ABC Blog

When to Fertilize Your Lawn for the Greenest Grass

buying a new home in Texas

Imagine yourself as a newly-minted homeowner. You’ve recently purchased and moved into a beautiful home with a well-established lawn.

As part of your home maintenance schedule, you start to think about how to maintain this lovely lawn – mowing, watering, weeding and fertilizing all come to mind. Each of these tasks seems pretty straightforward, especially mowing and watering which happen on an as-needed basis.

But what about fertilization? When is that supposed to happen for best results?

How do you know when to fertilize your lawn?

Fertilizing seems like an easy task in and of itself. You may remember watching a parent or neighbor spreading those little white fertilizer pellets on lawns in your neighborhood.

What you may not remember about that process is when it happens and why. There are several factors you should consider before deciding when to fertilize your lawn. Here are a handful of factors you might want to consider.

Learn about … Read Full Post »

Sneaky Ways to Prevent Mosquito Attacks

ways to prevent mosquito bites

Every summer in San Antonio, two things seem to be constant: our oppressive heat and swarms of mosquitoes that follow us everywhere we go. While there’s not much we can do about the heat; mosquitoes are another matter.

Find out why these annoying insects are such a problem and discover some ways you can outsmart mosquitoes before they can ruin your summer fun.

Why are mosquitoes such a problem?

In recent years doctors and scientists have grown increasingly concerned about mosquito-borne diseases. In particular, officials are worried about the Zika virus, which first appeared in the United States this year. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of August 12, 2016, there have been 106 cases of Zika virus disease in the state of Texas.

For those who contract Zika, it usually is a mild illness with common flu-like symptoms, and generally, lasts about a week. More troubling is the potential … Read Full Post »

Tree Pruning Tips for a Beautiful Home Landscape

tree pruning tips

Congratulations! You’ve finally settled into your new home, and there are only a few things left remaining on your to-do list. Hang the last of the paintings, purchase a new welcome rug for your entryway, and of course, tidy up your lawn. So if your weekend plans involve running to the nursery to pick up a few new plants, this post is for you.

If you’ve never had a backyard or even a patch of grass for that matter, the idea of maintaining your new lawn can be daunting. Which plants will flourish; how often should you trim your trees; where do you even begin? If you find yourself overwhelmed, fear not: our team at ABC San Antonio is here to help.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to successfully trim and prune your new lawn.

Know the Pruning Basics

As a new homeowner, it’s important to know why we prune … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs Be Gone! Checklist to Prepare for Treatment Success.

how to kill bed bugs

As a new homeowner, the last thing you want to think about is a bed bug infestation. And hopefully, you won’t need to. But in a big city like San Antonio where bed bugs (and pests in general) are prevalent, it’s best to be prepared for any situation.

Bed bugs spread easily and most commonly found in spaces where people sleep or spend the majority of their time, like homes, hospitals, schools, and hotels. Their small size allows them to go unnoticed; it’s the red, itchy bites they leave behind that reveal their camouflage. But despite their tiny size, bed bugs can cause a big headache—and an even bigger problem if left untreated.

Here at ABC San Antonio, we take great strides to ensure your home is bed bug-free after just one of our Heat Remediation treatments. And while our experts can take on any challenge, you’ll have to do your part … Read Full Post »

Check The HVAC Unit Before You Buy The Home

buying a new home in Texas

Are you buying a new home? When you’re shopping around for a new house, be sure to consider a home’s HVAC system.

Because heating and air conditioning make up half of your energy costs, and faulty equipment can lead to expensive repairs, it’s a great idea to spend a little time checking the unit before making an offer on your dream home.

HVAC New Home Checklist:

Below we offer a basic checklist for potential home buyers. By reviewing these items, you can get a better sense for whether or not the previous owner properly maintained the unit.

Thermostat

  • Does it turn on and off, and if it’s digital, can you adjust the settings?
  • Turn the unit on and test the temperature against the thermostat settings.

