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Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Here at ABC Home and Commercial, we know that the best rodent control is prevention – and keeping rodents from entering your home in the first place. Professional rodent control and eradication methods require safe removal and installing barriers to prevent them from re-entering. Having a familiarity with the type of rodents that enter your house can help you decide the best prevention methods for your home. In North Texas, homes are prone to rats, mice and squirrel invasions. While these animals may seem small and easy to outwit, according to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management they have several physical abilities that make them designed to enter small spaces to escape the cold and harsh weather conditions.

Physical Abilities of Rodents:

  • Run along or climb electrical wires, pipes, fences, poles, ropes, cables, vines, shrubs, and trees to gain entry to a building.
  • Climb almost any rough vertical surface such as wood, … Read Full Post »

DIY Mice Repellent: What Works and What Doesn’t

Mice are cunning creatures that can manage to find their way into even the smallest openings in your home. They can fit through a space as small as a dime, crawl through sewer lines or improperly sealed drainage pipes and chew through your foundation. All just to gain entry into your residence. As creative as they are, it can seem impossible to successfully repel them from your home. While there are several methods to humanely and naturally repel them, the last thing you want to do is experiment with a new DIY mice repellent that doesn’t work and end up with an infestation for the holidays.

Common practice discourages chemical repellents and glue traps for their harmful effects on the environment and our pets. Many people have turned to all-natural mice repellent methods that may work in the short-term but do not stand up over time. The ABC experts are here … Read Full Post »

Add Color To Your Yard With Texas Winter Flowers

plants that grow in winter

Anyone from Texas can tell you that we have unique weather patterns. There are few other places where you can experience all four seasons in just one day. The running joke of “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute” rings true to many of us. While it can be nice to experience summer weather on a December day here in Texas, winter flowers can pose a challenge for even most experienced gardeners. 

While keeping soil type and watering requirements in mind, remember that on average, Houston gets 18 days each year with temperatures that dip below freezing. Our growing season lasts an average of 300 days, which can be great for growing a wide variety of plants and flowers. Keep in mind that throughout the winter, our days are shorter, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you choose flowers which require a certain number of … Read Full Post »

The Truth About Spiders

From the movie Arachnophobia to hearing your mom’s high-pitched scream coming from the kitchen, it’s safe to say that spiders are some of the most feared creatures on Earth. Over the years, they have earned themselves a deadly reputation, invoking fear and chills at the mere sight of them. Despite their notorious reputation, not all the frightening rumors about spiders are true. While some spiders are dangerous to humans they are also an integral factor in keeping other harmful pests at bay. While no one wants a spider infestation, it’s still important to understand these creatures better – and to know when to panic or when to set them free. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial have put together a few myth-busting facts on these misunderstood creatures.

The Truth Behind the Myth

  1. The average person swallows about 8 spiders a year when sleeping.

No matter who you are, this image is disturbing … Read Full Post »

Grain Mite: Is That What’s In My Pantry?

Grain mite

Never heard of grain mites? You aren’t alone. This small pest can have a big impact on crops, workers and in our homes. Winter grain mites, which are dark brown to black in color, and the more common grain or flour mite, can cause extensive damage to crops by eating the germ of the plant, other parts of the kernel and mold that can grow on grain. This activity can cause the plants to have stunted growth or not produce at all. These microscopic pests can also spread fungal spores throughout stored grain and from storage bin to bin.

Grain mites are also sometimes referred to as the “straw-itch mite” and can be blamed on a condition called grocer’s itch. This ailment can cause allergic reactions and severe dermatitis among workers handling infested grains.

Winter grain mites have reddish-orange legs and are associated with damage to oat, wheat and barley … Read Full Post »

Keeping Pests From Moving In While You’re Away This Holiday

Keeping Pests From Moving In

The holidays are upon us and that means one of two things: family and friends flooding your house or traveling to visit loved ones. It makes the perfect opportunity for overwintering pests to sneak into your empty home unnoticed.

Overwintering pests are the insects and animals that seem to disappear for the winter. Instead of disappearing, these pests find a warm, safe space to lie dormant for the winter. Your home provides the ideal winter hideout for insects such as stink bugs, Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs, to name a few. This is also the ideal time for rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels to escape the winter elements in your home until warmer weather arrives.

If you are planning to leave for the holiday be sure to prepare your home and eliminate any possible points of entry before you leave. Taking preventative pest control measures for keeping pests from … Read Full Post »

Your Guide to the Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

There are many signs of the holiday season here in Houston. Stores put up their holiday displays, gingerbread and peppermint goodies start appearing everywhere and gift guides aplenty flood our inboxes and our mailboxes. In addition to making time for holiday decorating, deciding what lights to buy and getting presents, calendars start to fill up with seasonal events. We’ve compiled a list of Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017 to help you make time for some special memories this year.

Nothing puts everyone in the mood for Christmas quite like lights. Depending on which lights displays you choose to see, you may opt to stay in the car, which can be easier for friends and family members who are younger or older, who might have a harder time walking long distances or standing for long periods of time. Driving around to see lights can also be a good option for those rare Houston days … Read Full Post »

Yard Fungus: Identification, Treatment and Prevention

yard fungus

When you spend a lot of time with the goal of having a green manicured yard, the last thing you want to see is signs of damage. You water, mow, edge and maybe even fertilize in the hopes of seeing a lush carpet. What do you do if you suspect you have yard fungus? How do you know if the damage you are seeing is a type of yard fungus or something else entirely?

St. Augustine is a popular grass for homeowners because it is shade, heat, salt and drought tolerant. When maintained properly, this variety of grass also handles normal human and animal traffic well. However, there a couple of types of lawn fungus that are more prevalent when you have St. Augustine grass. These lawn fungus types also like other warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and Zoysia.

In this post, we will tell you what you need to know about the … Read Full Post »

Which Salt Tolerant Plants Will Work In My Yard?

salt tolerant plants

Living along the coast certainly has its advantages: access to the beach every day, coastal breezes, mild temperatures, fresh seafood and pretty views.

However, gardening in these environments can present a challenge. While saltwater has its benefits, most plants and flowers don’t like it. Salinity in the soil inhibits a plant’s ability to absorb important nutrients, thereby disrupting the plant’s metabolism.

Finding salt tolerant plants to for your lawn can be a challenge. In many cases, you can select salt tolerant varieties of ceratin plants which can do well in coastal climates. The salt tolerance of plants is determined by a variety of factors, including a plant’s ability to grow under and resist high winds, salt spray, alkaline soils and infertile, sandy soils.

When choosing plants that will be placed facing the ocean without buildings to protect them, you should choose highly salt tolerant plants. If the plants are protected … Read Full Post »

5 Signs There’s a Pest in Your Attic & 8 Ways to Prevent It

Pest in Your Attic | ABC Home and Commercial

As we move into November, the days and nights spent outside enjoying the warm weather are coming to an end. Just as we start to head indoors, so do pesky critters trying to find warmth and shelter in our homes. Mice, rats, bats, squirrels and raccoons are the most common pests in your attic in Texas and Oklahoma homes. If the proper precautions are not taken, they can be found in garages, under porches, and in your attic during the colder months. These pests are notorious for squeezing into very small entry points and nesting in attics and walls. Once inside, they can chew insulation, wood and wires. Not only does this cause significant damage to your home, but exposed wires also create a potential fire hazard.

A pest invasion can be preventable with the proper precautions. The first step is determining if there is a pest in your … Read Full Post »