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What Do Termites Look Like To the Human Eye?

What do termites look like to the human eye

Even though you try to keep your home well-maintained, you’re no stranger to having bugs indoors. Flies buzz in when you leave the door open while grilling. Spiders creep around in the corners and (hopefully) catch those flies. Ants show up every once in a while to remind you that it’s not a good idea to leave out that last piece of pie.

So, while you wouldn’t call yourself an expert, you pretty much know what the most common bugs look like. Right now, though, you’re just not sure. Was that swarm of flying bugs you came across the other day ants? They kind of looked like ants, but perhaps they were another type of insect entirely. You’ve heard that people sometimes mistake termites for ants, so now you’re worried.

How can you tell the difference? Should you be calling someone in?

No matter who you are, the thought of having termites invade … Read Full Post »

Best Room Temperature For Baby: Welcoming Your Little One

Room temperature for baby

You spent years getting your house just the way you like it. Furniture that matches your unique aesthetic. The perfect set up for your home theatre. Cooking and cleaning supplies right where they need to be to make your life easier. Plants and flowers that elevate your landscape.

In just a few short months, someone who isn’t even here yet has changed all of that.

Yep, there’s a lot that new parents need to do before you bring home a newborn (or twins—you get the idea) from the hospital, all of which applies if you decide to have a home birth. You’ll need a crib. Then, there’s a changing table. A dresser for clothes and sheets and blankets and towels. Don’t forget the car seat, since you can’t even leave the hospital or the house without one! Another item you’ll need is diapers. Lots and lots of diapers.

Those are just the needs, and … Read Full Post »

How To Keep Bees Out Of Pool And Avoid Other Stinging Insects

How to keep bees out of pool

With summer coming soon and warm weather already here in the south, you decided it was time to get the pool ready. So, you went to the store to stock up on chemicals and cleaning supplies. You knew it might be a big job, but nothing could have prepared you for what you found: bees. Dozens of them. Treating your swimming pool like their own personal drinking fountain.

This is not an uncommon scenario for pool owners. Not just bees either, but other stinging insects, such as wasps. Maybe you just want to take a dip in the pool, but you can’t go more than a few feet without worrying about getting stung. If a family member of guest is allergic to bee stings, this is especially important. Or, perhaps, your poolside barbecues don’t just get invaded—they get swarmed.

You’re not too keen on the idea of getting stung while trying to escape … Read Full Post »

When To Fertilize New Grass: Secrets From Lawn Care Pros

When to fertilize new grass

No one likes having a patchy lawn. So last year you decided to do something about it. You seeded new grass into problem areas and waited for it to grow. Grow it did—until it started dying off. What happened? How can you stop this from happening again and get your lawn back to the healthy, vibrant green you remember? Lawn care professionals understand that knowing when to fertilize new grass can make the difference between a thriving yard and grass that is less equipped to handle the brutal Southern heat.

In this post, we’ll discuss when to fertilize new sod, the difference between lawn starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer, how often to apply starter fertilizer and the answer to the question: When should I fertilize my lawn after seeding?

Do I Really Have To Fertilize My Grass?

Of course, you don’t have to fertilize! But you’re probably going to want to.

Why?

Well, let’s talk about what … Read Full Post »

How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden For Good

How to keep deer out of garden

Many people think of deer as sweet, beautiful and adorable animals—Bambi, anyone?—yet many homeowners in both urban and rural areas view deer as pests. This is because these animals have an irritating habit of munching on rose bushes, trees and other plants and flowers that people cultivate in their gardens, and leaving a tattered, raggedy mess in their wake. Interested in how to keep deer out of your garden for good?

The first and most important thing to remember is that deer are intelligent animals with acute senses and a highly adaptable nature. This means that whichever repellent method you try, the deer that are plaguing your plants are sure to learn and adapt quickly—and then it will be time to try a new technique.

