Can Pest Control Treat for Lice, Scabies and Dust Mites?

You’ve probably heard of dust mites, lice and scabies. These three pests are smaller than other common household pests—in fact, they can be microscopic—and may not make their presence felt immediately. However, they each have a well-defined role to play in our homes and personal spaces. Learn more about these creatures and what can be done to manage their activities.

What Are Dust Mites, Lice and Scabies?

Lice, dust mites and scabies are ubiquitous. Whereas lice and scabies are generally regarded as “personal pests” for humans and animals, dust mites are largely harmless and may actually perform beneficial tasks for their human hosts.

Dust mites measure less than .5 millimeter in length and can congregate in colonies of many thousands. They can’t clearly be seen without the aid of a microscope. Meanwhile, head lice can grow up to three millimeters in length, and body lice can be even larger. Scabies mites are about … Read Full Post »

New to Austin? Become Familiar with Our Most Common Pests

The Austin area is among the country’s fastest-growing metro regions. Anyone who spends time here understands why: It’s a vibrant, economically diverse city with a unique local culture and plenty of natural amenities. Unfortunately, the area’s pests seem to like it just as much as its human residents. If you’re new to Austin, take some time to learn about the creepy, crawly and occasionally dangerous critters that also call the region home.

Wasps and Other Stinging Insects

Several species of wasp are endemic to the Austin area. The most visually stunning of these is the Cicada killer, a 1.5-inch beast that can kill a tarantula with its venom. The area also harbors several varieties of paper wasps. These smaller creatures aren’t as scary to look at, but their stings can be dangerous for children and those who have a sensitivity to venom. Meanwhile, fire ants like to create colonies near structures and … Read Full Post »

FAQ: Is My Dog, Cat, Bird, Fish, and Child Safe with a Pest Control Program?

Austin-area homeowners have to deal with a wide range of rodent, insect and arachnid pests. To combat these critters, many turn to our powerful pest management programs. Of course, it’s natural to have concerns about our pest control solutions, and we’re more than happy to answer any questions that you might have. We offer answers to some commonly asked questions below.

What Types of Pest Control Do We Offer?

ABC Home & Commercial proudly administers a diverse array of pest control services. Some of our most popular services include:

• Wasp and flying insect control
• Termite and structural pest mitigation
• Bed bug control
• Rodent and wildlife services
• Mosquito control

Each service begins with a licensed inspector’s thorough examination of the affected property. We’ll identify problem areas and determine which pests are at fault. After looking for mitigating factors and sanitation issues, we customize a powerful, proactive pest control plan.

How Do We Minimize the Impact … Read Full Post »

Three Quick Home Plumbing Upgrades You’ll Love

Whether you’re the go-to neighborhood handyman or can’t tell a tire iron from a toilet seat, you probably don’t give your DIY skills enough credit. With a little preparation and a lot of discipline, it’s possible to execute many straightforward plumbing upgrades and fixes without calling on a professional or buying special tools. We outline three simple tasks that take less than half a day and leave your home in even better shape.

Upgrading Faucets with Aerators and Other Water-Saving Devices

If your home suffers from low water pressure or has wasteful, outdated faucets, you don’t have to replace your entire piping system. Instead, tack a simple aerator onto your faucet head to increase the perceived speed at which water shoots out of the tap. You can buy aerators at most home improvement stores, and installing them simply demands some manual twisting or clipping.

If you’re more interested in sprucing up your faucet’s … Read Full Post »

Going Tankless at Home

How Tankless Water Heaters Can Improve Your Austin Home

To the extent you think about your water heater at all, odds are that you think of a big, bulky contraption with a large tank that stores hot water. Thanks to modern technology, though, you can get rid of the tank and save plenty every year.

Unlike an ordinary water heater, a tankless system heats water on demand. As soon as you turn on a faucet or start up an appliance that uses hot water, cold water flows into the heater. The system warms it up directly using gas or electric heat, then pumps the hot water right where it’s needed. As soon as you shut off the hot water, the system shuts down, too.

