ABC Blog

Mosquitoes: 10 Little-Known Facts About the Buzzing Pests

facts about mosquitos

With all the negative conversation surrounding mosquitoes these days, it seems like the animal is only in this world to ruin our barbecues and cause problems. And with diseases like Zika, Dengue, and Malaria, it’s hard to believe otherwise.

But lucky for mosquitoes, we have a soft spot for all pests and bugs (even the annoying ones), and we were determined to help improve their reputation. We knew there had to be something interesting about them—and we were right!

Here are a few lesser-known, yet fascinating facts about mosquitoes.

1. All in a name

Originating back to the 16th century, the word “mosquito” is Spanish for “little fly.” Despite their name, though, there’s nothing little about the mosquito family. While there are only 176 mosquito species in the United States, scientists have identified over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide.

2. Here, not there

While it might seem like the same mosquito followed you from your front … Read Full Post »

5 Bugs That Help Austin Stay Weird

bugs are keeping Austin weird too

It’s that time of year again: the days are long, the sun is hot (or just hotter), and it seems that everyone is enjoying the great outdoors from sun-up to sundown. Whether you’re standing by the grill in your backyard or cooling off at the local watering hole, we Austinites know how to get the full summer experience.

While you might have adjusted to the Texas summer heat, so too have the insects that occupy the city each summer—and not just the pesky bugs you’re accustomed to seeing around your home either. Sure, the constant buzzing of a mosquito is easily identified, but the Austin area is home to some pretty weird bugs too.

Let’s explore a few of these summer pests.

The Africanized Killer Bees (Apis mellifera scutella)

Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

You’re probably thinking, “bees aren’t weird,” and we won’t argue with that. But bee-ware, Africanized … Read Full Post »

Mosquito Bite FAQ’s: Resisting the urge to scratch

Let’s face it: nobody likes mosquitoes. Or their bites.

But when you live in a city like San Antonio, mosquitos are a part of life. And it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s why we compiled a list answering a few popular questions people have about those unwanted pests. From the whys and what’s, to the do’s and dont’s of what to do if a mosquito lands on you.

Top Moquito Bite FAQ’s

Q1: Why do mosquitoes bite people?

Mosquitoes are nearly impossible to eliminate. They can adapt to changing environments and grow steadily in the summer months when temperatures are both hot and humid, or what we like to call mid-July San Antonio weather.

You may not know this, but only a small percentage of mosquitoes bite humans. And while that may come as a surprise to some, it’s because mosquitoes bite to reproduce, not to live.

Female mosquitoes bite people to gather protein … Read Full Post »

The City of Bryan wants to help you get rid of those mosquitoes!

facts about mosquitos

With diseases like Zika and the West Nile virus, it’s more important than ever to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes. Managing these biting nuisances on your own property can be hard enough, but if your neighbors aren’t also taking steps to control them, you face a losing battle. Short of staying inside all summer, is there anything you can do?

For people in Bryan, there’s good news. City leaders are committed to reducing the mosquito threat. Realizing that controlling these insects is a community effort, Bryan established a special Mosquito Abatement Program (COBMAP). Their program team up with residents, neighborhood groups and homeowner associations to fight mosquitoes throughout the city.

How can you help reduce mosquitoes in your neighborhood

The Bryan Mosquito Abatement Program recognizes that the best way to banish mosquitoes is to get everyone involved in the effort. To this end, there are several things you can do immediately to turn … Read Full Post »

Ladybugs: Your Backyard’s Best Friend (And Foe!)

What’s the first image that comes to mind when thinking of a ladybug? If your answer involves a picture of a grandchild dressing up as one for Halloween, or making a wish on one as a child, you’re not alone.

Ladybugs, unlike other pests, are often paired with positive memories, and typically thought of as harmless creatures. And with their delicate wings and beautiful black-spotted backs, it’s hard to image them as anything other than a pretty creature.

But when it comes to your backyard, these gentle critters can offer more than just good luck. They can help combat destructive pests like aphids, mites, and scale. Here are a few ways you can attract (and keep!) ladybugs in your backyard.

