ABC Blog

What’s the Best Fertilizer for Bermuda Grass?

a homeowner preparing to fertilize their grass

Lots of people love bermuda grass because it thrives in so many conditions. It’s fine with humidity but also drought-tolerant. It feels good on your feet, yet can handle lots of foot traffic. There’s plenty to love about this low-maintenance grass. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little care throughout the year, including the right fertilizer. The best fertilizer for bermuda grass is one with plenty of nitrogen, some potassium and little to no phosphorus. This blend of nutrients, called the NPK ratio, will help your bermuda grass look its best.

Most fertilizers come in liquid, water-soluble or granular form. Both liquid and water-soluble fertilizers are easy to apply. You attach the fertilizer container to your garden hose and spray an even layer throughout the yard. Liquid fertilizers absorb quickly, which means they may need to be applied more often than other forms, like granular fertilizer. This dry form … Read Full Post »

Gnat Versus Mosquito: What’s That Bug?

a tiny black bug that makes a homeowner question if its a gnat or mosquito

Do you have tiny, flying bugs invading your home or yard? Not only are these pests annoying but some of them can carry diseases and cause discomfort for you and your family members. That said, there are many kinds of flying pests, including gnats and mosquitoes. Before getting started with treatment, it’s important to know what kind of bug you’re dealing with.

How To Identify Gnats

Many people use the term “gnat” to refer to any kind of small flying bug, including fungus gnats, black gnats, buffalo gnats or even fruit flies. Any number of things could attract these pests to your home, depending on the species. For example, some types of gnats might be attracted to decaying food. This could be anything from overripe fruit on your counter to leftover food in your trash to scraps in your garbage disposal.

Other gnats are attracted to excess moisture in areas like the soil … Read Full Post »

When Is Mosquito Season in Texas?

a mosquito biting someone which leads them to wonder when mosquito season is in Texas

Mosquitoes can be a nuisance when you are trying to enjoy time outside. Not to mention, these pests are one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. Many types of mosquitoes carry diseases like the Zika virus, yellow fever and the West Nile virus that can have grave health consequences.

Mosquitoes are usually the most active during the warmer months of the year. They thrive when it is consistently at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside and in areas with standing water or moist climates. Unfortunately, Texas has one of the longest mosquito seasons in the country. Several factors can affect mosquito activity from year to year. For one, mosquito populations rise when there are warm temperatures early in the year and when it stays warm at night. Mosquito activity can also increase in years with lots of rainfall, since there is more of an opportunity for females to lay eggs.

In … Read Full Post »

Do Chigger Bites Spread? Your Questions Answered

Do chigger bites spread

When you’re walking your dog through a field, skipping rocks near a riverbank or even just in your yard and suddenly feel an itching sensation, it could be because of chiggers, which are also sometimes called grass mites. Within hours of being bitten, you will probably feel an intense itching sensation around the affected area. One thing that might be stopping you from scratching is the question that you can’t get out of your head: do chigger bites spread?

If you’ve spent enough time outside in warmer parts of the country, you’ve probably already fallen victim to chigger bites. These microscopic pests, which are red, orange, yellow and straw-colored, latch onto passing people and animals. The chigger larvae are what actually attach to your clothing and skin. Once these creatures become adults, they are referred to as mites.

When you pass through an area with chiggers, you could have a few … Read Full Post »

Yard Fungus: Identification, Treatment and Prevention

yard fungus

When you spend a lot of time with the goal of having a green manicured yard, the last thing you want to see is signs of damage. You water, mow, edge and maybe even fertilize in the hopes of seeing a lush carpet. What do you do if you suspect you have yard fungus? How do you know if the damage you are seeing is a type of yard fungus or something else entirely?

St. Augustine is a popular grass for homeowners because it is shade, heat, salt and drought tolerant. When maintained properly, this variety of grass also handles normal human and animal traffic well. However, there a couple of types of lawn fungus that are more prevalent when you have St. Augustine grass. These lawn fungus types also like other warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and Zoysia.