Outside compressor unit

  • There should be no shrubs, vines, or other plants within two feet of the HVAC unit.
  • Check that the unit is level, as a tilt will hurt … Read Full Post »

Mosquitoes: Facts vs. Fiction [INFOGRAPHIC]

tiger mosquitoes carry zika virus in south america

5 Facts and Myths About Mosquitoes

Did you know that only the female mosquito bites and sucks human blood? The male mosquito feeds off of nectar, while the female is the culprit of many an itchy summer evening in hot San Antonio. She feeds off your blood to nourish her maturing eggs prior to laying them.

There are a lot of myths about mosquitoes. Some myths are harmless, while other misconceptions are truly unhelpful and sometimes counterproductive. The biggest myths are those revolving around whether or not diseases are spread by mosquitoes in the US. A hint: wear repellent. One fact we know for sure is that prevention with professional mosquito abatement is the best protection against these pesky summertime pests.

How well do you know mosquitoes?

Test your mosquito wisdom against these 5 common facts and myths.

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Mosquito Bite FAQ’s: Resisting the urge to scratch

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Let’s face it: nobody likes mosquitoes. Or their bites.

But when you live in a city like San Antonio, mosquitos are a part of life. And it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s why we compiled a list answering a few popular questions people have about those unwanted pests. From the whys and what’s, to the do’s and dont’s of what to do if a mosquito lands on you.

Top Moquito Bite FAQ’s

Q1: Why do mosquitoes bite people?

Mosquitoes are nearly impossible to eliminate. They can adapt to changing environments and grow steadily in the summer months when temperatures are both hot and humid, or what we like to call mid-July San Antonio weather.

You may not know this, but only a small percentage of mosquitoes bite humans. And while that may come as a surprise to some, it’s because mosquitoes bite to reproduce, not to live.

Female mosquitoes bite people to gather protein … Read Full Post »

What to Do if a Pipe Breaks in Your Home

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When thinking about pipes breaking, most people worry about their pipes freezing in the winter. But what about in the summer? Did you know that in San Antonio, your plumbing can burst in the middle of hot weather too?

When heat and drought return to San Antonio each summer, the ground dries and shrinks, causing our plumbing to shift. In previous years, extended drought conditions caused a spike in the number of pipe failures in Texas.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your home’s pipes might break, and what you should do if you’re ever unlucky enough to have it happen to you.

Common causes of plumbing failure

Exposure to pressure  If something blocks up a pipe, whether it’s inside your house or in your outgoing sewer line, pressure will build up behind that clog. Common causes of clogged plumbing include pouring cooking grease down the drain and flushing paper towels … Read Full Post »

What to do after a scorpion sting.

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In San Antonio scorpions are no laughing matter. Although we don’t have deadly scorpions in our area, the sting of our local scorpions can pack quite a punch.

What are scorpions?

Both scorpions and spiders are arachnids. Like spiders, scorpions have eight legs, but unlike spiders, scorpions have a pair of pinchers that help them catch and hold prey, as well as a stinger on their tails that delivers a dose of venom to their unfortunate victim.

Scorpions are nocturnal creatures that hide during the hot summer days, as Texas heat is too much for them. They find crevices in logs or wooden structures, hide under rocks, or locate other dark, cool places to hang out during the daytime, and then come out at night to hunt.

In San Antonio, the scorpion that people need to watch out for is Centruroides vittatus, also known as the striped bark scorpion. This is a yellow or … Read Full Post »

Rain and Your Lawn: How Much Is Too Much?

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In San Antonio, we’ve experienced an exceptionally wet spring season, with several downpours over the past few months. While we’re grateful not to be in a drought, and our lawns certainly appreciate the rain, in this case, it is possible to get too much of a good thing.

Below we’ll look at some of the ways heavy and prolonged rains can harm your lawn, and some tips you can follow to avoid most of the potential damage.

Roots

A lawn can get too dependent on rain. If water is abundant, grass and other plants don’t need to develop healthy root systems. When a wet spring is followed by a hot and dry summer (as most of our summers are) the grass won’t have the deep roots it needs to survive.

Furthermore, too much water will actually suffocate your lawn. Most plants can’t stand in water for extended periods of time because waterlogged soil doesn’t … Read Full Post »