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How to Identify Kissing Bugs

If you haven’t ever heard of kissing bugs, they probably sound a little silly. But these dangerous insects are nothing like the “cooties” you feared in grade school. Kissing bugs are bloodsucking insects that can be infected with parasites carrying a deadly disease.

Have you noticed bugs scuttling around your home or yard and wondered if they might be kissing bugs? Here is a guide on how to identify kissing bugs from our team of pest control professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services.

What Are Kissing Bugs?

Kissing bugs are sometimes also called “assassin bugs” or “vampire bugs” because they sneak into bedrooms at night to suck human blood. They tend to bite people on or around their mouths. Most kissing bug bites are a bit painful, but harmless. However, some kissing bugs are infected with a parasite called Tyropansoma cruzi. This parasite causes Chagas disease, a chronic illness that can cause … Read Full Post »

Do Rats Eat Dog Poop? Your Questions Answered

do rats eat dog poop

Many homeowners who have dogs may wonder, Do rats eat dog poop? Before you begin to snicker, consider that it’s a fair (and common) question, especially if you’re dealing with a rat problem—or even a full-fledged rat infestation. Trying to figure out what food sources you’re inadvertently providing your unwelcome visitors is a smart strategy since prevention is almost always easier than finding a cure. To put it another way, it’s easier, not to mention safer and more humane, to make your home and property unattractive to rats than to try to deal with a rat infestation by trapping or coming into close contact with the rodents themselves.

To keep rats away from your home and yard, or to get rid of them once they’ve moved in, it’s essential to have an effective plan in place. Rats aren’t just “gross,” scary or pesky; they can actually pose a real danger to … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Eat Cats? Protecting Pets From Wildlife

Do raccoons eat cats

Do raccoons eat cats? It’s a question many cat-loving homeowners have pondered. If you have a furry companion that spends time outdoors, especially at night, you may worry about your cat’s safety, and with good reason. While raccoons tend not to be aggressive, cats sometimes can be, and backyard standoffs may result when there is a dispute over territory or, especially, food.

Fights between felines and raccoons are not unheard of, and raccoons can carry rabies, roundworm and other infectious diseases, so any clash between a cat and a raccoon poses a potential threat to the cat’s health, not to mention your own. So yes, under some circumstances, raccoons can and will kill a cat, and if they do, they may go as far as to eat your beloved pet. For all of these reasons, it’s important to learn about raccoons and their behavior around household pets, so you’ll know how … Read Full Post »

How To Recycle Christmas Lights: Your Ultimate Guide

How to recycle Christmas lights

Wondering how to recycle Christmas lights? If so, you’re ahead of the pack, as many homeowners don’t even realize this is an option! Fortunately, it is; there are many different ways to recycle or repurpose your Christmas lights at the end of the holiday season.

It’s important to note, however, that simply dropping strings of lights into your recycling bin is not recommended, nor is dumping them into the regular garbage can. Not only are Christmas lights made up of many different components, including glass, metal and plastic, that can and should be recycled, but also many bulbs and strands contain elements like mercury and lead that are not safe to introduce to a landfill.

So what is the proper way to recycle or dispose of Christmas lights? If you have too many old, non-working strands of lights, or you’d just like to make the switch over to energy-saving LED lights, you … Read Full Post »

5 Common Household Spiders

You may have just seen spiders and their webs on every street corner last week for Halloween. But if you find one in your house, it can be intimidating. Should you try to identify whether or not it’s poisonous? Or should you squash it now and ask questions later?

Spiders can be helpful for eliminating other pests like mosquitoes, flies, and gnats. Here is our guide to identifying five common household spiders to help you determine which ones are truly dangerous to your health.

1. American House Spider

Appearance: The American House Spider earned its name for a reason. These are some of the most common spiders North Americans will spot in our homes. These spiders are yellowish brown or dirty white with spotted abdomens. They have long skinny legs and round abdomens measuring 4mm-9mm long.

