ABC Blog

The Integrated Pest Management Approach

Many people have concerns about the hazards associated with the overuse of pesticides. This has caused a number of pest control companies to take a new approach to treating pest infestations. ABC Home & Commercial Services uses integrated pest management to regulate, treat, and prevent future infestations. The strategy involved in the IPM approach is based on practical procedures that present the least amount of risk.

Integrated pest management is an effective way to respond to pest issues. By understanding the life cycles and behaviors of insects and vermin, specialists can use a holistic method to control invasions. ABC San Antonio exterminators utilize the latest data regarding pest habits and pesticides, in order to provide clients with the most comprehensive treatment system possible.

The first step in the IPM approach is determining the level at which action should be taken. This involves deciding when pests will become an environmental or economical threat. … Read Full Post »

Preventing and Treating Flea Home Invasions

Fleas are small insects that can cause big problems for pets and humans alike. These parasites can thrive on both mammals and birds by feeding on the host’s blood via irritating bites. Additionally, fleas can act as a vector for diseases that affect both humans and pets. Taking action to prevent an infestation is the best method for completely avoiding the pest, but an existing infestation must be treated.

Preventing a flea infestation is generally less troublesome than eradicating an existing problem. Here are some tips to prevent an infestation:

•    Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule can prevent many flea invasions. Vacuuming carpets is particularly important. Areas frequented by pets are the most vulnerable.
•    Chemical flea treatments specifically for dogs and cats are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive. Treatments are available as shampoos, topical applications, and flea collars.
•    Avoid excessive contact with unfamiliar animals. Fleas are known to hitch rides on unsuspecting … Read Full Post »

The Zombie of All Pests: The Flea

Fleas are among the most resilient insect species. They can survive without food for a year. They are mobile enough on their own, capable of leaping 10 to 13 feet in a single bound and small enough to hitch a ride on pets and people to populate new areas. Fleas are resistant to most pesticide use because they undergo four life stages, with each stage requiring a different extermination strategy.

Secret Life of Fleas

Adult fleas are capable of reproduction once they have fed on blood. Eggs are laid on a host animal but fall off easily as the animal moves around. These eggs will hatch and turn into larva between two and 14 days. Larva feed on organic substances, including the blood meal, dropped by adult fleas as feces. With enough nourishment, flea larvae develop into the pupa stage from which the adult flea emerges when stimuli such as heat and … Read Full Post »

Avoid Your Own Episode of “Kitchen Nightmares”

As a restaurant owner, your worst nightmare is making a customer ill with your food and that’s exactly what could happen if just one disease-carrying cockroach or rat gains entry into your establishment. Almost every episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” features a horrifying scene of Gordon Ramsay pulling a refrigerator or grill away from the wall to reveal a sticky film of grease, rodent droppings and hundreds of cockroaches. The restaurant owners on the show often react with shock, but if they had been keeping up with basic sanitation practices and other preventive measures, the infestation never would have happened. If you suspect that you have a pest problem or want to prevent one, ABC Home & Commercial Services can ensure that your next health inspection doesn’t result in your restaurant being featured on television for all of the wrong reasons.Preventing a Pest Problem in Your Restaurant Kitchen

To prevent pest infestations … Read Full Post »

Could Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Be Headed for Dallas?

With only one confirmed sighting in Texas, the brown marmorated stink bug has yet to become a pervasive presence in our great state, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter one in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the near future. As expert hitchhikers, these non-native insects have already invaded several states and left a number of ruined crops in their wake. ABC Home & Commercial Services wants you to know the facts about this pesky insect.Origins of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

The first North American sighting of brown marmorated stink bugs was in Pennsylvania in 1998, and since then, they have spread to several East Coast states and as far west as California and Oregon. They are native to Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea, but researchers have yet to discover how they managed to hitch a ride to the United States. Experts do know, however, that they made their recent … Read Full Post »

