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At What Temperature Does Grass Stop Growing?

what temperature does grass stop growing

During the winter months, when temperatures across the United States drop for several months at a stretch, most varieties of grass that people use in their yards go dormant—meaning, their active growth cycles slow down. The grass is still alive, but it is in a state of suspended animation. During this time, your yard may lose quite a bit of its bright, deeply green hue. Your plants might even look diseased or dead, and will certainly appear dry. While your lawn might look lifeless, lawn experts will tell you that dormant grass is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do when nutrients aren’t as readily available as they are during the warmer, sunnier months.

Since grass goes dormant in the winter, many people do not need to mow their yards more than a few times throughout the entire winter season and often debate on when to start mowing the lawn again. … Read Full Post »

Types Of Roaches In Texas: What Homeowners Should Know

Types of Roaches in Texas

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: you are going through a box in a garage and you unintentionally disturb a  cockroach. Or worse still, multiple roaches.

As it (or they) skitter toward the darkest possible corners, you run inside, disgusted and call your spouse, explaining what happened. After you calm down a bit, your partner asks: “What kind of roaches were they?”

A majority of homeowners have no idea what kind of cockroaches they’re dealing with. Most of us aren’t exactly roach experts, after all, and barely anyone likes to get up close and personal with the critters.

Why does it matter, anyways?

Most Texans are surprised to hear that there are about 30 different cockroach species in our state alone, and that the type of roach infesting your home can inform how you can try to get rid of them—and what you might do to prevent future infestations.

Unfortunately, getting rid of roaches may be … Read Full Post »

Florida Rats: What Homeowners Need To Know

Florida rats

There are many types of rats in Florida, but there are three common types of rodent pests that Florida homeowners are most likely to encounter living in their homes or garages, or elsewhere on their property. While there are similarities and differences among these three main types of Florida rats, what homeowners need to know about all of them is that rats and other wild rodents pose a very real threat to our homes, as well as to our health.

Rats can cause extensive property damage as they build nests and chew their way through wood, electrical wires, drywall and more. Rats and other wild rodents are also known for spreading serious diseases to humans and other animals, including bubonic plague—yes, the very same sickness that spread like wildfire during the Middle Ages, killing off over half the entire population of Europe.

Even if you never come into direct contact with … Read Full Post »

Water Heater Burst: Why This Happens And What To Do Next

Water Heater Burst

When a water heater bursts in a home, it is a shocking event, not to mention a messy one, and it could potentially cause a lot of expensive damage. If your hot water heater burst, you’re probably wondering why this happens and what to do next.

In general, the basic reason why hot water heaters burst is that there is corrosion within the tank, which can lead to the tank bursting at its seams. Unfortunately, there are several possible underlying causes that can contribute to water heater explosions, and it’s not always apparent which one is the culprit.

Sometimes there are risk factors or warning signs that could indicate a water heater explosion is imminent, but not always. In order to understand the risk factors that could contribute to a water heater exploding, it’s important first to understand the type of water heater that you have in your home.

Types Of Water … Read Full Post »

Are There Smells That Keep Rats Away?

Smells that keep rats away

A homeowner who has dealt with rats or mice inside or elsewhere on a property may wonder: are there certain smells that keep rats away? If rats are naturally repelled by particular scents, foods, plants or other substances, it makes sense that these could be good deterrents for someone to use in keeping their home and property free of rodents.

Before we get into more specifics about making your home less attractive to rats and mice, let’s talk about why rodents really are a problem that needs to be handled both quickly and effectively. If you’ve ever had rats living in your home, attic or garage, then you know these pests are far more than just a simple nuisance. These pests carry infectious diseases, as well as parasites, including fleas and ticks that can be dangerous for people and pets. Worse still, the gnawing needs of these animals can cause extensive … Read Full Post »

Can You See Bed Bugs With The Human Eye?

