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Grass Mites on Humans: Are They a Problem?

grass mites on humans

Grass mites are tiny lawn pests that can difficult to see with the naked eye. Mite is actually a collective term, as there are many variations of this insect-like organism, some of which are known to feed on wild and domestic animals, including humans. Homeowners may know mites as tiny creatures that can feed on plants, but are grass mites on humans a problem? Let’s take a deeper look into these microscopic bugs to learn more about them and how they might impact you.

Grass Mites On Humans: Are They A Problem?

There are a variety of mite species that might be on your property, but the types of mites most likely to bite humans are more commonly known as chiggers. Although these species of mites live in grass and are sometimes lumped together with other bugs that are called grass mites, these animals do not feed on plant matter and are … Read Full Post »

Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms

Have you heard of cankerworms? If you haven’t, you’ve undoubtedly seen them, especially in the spring, swinging from tree to tree as they defoliate large groups of trees at a time. What are cankerworms exactly? What does it mean for you, as a homeowner? And how can you get protect yourself and your trees against these creatures if they are causing a problem?

Cankerworms: What Are They?

Cankerworms, also known as “inchworms,” are spring caterpillars which are light green to brown in color. They’re different from normal caterpillars in that they have fewer legs than most, with only two feet on their abdomens, resulting in their odd form of movement.

Cankerworms hatch just when the trees are starting to bud in the spring. They feed on broad-leaf trees, such as elm, oak, boxelder, maple and ash. They can defoliate a large swath of trees, but you’ll only notice it if the trees they’re … Read Full Post »

How to Puppy Proof Your House and Yard

how to puppy proof your house

Tomorrow’s the day–your little bundle of joy is coming home! You’ve gotten the bed, the toys and the food. But have you prepared your home? Knowing how to puppy proof your house can protect your belongings from risks associated with a precocious pup. Your new addition needs to be protected as much as your home.

How to Puppy Proof Your House

There are not a lot of differences between preparing for a baby and preparing for a puppy, but forgetting to take those steps could cost you, both in terms of broken keepsakes and in injuries to your furry bundle of joy.

Why Puppy Proof?

You don’t have to watch hours of Animal Planet to know puppies are little balls of energy. They spend their days playing and playing, then drop into a deep sleep without warning. Before long, they’re up again, playing-playing-playing…and then drop again.

Puppies, like babies, have no self-control. Everything goes into … Read Full Post »

How You Get Bed Bugs

how you get bed bugs

The last line from a children’s rhyme,“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” can become all too real when bed bugs infest your home. Bed bugs are becoming more common as populations grow, travel increases and the bed bugs spread to new areas. Learn how you get bed bugs and what you can do to prevent them. 

How You Get Bed Bugs

You may have only heard of bed bugs from the children’s rhyme, or from recent new reports about bed bug infestations in cities across the country. It may not seem like a big problem, but several U.S. governmental agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), have declared bed bugs as a public health concern, even though bed bugs do not spread disease the way ticks and mosquitoes do.

So, what should you know about these pests? Where do they live? … Read Full Post »

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning problems and solutions

In the southern parts of the U.S., there’s really no escaping the heat. You either find a place to cool off or you learn to deal with it. Thankfully, many of us can relax in our homes, which provide a safe haven with a cool, comfortable temperature. When something goes wrong, however, our living environment (and mood) can quickly change. 

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the U.S., which represents over $11 billion in energy costs nationwide. This means that problems with a failing air conditioner could cause you not only the annoyance of uncomfortable living conditions, but also more money in the long run if you have to deal with unexpected repairs. Do you know what the most common AC problems and solutions are? The good news is that every problem has a solution, so let’s take a deeper look … Read Full Post »

Everything You Need to Know About Texas Ticks

texas ticks

There are many reasons we love living in Texas. The unfortunate reality, however, is that we share this great state with a small, but potentially dangerous pest: ticks. What types of ticks live in Texas? Where do they live? How can you prevent tick bites? Perhaps most importantly, how do you get rid of ticks? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Texas ticks.

