ABC Blog

10 Worst Pests Around the World

Texas is known for having some pretty destructive pests, from crazy ants to cockroaches, but these local bugs can’t compete with the problems worldwide. Below are 10 of the strangest and worst invasive species of insects, rodents, amphibians, and even plants found worldwide:

1. The Asian Tiger Mosquito. Originating in Asia, this black-and-white striped mosquito is now one of the most widespread animal species on the planet. In just two decades, it’s spread to 28 separate countries. Like other mosquitoes, it can carry West Nile virus and other blood-borne diseases.

2. The Cotton Whitefly. These tiny bugs measure just a millimeter in length and don’t seem threatening. However, they are devastating to plant life, carrying up to 100 different plant viruses and feasting on 900 species of plants. These bugs exist in every continent except Antarctica.

3. The Snakehead Fish. This fearsome fish has been destroying local ecosystems in several countries, including the … Read Full Post »

Bee Removal: Signing a Peace Treaty with Our Buzzy Buddies

You love their honey, and from a safe distance, you think they’re cute. However, when you find their nest in your yard, their presence becomes a safety issue. Bees are generally harmless, beneficial insects that have no desire to interfere with your life, but they can deliver painful stings when they become defensive. If you or members of your household suffer from bee allergies, a single sting could be deadly. If you own a business, your customers won’t stick around if bees are swarming around their heads. Sometimes removing bees is absolutely necessary, but there’s usually no need to reach for poison. Removal and relocation is the only method we use here at ABC for managing bee problems. Instead of waging war with them, consider yourself their real estate agent—focus on finding them a new place to live.

Why Our Buzzy Friends are so Important

In the last few years, bees have … Read Full Post »

5 Best Bugs for the Garden

As a gardener, you’re always on the lookout for invasive or destructive bugs that can munch their way through your plants and ruin the hard work that you put in during the growing season. You might not be as familiar with the garden-friendly bugs that thrive in North Texas. By crowding out unwanted pests, these five critters act as natural bug repellents.

1. Aphid Midge

These creatures give a whole new meaning to the term “small, but deadly.” While the adult flies are innocuous, their larvae are the aphid’s worst nightmare. Each tiny, bright orange slug can eat as many as 60 full-grown aphids per day by delivering a powerful toxin that allows them to devour the leaf-munching insects from the inside out. Aphid midges lay their eggs among the leaves of plants that produce large amounts of pollen, so be sure to space some evenly throughout your garden.

2. Ladybug

The ladybug needs … Read Full Post »

Scientists Discover Neuropeptide That Can Prevent Insect Reproduction

Many of our customers express concerns about whether the pesticides that they treat their lawns with are safe for the environment. While a number of the chemical agents currently on the market are fine when used in a controlled fashion, scientific research has recently revealed that new natural methods of controlling insect populations could be even better for the planet. Natalisin, a recently discovered chemical, may be able to cut down on the number of pests that reproduce, without causing the side effects common with other treatments.

What Is Natalisin?

Natalisin is a neuropeptide that naturally occurs within the brains of insects. What is a neuropeptide you may ask? It is a chemical that controls the majority of biological activity in insects, including actions like muscle movement. One of the most important functions that natalisin controls is pheromone creation.

Pheromones help male and female insects signal each other, via scent, when they’re ready … Read Full Post »

Rodents: From Dirty Pests to Fancy Pets

To many homeowners, rodents are disgusting, filthy creatures, but for some people, they’re fuzzy little friends that fit in a shirt pocket. Mice, rats, hamsters and other rodents are welcome guests in homes across the globe, but although their genetic codes are similar, there are major differences between pets and pests.

The History of Rodents as Pets

Half of the world’s mammal population belongs to the rodent family, but only a few species have managed to penetrate the wall of squeamishness that separates them from human affection. Syrian hamsters were first discovered by a zoologist working in the Middle East. They were sent to labs for breeding and arrived on the American and European pet scene in the 1930s. Many domesticated hamster breeds now exist, and hamsters are among the best-selling rodents in pet stores. Other popular pet rodents include gerbils, guinea pigs and chinchillas.

