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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Harvester Ants Wreaking Havoc on Your Lawn? Kill Them with Cotton Candy!

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Jun 03, 2014 @ 03:15 PM

    Harvester ants, aka red ants, are reddish to dark brown in color. They form large mounds at the entrance of their nests. Their nests are located outside, under the ground. This is not a problem when they reside in a field, but it's a huge problem when they reside in your lawn!

    Protect your home lawn from pests with homeowners insurance from andrew g gordon incI am told that Harvester ants are good for the environment, but my experience has been just the opposite. Harvester ants will pull on your lawn grass to cover, protect and shade their ant mounds. Unfortunately, this causes the grass roots to be exposed to the sun and the grass dies. The grass does not recover. Bare patches on your lawn, 6 to 8 feet in diameter, then become evident!

    There are liquid and granular applications that you can apply to your lawn, but these are only topical solutions. These applications will kill the ants that are on top of your lawn but will not kill the ants within the underground nests. The ants will continue to surface to your lawn.

     

    Prevent pests and ants from destorying your home lawn with homeowners insurance from Andrew g gordon incAn effective solution that I have found was offered by my landscaper.

    Boil 2 cups of water, 1 cup of Borax, 2 cups of sugar (optionally, add some honey).

    Let cool and dip cotton balls in the solution.

    Place some cotton balls near the ant mounds.

    Caution: do not allow your pets to have access to the cotton balls.

    The ants will carry pieces of the tasty  “cotton candy” back to their underground nests. Since they cannot digest the Borax, they will die.

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    Tags: home, harvester ants, solution, pesticide, landscape, natural, lawn

    Spring Risks & Safety Tips

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 05:18 PM

    Keep your kids safe from backyard accidents with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MA

    With spring right around the corner and outdoor activities on the rise, it is important that homeowners be aware of the potential for backyard accidents to occur.  Keeping in mind the millions of people that are injured annually in household mishaps, below is a list of recommendations pertaining to equipment utilized daily by all of us. Keep these tips in mind when enjoying the warmer weather:

    Ladders

    Whether cleaning the gutters or doing some painting touch-ups, make sure the ladder base is not too close to the supporting object; the ladder’s stability will be compromised. Most ladder injuries occur from overreaching or standing on a rung that’s too high, so if it’s out of reach, reposition the ladder and try again.

    Grills

    Although it seems unlikely that anything unpleasant could come from a device that gives us hot dogs, remember that a grill is a fire hazard that should be kept at least 3 feet from the house. Smokey the Bear, a fire and woodland damage consultant for A. G. Gordon, would also suggest that you NEVER leave your grill unattended.

    Lawn Mowers

    Before you begin the time-honored battle of nature vs. machine known to most as “mowing the lawn”, take a walk around your yard and clear any debris. Lawn ornaments deep in the recesses of unkempt grass are a lot less cute when they are ejected from a lawnmower at dangerous speeds. Some other good practices include: shutting the lawnmower off when reaching down anywhere near the ground and keeping children away while mowing.

    Playground Sets

    Monitor children at all times. Make sure equipment is not too high for their ages. The rule of thumb: no higher than 6 feet for ages under 5, 8 feet for school age children.

    Trampolines

    Do not let the trampoline become overcrowded. Trampolines have weight limits, and any activity where one has to avoid the flying bodies of others is generally a hazardous environment for kids. Somersaults and tricks should be discouraged, especially with other children on the trampoline.

    Pools

    If you have a gate, make sure it’s locked when the pool isn’t in use. NEVER let young kids go in the pool unattended.

    Pets (not equipment, but still important)

    Watch out for dangers from the pesticides and fertilizers used in yards and gardens as well as being poisoned by eating certain plants, such as oleander, azaleas, and lilies.

