ABC Blog

Plants That Like Full Sun and Heat

plants that like full sun and heat

Looking to refresh your garden with plants that like full sun and heat? As we move toward warmer weather with less precipitation, it’s smart to plan a garden around the changing conditions of your region. The good news is that many plants and grasses fit these specifications. That means you can plant a garden that stays healthy and beautiful through the hot, dry summer. It won’t take much water or upkeep to keep it thriving.

Flowering Plants That Can Take The Heat

  • Butterfly bushes got their name from their ability to attract butterflies with their clusters of tiny, sweet-smelling flowers. These bushes can grow very tall. Some gardeners don’t like them because they can crowd out other native plants that are important to butterflies. This isn’t as much of an issue in hotter zones, and you can also plant sterile butterfly bushes that won’t reproduce and spread.
  • Cosmos love heat and full sun. … Read Full Post »

Landscape Tree Lighting Tips and Ideas

A house with landscape tree lighting

Have you dreamed of having a beautifully curated lawn that adds to your home’s curb appeal? One of the best ways to accentuate your lawn is to use landscape tree lighting.

Highlighting your trees with in-ground spotlights creates a beautiful ornamental centerpiece on your lawn. You can also use downward lights to create unique effects and add light to dark areas of your lawn.

Besides adding visual interest at night, landscape lighting also increases your home’s security and makes it more welcoming. You can also use outdoor light to accentuate other areas of your lawn, such as your plants and flower beds, deck, pergola and pool.

Finally, small walkway lights create a beautiful effect on your lawn. They even make it safer to navigate dark pathways. Follow the tips below to create a stunning visual effect with landscape accent lighting in your yard. Then, contact a professional landscaper to create a customized outdoor … Read Full Post »

Identifying Mouse Poop Versus Roach Poop

a cockroach near cockroach droppings

When you find strange droppings around your home, you want to know exactly what kind of pest you’re dealing with. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the best way to know how to get rid of an infestation. To identify mouse poop versus roach poop, it’s important to know what each type of poop looks like and where it’s commonly found. Fortunately, there are several key differences between mouse poop and roach poop that can give you clues as to which pest is infesting your home.

Appearance

Both mouse poop and roach poop are medium to dark brown in color. Mouse poop is about the size and shape of dried grains of rice, and poop from bigger roaches can be almost as big as mouse poop. But a key difference between them is that mouse poop is pointed and pinched off at the ends. Roach poop, on the other hand, is more … Read Full Post »

How To Keep Rats Out of Your Garden

rat peeking out from raised garden bed

Are rats damaging your garden? These pests can spread disease, damage plant life, cause structural damage to your home and annoy your pets.

The first step to a rodent-free yard is to understand the signs of rats in your garden. Then, there are steps you can take to prevent them from taking over your yard before it happens. If a rodent infestation has already made its way onto your property, you can follow these same steps to make your garden less attractive to them. However, you’ll need to contact a pest control professional in order to get rid of them completely. 

Knowing the habits and abilities of rats is another way to understand how they operate and how to get rid of them. For example, it’s valuable to know how far they run from their nests, how high they can jump, if they can swim and more.

Finally, homeowners need to stay on … Read Full Post »

Can Rats Chew Through Steel?

large rat on top of steel pipe

Rats are rodents with long, sharp front teeth that are constantly growing. Like all rodents, these pests need to gnaw on things daily to keep those front teeth filed down. This is why finding gnaw marks is a common sign of rat activity in and around your home. These pests typically chew on wooden things, like baseboards, beams and rafters. They are also known to chew through cardboard and plastic items, as well as electric wiring. But, can rats chew through steel?

Rats can easily chew through softer materials like cardboard and plastic. They can even chew through harder things like wood and PVC pipes. But rats cannot chew through steel. They can’t chew through anything stronger than iron.

Potential Risks of Rats In Your Home

Steel is a component in some electrical wires, along with copper and other types of metal. Rats have been known to chew through electrical wiring. More often, … Read Full Post »

What To Do About Brown Patches on Lawn

a dollar spot on a lawn

A beautiful, healthy lawn is a symbol of pride for many homeowners.

