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When To Open A Pool In Texas: A Complete Guide

When To Open Pool

If you look forward to swimming in your own backyard oasis, as the winter months come to a close, your thoughts probably turn to when to open your pool. While that’s not always the case for every pool owner, winter can be painful for those of us who like to spend time outdoors, especially in those parts of the country where we are used to sunshine and short sleeves nearly year-round. Here in Texas, most of us open our pools for the season when the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees. Since we can have some strange cold fronts some years, that can be in mid-March some years and not until early April in others.

Before we know it, we will be lounging poolside, dipping our toes in refreshing, crystal-clear water and enjoying warmer weather. Until that time comes, you may be wondering how to clean a swimming pool after winter, which … Read Full Post »

Get Rid Of Swarming Termites To Protect Your Home

Get Rid Of Swarming Termites

During the spring, homeowners may begin to notice animals and plants that may have been inactive or dormant during the coldest months of the year.

While blooming plants and baby animals make most of us feel warm and fuzzy inside, some creatures that become more visible when the temperatures climb are less likely to inspire the same kind of positive feelings. One example? Termites.

If you see a flying bug with wings, you might be seeing an ant, but you could be seeing a termite. If you spotted the latter, you want to nip the problem in the bud as fast as possible. You probably already know why, but just to give you a reminder, we’re going to hit the highlights real quick.

Why should you jump into action if you see termites?

We all know that fire and natural disasters can do a lot of expensive damage. Did you realize that termites cause more … Read Full Post »

At What Temperature Does Grass Stop Growing?

what temperature does grass stop growing

During the winter months, when temperatures across the United States drop for several months at a stretch, most varieties of grass that people use in their yards go dormant—meaning, their active growth cycles slow down. The grass is still alive, but it is in a state of suspended animation. During this time, your yard may lose quite a bit of its bright, deeply green hue. Your plants might even look diseased or dead, and will certainly appear dry. While your lawn might look lifeless, lawn experts will tell you that dormant grass is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do when nutrients aren’t as readily available as they are during the warmer, sunnier months.

Since grass goes dormant in the winter, many people do not need to mow their yards more than a few times throughout the entire winter season and often debate on when to start mowing the lawn again. … Read Full Post »

Types Of Roaches In Texas: What Homeowners Should Know

Types of Roaches in Texas

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: you are going through a box in a garage and you unintentionally disturb a  cockroach. Or worse still, multiple roaches.

As it (or they) skitter toward the darkest possible corners, you run inside, disgusted and call your spouse, explaining what happened. After you calm down a bit, your partner asks: “What kind of roaches were they?”

A majority of homeowners have no idea what kind of cockroaches they’re dealing with. Most of us aren’t exactly roach experts, after all, and barely anyone likes to get up close and personal with the critters.

Why does it matter, anyways?

Most Texans are surprised to hear that there are about 30 different cockroach species in our state alone, and that the type of roach infesting your home can inform how you can try to get rid of them—and what you might do to prevent future infestations.

Unfortunately, getting rid of roaches may be … Read Full Post »

Can You See Bed Bugs With The Human Eye?

Can you see bed bugs with the human eye

It’s an all-too-common scenario: You wake up one morning, or perhaps even several mornings in a row, with suspicious, itchy bites on your skin—and you wonder whether you might be dealing with a bed bug infestation. How can you tell if you’ve had a run-in with a bed bug or some other type of biting insect, such as mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers or ticks? Can you see bed bugs with the human eye? What are some telltale signs of a bed bug bite or a full-on infestation? Read on to learn the answers to these common questions and more.

