Rodents In Texas: A Homeowner’s Control & Prevention Guide

Rodents in Texas

An unfortunate reality of living in the great state of Texas is that we have to worry about many different rodents. If you made it to this blog post, you have probably spotted one. You may even have come to terms with the fact that—much to your dismay—you might have a rodent problem. While some of the most common rodents in Texas are mice and rats, there are also some larger animals you may come across on your property.

Mice And Rats

The three most common types of rodents you’ll see in Texas are the Norway rat, the house mouse and the roof rat. The Norway rat grows to be an average of eight inches in length, with an additional seven inches, when you include the creature’s tail, which is longer than the body. These rodents have brown fur that is often peppered with black, and occasionally a gray or white stomach.

Have … Read Full Post »

Garbage Disposal Water Comes Back Up: What Should I Do?

Garbage disposal water comes back up

You’re relieved that you finally finished the dishes and then it happens—your garbage disposal water comes back up. To your dismay, water mixed with bits of food is now flowing into your sink, despite just having turned on your disposal, and you’re left wondering how and why this occurred.

If you notice water backing up in your kitchen sink, one of three things has probably happened:

  • There is a blockage.
  • You have been overusing your disposal.
  • Your garbage disposal was not installed correctly.

The most likely of these three scenarios is that you have some sort of obstruction. A blockage in your drain is made up of food and other debris that have been slowly building up over time. Before this happened, you may have noticed that your sink had been draining slower than usual. In most cases, homeowners decide to ignore these early signs of a bigger problem because water is still draining.

In some … Read Full Post »

What Does A Carpenter Do? Why To Hire A Pro

What does a carpenter do

Many homeowners find themselves looking around their property and finding things they want fixed here and there—whether it’s siding that needs to be repaired or a whole new deck that they want in their backyard. The issue is, who’s the right person for the job? Maybe a carpenter? But what does a carpenter do exactly?

The lines often blur between what a carpenter, woodworker and handyman can do because quite frankly they can perform many of the same tasks.

Generally, carpenters construct, erect, install and repair structures and fixtures made from wood and other materials. Carpenters can do anything from small repairs, such as fixing your crown molding, to bigger home projects, such as adding on new areas of your home. Basically, a carpenter can make improvements on nearly any part of your property.

While some of these smaller repairs around your home may seem like easy do-it-yourself projects, many homeowners end up … Read Full Post »

What Is Crabgrass? Weed Management Advice From The Pros

What is crabgrass

The condition of your yard is a large part of your property’s overall curb appeal. Because of this, homeowners can spend significant amounts of valuable free time making sure plants are watered, the grass is mowed and everything is healthy. Despite your best efforts, many of us have to deal with weeds. If you are trying to troubleshoot a weed problem, you might come across information which leads you to ask yourself: What is crabgrass?

Crabgrass is one of the most common weeds which can grow in residential areas, as well as popping up in gardens, orchards and vineyards. Also sometimes called summer grass, watergrass and crowfoot grass, crabgrass stems extend out from a central cluster in a way which resembles crab legs. Along with other common weeds, crabgrass was inadvertently introduced from Eurasia, and can become very difficult to remove. Crabgrass is an annual, meaning that the plant germinates, produces … Read Full Post »

Do Termites Eat Cedar? Protecting Your Home From Damage

Do termites eat cedar

Most homeowners have heard of termites, and know that these pests chew their way through wooden structures, including houses, garages and fences, as well as other natural food sources. Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes and properties each year. Their colonies can number in the thousands or even millions, and a termite colony can lay waste to wooden beams, rafters, siding or flooring in your home or garage.

Which types of wood are their favorites? For example, do termites eat cedar, an evergreen tree that is common in Texas and other southern states? Or, if some people think cedar is an effective DIY method to keep wool moths at bay, you might wonder: could cedar repel termites as well?

