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Household Bugs In Florida: Which Ones To Watch Out For

household bugs Florida

You can’t keep your home free of insect invaders if you don’t know much about the different types of household bugs in Florida. Most residents are surprised to learn that our state is an ideal habitat for a long list of these small creatures, including roaches, beetles, flies, cicadas, ants, bees and wasps, earwigs, moths and butterflies, mantids, crickets and grasshoppers, as well as several other types of uninvited insect guests.

While many of us have noticed an ant crawling behind our morning cup of coffee or even a roach scurrying along one of the surfaces in your bathroom late at night, there may be other creatures lurking inside your home that you aren’t as familiar with. That’s when it’s good to arm yourself with knowledge, so you can both identify what it is you are seeing and know how to evict these critters from your home. In this post, we’ll … Read Full Post »

When To Open A Pool In Texas: A Complete Guide

When To Open Pool

If you look forward to swimming in your own backyard oasis, as the winter months come to a close, your thoughts probably turn to when to open your pool. While that’s not always the case for every pool owner, winter can be painful for those of us who like to spend time outdoors, especially in those parts of the country where we are used to sunshine and short sleeves nearly year-round. Here in Texas, most of us open our pools for the season when the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees. Since we can have some strange cold fronts some years, that can be in mid-March some years and not until early April in others.

Before we know it, we will be lounging poolside, dipping our toes in refreshing, crystal-clear water and enjoying warmer weather. Until that time comes, you may be wondering how to clean a swimming pool after winter, which … Read Full Post »

Get Rid Of Swarming Termites To Protect Your Home

Get Rid Of Swarming Termites

During the spring, homeowners may begin to notice animals and plants that may have been inactive or dormant during the coldest months of the year.

While blooming plants and baby animals make most of us feel warm and fuzzy inside, some creatures that become more visible when the temperatures climb are less likely to inspire the same kind of positive feelings. One example? Termites.

If you see a flying bug with wings, you might be seeing an ant, but you could be seeing a termite. If you spotted the latter, you want to nip the problem in the bud as fast as possible. You probably already know why, but just to give you a reminder, we’re going to hit the highlights real quick.

Why should you jump into action if you see termites?

We all know that fire and natural disasters can do a lot of expensive damage. Did you realize that termites cause more … Read Full Post »

How Many Mice Is Considered An Infestation?

How many mice is considered an infestation

So you’ve found mouse droppings, gnaw marks on your furniture, cardboard boxes and plastic storage bins that have been chewed through and other signs that point to the presence of mice in your home. Maybe you’ve even seen an actual mouse somewhere inside your house, or at least heard the telltale scratching and squeaking sounds of rodent activity within your walls.

Whatever signs you’ve spotted, something has alerted you to the possibility that mice are living in your home, and now you’re wondering whether you’ve got just one or two of the unwanted little rodent pests or a full-blown infestation. How many mice is considered an infestation? It’s a good question to ask, as the answer will inform you as to the scope of your mouse problem and what you need to do next.

The question “How many mice is considered an infestation?” is a bit complicated to answer. If you … Read Full Post »

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 Rats In Texas: What Homeowners Should Know

Some people consider rodents to be cute, intelligent animals, and it may be true that domesticated rats can make great pets—but when you encounter rats living in your home or elsewhere on your property, they are nothing less than pests, and must be dealt with as such. Rats that are allowed to live and breed unchecked could cause a great deal of damage if they aren’t dealt with thoroughly and quickly, and they can pose serious health risks to your loved ones. There are two main types of rats in Texas that homeowners commonly find in their homes, garages and attics—Norway rats and roof rats—and both pose a major problem.

What Is A Norway Rat?

Norway rats are large, bulky rodents that normally live outdoors, nesting in burrows in the ground. These rodents are also sometimes referred to as sewer rats, street rats, water rats or Norwegian rats. They do sometimes head … Read Full Post »

Garbage Disposal Humming: Quick Fix Or Big Problem?

Garbage Disposal Humming

We tend not to think much about our appliances. That is, until something goes wrong.

One evening, as you are going about your normal routine, you scrape your leftover food from your dinner plate, turn on the disposal and wait for that familiar and gratifying noise of food heading down your garbage disposal.

But something’s not quite right. What’s that humming sound? There’s supposed to be roaring. Grinding. Not a soft little purr.

But that’s all you’re getting.

What does it mean? Is there some kind of quick fix? Or is your disposal ruined?

We rely on our garbage disposals after pretty much every meal. We expect these appliances to take whatever we throw at them and keep on going, even when you don’t notice and a spoon slips down your drain or your children put eggshells in the garbage disposal.

Unfortunately, these kinds of common plumbing mistakes—as well as just general wear and tear—can cause … 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 »

Closing A Pool For The Season: Tips From The Experts

Closing a pool for the season

Closing your pool for the season? Why would you? Sure, the weather gets colder in the south over the winter, but it’s not freezing like in northern states. Even if you don’t plan on really using your pool, “closing” it seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

That’s what you thought—until last year.

This past winter, you neglected your pool in the off-season, and in the spring you paid for it—literally. Your backyard oasis sustained damage and cleaning that needed to be addressed before you could swim again.

You don’t want that to happen again this year, but you’re not quite sure exactly how to winterize your pool.

In this post, we’ll share expert advice with you on closing a pool for the season so you can dive in when the temperatures heat up again.

Why Maintain Your Pool During Winter?

Before we go into more detail about what pool owners need to do during the … Read Full Post »

Furnace Leaking Water In Winter: What Should You Do?

furnace leaking in winter

It’s winter, and that furnace you don’t think twice about for the rest of the year is finally getting some work.

Not that you typically gave your heater much thought, even during the colder months. When your house started to get chilly, you’d turn the temperature up on your thermostat to get things toasty, and that was that.

That is, not until last week. That day, you were in the attic and you saw something that gave you pause: the furnace was leaking water. Is it supposed to be doing that? Should you get it fixed?

This is an issue that heating professionals get asked all the time, and the short answer is pretty simple: no, your furnace should not leak, and yes, you absolutely need to have it repaired if you notice an accumulation of water around this appliance.

Before you start to panic, however, it’s important to understand two things:

  1. This is actually a pretty … Read Full Post »