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 »

5 Common Household Spiders

You may have just seen spiders and their webs on every street corner last week for Halloween. But if you find one in your house, it can be intimidating. Should you try to identify whether or not it’s poisonous? Or should you squash it now and ask questions later?

Spiders can be helpful for eliminating other pests like mosquitoes, flies, and gnats. Here is our guide to identifying five common household spiders to help you determine which ones are truly dangerous to your health.

1. American House Spider

Appearance: The American House Spider earned its name for a reason. These are some of the most common spiders North Americans will spot in our homes. These spiders are yellowish brown or dirty white with spotted abdomens. They have long skinny legs and round abdomens measuring 4mm-9mm long.

Habits: American House Spiders live in close proximity to humans, so you are likely to find them in … Read Full Post »

Fall Fun Events in DFW

The summer heat is starting to slowly ease, and soon the leaves will be changing colors. The scent of pumpkin spice fills the air in coffee shops. It’s fall in DFW!

We love to celebrate each season, and we want to help our customers do the same. This year, we have compiled a list of fall fun events in DFW to help you spot the perfect pumpkin or get into the spooky spirit just in time for Halloween. Here’s a fall fun round up for all of our Dallas/Fort Worth customers from your friends at ABC Home & Commercial Services.

Autumn at the Arboretum

September 22 – November 21

One of the most popular and beautiful fall attractions in the Dallas area is Autumn at the Arboretum. Wander through displays of more than 90,000 pumpkins and enjoy the fall foliage in 15 different gardens. This year’s fall theme is “Adventures in Neverland” and features … Read Full Post »

Silverfish Infestations: Signs of Too Much Moisture in Your Home

Have you been finding alien-like bugs with flat, oval-shaped silver bodies, lots of long antennae, and six crawling legs around your home? You have a silverfish infestation.

While these creepy crawlies are relatively easy to exterminate, they may be a strong indicator of bigger humidity problems in your home. At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we have treated plenty of silverfish infestations. Here are some silverfish facts every homeowner should know.

Destruction Caused by Silverfish

Silverfish eat just about anything. Since their bodies are so flat, they can squeeze inside containers of food or bindings of books and start chomping. They will eat carbs, sugars, starches, and cellulose. This means they are a danger to unsealed food in your kitchen and household belongings and décor such as books, photos, carpet, curtains, clothing, sheets, wallpaper, and even important documents. They also like to feast on human dandruff, which means you could find one … Read Full Post »

Spotting Lyme Disease from Ticks

In recent years, the population of ticks has increased on a worldwide scale. This means that you are more likely than ever to find an unwanted passenger attached to your skin after spending time outdoors. Aside from being gross, ticks feeding on your blood can also be dangerous. These parasites are carriers of numerous types of disease, and the most common culprit is Lyme disease.

If you spent time outside or noticed tick bites on your skin recently, it is important to be on the look out for any signs or symptoms of disease. The earlier Lyme disease is caught, the better. Here are some tips for spotting Lyme disease from ticks from our team at ABC Home & Commercial Services.

What do ticks look like?

The first step to determining whether or not you might have contracted a disease from a tick is affirming that a tick definitely did bite you. There … Read Full Post »