ABC Blog

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns: Experts Weigh In

When To Apply Fungicide On Lawns

Homeowners lead busy lives, with a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done at any given time. Faced with the reality of juggling work, home and recreation, it’s easy for your lawn to become an afterthought.

As much as we wish this wasn’t the case, healthy and well-manicured lawns don’t take care of themselves. First, you need to make sure your grass is getting the amount of water and sunshine it needs—and not too much. Then, you need to make sure you are mowing your grass to the proper height. Although most homeowners stop here, to keep your lawn happy and looking great you’ll also want to have an understanding of your soil chemistry to determine what nutrients might be lacking.

What are some of the risks you run if you don’t care for your grass? Lawn diseases, weeds and a dead, yellow lawn, just to name a few.

Lawn … Read Full Post »

Squash Vine Borer: Protecting Your Plants From This Pest

Squash vine borer

Squash is a very versatile vegetable. You can use it in salads and soups to up the nutrient profile. Some prefer it fried in copious amounts of butter for a delicious, yet simple side. Still others choose to turn it into a number of delicious and hearty casseroles.

Given all the ways you can use this plant, it’s no surprise that many homeowners add some summer squash to their garden. Say you decided to as well and followed all the best practices: planting after the last frost; choosing a well-drained, sunny area; using compost; adding a slow-release fertilizer; planting only a few seedlings per “hill”; keeping the hills three to four feet apart and watering early, so the leaves had plenty of time to dry.

Just as the plants started to grow, the wilting began. No matter what you did, you couldn’t seem to do anything to help the situation. Sadly, the … Read Full Post »

How Long Can Ticks Live In A House?

How long can ticks live in a house

Finding a tick crawling through your pet’s fur or fastened to its skin is no fun—for you, the pet or the tick. Finding a tick crawling on your own skin, or even embedded mid-bite? Now, that’s particularly cringe-worthy, especially if you’ve found the tick indoors, inside your home. What if you have a tick infestation somewhere in your house or yard? How long can ticks live in a house? Most importantly, are you and your family or pets in danger?

The answers to these questions depend on a variety of factors, including which life cycle stage the tick is in, how easily the creature can access a host and whether or not it’s a disease-carrying variety of tick. In three of their four life cycle stages, ticks must feed on blood to survive. Two varieties of ticks—black-legged ticks (also known as deer ticks) and Western black-legged ticks—are notorious for transmitting Lyme … Read Full Post »

What Eats Roaches? Evaluating Natural Control Methods

What eats roaches

Most homeowners see roaches from time to time, particularly during the warmer months of the year. Cockroaches have been on Earth over 300 million years, so they have proven to be incredibly resilient creatures. When they find their way inside your home, roaches can be particularly difficult to evict, which is one reason they are among the most hated common household pests.

Just when you feel like giving up on the battle against roaches, you may notice that Fluffy and Fido perk up when they spy a roach scurrying across the floor. The unsuspecting roach may get batted around by your cat or hunted down by your dog. This may lead you to wonder what eats roaches and whether a more “natural” roach control alternative is right under your nose.

In this post, we’ll examine all of the common questions homeowners have around what types of animals eat roaches to determine whether … Read Full Post »

Digger Wasp: Beneficial Or Dangerous?

digger wasp

Bugs and pests are typically considered a nuisance when they make their presence known inside or around your home. Unlike most other insects, though, the digger wasp is actually one to embrace, possibly even invite, into your backyard.

Not convinced? It’s the truth: The digger wasp feeds on other insects and pests that are harmful to the growth of a healthy lawn. And as such, this wasp can actually rid your lawn of other unwanted pests. These insects also help your lawn’s ability to soak water into the ground, aerate the soil and pollinate flowers in your backyard.

There are many subspecies of digger wasps. Despite the differences amongst species, these creatures have one thing in common: the females dig into dry dirt when it’s time to create a nest for their offspring. To make this job easier, all female digger wasps have rigid front legs, which they use to … Read Full Post »

Tiny Roaches: Are They Babies Or A Big Problem?

Tiny roaches

If you’ve never come face to face, or face to toe, with a cockroach before, consider yourself lucky. These insects are one of the most common household pests. If you haven’t found one inside your home yet, chances are that you will eventually come across one sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, it’s not just one type of cockroach you can encounter. There are a variety of species to look out for that come in different sizes and colors, too.

Take tiny roaches, for example. Both smaller in size and different in color, these cockroaches can puzzle even the most savvy homeowner. If you want to learn more about these small creatures that can cause a big disruption in your household, keep reading for information about types of roaches, what baby roaches look like what to do when you run across these creatures in your home, and most importantly, how to get … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches: Advice For Homeowners

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches

The vast majority of homeowners have come across a cockroach in their home. That’s because these critters are among the most common pests in homes, schools and businesses. There are around 3,500 species of cockroaches globally, but only 55 species are known to live in the United States. Fear not, though. If you are wondering how to get rid of cockroaches, you have a number of options. But before we dive into the details of how to remove these common pests, let’s go over a few characteristics that set this critter apart from the other creatures possibly inhabiting your home.

As you’ve probably noticed before, cockroaches have flattened bodies and heads that are concealed by a plate-like structure called a pronotum. Cockroaches have elongated, spiny legs that move incredibly fast—as we all know from attempting to squish one—and equally long antennae that help them find food and move around in the … Read Full Post »

When To Start Mowing Lawn And Proper Mowing Techniques

When to start mowing lawn

The end of winter means one thing for many of us in the Southern states: the brutal heat of summer isn’t far away. To look on the bright side, everything comes to life again during the springtime. Insects and other animals emerge from their winter hiding spots and plants and flowers begin to bloom once more.

Just like all other living things in your backyard, your grass will also begin to grow. While your initial inclination might be to get out the lawnmower on the first day of sunshine and warmth, knowing how and when to start mowing your lawn will be the first step in giving your grass the care it needs to survive our dry and hot summers.

In this post, we’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of mowing your grass, including how to properly cut and care for your lawn after the winter months up until your the … Read Full Post »

Benefits Of Mulching For Your Landscape

Benefits of mulching

There are all kinds of gardens in the world, and the most gorgeous ones might have many unique features—native plants that vary from region to region, for example, or a particular gardener’s own artistic stamp on the landscape design. But nearly all the world’s most lush and beautiful gardens have something in common: They use mulch to help keep undesirable weeds away and keep plants, flowers, trees and vegetables thriving. This is because every good gardener knows the benefits of mulching.

Mulch isn’t very complicated or mysterious. At its base, mulch is nothing more than a material, usually something opaque, that is applied over the soil in a garden in order to produce healthier and lower-maintenance plants. Sounds simple, right? Yet the benefits of mulching are many, and they apply to nearly all types of plants and gardens. Whether you’re mulching a flower bed or vegetable garden, applying mulch around trees … Read Full Post »

Do Water Bugs Bite? Taking The Sting Out of Your Next Outing

Do water bugs bite

Imagine that you are taking your dog for a quick swim in the creek in the greenbelt in your neighborhood. By anyone’s standards, not a particularly dangerous activity. It’s the end of August, a great time for both of you to cool off from the oppressive heat.

You decide you might as well take off your shoes and dip your toes into the cool water. 

Then it happens. One minute you were laughing and your pup was splashing around, and the next minute, you suddenly feel an intense pain in your toe, causing you to scream.

You look down, expecting to see a snake. Instead, you see a frighteningly huge bug swimming away. Was that a giant cockroach or beetle? You may even have a simpler question: do water bugs bite?

Immediately you pull on your dog’s leash and limp out of the water as you begin to feel the pain shooting up your … Read Full Post »