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Bed Bug Stowaways

Texas homeowners have probably heard that bed bugs can enter their houses from outdoors. They may even be aware that new and used furniture can introduce them, but many don’t realize that some of the bed bugs in Austin are actually hitchhikers that were unknowingly carried home from vacations. People who travel frequently are more likely to give bed bugs a free ride. The tiny pests may be present on airplanes, buses or trains. They are common in hotels and can easily hide in your luggage and clothing.

There are several ways to keep these troublesome stowaways from settling into your home. Carefully inspect everything you bring home from your trip. Heating clothing in your dryer and any other heat-safe items to at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit will kill live bed bugs.

In hotels, visually check for bed bugs after completely removing all linens from the bed. Search for small, flat, reddish-brown … Read Full Post »

Make Sure Your Gardening Choices Are Safe for Pets!

Did you know that there are several popular plants and gardening products that can be hazardous to your pet?  By consulting with or utilizing a professional lawn care service, people can keep their pets safe while still enjoying the green thumb lifestyle and all of the benefits that come with an attractive yard.

Cocoa mulch is a very popular option for gardening because of its rich brown color and sweet smell of chocolate. Cocoa mulch contains the remnants of cocoa bean shells that have been used in the production of chocolate. Much like the finished product, cocoa bean shells can be toxic to dogs. A dog that consumes chocolate or cocoa bean shells can suffer from a wide variety of ailments, including elevated heart rate, diarrhea, muscle tremors, vomiting, seizures or even death. Fortunately, there are several other less-toxic mulch mixes that are available, including mulches with a pine or cedar … Read Full Post »

Protect Your Family & Pets: Dangers of Mosquitoes, Ticks & Fleas

Fleas, mosquitoes and ticks are not just nuisances. They can also spread diseases in humans and pets. Keeping these bug populations under control with proper Austin lawn care and pest control is the key to avoiding some of the serious effects their bites have.

Mosquitoes

With all of the recent rain in Austin, the mosquito population is high. In addition to causing itchy red bumps, mosquitoes can carry several forms of West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis. These diseases have the potential to cause fatalities. Aside from humans, mosquitoes are the cause of heartworms in animals. Heartworms can either kill or significantly reduce the lifespan of your family pets.

Ticks

There are many different types of ticks carrying various diseases, but the ticks in Austin are known for carrying Rocky Mountain spotted fever, typhus, relapsing fever, ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease. Since symptoms of Lyme disease are often misdiagnosed, it is important to … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs Win at Hide-And-Seek

Many adults today have heard stories passed down from their grandparents about bed bugs under the sheets or crawling in the walls at night. Although these pests had been mostly eradicated from the United States in past decades, they have been returning in great numbers during the past 10 years. More and more reports are surfacing in Bryan and College Station. To solve a bed bug problem, it is important to know how to identify these sneaky pests and how to kill them.

Identifying Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are easy to identify, but they may be hard to find. When light hits them, the quickly run and hide anywhere they can. The common telltale sign of their presence is a series of bites. They are often in a row, and the bites appear as red raised bumps. The bumps may itch, but this is not always the case. When bites appear, look … Read Full Post »

West Nile Scare in Brazos County

Over the summer months, cases of West Nile virus were verified in Brazos County. If the virus continues spreading, local residents could find themselves feeling ill and missing work. This could be detrimental to household incomes, local businesses and even medical facilities. In rare cases, West Nile can be fatal, so taking proper precautions is important. Companies specializing in pest control and landscaping in College Station and Bryan can assist in controlling mosquito populations in the area. While this is an important step, it is also helpful to take some preventative measures of your own.

Drain all sources of standing water. Mosquitoes love pools, puddles and spas. Be sure to change the water for pets frequently. Stagnant water is the ultimate breeding ground for mosquitoes. If possible, keep water dishes for pets indoors.

Minimize risks in the yard. Have the shrubs and hedges trimmed down. Keep the lawn very short, and avoid … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs and Babies

All parents want to protect their children from the dangers of the world around them, but sometimes these hazards are not immediately visible or expected. One of these dangers is bed bug infestation, particularly in your baby’s nursery. Bed bugs feed on human blood and are notoriously difficult to remove, especially in environments where children are present. Bed bug bites can cause itching and discomfort in both babies and adults.