Can you see bed bugs with the human eye

It’s an all-too-common scenario: You wake up one morning, or perhaps even several mornings in a row, with suspicious, itchy bites on your skin—and you wonder whether you might be dealing with a bed bug infestation. How can you tell if you’ve had a run-in with a bed bug or some other type of biting insect, such as mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers or ticks? Can you see bed bugs with the human eye? What are some telltale signs of a bed bug bite or a full-on infestation? Read on to learn the answers to these common questions and more.

How To Find Bed Bugs During The Day

For anyone wondering whether they can see bed bugs with the human eye, the short answer is yes—adult bed bugs are about the same size, shape and color as an apple seed, so they are certainly visible with the naked human eye. The longer answer, however, … Read Full Post »

Texas Spiders: How Homeowners Can Protect Loved Ones

texas spiders

If you live in the great state of Texas, you’ve probably heard the saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas”—and when it comes to Texas spiders, that’s often all too true! These creepy-crawlies can make even the strongest among us shudder, or jump in fear when we encounter one of them.

Tarantulas, with their enormous, hairy bodies and long, thick, hairy legs, are an excellent example of just how big Texas spiders can get; they are one of the most famous Texas spiders, along with black widows and brown recluses. But there are many other varieties of Texas spiders—almost 900 species, in fact! Although most species you are likely to encounter in and around your home are harmless, there are a few which are venomous that you’ll want to learn more about so that you can protect your family from the health risks associated with poisonous spider bites. 

The Brown Recluse: … Read Full Post »

Where Do Squirrels Go At Night?

Where do squirrels go at night

One of the reasons you bought your house was the fact that the property had some wonderful mature trees. Over time, you found your yard and the same beautiful trees had become a haven for squirrels.

One day, as you were about to go to sleep, a question popped into your head: Where do squirrels go at night?

Most homeowners don’t realize that there are tree squirrels and ground squirrels, and that some types nest in dens, while others sleep in drays. Some varieties prefer underground homes, while other squirrels find in-tree hideaways more comfy.

While many of us find squirrels in their natural habitat quite adorable, it’s an entirely different story if and when these animals scratch, claw and gnaw their way into houses to set up their dens or nests in the relative comfort of fireplaces or attics. To make matters worse, these invasions often happen without homeowners realizing it—at least for a … Read Full Post »

Should I Cover My AC Unit In The Winter?

HVAC tips for winter

Anyone who lives in the southern portions of the United States will tell you that having a good air conditioning system is essential because, for about two-thirds of the year, your unit is going to be running pretty much nonstop.

You’ll depend upon your AC to survive our hot, sweltering summers, when the temperatures frequently hit triple digits. You’ll also rely on your system during much of the spring and fall, since the 80s and 90s stick around for much longer here than in many other parts of the country.

During the hottest times of the year, homeowners may regularly clean or replace filters, pay attention to how their system is running and remove debris from around outdoor vents.

When the cold weather (briefly) sets in, however, many of us promptly forget all about our AC, basking in lower electric bills while we can. Some homeowners might not even give the air conditioner … Read Full Post »

Benefits Of Pruning For Healthy Plant Growth

Benefits of pruning

Trees might be the oldest, largest living organisms on Earth, but they’re not invincible. For a tree to live a long, healthy life in an urban environment, these plants need some human assistance.

Outside of their natural growing environment in the wild, trees often require pruning for them to improve clearance, develop a durable structure and maintain their aesthetics.

Pruning helps a plant exhibit its most desirable attributes. Many plants—including spring-flowering plants like spirea, viburnums, weigela and strawberry bush, as well as summer-flowering plants like roses, hibiscus and crape myrtle—stand to benefit greatly from proper pruning.

How so?

Pruning promotes health by enabling you to get rid of sickly or diseased plant parts. Trimming also helps with insect management. Lastly, removing dead or dying branches or stems enhances the beauty of your plants.

Here’s the bad news: improper pruning could potentially cause severe damage that can, in the most severe cases, contribute to the death … Read Full Post »