ABC Blog

Stink Bugs Cause a Stink for Gardeners

Most gardeners are eager to share a bountiful harvest with friends and neighbors. There is usually enough to go around, but a few greedy stink bugs can destroy an entire crop in a few short weeks. Take precautions now to deter these hungry bugs from devouring the spoils of your hard labor—even in winter.

Identify the Enemy

Stink bugs are easily recognized due to their brown or green shield-shaped bodies. They have markings that vary in color and triangles on their backs called scutellums.

Stink bugs leave blemishes the size of pin heads on fruits and vegetables, including winter veggies such as kale and spinach. Sometimes excrement is also present. The damage is more than cosmetic—the area underneath the depression or blemish may not ripen. Some fruits will turn brown underneath the blemish.

Take Precautions

To deter stink bugs from settling into the garden, take steps before the growing season is in full swing. Our … Read Full Post »

Handling Firewood Improperly Can Cause Pest Problems

Heating your Houston home with firewood is cozy, romantic and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, if your wood isn’t handled and stored properly, it can harbor unwanted pests. In most cases, these insects pose no serious threat to your home, but a few species could be problematic.

A variety of insects infest wood. The list includes bark lice, millipedes, centipedes, pill bugs, sowbugs, springtails, termites, beetles, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and some wasps. Termites are the biggest threat to your home’s structure, but they’re not usually a problem unless you bring firewood into a moist environment and store the logs against your home. If you find live termites in a wood pile, move the wood as far away from your home as possible.

Wood-boring beetles can be a nuisance if they create noise or wood dust. Bark beetles live inside a tree’s bark or between the bark and heartwood. If infested wood is stacked … Read Full Post »

Winter Rodent Invasions: Be Prepared!

Rodents can wreak havoc on a home at any point in the year, but these little creatures have a tendency to invade homes during the winter months. Orlando is definitely not one of the coldest places on earth, but animals will still attempt to seek shelter indoors as temperatures drop. These unwelcome guests can cause structural damage and the spread of rodent-borne pathogens. Unfortunately, rodents are difficult to remove from a home, so the best course of action is prevention.

Rodents are champions at chewing through wood and other materials, but even a small hole or gap is an invitation. Rats and mice are very flexible, and the hole only needs to be as wide as the mouse or rat’s skull. Inside the house, look for holes around all of the floorboards, including closets and areas behind large appliances. Holes might also form around pipes and vents. On the outside of … Read Full Post »

Got Opossum Problems? Don’t Wait to Take Action

It can be hard to believe that a harmless creature like the Opossum can be the cause of major household damage. But Opossums introduce a unique problem to homeowners and neighborhoods. In urban, suburban and rural environments, Opossums can cause major damage to your home, resulting in expensive repairs.

Opossums make their homes out of hollow trees and shrub thickets, but ultimately dwell anywhere that is dry, sheltered and safe. The comfort and protection provided by these elements are easily replicated by your home’s attic or garage. These unwanted guests collect materials for the purpose of building a nest, which means the destruction of your home’s insulation and air ducts are likely if an Opossum is living in your home.

Opossums do not store food for energy and require food sources that are stable as the seasons come and go. Its diet consists of insects, earthworms, small mammals, fruits, grains, plants, and … Read Full Post »

Bugs and Ball Games Don’t Mix

Is your child too busy swatting at insects to focus on scoring goals on the soccer field? Does your weekly touch football game usually end with bug bites on your ankles? If so, your playing fields could benefit from San Antonio lawn services and pest control from ABC. While bugs can destroy the beauty of your lawn, business landscaping or sports field, they can also put a damper on your favorite outdoor activities by swarming, biting and stinging.

Pests That Can Ruin Your Game

Most of the time the insect world goes largely unnoticed, and we live in harmony with bugs when their populations are kept under control. The occasional mosquito or chigger isn’t going to disrupt your athletic focus, but an infestation of them on your playing field or golf course can turn a pleasant game into an afternoon of scratching and clawing at your itchy skin. Our San Antonio lawn … Read Full Post »

How to Make Your Home Unappealing to Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a fact of life in Texas. Due to the mild weather in Austin, roaches are active year round and can work their way into homes very quickly. Fortunately, you can take some steps to avoid an infestation by making your home less appealing to these unwanted guests.

Primarily, cockroaches are looking for three things: food, water and shelter. If your home provides these things, insect pests are likely to invade. The key to keeping roaches out of your home is to limit their access to these things, which will make your home less appealing thus encouraging the cockroaches to go elsewhere. Here are some tips for keeping your home roach-free:

  • Keep all food in sealed plastic or glass containers.
  • Address any faucet leaks and avoid having standing water anywhere in the home.
  • Wash dishes after every meal instead of letting them pile up.
  • Avoid keeping piles of papers or cardboard on the floor … Read Full Post »

The Pesky Silverfish: A Bug Profile

You get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and find a long, silver-colored bug slithering in the sink. The next day, you rummage through a box in the garage and are horrified to find the same type of creepy crawler feasting on the binding of your favorite book. What are these pesky creatures that somehow manage to make your skin crawl as much as cockroaches? They’re silverfish, and although they are harmless to humans, they can cause considerable damage to your possessions and contaminate your food supply if you have an infestation.

Appearance, Habitat and Diet

Silverfish are insects that are long and shaped like a teardrop, and their color varies from brown to silver. Adult silverfish can grow up to an inch in length, and they have two antennae on the head and three projections on the tail end. While they can survive for long periods … Read Full Post »

A Bug-filled Business Will Soon Be Out of Business

Pests are the natural enemies of homeowners, but pests can put a serious damper on a business’s success and reputation. Visible pests are an obvious issue, but business owners should not underestimate the full impact of pests in the business place. For the reasons outlined below, it is important that local businesses seek appropriate pest control options in Dallas.

First and foremost, pests can lead to swift and certain negative attention. Some customers will only make a scene on the premises, but many customers will take their disgust straight to the public. With the overwhelming presence of review websites, social media, and other internet outlets, it is extremely easy to spread a negative review. Since internet review sites are so popular, this could seriously impact potential customers, and many businesses with bad reviews know that those reviews are basically permanent. Additionally, the prevalence of smart phones and camera phones means that … Read Full Post »

Don’t Let Your Home Become a Winter Refuge for Pests

With fall knocking on your door and winter just around the corner, you put a lot of effort into making your home nice and comfortable. Well not only does that make it warm and inviting for friends and guests, but for those UN-invited pests as well. Pest invasion is not exclusive to warm weather; the autumn and winter season has just as many nuisances as the spring and summer.According to the NPMA (National Property Management Association), rodents alone invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. each winter. While rodent control is a concern to homeowners, that estimation does not include snakes and various insects. All types of creatures will find that cozy little house of yours to be the perfect home away from home during the autumn and winter weather.

Rodents like mice and rats are burrowers, which means that warm, soft insulation in your attic and between your … Read Full Post »

Prevent Pests from Wintering in Your Home

Looking forward to the winter months when pests may hibernate or find a warmer place to live? Unfortunately, a warmer place to live could include inside your home. Read on to learn how you can prepare to maintain rodent control in Austin and deter other pests over the winter months.

Start Outside

You may think that keeping pests out of your home involves preparing your home on the inside, but focusing your attention on the outside of your home may actually be the best method of prevention.

Eliminate comfortable, inviting habitats for pests to discourage them from settling near your home. For example, many insects seek out moist, dark places that contain a food source. Keep areas around the home dry, well-lit and free of food sources in order to keep pests away. Insects typically eat leaves, fruit and other insects.

Trash piles and garbage cans attract pests, so keep trash cans as far … Read Full Post »