How To Find Bed Bugs During The Day

For anyone wondering whether they can see bed bugs with the human eye, the short answer is yes—adult bed bugs are about the same size, shape and color as an apple seed, so they are certainly visible with the naked human eye. The longer answer, however, … Read Full Post »

Do Rats Eat Dog Poop? Your Questions Answered

do rats eat dog poop

Many homeowners who have dogs may wonder, Do rats eat dog poop? Before you begin to snicker, consider that it’s a fair (and common) question, especially if you’re dealing with a rat problem—or even a full-fledged rat infestation. Trying to figure out what food sources you’re inadvertently providing your unwelcome visitors is a smart strategy since prevention is almost always easier than finding a cure. To put it another way, it’s easier, not to mention safer and more humane, to make your home and property unattractive to rats than to try to deal with a rat infestation by trapping or coming into close contact with the rodents themselves.

To keep rats away from your home and yard, or to get rid of them once they’ve moved in, it’s essential to have an effective plan in place. Rats aren’t just “gross,” scary or pesky; they can actually pose a real danger to … Read Full Post »

How To Recycle Christmas Lights: Your Ultimate Guide

How to recycle Christmas lights

Wondering how to recycle Christmas lights? If so, you’re ahead of the pack, as many homeowners don’t even realize this is an option! Fortunately, it is; there are many different ways to recycle or repurpose your Christmas lights at the end of the holiday season.

It’s important to note, however, that simply dropping strings of lights into your recycling bin is not recommended, nor is dumping them into the regular garbage can. Not only are Christmas lights made up of many different components, including glass, metal and plastic, that can and should be recycled, but also many bulbs and strands contain elements like mercury and lead that are not safe to introduce to a landfill.

So what is the proper way to recycle or dispose of Christmas lights? If you have too many old, non-working strands of lights, or you’d just like to make the switch over to energy-saving LED lights, you … Read Full Post »

Roach Eggs: How To Prevent An Infestation

Roach eggs

Cockroaches have been crawling across the Earth for quite a long time—350 million years, to be exact. That’s far longer than human beings have been around; in fact, roaches even predate dinosaurs. This hardy, adaptable species with incredible longevity is certainly disliked, arguably for good reason. Roaches spread bacteria including salmonella, streptococcus and staphylococcus, and they have been linked to health problems including asthma, dysentery and even polio. Their ability to feed on almost anything can also lead to extensive property destruction, as they will happily eat their way through cardboard boxes, books and magazines and even electrical wiring.

For all these reasons and more, it can be alarming to find roach eggs in your home, since the presence of roach eggs means that roaches are living and breeding nearby. If you think you may have found roach eggs, read on to learn about how to identify different types of cockroach … Read Full Post »

When To Stop Feeding Hummingbirds For The Year

When to stop feeding hummingbirds

If you are like many homeowners, you love hummingbirds. Watching them flitter and flutter around your yard is captivating. Seeing them hover in place as they enjoy the nectar you’ve left out for them is even better. Their speed and size and almost unnatural presence are awe-inspiring.

So, when your neighbor told you that you were stopping them from migrating by leaving out your feeders in the fall, your first instinct was to rush out and take them down. After all, you don’t want to do anything that could possibly harm these beautiful creatures.

Luckily, you decided to do some research first. Smart move on your part.

Why?

Because what your neighbor told you is a myth, and it’s one that lawn technicians hear all the time.

Leaving feeders out does not stop migration. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you leave a hummingbird feeder out while these birds are migrating, you’re actually providing these … Read Full Post »

Best Christmas Lights Houston, 2018 Edition

Every year, it seems as if Back to School kicks off a long, fast slide through autumn and the holiday season, and before we know it, we are into the new year. Starting in early fall, the calendar starts filling up and the excitement of the holiday season builds.  Whether you’ll be spending the holidays with beloved family and friends or on your own, there’s something for every Houstonian to make the season merry and bright. Cue the holiday music and prepare for all the twinkling, sparkling holiday lights displays. Whether you’re into full-scale, over-the-top events or smaller, DIY neighborhood displays, we’ve got you covered. Use our guide to plan your Christmas lights Houston 2018 holiday tour now, so you’ll be sure to experience maximum holiday cheer this season!

Houston Christmas Lights Tours

When it comes to Houston Christmas lights tours, you have several options. One fun way to take the guesswork … Read Full Post »