The biggest upshot of such a system is that there’s no power wasted heating up water that you don’t really need. A tankless heater gives you exactly as much … Read Full Post »

Drought-Resistant Plants Austin Loves

If you don’t mind summer heat, Austin is a great place to put down roots. Unfortunately, the region’s climate prevents many common lawn and garden plants from putting down roots on a consistent basis. While the Austin area isn’t a desert wasteland, it does experience periodic droughts that can undo hours of hard landscaping work. Consider relying on these drought-resistant plants to protect your property.

Lechuguilla

As a member of the agave family, lechuguilla is comfortable in truly arid conditions. Its native territory stretches across northern Mexico and into the Chihuahuan Desert of extreme western Texas, but it’s perfectly content in Austin’s wetter climate as well. After a decade-long period of slow growth, this plant grows into a succulent shrub that can provide shade and privacy for your yard without hogging your lawn’s water.

Hill Country Rain Lily

As its name suggests, the Hill Country rain lily is native to the Austin area. While … Read Full Post »

Five Signs Your Oven Isn’t Heating Evenly

Few things are more baffling to an experienced cook than having food turn out unexpectedly bad. Burnt edges, raw centers, undercooked meats and uneven browning should be problems reserved for those who are learning how to cook. Anyone can have an off day, but if these problems are consistent, they can leave even master chefs with serious self-esteem problems. If you’ve been using the same oven successfully for months or years and suddenly experience cooking difficulties, your oven’s failing heating element, digital controls or other components could be to blame. Here are five signs that can help you recognize uneven or inconsistent heating.

One or Both Elements Don’t Provide Heat

It seems like an obvious problem, but anyone can get in a hurry and not realize that one of the heating elements didn’t show up for the party. If your food isn’t turning out as expected, check to be sure that both … Read Full Post »

Weird Pest Profile: The Whip Scorpion

In nature, things aren’t always what they seem. Imagine you’re working in your garden and you happen to turn over a rotten log. Underneath, you find what appears to be a scorpion. Its menacing pincers and crusty body send shivers up your spine, and you immediately fear its painful and potentially dangerous sting. Before you turn to flee in horror, stop and take a look at its back end. If it has a long, thin, whip-like tail, you may have just encountered one of Mother Nature’s clever pranks. No matter how badly it wants to, the whip scorpion can’t sting you because it doesn’t have any venom. It could pinch you if you’re brave enough to get too close, or it could spray you with an acidic, vinegar-like solution that makes you smell bad, but that’s about it.

An Arachnid Costume Party

The odd and creepy-looking whip scorpion, also known by the … Read Full Post »

How to Scout for Harmful Pests in Your Yard

Although it may look calm, your yard is home to a thriving ecosystem of life. From the microbes in the soil to the grass and flowers of your lawn, a well-tended yard hosts many types of life. Not every resident in your yard is a welcome visitor, however, and unwanted pests may be lurking just out of sight. Learning to spot the signs of unwanted pests will help you keep them under control without threatening the safety of the plants and friendly insects that dwell in your lawn.

Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs in Your Yard

Of the 30,000 insects native to Texas, only about 100 are real pests, and only a fraction of these will ever be found around your home. The vast majority of the bugs you find in your yard will be harmless or even beneficial. Beneficial insects help to keep the numbers of more threatening pests at bay. … Read Full Post »

Appliance 101: What Do Your Clothes Say About Your Washer & Dryer?

For modern homeowners, washers and dryers are more than just a convenience; they’re integral appliances that can throw a household into a tizzy when they break down. After all, you don’t have the time to wash your clothes by hand and hang them to dry. Fortunately, there are ways to detect a washer or dryer meltdown before it happens.

Is Your Washer or Dryer on the Fritz?

Most American families wash about 400 loads of clothes per year, making your washer and dryer some of the most frequently used appliances in your home. Be on the lookout for the following signs, which can indicate that problems are on their way:

• Your clothes aren’t completely dry after a regular drying cycle.
• Your clothes are very wrinkled when they come out of the dryer, even when you dry a small load.
• Clothes have rips, tears or holes that were not present before washing or … Read Full Post »