    After your spring activities, check us out at www.agordon.com. We have excellent insurance resources like our whiteboard videos if you’re in the market, or even if you’re just curious. Learn more about homeowners insurance here

    Home Quote Request  

    Donna Bellavance

    Tags: house, home, children, grill, outdoors, safety, games, ladders, playground, gardening, life, insurance, shopping, homeowners, trampoline, spring, tips, activities, lawn, mower, pool

    Protect Your Engine from Ethanol Damage

    Posted by Kay Gordon

    Wed, Nov 02, 2011 @ 06:07 PM

    Get the most value out of your gas powered tools with these ethanol damage prevention tips from Gordon InsuranceDuring a recent trip to the “fix it” shop I learned of the probable reason that my lawn mower – as well as my lawn tractor and snow blower— wasn’t properly working.  Although I flirted with the possibility that a poltergeist was haunting all my gas-powered tools, it turns out that changes in fuel composition are to blame. The transition from pure gasoline to a mix of gasoline and ethanol were the culprits that had brought about the unforeseen damage to the engines.

    Why does ethanol damage my lawn equipment?

    Ethanol attracts moisture, which rapidly deteriorates fuel.    My “fix it” shop offered the following solution: run the lawn mower/snow blower/etc until it’s almost out of gas or drain the fuel when not in use.  I consulted some articles on the subject that suggested the problems to be more extensive, but I’m going to employ the simple solution above to do the trick.

    Why bother preventing ethanol damage?

    Maintaining expensive tools even with the simplest of procedures will save you trouble and money in the future. Insurance doesn’t and shouldn’t cover everything, including a small engine with moisture damage, so I hope this tip acts as your insurance against this problem!

    And for a insurance videos and topical resources, visit the A. G. Gordon, Inc. Website. Learn about personal insurance here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Kay Gordon

    Tags: safety, insurance, cheap, Automobile, energy, tips, garden tools, maintenance, lawn, ethanol, fuel, gasoline, care, mower, small engine, equipment

    Winter Preparation for the Exterior of Your Home

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 06:19 PM

    Protect both the interior and exterior of your home this winter with homeowners from Gordon InsurancePreparing the inside of your home for the impending cold weather is an important annual task in the northeast.  An often overlooked chore, however, is ensuring that the exterior of your home is prepared as well.

    DRAINS

    Cleaning your gutters after the leaves have all fallen off the trees can prevent damage to your roof, the fascia, and even your basement and crawlspace. If rain water and snow cannot travel down the spouts, it's going up and over...potentially damaging your garden beds located under those gutters, too. Before the first snow at a minimum, all gutters should be checked for debris and any downspout clogs. Ideally you'll have those gutters cleaned out when they're dry. If you have anywhere near the number of leaves we do, you'll be doing this cleaning more than once.

    TREES

    Take the time to visually inspect your trees for weak limbs.  Snow and ice that builds up can cause limbs to crack and fall, damaging anything underneath, including your roof, shed or fence. There is great satisfaction in cutting down these limbs and hauling them away. HOWEVER, any trees that are near ANY power lines are best left to experts. Terrible accidents can happen if a homeowner's pruning tools come into contact with an energized wire.  

    WATER CONNECTIONS

    All water connections on the outside of the house should be drained and closed tightly. If not done correctly, the water pipe leading into the house may freeze and crack, rendering it useless and expensive to fix next spring. Hoses and sprinklers should also be drained, coiled, and put away.

    LAWN

    Winterizing your lawn is an important step so you do not have to spend additional money next spring putting it back together.  All leaves, acorns, and twigs should be raked; if left in place, this debris will smother the grass and not allow air to get to the soil. Grass can be cut until the first frost. Applying proper fertilizer to the lawn before this event, preferably after a fresh cut, is important as it will keep the grass healthy and strong. Any shrubs that are overgrown should be cut back, allowing them to withstand heavy snow. 

    FURNITURE

    All of your outdoor patio furniture and decor should be cleaned and put away to prevent damage from the elements that can split wood, peel paint, and rust or rot joints. High winds alone can send lawn chairs into your neighbor's yard or the middle of the street. Pools should be properly drained and covered. 

     

    Preventative measures will be well worth your weekend time when you endure another winter without an insurance claim. When your home and your yard are intact next spring your weekends can be spent on the golf course!  Should we be faced with a significant weather event, FEMA is a great information resource. Of course the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals always welcome your calls. Our toll free number is 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form to the left of this blog.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

     

    Tags: home, winter, risk, safety, lawn care, homeowners claim, preparation, reducing risk, exterior, roof, lawn, gutter cleaning, winter storm

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