So when it comes to repelling deer, what works and what doesn’t? Which techniques are the most effective for keeping deer away from your yard and … Read Full Post »

Central Texas Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide

Central Texas gardening

Look around Austin and the Texas Hill Country and you can see that this area is teeming with plant life. Trees like the Texas Ash, Cedar Elm and Arroyo Sweetwood. Shrubs like Bottlebrush and Pineapple Guavas. Flowers, yuccas, ornamental grasses and vines.

So why is it so hard to grow anything in your own yard?

Flowers wilt. Veggies never seem to get started. Even those bushes you planted in the front several years ago have barely shown any growth.

Yet somehow, your neighbors’ plants are doing just fine. It’s embarrassing. What are the secrets to Central Texas gardening?

First off, take a deep breath and stop beating yourself up so much. Setting up and maintaining a garden in and around the Hill Country is tough.

That lush plant life you see around the area? Mother Nature had to work hard for that, carefully helping plants to adapt to the rugged Central Texas landscape. And your neighbors? … Read Full Post »

Swimming Pool Bugs: Types and Risks They Pose

Swimming pool bugs types

On a hot summer afternoon, it’s nice to take a dip in the pool for a brief respite from the southern heat. One day, your relaxation is interrupted by a sharp, stinging sensation. Startled, you quickly jump out of the water, then peer into your pool from the edge until you find them: water bugs.

Apparently, they sting. Or bite. Clearly, they need to go.

What should you do?

The first thing you need to realize is you’re likely to find all kinds of bugs and insects in your pool from time to time. Everything from spiders to caterpillars to ants can make their way into your pool water. Bugs are everywhere, and just like people, they can take a wrong turn and slip and fall.

These aren’t the kinds of bugs you need to worry about in your pool. While you certainly don’t want to end up swimming with a wasp, you also … Read Full Post »

Texas Native Trees: Species That Thrive In Our Climate

Texas Native Trees

Trees add to the aesthetics of your property, help reduce energy costs and improve your home’s value. But which trees are, in fact, best suited for the extreme heat and dry conditions we often experience here in Texas?

Many homeowners aren’t sure which types of trees have adapted to our climate. They may also not realize that planting these species on your property can reduce your water bills, decrease the time you spend on maintenance and lower the risk of a tree’s limbs falling because of stress from drought. Keep reading to learn more about Texas native trees, the fastest growing shade trees in Texas, Texas evergreen trees, Texas flowering trees and the most common trees in Texas.

Texas Native Trees: Low Maintenance Additions To Your Landscape

A recent study reported that about 90% of the trees found in Austin are native. The survey put the final tally of the number of trees … Read Full Post »

Home Automation Benefits: Is A Smart Home For You?

Home Automation Benefits

It can seem like every appliance these days is preceded by the word ‘smart’: smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart entertainment system…the list goes on. Though we use a smartphone throughout the day, and a growing number of homes now have voice assistants, many of us who don’t fall into the “early adopter” category aren’t quite sure what a fully-integrated “smart home” could mean for our households. Others among us are skeptical about security surrounding these devices, and many of us only have a basic understanding of how this technology works. Some homeowners who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon are hesitant to really consider a smart home system because they worry about how hard they are to set up.

Let’s explore the potential that smart home technology can help you become more energy-efficient and other home automation benefits, what exactly is involved if you are considering turning your house into a … Read Full Post »

Soldier Termite: Winning the Battle Against These Pests

Soldier termite

Termites. They’re one of the worst fears of every homeowner, for good reason.

Catch an infestation too late and your house can literally be eaten away from beneath you, costing you time, stress and a lot of money. All told, termite damage costs Americans billions of dollars every year, with additional billions being spent to get rid of them.

How can you protect yourself against these high costs and win the fight against termites?

Know your enemy.

In this post, you can learn all about soldier termites and the role that they have in subterranean colonies.

When you have a better understanding of what you’re up against, you’ll be far more successful at combating these incredibly destructive pests.

The Role of the Soldier Termite

Bee colonies have workers and drones and a queen. Ant colonies follow a similar structure, with a single queen, workers and males who only mate with future queens.

A termite colony is a bit … Read Full Post »