ABC Blog

Our Favorite Frenemies

wasps cultivated to protect citrus trees from Huanglongbing citrus greening disease pest control

Insects walk the fine line between friend and enemy. As much as we want to put them on trial for their scream-inducing and creepy qualities, pests play an essential role in our ecosystem. Here’s a list of our favorite frenemies, and for a little extra fun, we figured we would let them present their defense.


Although I can deliver an undoubtedly painful punch when you threaten my nest, there is much more to me than just my dreaded stinger. Formally, I’m known as Vespula Pennsylvanica, but you can call me Wasp. As a natural scavenger, I like to snack on other insects, like crop-damaging caterpillars and flies. Some of my distant cousins also play an essential role in pollination. And even though I don’t expect an invite to your next BBQ, I help reduce the number of other pests likely to crash the festivities. Plus, who can rock a yellow jacket … Read Full Post »

The Marsupial, The Myth, The Legend: The Opossum

If you’re a longtime resident of Austin, you’ve probably seen your fair share of opossums. At first glance, these silvery, pointy-nosed scavengers don’t seem like anything special. In truth, opossums are far from ordinary; they have many unusual features and a rich and fascinating history full of myth and legend.

Interesting Opossum Facts

Here are some unusual facts you may not have known about the everyday opossum:

  • An opossum can “play dead” for up to four hours when it feels threatened, but contrary to popular belief, the reaction is actually involuntary.
  • Opossums are immune to rattlesnake venom and they often eat the rattlers that dare to strike.
  • Although commonly mistaken for a rodent, the opossum is a marsupial and it’s the only one found in North America.
  • Like a kangaroo, the mother opossum carries her young in her pouch.
  • Opossums have opposable thumbs on their hind feet. They use the digits to grasp and climb. They also … Read Full Post »

It’s Huge, It’s Scary and It Wants Your Tomatoes!

Once you’ve tasted fresh, home-grown tomatoes, you’ll scoff at the anemic, mass-produced ones available at grocery stores. Growing tomato plants is rewarding, but you may run into a few challenges. If the leaves and unripened tomatoes develop holes or disappear overnight, or you find dark green droppings around the base of your plant, it’s time to inspect it for one of the tomato grower’s greatest enemies.

Identifying the Tomato Hornworm

The tomato hornworm is a large, green caterpillar with a curled head and a sharp-looking red horn on its rear. A mature hornworm is between three and five inches long and its markings include white stripes and rows of false eyes on both sides. At first glance, it resembles a ghastly little alien and many new tomato growers are quite startled the first time they spot one. A closer inspection reveals that the little fellow is harmless. Its size is intimidating, but it’s soft, squishy and … Read Full Post »

Rats in Hats

Let’s be honest: rats don’t always have the best reputation. They’ve been unfairly linked to smelly alleyways and unwanted infestations, but that may be a hasty judgment that’s best reserved for rats of the un-fancy kind. Many consider these friendly and highly-intelligent rodents treasured pets, and in some instances, they can actually be quite stylish.

Although the idea of dressing up a rat may be challenging for some people to grasp (not unlike the idea of dying a miniature poodle pink), it’s not as uncommon as you would think. As pet fashion designer Ada Nieves explains, “The rats look very cute and seem to like wearing [outfits]. Rats are very popular these days and the owners love to dress them up.”


Sometimes, you have to let your rat put on a hat and strut down the runway.

Many people believe that rats are naturally dirty creatures, but these balls of fluff are exceptionally clean … Read Full Post »

Mosquito Dangers: What You Need to Know

Along with the enjoyment of warm weather comes the annoyance of mosquitoes. Although you may plan on just ignoring these pests, the frequency of mosquito bites may become irritating, and the potential for serious health concerns should keep you cautious. It may be wise this summer to be proactive about the mosquito problem.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are carriers of an array of viruses. Although not every mosquito is a threat, there is no way to know before a mosquito bites you. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has a thorough list of mosquito-borne diseases. Still, the four diseases most likely to affect any family in the United States are the West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and canine heartworm.

