ABC Blog

Are Your Guests Sleeping With the Enemy?

The modern bed bug invasion and what to do about it

Are unwelcome visitors feasting in your guest rooms? We’re not talking about intruders helping themselves to the minibar. We’re talking about bed bugs. Are they dining on your guests?

Bed bug infestations are on the rise. When the National Pest Management Association surveyed pest management companies in 2010, they found that 95% of the companies that responded had encountered bed bugs in the previous year, up from just 25% in 2006. The nasty things have been found in homes, hospitals, dorms, retail stores and even in the offices of the Wall Street Journal.

The hospitality industry is also on the creepy-crawly radar. When bed bugs invaded hotels in New York, it made headlines all over the world. Most people assume these creatures are a sign of poor housekeeping. The truth is that bed bugs are the world’s best hitchhikers. They hide in … Read Full Post »

The Worst Pest in San Antonio: Crazy Ants, Scorpions or Bedbugs?

Nobody roots for these contenders

The Hill Country landscape makes living in San Antonio a joy, and its beautiful vistas are filled with unique ecosystems. The critters and insects that inhabit these areas are good at figuring out that your home is a safer haven than their natural habitat. Of all the little invaders that sneak into the house, there are three that cause the most concern. It’s hard to pick the worst, but these are the top contenders.

Their Name Is Insane

They run like tiny race horses with spindly legs and long antennae, but nothing about crazy ants makes them worth cheering across the finish line. These pests are displacing fire ants throughout the area with sheer numbers. Each colony harbors millions of ants, and their voracious foraging includes anything that carries electricity. These frenzied insects ruin residential wiring, overrun computer equipment and short-circuit communication systems. Crazy ants prey on beneficial … Read Full Post »

Nothing Eliminates Bed Bugs Better than a Heat Treat

Do you wake up in the morning with unexplained sores on your trunk and legs? Are you plagued by itching and pain throughout the day?

Your home could be infested with bed bugs. While this might sound disgusting, it’s an increasingly common fact of life in the Metroplex. The good news is that it’s relatively easy and painless to dispatch bed bugs. Learn more about the effectiveness of heat treatments.

What Is Heat Remediation Treatment?

Heat remediation treatment is the practice of exposing bed bugs to lethal doses of heat. There are several means of applying said heat. For small or diffuse items like slippers or carpet, simply running a hair dryer across the affected space for several minutes should be enough to kill most bed bugs. For beds and bulkier pieces of furniture, heat chambers may be required.

How Does It Work?

Although some organisms are more tolerant of heat than others, all have … Read Full Post »

New Study Gives Insight on How Bed Bugs Spread

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that tend to congregate near their preferred hosts. And yes, you guessed it, we are their preferred hosts. This makes beds and other warm areas appealing to these pests as daytime hideouts. They usually come out to feed at night, resulting in a rather itchy situation. Understanding how bed bugs find a home in your home and how to get rid of them will help you combat infestations before they get out of hand.

How Do Bed Bugs Spread?

Bed bugs can find their way into your home by hitching a ride on clothing, luggage, secondhand furniture and even guests. Anyone who visits an infested area can bring the bugs back with them, risking new invasions elsewhere. This is a growing problem in the San Antonio area, but a recently completed study offers insight into how these bugs multiply once they’ve found themselves a home, and … Read Full Post »

After Avoiding the Spotlight for Years, Bed Bugs Are Making a Big Comeback

Returning Stars of the Pest Parade

They top the list of unwanted guests with the Texas hospitality industry, and San Antonio homeowners cringe at the idea of sharing space with these tiny trespassers. After a 40-year absence, bed bugs crawled back on the pest scene in the late 1990s, but it’s safe to say they never really retired.

Ancient Players

As far back as 400 BC, Cimex lectularius snuggled down with ancient sleepers and feasted on kings and commoners alike. Over the centuries, the insect’s reputation rose and fell with prevailing attitudes. Some civilizations considered its blood sucking abilities a cure for everything from ear infections to hysteria. These mistaken assumptions eventually fell to the wayside, but early pest control methods, such as dusting with black pepper and filling a home with smoke, involved a good share of nonsense as well.