Few things are more disheartening to a committed homeowner than finding discolorations and brown patches on their perfect landscape. It’s especially disappointing when they seem to appear out of the blue.

The sad fact is that disease is a stealthy predator that tends to rear its ugly head overnight, attacking our lawns when we least expect it.

Summer lawn diseases can devastate the most well-cared-for green spaces like a blight.

For homeowners who put in the time and effort to achieve that perfect carpet of green, it’s important to understand what can cause brown patches. And, more importantly, what they can do to repair these problems quickly and prevent them from returning.

What Causes Brown Patches

In reality, there are a lot of things that can kill the grass on a lawn, and not all are disease-related.

The key to spotting and dealing with lawn … Read Full Post »

Where To See the Best Holiday Lights in Houston

holiday lights in houston

Wondering where to see the best holiday lights in Houston this year? Houston has a ton of sights and experiences to offer both locals and visitors year-round, and the holiday season is no exception. Whether you love spectacular winter wonderlands that twinkle with millions of lights, or your tastes run toward smaller, more intimate neighborhood displays, we’ve got you covered.

It’s always a good idea to start planning early. This is doubly true if you’ll be venturing out to one of the bigger, ticketed lights displays. As any Houstonian knows, parking and traffic can get hectic, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, a bit of advance planning will reduce some of the stress, so you and your loved ones can enjoy a purely festive time.

Here are some of the best options for taking in some holiday magic around Houston this Christmas:

  • Lightscape at the Houston Botanic Garden: This unique holiday lights and music … Read Full Post »

What Attracts Rats?

a rat in a garden

Knowing what attracts rats is a big part of keeping them away from your home and property. Rats are wild animals that naturally live outdoors, building nests under shrubbery, inside dead trees or in underground burrows. Like all animals, rats have three basic needs—food, water and shelter. When you’re dealing with a rat infestation on your property, it means they have found all three. This is why a big part of getting rid of rats is eliminating what’s attracting them.

If you’re dealing with a problem, you may notice some of the following signs of rats:

  • Scattered rat droppings
  • Shredded paper, insulation or other nesting materials
  • Squeaking or scratching sounds coming from within the walls or ceilings
  • Gnaw marks on cabinets, baseboards or other areas
  • Greasy rub marks along walls, baseboards or rafters, where these pests commonly walk along their routes between their nest and their food and water sources
  • An actual rat sighting—though this is less … Read Full Post »

What To Do About Mice in Walls

a brown mouse

Scurrying, squeaking or scratching noises in the walls at night typically means one thing; rodents. The 2021 American Housing Survey, conducted by the U.S Census Bureau, reveals that almost 15 million homes in the U.S. reported rodent sightings last year.

Mice and other rodents aren’t just a danger to your walls, wiring and insulation either.

The saliva, urine and feces of mice or rats can spread a host of deadly diseases to humans and pets.

Common Signs of Mice in Walls

Mice can be noticeable house guests, leaving droppings and gnaw marks behind as they search for food and shelter.

These signs can not only indicate their presence in your home but help narrow down the specific areas they’re regularly invading. If you find shredded packaging, food remains or droppings in your pantry, it’s a sure sign that mice are helping themselves to your food.

Scattered bits of insulation, cardboard or plastic wiring are a good … Read Full Post »

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

bed bug bites on a leg

We all know that insects outdoors can sting or bite, leaving marks on people’s skin. However, that isn’t the only place you might come across biting bugs. Some of them thrive in and prefer life indoors as well, especially in bed linens and other clothing.

Bed bugs can get at any part of your body. That said, their bites are generally found on the neck, face, hands, arms, legs and shoulders, places where skin may be exposed while asleep. These bites generally show up in clusters of three to five or more and form a sort of zigzag pattern on the body. If you wake up to find little red bumps that weren’t there when you went to bed, your best bet is to call in a licensed pest control professional. They can determine what has invaded your space and get rid of them the best way possible.

Another tricky thing about … Read Full Post »