West Nile virus is a potentially fatal disease that causes brain inflammation and flu-like symptoms. Malaria involves a parasite attacking your red blood cells, causing a persistent fever. Dengue is a type of fever … Read Full Post »

Insects: Up Close and Personal!

why do bees swarm

Dealing with insects in and around your home can be frustrating, but they can be pretty fascinating when they’re not invading your home. Check out these interesting facts about some common insects we encounter daily In Orlando pest control exterminators.

The Honeybee

Honeybees prefer to live in colonies; some of them live in colonies with up to 80,000 bees. Unfortunately, these bees can build a hive right next to your home. The success of the hive largely depends on the queen bee’s health. A queen bee eats honey for strength and can lay nearly 2,000 eggs daily. Throughout her lifetime, the queen bee can lay one million eggs. The rest of the bees in the hive are worker bees. Most of them gather nectar, pollen, and water for the hive and protect the queen.

House Flies

Believe it or not, some house flies reach nearly a quarter of an inch in length. They have … Read Full Post »

The Bee Control Controversy

why do bees swarm

You may have heard that honeybee populations in the United States are on the decline, resulting in a considerable increase in the price of local honey. Unless you consume a lot of love, you may wonder why you should care about bees. Aren’t they just annoying pests that build nests around your home and threaten to sting your children?

The truth is that honeybees aren’t even native to North America, but they, along with around 4,000 native species, are responsible for pollinating flowers and plants. Without these pollinators doing their job, humans and other animals would be robbed of about half of their plant food sources. As a result, bees are essential to all life on Earth.

Native Versus Nonnative Bees

Native bees, such as bumblebees and orchard mason bees, have evolved to work in harmony with native plants and move pollen among them, helping grow flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Many people … Read Full Post »

Pests in the Attic

Animals and other urban wildlife are always looking for places to breed, store food and hide from predators. Unfortunately, some creatures may choose to take up residence in your attic. They use vents and other small openings to gain entry. Some of them stay inside the attic; others leave during the night to search for food.

An assortment of pests live in attics. They include various insects, rodents, birds and bats. Some raccoons and opossums also appreciate the shelter that an attic provides. Most of these creatures are nocturnal and can carry small parasites, such as fleas and ticks.

Pests often damage the attic and eventually harm other parts of the home. Rodents may chew on telephone or electrical wires. Some animals destroy insulation or air ducts. Raccoons can even tear holes through the roof. This kind of destruction may cause major water leaks or a fire.

Pests can also defecate and urinate … Read Full Post »

The Relationship Between Plumbing and Pests

Most homeowners are unaware of the association between plumbing and pests, but the fact is that the two are intertwined. Problems with a home’s plumbing can attract certain types of pests. Not to mention, the presence of pests in the plumbing of a home can cause some serious plumbing issues. Lowe’s notes that pests ranging from rodents to snakes can find their way into the plumbing of a building and wreak havoc.

How Do Plumbing Problems Attract Pests?

When a home has leaky plumbing, pests may move in because they detect a water source and are attracted to the area where the leak originates. Homeowners should be aware that standing water attracts pests including mosquitoes, so having a simple leak can lead to a serious pest problem in your home.

Pests that eat wood are particularly interested in moist wood because it is easier for them to chew, and they rely on moisture … Read Full Post »

What Attracts Scorpions to My Home?

Of all of the common household pests here in Texas, one may be the creepy-crawliest of them all: the scorpion. While some scorpions may be limited to crawling on the floor, others are able to climb walls, drapes and hide in the folds of clothing. You might find a scorpion in a variety of places, such as inside of a shoe or under a piles of clothing. In addition to being painful, a scorpion’s sting is venomous and can cause serious illness. In a few cases, the sting may even cause death. To know how to eradicate these poisonous pests, homeowners must understand what attracts scorpions to homes.

What Attracts Scorpions to My Home?

The more you know about these arachnids, the more equipped you are to know where and when to spot them, how to know they have made it inside of your home, and most importantly, how to get them out—for … Read Full Post »