Old-Fashioned Strategies

By the 1940s, the introduction of heavy-duty pesticides put a dent in … Read Full Post »

Battling Bed Bugs: A Pest Built to Reproduce

Until recent years, many homeowners and travelers believed that bed bugs were no longer a threat. Thanks to the use of DDT in the ’40s and ’50s, few bed bugs remained in the U.S. until recent years. Unfortunately, this troublesome pest has made a comeback. With the resurgence of bed bug infestations across the nation, many homeowners wonder what makes these pests so hard to eliminate.

What Makes Bed Bugs So Resilient?

Any homeowner who has dealt with a bed bug infestation knows that it can feel as if it’s impossible to get rid of these pests. If you’re facing bed bug problems, it’s important to understand this pest’s lifecycle. Though the bed bug lives a short life, it’s able to reproduce rapidly. This means that infestations can grow out of hand quickly, leaving so many bed bugs behind that it’s very hard to kill them all.

The bed bug’s life is comprised … Read Full Post »

Built to Last: How the Bed Bug Got Its Groove Back

Though they were thought absent from the U.S. for the past 50 years, bed bugs have made a big comeback across the nation. Much to the chagrin of travelers and homeowners, these pests can establish colonies quickly. For homeowners in the Bryan-College Station area, getting rid of these troublesome pests can seem impossible. Before you tackle a bed bug infestation, you’ll need to know a little about how this pest is built.

Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard to Eliminate?

One of the big reasons bed bugs have shown up in the news so much recently is that they’re very difficult to get rid of once they’ve established a colony. It’s the bed bug’s unique anatomy that allows this pest to establish itself so quickly and cause problems for homeowners.

These flat, oval-shaped, reddish-brown bugs often make their way into homes via the luggage and clothing of travelers. Once they reach maturity, bed … Read Full Post »

Infestations 101: Managing Bed Bugs

The idea of having blood-sucking creatures in your bed certainly isn’t a pleasant one, but that’s exactly what happens when a bed bug infestation hits. Fortunately, educating yourself about these pesky insects and learning more about how to manage them can help you eliminate your bed bug problem.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny, wingless creatures with flat bodies. They range in color from white to brown, but they take on a reddish hue after feeding. These creatures prefer to live in mattresses and bedding, and they typically hide during the day and become more active at night. Bed bugs aren’t known for spreading diseases, but they give off itchy bites. Not only are these bites uncomfortable, but some people are also allergic to them.

Do You Have a Bed Bug Infestation?

There are a few things to look for to determine if you have a bed bug infestation in your home:

• … Read Full Post »

Sleep Soundly in a Bedbug-Free Home

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” goes the old saying. If you thought that was just a nonsensical nursery rhyme dreamed up by poor peasants in the long-ago times, you wouldn’t be alone. Unfortunately, you’d also be wrong. Bedbugs are a growing problem in major metropolitan areas, including Dallas, and homeowners just like you are starting to get fed up. To help, we’ve put together some useful tips on identifying, controlling and preventing bedbug infestations.

Identifying Bedbug Infestations

Adult bedbugs have a distinctive appearance. Their bodies are oval-shaped, relatively flat and roughly the size of an apple seed. Hatchlings are harder to pick out: They can be nearly transparent and often aren’t any bigger than a poppy seed.

Most people realize that they’re dealing with a bedbug infestation after noticing tiny blood spots on their bedding materials or discovering multiple bites over the course of days or weeks. Like mosquitoes, bedbugs … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs Want Your Home for the Winter

Here comes the cold weather. It ends outdoor activities and begins an indoor migration of pests looking for somewhere to hide from the inclement weather. Bed bugs think your house would make a great winter home, and they have ways to get inside it. Once they breach your castle walls, they’re extremely hard to remove without the help of a professional pest control company.

ABC Home and Commercial Services of Houston employs the latest technology and some old-school tricks. We use a dog to check your home for bed bugs. Dogs can take one sniff and know if your home has an infestation of bloodsuckers. You might have suspicions, but our dog knows if and where bed bugs are hiding in your home.

Once we find the bed bugs, we don’t use pesticides to kill them because bed bugs hide in tiny crevices and cracks in the walls and furniture. Pesticides can’t … Read Full Post »