The short answer is that while some research has shown that some types of commercially-available wood may be more palatable to termites than others, subterranean species have been found … Read Full Post »

Does Baking Soda Kill Ants? Your Questions Answered

does baking soda kill ants

Despite your best efforts cleaning up sugary spills around the house, those little black bugs continue to haunt you.  You are now left with the same old dilemma: How do you get rid of these insects in a way that’s safe for both your kids and your pets? You’ve tried the “natural” over-the-counter stuff with middling results, and this time you’re looking for something effective. You’ve heard stories of household items like baking soda and cornmeal killing ants. Well, can baking soda kill ants? From what you’ve heard, this common household product doesn’t just kill ants—it causes them to explode!

Baking soda is a leavening agent. That means it produces air bubbles and air pockets. So, the theory is that if an ant eats the granules, carbon dioxide bubbles will form, and eventually these bubbles will cause the ant to explode from the inside out. Gross, but also very effective if … Read Full Post »

Why Is Water Backing Up Into My Bathtub?

Water Backing Up Into Bathtub

Perhaps it happened when you decided to hop into the shower one evening after a long day. Just as your stress began to recede, you noticed you were standing in water up to your ankles, and it was still rising—and suddenly, what was supposed to be a relaxing way to unwind became a new stressor in your life as you wondered why you might have water backing up into the bathtub.

Since kitchens and bathrooms are high-traffic areas in most houses, most people depend on their plumbing to function properly, day in and day out. When any part of the bathroom is suddenly out of commission, it causes a big disruption in the daily routine.

It’s a relief when there is an easy fix to the problem, but unfortunately, this is often not the case when it comes to water backing up into a bathtub. The most likely culprit for this particular … Read Full Post »

Types Of Rats In Texas: What Homeowners Should Know

Types of rats in Texas

Some people consider rodents to be cute, intelligent animals, and it may be true that domesticated rats can make great pets—but when you encounter rats living in your home or elsewhere on your property, they are nothing less than pests, and must be dealt with as such. Rats that are allowed to live and breed unchecked could cause a great deal of damage if they aren’t dealt with thoroughly and quickly, and they can pose serious health risks to your loved ones. There are two main types of rats in Texas that homeowners commonly find in their homes, garages and attics—Norway rats and roof rats—and both pose a major problem.

What Is A Norway Rat?

Norway rats are large, bulky rodents that normally live outdoors, nesting in burrows in the ground. These rodents are also sometimes referred to as sewer rats, street rats, water rats or Norwegian rats. They do sometimes head … Read Full Post »

Are There Smells That Keep Rats Away?

Smells that keep rats away

A homeowner who has dealt with rats or mice inside or elsewhere on a property may wonder: are there certain smells that keep rats away? If rats are naturally repelled by particular scents, foods, plants or other substances, it makes sense that these could be good deterrents for someone to use in keeping their home and property free of rodents.

Before we get into more specifics about making your home less attractive to rats and mice, let’s talk about why rodents really are a problem that needs to be handled both quickly and effectively. If you’ve ever had rats living in your home, attic or garage, then you know these pests are far more than just a simple nuisance. These pests carry infectious diseases, as well as parasites, including fleas and ticks that can be dangerous for people and pets. Worse still, the gnawing needs of these animals can cause extensive … Read Full Post »

How to Identify Kissing Bugs

If you haven’t ever heard of kissing bugs, they probably sound a little silly. But these dangerous insects are nothing like the “cooties” you feared in grade school. Kissing bugs are bloodsucking insects that can be infected with parasites carrying a deadly disease.

Have you noticed bugs scuttling around your home or yard and wondered if they might be kissing bugs? Here is a guide on how to identify kissing bugs from our team of pest control professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services.

What Are Kissing Bugs?

Kissing bugs are sometimes also called “assassin bugs” or “vampire bugs” because they sneak into bedrooms at night to suck human blood. They tend to bite people on or around their mouths. Most kissing bug bites are a bit painful, but harmless. However, some kissing bugs are infected with a parasite called Tyropansoma cruzi. This parasite causes Chagas disease, a chronic illness that can cause … Read Full Post »