What is a pre-emergent?
It is a common misconception that pre-emergents are used to “kill” weed seeds. That idea is false and one major reason weeds can return year in and year out. If a seed doesn’t germinate that year, it can sit and wait for the next year or the year after. Only at germination does the herbicide take affect on the weed. Herbicides work in one of two ways. They either prevent the weed from growing a root, or from from growing a chute. Unable to grow one or the other the weed is incapable of living. Pre-emergents are the only effective measure to prevent weeds from growing. After application, herbicides require incorporation, or watering in for the best results. This process moves the chemicals off the surface and into the soil where the seeds stay. Rain is obviously the easiest way to achieve this, but in Phoenix, watering manually may be needed.
What is a post-emergent?
A post-emergent is a type of herbicide applied to existing weeds that have already “emerged” from the ground. There are two main types of post-emergent herbicides, systemic and contact. Systemic herbicides are generally used on perennial pests, and translocate through the plant killing the weed at the root. The process of translocation can take a little longer and often you wont see results for a couple of days with full destruction of the plant taking up to fourteen days. Contact herbicides desicate the areas of the plant it comes in contact with. These herbicides are very effective on annual pests and results can typically be observed within 24 hours in low humidity conditions.
Is the herbicide safe for my other plants and trees?
The answer is yes, but is also why it’s important to select licensed companies with experienced certified applicators. Negative affects can occur to existing desireable vegetation in different ways. Using the wrong herbicide in an area or using the wrong amount of herbicide for a particular area are the most common ways to negatively impact a landscape. However, with proper use and selection of herbicides your existing plants will see minimal or no affects from a weed treatment.
Why does my yard/property have a different color and will it go away?
Coloration comes from a couple of factors. More often than not the color you see on the ground is the same color it was when it came out of the jug. Depending on the herbicide, the coloration can take anywhere from a couple of days up to a couple of weeks to dissipate. We understand some of you may be adverse to the color, but that is how many come from the manufacturers. The most common colors are yellow, green, or orange. Other times, we use chemicals that are essentially colorless (it depends on the type of weeds). With those chemcials there are instances we have to add color so we can see where we have been, ensure we’ve completed the job right. When dye is required you will notice a blue/green color. The dye’s are photodegradable, (broken down by the sun) inert chemcials that usually start breaking down in a couple of days.
Is it safe for my pets?
We are a dog loving family ourselves! The herbicide label is the law and we always follow the manufacturers rates and instructions for mixing and application. In forty years, we are unaware of having negatively impacted a four legged family member. That does not mean it is impossible. There is a chance through allergies and things of that nature with pets when it comes to all chemicals. The rating system in ascending order is Caution, Warning, and Danger. With the variety of herbicide products available we see no need in our residential treatments to use anything above Caution. In many cases, the products most of us keep under the sink or in the garage are more dangerous than the herbicides we use.
Why do I still get weeds?
We use a number of pre-emergents in an attempt to offer as broad a spectrum of weed control as we can. What most companies won’t tell you is, there is no silver bullet. There is not one product available that can control all the different kinds of weeds we have in Arizona. There are lots of other factors as well, Ph levels in the soil, lenghth of time before the chemical gets incorporated (watered in), the application could have been applied too long after the weeds germinated to affect them or maybe that weed was just so small we plain missed it. Obviously, we would love to achieve 100% control, but it just isn’t possible. We are working with 75 years of science to combat thousands of weed species and millions of years of evolution. This is why we offer a 6 month guarantee and if we need to respray, we respray. In most cases, with incorporation customers typically get 8-12 months of control. With the second year of treatment we want to reach 99.999% control.
What does the warranty cover and how long is it?
We have a 6 Month guarantee that applies to annual weeds. We wish we could offer a 1 year warranty, but the products from the manufacturers are not labled for that long. In grass yards, we offer a 3 month warranty. This is due to the large amount of water these areas receive. There are native plants pre-emergent herbicides will not control. Some examples come straight from the desert around us, Palo Verde trees, Creasotes, Mesquite, Ironwoods, Marigolds, and Brittlebush are some of the most common. We are unable to guarantee the control of indigenous desert species. Other examples of weeds we do not guarantee with an annual treatment are perennial weeds. These are pests able to grow from three different ways, Nutsedge, Horsenettle and Camel Thorn, to name a few. Tree seedlings and Pernnial weeds are why we offer maintenance programs. They cannot be controlled with just pre-emergent.