A Homeowner’s Guide to Austin Wildlife

When most people think about wild animals, they imagine wildlife in secluded or wooded areas. However, there are plenty of different types of wildlife roaming the streets of Austin. Since some creatures can be dangerous, homeowners should be familiar with the wild animals sharing their city.What Types of Wildlife Live in Austin?In addition to a wide variety of birds, there are several small wild animals living in Austin. Opossums, squirrels, deer, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, rats, mice, moles, skunks, raccoons, bats, and snakes are reported frequently. Some people also report seeing armadillos occasionally. Beavers, muskrats, weasels, iguanas, gophers, and porcupines have been sighted, but are rarer than the previously mentioned animals. Some types of wildlife are more common in certain areas of the city.Which Animals Pose a Threat to Homeowners?

Homeowners should be concerned about the animals that can be considered common pests. Animals such as deer, coyotes or skunks are not … Read Full Post »

Can I Prevent Stinging Insects from Nesting Around My Home?

San Antonio is home to a number of stinging insects. Local homeowners must contend with yellow jackets, paper wasps, and carpenter bees. Such insects have the potential to deliver painful stings and cause allergic reactions. Some species can also damage the exterior of a home. It’s best to prevent them from nesting in the first place.

Homeowners can take steps to eliminate food sources and desirable nesting cavities. Stinging insects prefer to build nests in protected areas that shield them from rain and hail. When possible, it’s helpful to fill or block access to these cavities. Do not attempt to do this until a San Antonio exterminator has removed any existing nests.

It is also beneficial to store empty beverage cans and household trash in a solid container with a tight lid. Garbage and unwashed soda cans can attract various species of stinging insects according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. They … Read Full Post »

Critters Can Get Through Tiny Cracks!

When most people hear about homeowners finding beehives or rodent colonies behind the walls, they assume it is a rare horror story that is not likely to happen to them. However, these occurrences are more common than most people think. Rodents and other pests are very good at finding ways to sneak into homes.

How Much Space Do Pests Need To Sneak Into A Home?

According to the CDC, mice can squeeze through a hole that is the same size as a nickel. If a hole is as large as a quarter, a rat can fit through it. Insects can squeeze through nearly any size crack, gap or hole. Rodents are one of the biggest problems during colder months. They often sneak into homes to keep warm and take up residence behind walls, in basements or in attics. Unfortunately, some can spread serious diseases such as hantavirus and leptospirosis.

How Can Homeowners Inspect … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Brown Recluse Spiders at Bay

It’s a fact that all Houston homes and businesses have spiders lurking in their walls, attics and other hiding places—even in winter, when they tend to seek shelter indoors. Most of them are harmless, and their presence is actually helpful because they keep insect populations under control. However, one spider in particular can be very dangerous when it comes into contact with humans: the brown recluse.

Identifying the Brown Recluse

These non-hairy spiders range in color from tan to dark brown and, once they reach adulthood, are usually the size of a quarter with their legs extended. The brown recluse’s most distinctive feature is a violin-shaped marking on its back. Brown recluse spiders can be found outdoors under piles of wood or debris and indoors in cluttered, dark places such as garages and attics.

The Dangers of Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders rarely wander out into the open unless searching for food, so … Read Full Post »

Life-Saving Education for Allergic Kids

Childhood is a carefree time when kids are encouraged to play and have fun. Unfortunately, a bee or wasp can bring the fun to an end. In the United States, roughly 3% of children are allergic to insect bites or stings. While many reactions cause mild swelling and discomfort, a bee sting can also cause a life-threatening reaction that requires epinephrine. That’s why it’s essential to teach allergic kids to identify signs of wasps and bees and to act accordingly.

In College Station and many parts of Texas, stinging insects are active all year. As pest control experts, ABC highly recommends treating your outdoor areas during fall and winter through a collective approach that includes landscaping, pest control and lawn care in College Station.

Photos, field guides and online videos are all excellent resources for teaching children how to identify and avoid stinging insects. Children should be aware that wasps don’t only … Read Full Post »