ABC Blog

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Identification Tips

The idea of a bug sharing the space where you sleep is not one to take lightly—especially if it’s one that bites! If you spotted a tiny bug wandering around your bedroom, your first instinct might have been to assume that it is a bed bug. However, there are more bugs that look like bed bugs than you might expect. While the complete list could be quite long, the short list is fleas, immature roaches, booklice, carpet beetles, bat bugs and ticks.

So, how can you know if that minuscule visitor was really a bed bug? Here are a few characteristics of bed bugs that can tip you off to the presence of these bloodsucking creatures:

  • Adults are reddish-brown to black in color.
  • A bed bug that hasn’t had a blood meal recently is usually oval-shaped and flat. After feeding, these parasites will swell up, become longer and change color to redder to … Read Full Post »

Why Do Cockroaches Come Out At Night?

Why do cockroaches come out at night

When you wake up before the sun rises and go to make your coffee, you’re not expecting to discover a cockroach in the cabinet next to your coffee grounds. Chances are that in your pre-caffeinated state, your reactions aren’t quite as sharp, resulting in your kitchen visitor scurrying away before you can find anything to smash it with. If someone had asked, you would have sworn that you didn’t have any bug problems—especially roaches. But you also know that you usually don’t spot one of these creatures, unless it’s dark.

So, why do cockroaches come out at night? The short answer is that, like other nocturnal animals, roaches have evolved to forage for food and water in low-light environments, since these conditions help them avoid predators. In this blog post, we will explore cockroach activity patterns in more detail and offer you tips on how to keep these pests away from … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Clothes?

can mosquitoes bite through clothes

Mosquitoes are a problem for most of the year in the warmer parts of the country. But even so, it can feel like they come back earlier each year. You thought you were at least going to have a few weeks of relaxation in beautiful weather before they showed up again, but these bloodsucking pests had different plans. As you’re relaxing in your backyard you may be wondering: Can mosquitoes bite through clothes? Will I be safe from these biting insects if I just cover up?

Mosquitoes prefer to access blood directly through the skin, but that doesn’t mean they won’t use their proboscis to get to the blood through the clothes you are wearing. Generally speaking, loose, long-sleeved and light-colored clothes significantly reduce the chances of your getting a mosquito bite. That being said, they do not completely remove the possibility of being bitten.

Let’s look at some specific examples.

Can Mosquitoes … Read Full Post »

What Do Termites Look Like In Florida? Tips For Identification

what do termites look like in Florida

Most homeowners do their best to keep any and all bugs out of the house. Unfortunately, some bugs are arguably worse than others, and some are harder than others to detect. Termites fall into both categories: They are some of the most destructive insects around—the National Pest Management Association estimates they cause American homeowners five billion dollars’ worth of damage each year—and since they build their colonies out of sight, they can easily go undetected for long periods of time. If you’ve never seen a termite before, you might wonder, What do termites look like in Florida? Learning the answer to this question will help you identify these undesirable pests, hopefully before they cause costly structural damage to your home.

As do termites in any state, termites in Florida look a lot like large ants with wings. There are some subtle differences between termites and flying … Read Full Post »

Which Zoysia Grass Type Is Right For My Lawn?

Zoysia grass types

Most homeowners quickly realize that keeping a healthy, green carpet of grass in their yards is much more difficult than they originally anticipated. While most species commonly found in residential areas share similar characteristics, there are some distinctive qualities that make some types do better or worse under some conditions, particularly in parts of the country that are hot with little rainfall.

The most common warm-season species are bermudagrass, buffalo grass, centipede grass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. Zoysia is a popular choice for homeowners because it can tolerate shade, drought, cold and traffic. Better yet, these species have a low fertilizer requirement. With dozens of varieties to choose from, Zoysia grass types can provide slightly different advantages, depending on what you need, how much time you want to spend on your lawn and the conditions in your lawn. The quality and availability of each cultivar can vary by … Read Full Post »

My Pool Turned Green Overnight: What Should I Do?

pool turned green overnight

It can be a nasty shock when you discover that the normally clear, sky-blue water in your pool turned green overnight. Why is my pool green? Typically, algae is the source of green pool water, and it’s certainly possible that it took over quickly, even overnight. This is especially likely if it is very warm outside, since algae blooms more rapidly in warmer temperatures. It is even more common, however, for there to have been an ongoing, undetected chemical imbalance in your pool water that enabled algae to grow.

As a rule of thumb, the deeper the shade of green, the more algae has bloomed. If your pool has just a mild green tint to it, that’s a good thing—it means you’ve likely noticed the problem before it has gone too far, which should make it easier to treat. The first step toward getting your pool back to normal? Determining the … Read Full Post »

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 »

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 »