Homeowner blames pest control for lawn failure
COMPLAINT: Susan Williams, Tampa, Fla.
"I hired Bay Area Termite & Pest Control in Palm Harbor [Fla.] to care for my new lawn. They agreed to treat as necessary for bugs, fungus and weeds. They came promptly after the new sod was installed and sprayed for bugs. Within a week or two, the sod began to die.
"I told Bay Area about this, and they sent another guy to spray for bugs again. The treatments didn't seem to make a difference and the lawn also started to show signs of leaf fungus. Bay Area took a week to respond, and by then, the grass had taken a severe downturn and more than 60 percent of it had died.
"I wanted answers, and they pointed fingers at the sod people. If the sod was bad, they should have notified me immediately about the problem and not sprayed it in the first place. I believe that they were either unable to identify the problem or they didn't respond in a timely fashion, resulting in the death of my lawn."
DESIRED RESOLUTION: "Bay Area Termite & Pest Control should replace my sod."
RESPONSE: Todd Freitag, president, Bay Area Termite & Pest Control
"When we began the lawn service, we treated for insects and fungus as a precaution. This is our standard treatment, since new sod almost always comes with insects or fungus, or both. A few days later, the member called back and explained that she hadn't had a chance to get all the sod put down the first time we treated it.
"We agreed to come back at no charge and treat that sod again, which already looked black from being on the pallet too long. We treated it four times at no charge. On the third visit, I advised her to quit watering it so much, because it was raining almost every day and I could see the sod declining.
"She has a heavily shaded lawn which was getting way too much water, to the point the sod was drowning. We made five trips to her home and collected $42 total for the service.
"We've treated literally hundreds of freshly sodded yards and we've have never had any problems like this. I feel confident in our efforts and I know we did everything possible to save her sod."