Take your pick……… Choosing the best snow plowing and ice control contract for a Chicago winter!

The winter’s in Chicago and it’s surrounding suburbs have become very unpredictable to say the least.  Even though meteorologists do their best to provide “forecasts” of anticipated winter weather, we just never know for sure.  As property owners we must prepare well in advance for winters worst to ensure our residential, commercial or industrial properties are kept clear of snow and ice.  Even though every property is different and service expectations vary, here are several common ways to purchase snow and ice management services .

  • Unlimited Seasonal Contract: Any/all snow plowing, shoveling, ice melt applications, etc. will be performed for a fixed non-fluctuating seasonal fee.  Normally invoiced in full at beginning of season or monthly (November – March).
  • Limited Seasonal Contract: Limited number of snow plowing, shoveling and/or ice melt applications will be performed before incurring an additional predetermined fee (per service, per accumulated inch, per hour, etc.).  Normally if service exceeds specified limited contract quantities (number of service visits, applications, snow accumulation, etc.), client will be invoiced for additional predetermined fees at the end of a calendar month, season, etc..
  • Per Inch: Snow plowing and/or shoveling services are performed and depending on actual snow accumulation at time of service (determined on-site or by third party meteorologist), client is invoiced for each individual snow clearing visit at the predetermined contracted rate (i.e. 1″-3.9″ = $10.00, 4.0-7.9″ = $15.00, 8.0-11.9″= $25.00, etc.)
  • Per Application: Ice melt applications are made before/during/after winter precipitation has occurred.  Client is invoiced for each individual ice melt application property visit made.  Depending on site conditions, budget, temperatures, etc. multiple ice melt materials are commonly used (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, etc.)
  • Per Event: Any/all snow plowing, shoveling, ice melt applications, etc. are performed and invoiced at the end of a snow event.  Usually each “event” is defined as continuous snow fall beyond 2″ and within a 24 hour period)
  • Time & Materials: Any/all snow plowing, shoveling, ice melt applications, etc. are performed and invoiced according to predetermined hourly and/or material rates.
  • As Needed Only: Any/all snow plowing, shoveling, ice melt applications, etc. are requested by the client normally after winter precipitation has occurred.  Pricing for needed services are normally provided just before work begins on-site.  In my opinion, this is the most unpredictable and most expensive way to purchase snow and ice management services.
  • Any combination of the above
As always, our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. remains at your complete disposal 24/7/365.  Be sure to let us know if we can provide winter related service information for your residential, commercial or industrial property.  

 

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Sod Webworm: Weakened or drought stressed lawns beware!

If you maintain a lawn that happens to benefit from full sun exposure (not shaded) and has become weakened from heat and drought stress you need to be aware of sod webworm and the damage it can cause.  This small sod webworm caterpillar (5/8″-1″ in length) can chew off leaves and stems of your cool-season grasses including Kentucky bluegrass, most fescues, perennial ryegrass and bentgrass.  It will cause general lawn thinning, followed by small patches of brown and finally leaving behind closely cut/cropped areas.  A lawn that is healthy and well irrigated will often tolerate and recover from sod webworm scalping.  Weak or drought stressed lawns that have been clipped short by sod webworm may be killed via sun exposure to the crowns of the plant.  Adult sod webworm moths (lawn moths) are small whitish, dull gray or tan colored moths that hover over turfgrass at dusk.  As these small sod webworm moths flutter across the lawn females drop eggs during flight that settle in the upper thatch layer of your lawn.  As many as 500 eggs are laid during a life span of usually less than 14 days.  Depending on temperatures, eggs hatch in 4 to 20 days and the larvae develop through usually 6 to 8 larval stages in 4 to 7 weeks.  The larvae are beige, gray, brown or a greenish color (depending upon species) with a brownish head.  The older larvae chew down foliage around their burrows mainly at night.  Most sod webworm have two generations per year.  Sod webworm are fairly easy to control on a curative, as-needed basis.  Insecticide controls are directed against the feeding larvae, not the moths.  A healthy, vigorous turf, balanced fertility and adequate irrigation during dry periods will enhance your lawn’s tolerance to sod webworm feeding.  As always, be sure to contact a local lawn professional to help identify sod webworm, evaluate treatment options and analyze if lawn repairs will be needed.

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