Habits: American House Spiders live in close proximity to humans, so you are likely to find them in … Read Full Post »

San Antonio Christmas Events, 2018 Edition

San Antonio Christmas

Cue the bells and dancing elves because the most wonderful time of the year here in San Antonio is just around the corner! This means it is the season for all things peppermint flavored, hot chocolate, holiday playlists on repeat, tacky sweaters, delicious holiday recipes and tons and tons of twinkling lights.

San Antonio is a city rich in history and traditions, and those qualities are showcased during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a fun family night out, a way to entertain friends and relatives or seasonal date night ideas, there is something for everyone! Create unforgettable memories with your loved ones this holiday season by looking through our list of San Antonio Christmas events for 2018 and putting some of these outings on your calendar now.

San Antonio Christmas Shows: Performances To Remember

Many holiday traditions revolve around stories, so it’s not surprising that many dance troupes, theater companies and other … Read Full Post »

Roach Eggs: How To Prevent An Infestation

Roach eggs

Cockroaches have been crawling across the Earth for quite a long time—350 million years, to be exact. That’s far longer than human beings have been around; in fact, roaches even predate dinosaurs. This hardy, adaptable species with incredible longevity is certainly disliked, arguably for good reason. Roaches spread bacteria including salmonella, streptococcus and staphylococcus, and they have been linked to health problems including asthma, dysentery and even polio. Their ability to feed on almost anything can also lead to extensive property destruction, as they will happily eat their way through cardboard boxes, books and magazines and even electrical wiring.

For all these reasons and more, it can be alarming to find roach eggs in your home, since the presence of roach eggs means that roaches are living and breeding nearby. If you think you may have found roach eggs, read on to learn about how to identify different types of cockroach … Read Full Post »

4 of the Scariest Home Pests

Halloween is right around the corner, but the ghosts, zombies, and vampires aren’t the only things stirring up scares this month! There’s nothing more spooky than coming face to face with an unexpected home pest in the middle of the night.

At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we’ve faced off against all of the most daunting infestations. Here are four of the scariest home pests and some tips for spotting them early.

1. Black Widow Spiders

If you notice some cobwebs that aren’t part of your Halloween decorations, look carefully at the type of spider inside. Most spiders are harmless, and they can actually be handy for eliminating other unwanted pests. But black widow spiders have a venomous bite that can be deadly. These spiders are shy, so their bites are pretty rare. However, it is still important to know how to identify them to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.

Tell-tale signs … Read Full Post »

Electrical Safety Tips To Protect Your Family At Home

Electrical Safety Tips

You’ve dealt with electricity in your home before. We all have. Say the power goes out and you need to flip the breakers. A much more common experience is the countless times you’ve had to change a light bulb. No big deal.

So, when you decided to put ceiling fans around your house, you opted to do it yourself. After all, you’re a smart person. How hard could it be?

Most homeowners soon discover that dealing with electrical tasks around the house isn’t as straightforward as we’d imagine. Using the example of installing ceiling fans, perhaps you flipped off the breakers in the places where you were putting the fans. You got the right tools. You hung the fans up, one by one. Boom. Done. Except that when you flipped the power back on, two of them didn’t work. Sigh.

So, you went back and forth, turning off the power, working on the fans, then turning the … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Rats Live?

How long do rats live

How long do rats live? It’s a common question, and an important one if you have rats living and breeding in or near your home. Rats are known to be unsanitary and carry diseases (bubonic plague, anyone?), and they can cause extensive property damage if they’re allowed to build nests and breed in places they shouldn’t. Rats in the wild are prey to snakes, coyotes, owls and other animals, so they often live for less than a year, but rats living in more protected indoor areas can live for two to three years. If their breeding is unchecked, they can produce thousands of babies over the course of their lifetimes.

Homeowners across the southern states have reported a recent uptick in rat activity in many residential neighborhoods, which makes it all the more important to understand rats and their habits, so you can protect your home from these dangerous pests. Read … Read Full Post »