Everything You Need to Know About Texas Ticks

The four most common types of ticks found in Texas, in order of frequency, are the:

  • Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineous)
  • American dog tick (Dermacentor veriabilis)
  • Lone star tick, also known as the northeastern water tick or turkey tick (Amblyomma americanum)
  • Deer tick (Ixodes scapularis)

All four types of ticks are hard-shelled, meaning they have a hard covering over their body. Interestingly, the shell covers more of the body in the male tick than the female.

Ticks go through four stages during their … Read Full Post »

The Kissing Bug in Texas: Friend or Foe?

Kissing bug Texas

You’re out one night sitting on your new back porch and enjoying the stars when you notice a strange-looking bug with a cone-shaped head. Curious, you trap it in a jar and show it to neighbors the next day. Their eyes immediately widen, and they tell you that you need to watch out–it’s a kissing bug.

Kissing Bug in Texas: Friend or Foe?

Slightly amused, you ask what that is, even making a joke that it sounds kind of cute. After hearing their answer, you no longer feel that way.

What is a Kissing Bug, Anyways?

If you don’t know what a kissing bug is, you should. Despite the friendly-sounding name, this small insect is a potential disease carrier, and it can pose a threat to you, your family and your pets.

Not convinced? Perhaps you’d be more inclined to agree with us if we used the bug’s other nickname–the assassin bug. Sounds a bit … Read Full Post »

Power Washing vs Pressure Washing: What’s Best for My Home?

Power washing vs pressure washing

When the sun is out, it’s easier to notice some of the imperfections around your home’s exterior. The driveway, walkway, deck or patio, and even the brick on your house can start to look a little on the dingy side as dirt and other materials build up over time. What should you do? There’s always power washing, and you’ve heard your neighbors mention the wonders it did for their home. Or was it pressure washing? It’s confusing! Let’s talk about power washing vs pressure washing to help you determine which type of cleaning would be best for your home.

Power Washing vs Pressure Washing: What’s Best for My Home?

Although power washing and pressure washing achieve similar results, there are a few distinctions between the two types of surface cleaning. Better understanding what is involved in powerwashing a house and the benefits of pressure washing can help you be better equipped to make … Read Full Post »

What Causes Carpet Beetles?

What causes carpet beetles

Image credit: Patrick Randall

You finally decided to do it–get rid of all the boxes of your kids’ old clothes. But when you opened the first box to start sorting through it, the clothes were destroyed, with holes everywhere. What could have done this? Unfortunately, you might have carpet beetles. So, what causes carpet beetles? Let’s explore that so you can hopefully avoid the problem in the future.

What Causes Carpet Beetles?

As their name implies, they can destroy carpets. But they can also wreak havoc on upholstery, clothing, bedding and other household items. Often their infestations go on for long periods of time without detection, and your prized possessions may be ruined without you realizing it. It pays for you to know what causes carpet beetles before they start causing problems for you.

What Do Carpet Beetles Look Like?

Adult beetles have different sizes and colors, but most are between one-tenth … Read Full Post »

Red Wasps in Texas: Should You Be Worried?

Red wasp Texas

It’s a hot summer day and you walk outside your front door, greeted by a familiar buzzing sound; only, it’s not a bee. It’s another scary looking creature—a wasp. You know it stings and you know where there is one wasp, a nest isn’t too far away. But what type of wasp is it? How can you get rid of it? And most importantly, how can you keep them from coming back and making your home their own?

Red Wasps in Texas: Should You Be Worried?

The first step in understanding how to deal with any type of unwanted pest is to learn more about it. Once you know how to identify red wasps and what attracts them, you’ll be better equipped to get rid of them—for good.

Red Wasp Facts

The scientific name for a red wasp is Polistes carolina. These insects are found mostly in the eastern and south-central parts of the … Read Full Post »