Fortunately, ABC Home & Commercial Services specializes in safely and effectively removing bed bugs in Austin (as well as other ABC locations) with advanced, low impact solutions.  Heat remediation and K-9 bed bug detection are the greenest and most efficient methods proven to eradicate bed bugs in homes and commercial establishments. ABC’s certified team of professional pest control experts utilizes these techniques to ensure that all of their Austin customers are safe and satisfied.

Getting rid of bed bugs in Austin doesn’t … Read Full Post »

When Tiny Armies Invade

When most people think of ants, they imagine ant beds and picnic basket invasions. Unfortunately, several different types and sizes of ants are invading homes in Texas. It is important to know how to identify and implement effective pest control in Bryan-College Station.

Identifying Ants

Ants are classified in size as tiny, medium and large. The most common types of ants in the local area include the following:

–Fire ants are medium in size, and their colors include dark red and brown. These ants are known for making hill dwellings.

-Carpenter ants are a mixture of black, brown or orange colors. These large ants are known for being nocturnal and making dwellings in uninhabited spaces.

-Medium-sized acrobat ants look similar in color to carpenter ants. Trees are their usual choices for colonization.

–Pharaoh ants are tan, tiny and almost translucent. These ants prefer sugary foods.

–Crazy ants are fast and run erratically. They are found in buildings … Read Full Post »

Houston’s Humidity & Your Health

Air conditioning in Houston keeps local residents cool during spring, summer and fall. Unfortunately, humidity in Houston coupled with the moisture produced by some air conditioning units can create hazardous mold inside residents’ homes. This substance can cause several health problems, and some are very serious.

Allergies & Irritations

Mold spores often trigger allergic reactions. This occurs both in healthy people and those who are prone to allergies. Irritated eyes, throat and nose are also common symptoms. Many people who breathe in airborne mold spores complain of sinus congestion.

Infections

When people are constantly exposed to mold spores indoors, their problems will escalate beyond irritations and allergies. Continuous exposure leaves a person vulnerable to respiratory infections and bronchitis. These conditions may become chronic.

Mycosis

If a person has a weak immune system, mold spores may grow on living tissue inside that individual’s body. This causes a systemic infection of the digestive tract, lungs, skin or sinuses. … Read Full Post »

Armed and Dangerous: Dallas Bugs to Avoid

Wasp and bee stings, tick infestations, spider bites and painful stings from scorpions are common in Dallas, particularly during the summer and fall. To keep businesses and homeowners protected from dangerous pest infestations throughout the year, ABC Home & Commercial Services provides professional extermination and prevention services to the entire Dallas area. Our extensive experience in Dallas pest control equips us with the specialized knowledge needed to keep insects and spiders of all kinds at bay throughout the year.

Though many insects and spiders are relatively harmless, a select few are dangerous. Here is a list of the most dangerous pests in the area, as well as important information regarding each:

Brown Recluse: The brown recluse, known for the fiddle-shaped mark on its back, prefers dark, quiet areas and may bite if startled. Effects of a bite may include fever, chills, pain, weakness and skin lesions. If you suspect that you or … Read Full Post »

Striped Bark Scorpions High in Numbers

Some unwanted guests are making frequent appearances in San Antonio due to this past summer’s heat: striped bark scorpions. They are the most common type of scorpion found in Texas, but San Antonio residents do not want these creepy critters taking up residence in their homes. Knowing more about these arthropods will help you avoid a direct encounter with them.

Where to Find Striped Bark Scorpions

Striped bark scorpions prefer cool, dark places. In outdoor locations, they can be found in crevices around buildings, under rocks and even under water dishes for pets. Unfortunately, they can easily get into homes through small cracks. Caulking around windows is important. Make sure doors have weather stripping to prevent spaces underneath. If there are any other unsealed openings into the home, seal them well. Keep in mind—scorpions can climb. When they do get into homes, they tend to hide in or under furniture, in shoes … Read Full Post »