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 »

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 »

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 »