Lawn service companies provide services that eliminate time-consuming lawn maintenance activities such as mowing, edging, watering, and fertilizing, as well as the pruning and maintenance of trees and shrubs. Some companies require expensive and long-term lawn care contracts, so you should take the time to investigate and find a reliable company with a good reputation.
Ask your neighbors. Talk with others in your neighborhood that have used lawn care services. Find out which companies have done a good job and why.
Check on licensing and complaint record. Before contracting with any lawn service, call any Seniors vs. Crime office and ask how many complaints have been filed against the company you have in mind. If the company does chemical applications, other than fertilizer, verify that the company has a pest control license issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA for any licensure and complaint history on any pest control business licensee. Also, check with your local BBB to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Verify that the company is insured to cover any accidents that might occur while work is being performed.
Read your contract carefully. See if there are any extra charges for special services, such as fertilizing, disease control, or re-sodding. The contract should specifically state the term of the service contract, frequency of the services performed, and the costs of contract renewal. The contract should also state whether or not the services provided are guaranteed.
Make sure that you are receiving customized service. Each lawn is different. Your lawn does not necessarily need the same treatment as your neighbor’s. Ask to see evidence of specific and real problems before you agree to any treatment.
Use care in the authorization of chemical treatments. If pesticides are going to be used on your lawn, find out what specific lawn problems are being addressed and inquire about the availability of less harmful chemical compounds or alternatives to chemical treatment. You are entitled to a copy of the pesticide label if you request it. If pesticides are used, find out what you need to do during the chemical treatment and for how long. How long should you stay off treated areas? What about your pet’s safety? Florida law requires the posting of a sign at the time of application to notify persons that the yard has recently been treated.
File a complaint. You may file a complaint against a lawn service provider with Seniors vs. Crime at www.seniorsvscrime.com. Additionally, you may file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services online at www.800helpfla.com
SENIORS VS. CRIME OFFICES:
- Sumter Office – Open Mon. – Thurs.; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. @ 352-689-4600, Ext. 4606
- Wildwood Office – Open Tues. – Thurs.; 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. @ 352-753-0727
- Marion Office – Open Tuesday; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. @ 352-753-7775
- Fruitland Park Office – Open Wednesday; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. @ 352-674-1882