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5 Guaranteed Bogus Fire Ant Solutions

I have fire ants.

That’s right, I work for a pest control company, I am treated on a regular basis, and I still have fire ants. Why is that? Well, as good of a job as Sam (the technician who treats my home) does, even he can’t anticipate where the little red devils are going to pop up. In most cases it takes 6 months for a fire ant mound to become visible. But the good news is that because I already have service, Sam is coming out to treat the mound free of charge and look for any evidence of other mounds popping up.

That brings me to my point. I have lived in Texas all of my life and I have heard of 100 different ways to get rid of fire ants. But the fact is most fire ant home remedies are bogus. Let me tell you a couple of … Read Full Post »

Top 10 Bug Infested States

We’re #3!!! Congratulations Texas, you have the 3rd largest bug population in the United States. Take that North Dakota (or should we say #44)!

But seriously, this was a survey done of homeowners on how bad of a problem bugs are in their area. And according to you guys, the only two states with more problems are Florida(#1) and Louisiana(#2). So why is that? Why is it that Texas is #3?

1. It’s hot! And even when the rest of the country has cooled off it’s still warm here. (Besides last Christmas, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t wear shorts on Christmas Day). Constant warmth throughout the year creates a perfect environment for bugs.

2. Humidity. It can be a beating in the DFW area, but go down to Houston or Austin during the summer and take a step outside-you’re automatically drenched. That is exactly the type of moisture that bugs … Read Full Post »

Centipedes & Millipedes

Centipedes and millipedes are distant relatives of lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. Unlike their marine cousins, centipedes and millipedes are land dwellers, but they do prefer moist habitats or areas of high humidity.

Centipedes and millipedes do not carry diseases to man or to his animals and plants. They are usually considered nuisances rather than destructive pests. Centipedes pose an occasional threat to man because they have poison glands and will bite. Millipedes occasionally damage seedling plants by feeding on stems and leaves

Description

There are many kinds of centipedes but all of them are more or less wormlike and have a flattened body. The largest centipede inhabits the tropics of Central America. Scolopendra gigantca is its name and when fully mature will attain a length of 12 inches. A closely related centipede, Scolopendra heros, occurs in Texas and may be over 5 inches long when full grown.

Like all centipedes, Scolopendra can inflict a painful bite with a pair of … Read Full Post »

Tips & Secrets to Buying a New Heating & Cooling System

Are you in the market for a new heating and cooling system?  Authorities say, be careful.  Many homeowners who have invested in new high efficiency heating and cooling equipment didn’t get the comfort and energy efficiency they paid for.

Information is the key to making a wise decision.  This report will teach you what you should know before talking to contractors, and it will let you in on some little known facts about heating and air conditioning. Unfortunately, even many contractors aren’t aware of this important new knowledge.

This report is based on important new research undertaken by the federal Department Of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and electric and gas utilities nationwide.  It also draws on the training resources of heating and cooling equipment manufacturers and trade associations.  And it shares advice from consumer protection groups, publications and TV investigative news stories.

This report will teach you the three common reasons most new heating and cooling systems don’t … Read Full Post »

How to Make Your Own Garden Compost Bin for Free

If you do not have $80 – $200 dollars to spend on a composter from Lowe’s or Home Depot, here’s some information for you on how to make a fast and easy DIY composter at home for free.  Have you heard of Austin Craigslist?  If you have visited this website, you have probably seen several postings for free wooden pallets.  And you have probably wondered, why would anyone want that?  You can create a DIY composter with 4 to 5 wooden pallets.  You will need the following materials: 4-5 wooden pallets, nails, hammer, wire or rope, and paint (optional).

Pick out a spot in your backyard that has enough space for about a 4’x4’ box.  Take one of the pallets and stand it up right in front of you, then you need to take another wooden pallet and place it side by side with the first wooden pallet forming a 90 … Read Full Post »

25 Organic Gardening Tips

1. Mulch your flower beds and trees with 3″ of organic material – it conserves water, adds humus and nutrients, and discourages weeds. It gives your beds a nice, finished appearance.

 

2. Mulch acid-loving plants with a thick layer of pine needles each fall. As the needles decompose, they will deposit their acid in the soil.

 

3. The most important step in pest management is to maintain healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage.

 

4. Aphids? Spray infested stems, leaves, and buds with a very dilute soapy water, then clear water. It works even on the heaviest infestation.

 

5. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and areation, and increases the soil’s water holding capacity. It also promotes soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development.

 

6. Look for natural and organic alternatives to chemical fertilizers, such as the use of compost. Our use of inorganic fertilizer is causing … Read Full Post »

How to Control Fruit Flies and Fungus Gnats

Fruit flies and fungus gnats are the most common flying insects found in and around compost bins. These insects are not dangerous or harmful; however, their presence can be a nuisance, particularly indoors. A little information about the food and environments these insects are attracted to can be used to help us control their presence in places where they are not wanted.

Fruit flies

There are many species of fruit flies, ranging in size from one to two millimeters. They can be recognized by the rather bulbous shape of their lower bodies, which is frequently an orange or light brown color. They are relatively slow flyers, often hovering around fruit or juice.

Indoor compost bins (worm bins) provide favorable conditions for the reproduction of these insects, but occasionally fruit flies seem to appear in our kitchens as if by spontaneous generation, even without the presence of a worm bin. This is because they … Read Full Post »

Chigger Bite Prevention & Skin Care

Probably no creature on earth can cause as much torment for its size than the tiny chigger. Tiny six-legged chigger larvae attack campers, picnickers, hikers, bird watchers, berry pickers, fishermen, soldiers, and homeowners in low, damp areas where vegetation is rank such as woodlands, berry patches, orchards, along lakes and streams, and even in drier places where vegetation is low such as lawns, golf courses, and parks. They are most numerous in early summer when grass, weeds and other vegetation are heaviest. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin, but insert their mouthparts in a skin pore or hair follicle. Their bites produce small, reddish welts on the skin accompanied by intense itching as irritating as acute cases of poison ivory or poison sumac. These symptoms often are the only way of learning that an outdoor area is infested since chiggers are so small that most cannot be seen without … Read Full Post »

City of Austin Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program: Conserve Water and Save Money

Austin Water began a new rebate program on July 1, 2010, named the Landscape Conversion Incentive Program. This program is part of Austin’s larger plan to become one of the greenest cities in the nation. It is also a great way to promote efficient use of water in our landscapes and help us to the road to sustainable living. Not only that, but you get free money for participating in the program, too. Austin Water provides resources to help you determine the best native plants and designs for your landscaping projects. If you are interested in participating in the program you can visit the Austin Water website or access the form by clicking on this hyperlink, Landscape Conversion Incentive Rebate Form.

To be eligible for the program, you need to have started your xeriscaping project after July 1, 2010. Requirements include before and after pictures, a minimum of 500 square feet used for … Read Full Post »

Managing Large-Sized Pests in Texas

Large sized pests can cause serious property and health risks to home owners and should be dealt with carefully. These types of pests are usually always attracted by food, whether it comes in the form of food scraps, garbage, or even composting. The two most common types of large sized pests include raccoons, and coyotes. You should use extreme caution when dealing with pests of these size and call control professionals if the situation seems dangerous.

Raccoons
Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, and they are the bandits of the animal kingdom; these rascals will locate and steal anything that is of value or use to them. The raccoon can grow to be almost 3 feet long and can vary in weight from 10 pounds up to almost forty pounds. The raccoon typically lives for 8 to 10 years. These creatures are generally passive, but if they are cornered or feel endangered they can … Read Full Post »