after my regular lawn application?

No, while a light rain should not effect the weed control treatment, it is best to wait until the application is absorbed. This process usually requires a full 24 hours, but if you have received a crabgrass or nutsedge treatment you must leave the product on the lawn for 72 hours. 

However, if you receive a grub preventative application we strongly encourage customers to water the application in so that maximum results are achieved. 

How can we keep our neighbor's weeds from spreading into our lawn?

The best defense against weeds is thick dense turf. When sunlight is unable to reach the soil, weed seeds cannot germinate. At Perf-a-Lawn, our fertilizers are carefully chosen and applied at the correct time to improve turf density and to protect against weeds before they appear.

I have beetles on my lawn and in the shrubs ... does this mean I will have grubs?

No, although the beetle is the adult stage of the grub, they do not always lay their eggs directly after feeding on your ornamentals or shrubs. If you are scheduled for our guaranteed grub control, your lawn will be protected. If not, give us a call. We can inspect your lawn and recommend the proper treatment.

Fleas can make our dog's life miserable in the summer. Can you help us?

Yes, we can treat your lawn in the summer as an optional service to control fleas and ticks that go after household pets.

Why do I have mushrooms in my lawn?

Mushrooms can be an annoyance, but they do not cause harm to the grass. Mushrooms are fungi that grow on decaying organic matter in the soil, such as dead tree roots or other rotted wood material. Mushrooms often pop up following heavy rains or watering. They can be removed by raking or mowing. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be applied to the lawn to control them. As the ground dries out, they will start to disappear.

What treatments are offered during the summer months?

During the summer months we offer our nutrient-rich, lawn applications of fertilizer and weed control. During this time, we also perform our grub preventative application. June/July are the months to perform the grub preventative because it helps disrupt the life cycle of the Japanese Beetle [our most lawn-damaging beetle species in this region] thus eliminating the potential for grub-worm damage in your lawn come September when the larvae are large enough to damage the root system of the turf they feed on. 

This time of year is also a great time to take advantage of our mosquito, flea, and tick control application; we call it a “M.F.T.”. When we perform a M.F.T. application, we spray the entire lawn with insect control that not only eliminates any active, pesky insects in the lawn, but also continues to control insects for up to four weeks. A M.F.T. application is effective for about four weeks if conditions permit, but results may very, and it is safe once dry. Our Perimeter Pest application is very similar to our M.F.T. application, but instead of treating the lawn we apply the insect control around the foundation of your house creating a barrier so insects cannot get in. If you see ants marching by on your porch, call us!

If you are not scheduled for these applications, have informational questions, or scheduling questions, please call our office. However, if you are currently a customer you can simply add these onto your account via our online member log in [upper right-hand corner!].

If I have never fertilized and controlled weeds in my lawn how long will it be, before I see results from your application program?

Truthfully, 2-4 lawn care seasons. If cultural conditions are ideal–(mowing height, irrigation techniques)–2 seasons. What type of soil does your lawn have? Sandy, topsoil, rocky? We offer free, no obligation estimates. We can also provide you with a soil analysis for $25, or you can contact your local Penn State Extension office on how to sample your own soil. We must amend the soil with nutrients in order to achieve the desired results; this process takes seasons, please be patient.

If you mow your lawn very short in the heat on a hot, sunny day you can send your lawn into heat stress. Once certain grass species have entered “heat stress” it may be months before your lawn recovers its vibrant color and vigor.

What our customers are saying


Perf-A-Lawn always calls first to announce their service date and time.  Their employees/technicians are friendly and do a good job of covering all parts of the lawn.  A report is written with the condition of the lawn and recommendations if needed.  The service price is good and they offer promotions to their customers.  I recommend them for a weed free lawn.
Carol B
Pittsburgh

I want to let everyone know about this company! Signed up a year ago, best service EVER, best employees, very polite and gentleman like. Today I had the Aeration Treatment; the gentleman who performed this was EXCELLENT…Signed up for another year of service, and hope its as good as this year. Please print a copy of this to all the men who worked at my house this year to show them people really appreciate their service and copies to other area managers and the owners, they hire the best!!!

Eleanor
Pittsburgh, PA

I happened to be home today during Cameron’s visit and please note, as coming from someone who worked in lawn service, Cameron did an exceptional job today. You are lucky to have such a hard worker who cares about the quality of his job!

Frank M.
Erie, PA