Plenty of Pollen

Like all pests, ladybugs need to eat, and they have their favorite meals. To attract ladybugs to your backyard or garden, consider including a few pollen plants in the area. These … Read Full Post »

Types Of Air Filters For HVAC: How To Find The Right One

types of air filters for hvac

The process of cooling and heating your home represents almost 50% of your energy costs, which is just one reason why it is vital that you take good care of your HVAC system.

Knowing how to change a central air conditioner filter can make it easier to keep up with basic maintenance. Wondering how often to change an air filter in a house? To ensure your air conditioning system will last for many years to come, it is recommended you change the filter out every 30 to 90 days, depending on your filter type. Performing this regular task will help your system run more efficiently, prevent costly repairs and keep your HVAC running longer.

There are many types of air filters for HVAC system out on the market with various pros and cons. Which is the most suitable for your home? Let’s review each type of filter and how to best care for … Read Full Post »

Why Do Bees Swarm? And What To Do.

why do bees swarm

Imagine the scene: you’re outside enjoying the summer weather in your backyard or by your pool, and you spot a mass of tens of thousands of bees swarming on a tree or near a fence. That visual is pretty terrifying – so much so someone decided to make a horror movie called The Swarm, where a mass of killer bees terrorizes and kills people all over Texas! The irony of it all is though the swarm may appear menacing, bees are much less likely to be aggressive in swarms due to their vulnerability. Swarming is a natural occurrence that is absolutely necessary for the propagation and survival of bees.

To understand why bees swarm, you first have to know how a bee colony is set up

A bee colony consists of several different types of bees. There is only one queen bee in any given hive. The activity of the hive revolves … Read Full Post »

What To Do After A Striped Bark Scorpion Sting

Striped Bark Scorpion Sting

Ouch! Wondering why you felt that tingling sensation that woke you up at night? Was it a spider, or could it have been a scorpion? Some victims of scorpion bites report experiencing a feeling similar to stepping on a nail. Others describe a numbness and burning. Throbbing, waves of pain and swelling are also common in individuals who are unlucky enough to have been stung by a scorpion.

Wondering if it was really a scorpion that caused your discomfort? Or did you see the scorpion nearby, but just are not sure what to do now? Either way, keep reading to learn more about scorpions, whether they are poisonous, why they sting what you should do if you have been stung by one.

Are Scorpions Poisonous?

You might think that scorpions are insects, but they are actually more closely related to a spider. Like spiders, scorpions have eight legs, but unlike spiders, scorpions have … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioning Facts & Myths: Experts Weigh In

air-conditioning-facts

During our seemingly endless summers, San Antonio homeowners enjoy the full benefits of cooler air, thanks to their air conditioning system. Despite our appreciation for our AC, many of us have little understanding of the inner workings of these complicated systems. As a result, there are several myths that continue to persist to this day that result in wasted energy and money.

Find out what these misconceptions are and just how to keep your energy bill low while keeping your home as cool as can be in when the mercury climbs sky-high.

Myth: Leaving Ceiling Fans On Will Keep An Empty Room Cool

Ceiling fans move air around in a room, but they don’t cool it. The cooling effect we feel is due to the air being moved across our skin. Our body temperature often drops as a result.

We also experience a similar feeling when we’re sweating and a fan is turned on. … Read Full Post »

What To Know About The Striped Bark Scorpion

striped bark scorpion

Scorpions may be small, but their stings pack quite a wallop! While the pesky critters can be found in states like Florida and Arizona, there is one species that we are most likely to see here in Texas: the striped bark scorpion.

Let’s learn more about one of the most common types of scorpions in texas and answer some common questions: where do scorpions live? Why do they sting? What should you do if you get stung? How can you avoid falling into their clutches?

What You’ll Learn:

  • Types of Scorpions
  • Striped Bark Scorpion Appearance
  • Striped Bark Scorpion Habitat and Habits
  • How Bad Is A Striped Bark Scorpion Sting?
  • How to Treat A Striped Bark Scorpion Sting
  • How to Avoid The Striped Bark Scorpion

Types of Scorpions

Scientists estimate that there are approximately 1,500 different species of scorpions around the world. You will find some of the most poisonous scorpions in the world in Mexico. The most dangerous scorpion in … Read Full Post »