Cuteness Overcomes a Sordid Past

The history of mice … Read Full Post »

From Yard to Plate: Pests as Food

They aren’t on many North American menus, but pests like roaches and arachnids may become a more common food source in the future. In parts of the world where animal meat is scarce, people have long enjoyed eating a variety of healthy, nutritious bugs. Those who advocate the practice believe that edible insects like crunchy crickets, chewy mealworms and juicy locusts could potentially solve hunger problems in underprivileged countries. In Western society, they might be more likely to put an end to binge eating.

The Benefits of Bug-Eating

Insect meat has a lot to offer. It’s inexpensive and easy to process and prepare. With little fat, tons of vitamins and minerals and high-quality protein, it provides near-perfect nutritional balance. If you’re concerned about green living, you should note that bugs emit 10 times less methane and 300 times less nitrous oxide than traditional livestock, so they have a smaller carbon footprint. Most … Read Full Post »

San Antonio Pest Control Specialists Battle Invasive Bug Species

Armadillos, rattlesnakes, fire ants and scorpions are common sights in Texas, but there are new pests on the block who are trying to take over the state. The most recent offenders include crazy ants, Africanized bees and stink bugs. Of all invasive species in Texas, insects are the most damaging. Arthropods and insects are responsible for more than half of all invasive species management costs, which equal about $150 million per year.

Crazy Ants

As the name suggests, these wildly invasive ants are crazier than fire ants, which have plagued Texas for years. These populous ant colonies were first discovered in 2002, but no one knows their exact origin. Since their discovery, colonies have spread throughout the state. Sensitive electrical equipment and air conditioners are prime targets for these loony ants. Although their bite isn’t as fierce as a fire ant’s bite, they cause costly damage to electrical equipment. They’re even capable … Read Full Post »

Safety Alert: Spread of the Dangerous “Kissing Bug” in Texas

bugs are keeping Austin weird too

The kissing bug is not as cute as it sounds. In fact, its other nickname, the assassin bug, may be more accurate. Scientifically known as triatomine bugs, these insects are more than just bothersome. They can carry Chagas disease, which is potentially life-threatening. Although the kissing bug is more common in Mexico, Central America and South America, the pest has been found in 27 of the U.S. states, including Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is Chagas Disease?

Chagas disease is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to mammals through the feces of the kissing bug. The kissing bug feeds on the blood of animals and humans, usually during the night. The insects tend to bite the faces of humans, leaving behind droppings near the bite wound. If the droppings, which may be infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease, are rubbed into the wound, the … Read Full Post »

Termites Are A Slow But Sure Expense

termites damage to home

Termites are one of the most destructive pests you’ll encounter, and stopping an infestation early is crucial to reducing the expense associated with their damage. Although it may take a termite a long time to chew through the wood of your home or office, it will eventually succeed in severely weakening the structure. A termite infestation could result in substantial damages and lengthy repairs if left alone.

The Life of a Termite

Termites are social insects that are related to ants. Like ants, they live in colonies, each member filling a specific role. They feed primarily on wood pulp and are often found chewing through a house’s foundation, flooring, and walls. Termite colonies can become very large very quickly, and the growing size represents an increasing threat to the stability of your home.

As a colony grows, the colony will seek to expand by sending out a new young queen. This winged termite will … Read Full Post »

Beware the Dangerous “Kissing Bug”

On the surface, a kissing bug sounds fun. Sadly, it doesn’t cause the world to smooch in perfect harmony. A kissing bug is just that: a bug. These bugs don’t cause property damage, but the bug’s bite and risk of transmitting Chagas disease render them worthy of strict pest control. Kissing bug sightings are currently on the rise in Central Texas.

Kissing bugs, also called conenose bugs, assassin bugs and Mexican bed bugs, often lug around the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite and earned their primary name by biting around people’s mouths and eyes. If the kissing bug releases feces when it’s feeding, T. cruzi becomes absorbed into the kissing bug’s chosen buffet source; usually, humans and canines are unsuspecting buffet tables. During the first few weeks, a person infected with Chagas disease experiences swelling at site, fatigue, fever, a rash, constipation and abdominal pain. This is the acute phase, which becomes chronic … Read Full Post »