In this post, we will tell you what you need to know about the … Read Full Post »

How Does Pesticide Work? What Homeowners Should Know

How does pesticide work

A pesticide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is, “Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.” 

How Does Pesticide Work?

Insecticides are a form of pesticide which typically work by affecting the nervous system of insects. However, they can also affect energy production, cuticle production, the endocrine system and water balance. These chemical formulations can enter through the body, ingestion and inhalation.

Pesticides are used as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach, which is a more environmentally-friendly pest control philosophy. The principles of this approach, as laid out by the EPA, state that IPM “focuses on pest prevention and uses pesticides only as needed.”

Types of Pesticide

There is a wide range of pesticides available for residential and commercial applications. Some target insects, while others target algae (algaecides), germs (disinfectants) or weeds (herbicides). The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) categorizes the types of … Read Full Post »

What Flowers to Plant in the Fall in Texas

What flowers to plant in the fall in Texas

What’s one thing Texas homeowners take pride in? Along with our homes, we take great satisfaction in the trees, garden beds and other landscaping that add something special and beautiful to our property. Attractive landscaping adds curb appeal and increases property value, and it makes spending time outdoors that much more enjoyable.

If you’re a newcomer to the state, you might not realize gardening in Texas isn’t just for springtime. With a little know-how and planning, you can, indeed, enjoy fresh, colorful blooms almost any time of year. 

Wondering What Flowers to Plant in the Fall in Texas?

Green thumbs in many parts of Texas enjoy a climate that allows for beautiful gardens throughout the year. Fortunately, there are several varieties of flowering plants that Texas gardeners love for their ability to thrive throughout the cooler, wetter seasons.

Fall Flowers in Texas

The start of school and fall activities usually bring with them cooler … Read Full Post »

Do Fleas Have Wings? Common Questions Answered

Do fleas have wings

If you’ve ever found itchy red welts on your ankles or other parts of your body, you might have wondered if you’d encountered a flea—or a whole pack of them. These tiny, annoying insects feed off animal blood, which means they bite humans as well as other animals. Thus, when they infest your pet or your home, they can become quite a nuisance. 

But how much do you really know about fleas? Do fleas have wings? How does a flea move? What other insects share similar characteristics? Read on to find answers to all your many flea questions, including how to identify them and—perhaps most importantly—how to get rid of them when you’re dealing with a flea infestation.

Do Fleas Have Wings?

While it might seem as if fleas can fly—they certainly do move quickly—they actually can’t. These members of the insect order of Siphonaptera don’t have wings. (Their order’s suffix, aptera, actually … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Armadillos

how to get rid of armadillos

It’s too big to be a rodent, but it’s not a raccoon or possum. What could it be digging up your yard or garden? If you are in the southeast part of the United States, one possibility—if you have ruled out your own dog—is the armadillo. Although these small mammals have a cult-like following in some parts of the country, armadillos can cause real damage by digging shallow holes all across your property in search of food, uprooting your ornamental plants and even waking you up in the middle of the night as they rub their shells against your home. As with most other types of pests, taking the time to learn more about the animal, what attracts them to your yard and what risks they pose helps better understand how to get rid of armadillos.

How to Get Rid of Armadillos

The armadillo made its way to the United States from … Read Full Post »

How You Get Bed Bugs

how you get bed bugs

The last line from a children’s rhyme,“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” can become all too real when bed bugs infest your home. Bed bugs are becoming more common as populations grow, travel increases and the bed bugs spread to new areas. Learn how you get bed bugs and what you can do to prevent them. 

How You Get Bed Bugs

You may have only heard of bed bugs from the children’s rhyme, or from recent new reports about bed bug infestations in cities across the country. It may not seem like a big problem, but several U.S. governmental agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), have declared bed bugs as a public health concern, even though bed bugs do not spread disease the way ticks and mosquitoes do.

So, what should you know about these pests? Where do they live? … Read Full Post »