ABC Blog

My Dog Has Fleas: What To Do in the House?

Temperatures are rising, bringing more opportunities for outdoor activities and fun in the sun. It isn’t just people and pets that love to be outside and active in warmer weather. Fleas love it, too!

Fleas thrive when temperatures hover between 65-80 degrees and humidity sits between 75 percent and 85 percent. These pests are a summer problem in some parts of the country and almost a year-round menace for more southern states.

Different species of fleas can be found hopping around your home, your yard, your pets and you. You can find dog fleas, cat fleas, rabbit fleas and human fleas, named for the species’ preferred host. However, any type of flea can infest more than one kind of host.

How Do You Know Your Pet Has Fleas?

An obvious way to know Fido has fleas is if you see little dark specks in their fur or tiny brownish insects hopping around on them. … Read Full Post »

What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

Homeowners all across the United States deal with the presence of bed bugs in their homes. A bed bug outbreak can happen to anyone because bed bugs are attracted to humans in a variety of ways. By learning more about bed bugs and methods of controlling them, you will be better prepared to identify the signs of bed bugs.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to blood, heat and the carbon dioxide humans breath out. Because bed bugs are parasites, they feed on the blood of the people and pets in your home. These pests will bite you during the night for up to ten minutes. They prefer to live wherever they can get an easy meal, which is most often in the bedroom. Although bed bugs often bite when you are sleeping, they are not afraid of light. They may bite you, your loved ones or your household pets … Read Full Post »

Why Are There Mosquitoes in My House?

“Why are there mosquitoes in my house?” This is a common question many people ask pest control professionals. Having mosquitoes outdoors is bad enough. Their itchy bites can turn yard work or hanging out on the patio into a miserable experience. But getting mosquito bites inside the house, where you’re supposed to be safe, is even worse. How do they get in, and why do they stay?

Mosquitoes get into the house the same way as any pest: through open doors and windows. They also sneak in through rips in screens or gaps around exterior doors and windows. Mosquitoes are not very strong fliers, so they might seek shelter from the wind inside your home. They are also attracted to standing water since they need water to breed. If they can find a good place to breed indoors, they can become an annoying ongoing problem.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ants Versus Black Ants

a carpenter ant on a piece of wood

Finding ants in your kitchen, bathroom or other areas of your home is a pain. There always seems to be more of them after the first one is dealt with. Most of the time they’re just a nuisance. But, some species like carpenter ants can seriously damage the structure (and value) of your home.

At first glance, it can be difficult to notice the differences between species like the common black ant and the carpenter ant. However, there are a few key features that can help you determine which is in your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants, pictured above, are big black ants and typically around a half of an inch long. While they are most often black, they can also be red, brown or a combination of those colors. Known for their powerful jaws and painful bites, carpenter ants inject a bite wound with formic acid. This is what causes an intense … Read Full Post »

Identifying Chigger Bites Versus Mosquito Bites

You are outside, and something feels not quite right on your skin. You start scratching. And scratching. It could be a mosquito bite, or it could be a nip from a chigger. But how can you tell which is which? Bug bites overall look similar, and everyone reacts to them differently. That means it can be tough to know what is in your home or yard, waiting to strike. Here is a quick look at some ways you might differentiate the two.

Chigger Bites

You will generally find chiggers down low: wild plants, gardens, woods or brush, grass fields, shrubbery and lawns that are manicured and cut short. You more than likely won’t actually see them, however. These bugs, also known as berry bugs or harvest mites, are red mites that are so small that they are almost invisible with normal sight. There are more than 50 types of chiggers that feed … Read Full Post »

Are There Any Foods That Repel Mosquitoes?

a mosquito biting someone

Many people have heard there are certain foods that repel mosquitoes. The idea is that if you eat lots of these foods, your body will give off a scent that naturally repels mosquitoes. But is there any truth to this claim? Unfortunately, there is no solid scientific evidence to back up this theory.

On the bright side, adding healthful foods to your diet is never a bad idea. The foods that most people claim will repel mosquitoes include garlic, onions, beans, lentils, tomatoes and apple cider vinegar. These are overall nourishing foods that can have a very healthy place in many people’s diets.

Furthermore, there are several types of foods that some say will draw more mosquitoes to you. These include beer, salty foods and sugary foods—all types of foods that many of us would benefit from reducing in our diets. If cutting down on these foods also helps keep mosquitoes away, … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Fertilizers

Springtime means that homeowners are fertilizing their lawns. If you want to keep your lawn looking its best this summer, you will want to get an effective fertilizer.

Still, there are so many different fertilizers to choose from. So how do you know which types of fertilizer you need for your lawn?

The main reason you need to fertilize your lawn is to improve soil nutrition. Soil alone does not contain enough nutrients like potassium, phosphorus or nitrogen. Commercial fertilizers are labeled according to their NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) levels. These nutrients are the keys to healthy, green grass.

Keep reading to learn more about different fertilizers and which ones may be best for your lawn. You will also learn about plant food versus fertilizer and whether the best time to fertilize is before or after rain. With a better knowledge of fertilizer types, the grass will always be greener on your … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Bed Bug Casings

bed bug casings and feces in a corner of a dresser

Bed bugs…just thinking about them is enough to make most folks itchy. Cimex lectularius, or bed bugs, are small insects, about the size of an apple seed. Typically, they are brown in color with a flat and oval shape. Like ticks, bed bugs are parasites. They feed on blood and can swell to considerably larger sizes when feeding, which can last up to ten minutes.

Part of what makes these pests difficult to eradicate is their ability to go months at a time without feeding. In the right conditions, bed bugs can go for months without a meal. Additionally, these pests have become resilient to many of the products on the market. To make matter worse, females can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime. And, they begin reproducing after only a month, laying eggs three or more times per year.

If you think you may be dealing with bed bugs, look … Read Full Post »

What To Do if You Find White Ants in Your Home

a termite that can confused as a white ant

If you’ve found white ants in your home, you’re probably wondering what to do. Are they pests that need to be treated? Is there a product you can use to get rid of them? The important thing to understand is that white ants don’t actually exist. If you see what looks like white ants in or near your home, what you’ve actually found is termites.

Different ant species do come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, black and even yellow. There is no such thing as white ants, however. What some people call “white ants” are actually termites. Depending on which type they are, adult termites are either black or white. They do look a lot like ants, and it’s common to confuse the two. Termites need identification and treatment as soon as possible because they can cause major structural damage to your home.

Subterranean termites are the most common … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Smell Blood?

a mosquito on a pair of jeans

Being a homeowner is overwhelming. There are so many details to keep up with—both inside and outside of your house. After a long day of household chores, the last thing you want is to deal with pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are both annoying and dangerous. You deserve time to enjoy outdoor relaxation without the threat of itchy bites. Even worse, you do not want to expose yourself or your family to diseases like Zika or the West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes are a common problem for homeowners across the United States. Are you a homeowner who has been dealing with a mosquito problem in your yard? You may be wondering what is attracting these pests to your home and to your skin.

It’s common to hear that mosquitoes can smell the “sweetness” of human blood, but is this idea actually true? In reality, mosquitoes zero in on the smell of your sweat, not your blood.

It … Read Full Post »