ABC Blog

Do Crickets Bite? Keeping These Insects Out Of Your Home

Do crickets bite

Some years, crickets seem to be everywhere. In late summer and early fall, you might notice an abundance of these insects near your porch lights or hear a chorus of chirping in your backyard at night. If one lands on your leg, you might ask yourself the question: Do crickets bite?

While some species are capable of biting humans, thankfully, this is very unlikely. These insects seem to be more prevalent in years with dry springs and summers, usually appearing in higher numbers in August and September, following rain or cooler weather. Cricket invasions tend to occur when immature crickets go out on nighttime flights in search of mates.

While crickets won’t hurt us, you should know that these creatures can damage your belongings, and can become quite a nuisance. Cricket mandibles can pull fibers loose from carpet and different types of fabric, leaving the surface rough. Also, feces and other bodily … Read Full Post »

Bed Bug Bites Vs. Flea Bites: How Can I Tell Them Apart?

Bed Bug Bites Vs. Flea Bites

You woke up and noticed weird bites on your body. You look pointedly at Fido as he scratches behind his ear with a little more fervor than usual. Does he have fleas? Or maybe you have bed bugs? How would you know if you have bed bug bites versus flea bites, anyway?

If you’ve struggled to determine exactly what type of bug bit you, you are not alone. Most insect bites result in itching, and many leave a little bump or red mark where you were bitten. Why would it even matter which creature is biting you? For starters, bed bugs and fleas can pose different risks for you, your family and your pets. In this blog post, we’ll review the differences between these bugs’ feeding patterns, what their bites look like and how to treat a bite once you have settled on which creature is responsible.

Fleas: The Most Likely Culprit

A … Read Full Post »

Do Wasps Bite Or Sting? Advice On Treatment And Prevention

do wasps bite

Many homeowners have had the unpleasant experience of encountering a wasp while doing yard work or sitting outside with a cool drink. When wasps are around, it’s not easy to enjoy your outdoor living spaces. Since these flying pests are known for their aggressive behavior, it’s valid to wonder: Do wasps bite or sting?

Whether you’ve spotted just one lone wasp, a couple of them or even an entire nest, it’s smart to proceed with caution. While wasps don’t bite humans, they do sting, and these stings typically cause red, painful welts. Fortunately, even if you’re allergic to wasps, a sting from one of these pests isn’t likely to cause serious complications like anaphylactic shock, the way that bee stings can. Some people do experience more severe swelling, redness and discomfort than others at the site of a wasp sting, but most won’t suffer any life-threatening symptoms.

Still, wasp stings are distinctly … Read Full Post »

Grass Spiders In Texas: Can They Hurt Me Or My Lawn?

Grass spiders Texas

Most of us who live here in the Lone Star State are familiar with the saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas”. When it comes to our size and our state pride, that’s usually a good thing. In some other situations, however, this phrase can extend to other topics which can easily evoke feelings of pure terror. Depending on your level of comfort with these eight-legged creatures, grass spiders in Texas could certainly fit into this category.

Why is that, exactly? There are probably several reasons many homeowners are frightened of any spiders they may run across on their property. First of all, there two types of Texas spiders that are venomous: the black widow and the brown recluse. While neither of these species is aggressive, and the risk of getting bitten is low, most of us can’t quickly identify whether what we saw in our grass or our closet was dangerous or … Read Full Post »

How Many Mice Is Considered An Infestation?

How many mice is considered an infestation

So you’ve found mouse droppings, gnaw marks on your furniture, cardboard boxes and plastic storage bins that have been chewed through and other signs that point to the presence of mice in your home. Maybe you’ve even seen an actual mouse somewhere inside your house, or at least heard the telltale scratching and squeaking sounds of rodent activity within your walls.

Whatever signs you’ve spotted, something has alerted you to the possibility that mice are living in your home, and now you’re wondering whether you’ve got just one or two of the unwanted little rodent pests or a full-blown infestation. How many mice is considered an infestation? It’s a good question to ask, as the answer will inform you as to the scope of your mouse problem and what you need to do next.

The question “How many mice is considered an infestation?” is a bit complicated to answer. If you … Read Full Post »

Water Heater Burst: Why This Happens And What To Do Next

Water Heater Burst

When a water heater bursts in a home, it is a shocking event, not to mention a messy one, and it could potentially cause a lot of expensive damage. If your hot water heater burst, you’re probably wondering why this happens and what to do next.

In general, the basic reason why hot water heaters burst is that there is corrosion within the tank, which can lead to the tank bursting at its seams. Unfortunately, there are several possible underlying causes that can contribute to water heater explosions, and it’s not always apparent which one is the culprit.

Sometimes there are risk factors or warning signs that could indicate a water heater explosion is imminent, but not always. In order to understand the risk factors that could contribute to a water heater exploding, it’s important first to understand the type of water heater that you have in your home.

Types Of Water … Read Full Post »

Do Mice Hibernate? Keeping Rodents Out Of Your Home

Do mice hibernate

Do mice hibernate? Do rats hibernate in winter? These are both valid questions if you’ve had any type of rodent activity in or around your home, or if you’re worried that mice might move into your living space in search of a safe place to spend the winter. After all, humans aren’t the only ones who prefer to stay warm and cozy during cold weather. All mammals share the same instinct to head indoors where they can hunker down and stay snug and toasty until warmer temperatures return.

When animals hibernate, they go into a long, deep sleep in order to survive colder temperatures and periods when food is scarce. Contrary to common belief, mice and rats do not hibernate in wintertime; rather, they stay active throughout the year, including during the coldest months. People may even have more mouse sightings in their homes during winter than in warmer seasons, since … Read Full Post »

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 »