ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

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 »

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 »

How Long to Water Grass Seed

how long to water grass seed

Your yard looks fine, but there are some bald patches. So you decide to fill them in by using some grass seed. Seems pretty simple. But when you do a quick search to see how long you need to water them, the answers you get are conflicting. What’s the real story? What do you need to be doing to make sure your seeds take root and give you the lush, green lawn that you want?

How Long to Water Grass Seed

New grass seed needs special care, although it may take less time than you may think to get it growing. If you keep a few things in mind during the period of time grass seed needs to take root, your extra effort will pay off with a beautiful green lawn.

What You Should Know About Seeding Grass

When you are trying to decide how long to water grass seed, first take into consideration your planting … Read Full Post »

St. Augustine Grass: Is It Right For Your Lawn?

St. Augustine Grass

Many homeowners spend hours of hard work on their yard in the hopes of getting a lush, thick, green carpet of grass. If you look closely, you’ll probably notice that St. Augustine grass is a key part of many picture-perfect yards in your neighborhood.

St. Augustine Grass: Is It Right For Your Lawn?

St. Augustine is a very common type of lawn grass in parts of the United States which have mild winters. But is it right for your lawn? What kinds of pests call St. Augustine grass home? How do you take care of St. Augustine grass? Let’s explore more in depth below.

What Should I Know About St. Augustine Grass?

St. Augustine grass is a medium-to-high-maintenance grass that does best in the southern United States. Ask anyone about St. Augustine grass and they’ll all say they love the carpet-like look and feel of it.

St. Augustine is characterized by broad, flat blades of grass, … Read Full Post »

Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

Your new house has a problem. You knew this before you bought it. The place is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Lots of open space. A lush yard. A patio that has a top-of-the-line grill. A bar. It’s what the patio doesn’t have that is the problem: screens.

Unlike many Florida patios, the previous owner decided not to enclose the space which means bugs, which also means bug bites. More specifically, mosquito bites.

What You Need To Know About The Different Types of Mosquitoes in Florida

You thought that this would be a minor problem, that you could just avoid the busiest mosquito times and enclose the space when you had enough money. Except that there doesn’t seem to be a time when mosquitoes aren’t around. And you can no longer tell where the bug bites end and your skin begins.

Is there anything you can do to protect yourself from mosquitoes? Absolutely. It starts with learning … Read Full Post »

Daddy Long Legs: Everything You Need To Know About These Creatures

Daddy Long Legs

You had an inspection done before purchasing your house. But like any new homeowner, you want to really explore your property after moving in. Look around. Get the lay of the land. While you are poring over every inch of your backyard, you run across a blackish gray mass. You walk over to pick it up to examine it and it explodes into a swarm-like cluster of hundreds of daddy long legs, which can understandably come as quite a surprise.

Should you be worried? Do daddy long legs bite? You have heard the rumors about how poisonous they are. Do you need to call an exterminator?

Everything You Need to Know About Daddy Long Legs

Before you decide this house isn’t for you, there are a few things you should know.

First, there are actually two creatures known as daddy long legs. One is a spider (Pholcidae) and one is not (Opiliones). One is a venomous … Read Full Post »