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Detecting Hidden Pests

Some pests are obvious and leave clear signs of entry. However, the less conspicuous pests lurking in the cracks and walls can still cause problems for homeowners.How Do These Pests Get Inside?

Regardless of size, home-invading critters can utilize the smallest cracks and the narrowest holes to enter the home. For example, rodents only need an opening large enough for their skulls, a hole that can be as small as your fingertip.Additional Problem Areas

  • Door sweeps
  • Door and window casings
  • Baseboards
  • Seals where utility lines enter the home
  • Loose wallpaper

Careful home maintenance can prevent many major pest-related problems. For more information on how pests can physically enter the home, visit the University of Kentucky’s guide to pest-proofing a home.

Signs of a Hidden Pest Invasion

Even the most secretive of pests will leave some indication of their presence. A thorough inspection of the house can reveal the pest problem.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Austin Wildlife

When most people think about wild animals, they imagine wildlife in secluded or wooded areas. However, there are plenty of different types of wildlife roaming the streets of Austin. Since some creatures can be dangerous, homeowners should be familiar with the wild animals sharing their city.What Types of Wildlife Live in Austin?In addition to a wide variety of birds, there are several small wild animals living in Austin. Opossums, squirrels, deer, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, rats, mice, moles, skunks, raccoons, bats, and snakes are reported frequently. Some people also report seeing armadillos occasionally. Beavers, muskrats, weasels, iguanas, gophers, and porcupines have been sighted, but are rarer than the previously mentioned animals. Some types of wildlife are more common in certain areas of the city.Which Animals Pose a Threat to Homeowners?

Homeowners should be concerned about the animals that can be considered common pests. Animals such as deer, coyotes or skunks are not … Read Full Post »

Can I Prevent Stinging Insects from Nesting Around My Home?

San Antonio is home to a number of stinging insects. Local homeowners must contend with yellow jackets, paper wasps, and carpenter bees. Such insects have the potential to deliver painful stings and cause allergic reactions. Some species can also damage the exterior of a home. It’s best to prevent them from nesting in the first place.

Homeowners can take steps to eliminate food sources and desirable nesting cavities. Stinging insects prefer to build nests in protected areas that shield them from rain and hail. When possible, it’s helpful to fill or block access to these cavities. Do not attempt to do this until a San Antonio exterminator has removed any existing nests.

It is also beneficial to store empty beverage cans and household trash in a solid container with a tight lid. Garbage and unwashed soda cans can attract various species of stinging insects according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. They … Read Full Post »

Cockroach Hitchhikers

From planes to cars, cockroaches seem to be everywhere. How do these resourceful pests find their way into places that humans would prefer they stay away from? Cockroaches are programmed to find a way into any sheltered area with a water and food source.

Cracks, Crevices, and Holes

As with any household pests, cockroaches (also known as Palmetto Bugs) can most often find a way into a building by locating small cracks or holes that lead to a warm, sheltered place to live. A nearby food and water source is another big draw. Sealing up cracks can keep cockroaches from coming into a home, but these pests are known for their resourcefulness and ability to find a way to survive.

Skilled Hitchhikers

Even if a property owner ensures that no cracks or holes can encourage pests to enter a building, cockroaches are adept at finding a way to hitchhike into a building. Clothing and … Read Full Post »

Critters Can Get Through Tiny Cracks!

When most people hear about homeowners finding beehives or rodent colonies behind the walls, they assume it is a rare horror story that is not likely to happen to them. However, these occurrences are more common than most people think. Rodents and other pests are very good at finding ways to sneak into homes.

How Much Space Do Pests Need To Sneak Into A Home?

According to the CDC, mice can squeeze through a hole that is the same size as a nickel. If a hole is as large as a quarter, a rat can fit through it. Insects can squeeze through nearly any size crack, gap or hole. Rodents are one of the biggest problems during colder months. They often sneak into homes to keep warm and take up residence behind walls, in basements or in attics. Unfortunately, some can spread serious diseases such as hantavirus and leptospirosis.

How Can Homeowners Inspect … Read Full Post »

Is it Worth Switching to a Tankless Water Heater?

Average Cost of Heating Water

Expenses for air conditioning and heating in San Antonio can be costly and the energy used to heat water can be expensive as well. About 20% of an average family’s energy consumption goes to heating water for household activities like dishwashing, clothes washing, showering, and bathing. Traditional water heaters that store water can cost around $450 to operate every year and about 20% of that cost goes to waste year after year. Those conventional water heaters waste energy because they keep heating water in storage tanks even when nobody is using the water.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

  • You may qualify for a tax credit if you install an efficient water heater in your home.
  • When you turn on a tap, a tankless unit will supply hot water within five seconds.
  • You never run out of hot water with a tankless heater.
  • A tankless heater requires much less space and … Read Full Post »

Attention Homeowners: Don’t Ignore Your Trees!

If we are being honest with ourselves, many homeowners only think about the trees in their yards when they become a nuisance. The roots have grown under a concrete patio and created cracks, dead tree limbs are threatening our roof or our outdoor space, or worse yet, the limbs are touching power lines, presenting a possible fire hazard.

In actuality, the trees in our yards deserve much more attention from us, as they are the lifeblood of our yards. They absorb and trap harmful carbon dioxide in the air, preventing it from reaching the earth’s upper atmosphere. The trees’ root systems help prevent soil erosion, and best of all, trees provide much needed shade on a hot Texas summer day.

Lack of specific knowledge when it comes to taking care of our trees can cause irreversible harm to them, leaving them susceptible to diseases and weakening them to the point where one … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Brown Recluse Spiders at Bay

It’s a fact that all Houston homes and businesses have spiders lurking in their walls, attics, and other hiding places—even in winter when they tend to seek shelter indoors. Most of them are harmless, and their presence is helpful because they keep insect populations under control. However, one spider, in particular, can be very dangerous when it comes into contact with humans: the brown recluse.

Identifying the Brown Recluse

These non-hairy spiders range in color from tan to dark brown and, once they reach adulthood, are usually the size of a quarter with their legs extended. The brown recluse’s most distinctive feature is a violin-shaped marking on its back. Brown recluse spiders can be found outdoors under piles of wood or debris and indoors in cluttered, dark places such as garages and attics.

The Dangers of Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders rarely wander out into the open unless searching for food so these … Read Full Post »

Flat Enamel Paint And More: Types Of Paint And Their Uses

Flat Enamel Paint


Paint is often the cheapest and easiest way to make a big change in your home. Once you have decided to paint your kitchen, bedroom, living room or bathroom, you need to determine what type of paint to use in which rooms and on which surfaces. It can be a difficult decision to make when faced with a huge selection of paint colors and types.

Let’s break down the common paint types and finishes so that you can make an educated decision about what type of paint you need for your next project.

Flat Enamel Paint

Similar to matte finish paints, flat enamel paint also has a nonreflective finish. However, flat enamel paint tends to be more durable than matte finish. Flat enamel is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens or powder rooms, since these surfaces tend to be cleaned more frequently and are exposed to more moisture.

Matte Finish 

Sometimes referred to as flat finish or wall … Read Full Post »

The Benefits of Lawn Aeration

If you’re living in Houston and are not taking advantage of lawn aeration, it’s time to contact a Houston lawn care specialist at ABC. The soil in our region benefits from aeration and can help create a beautiful, healthy lawn.

The benefits of lawn aeration include:

• A reduction in the level of compaction occurring in the soil. If you do not have your lawn aerated regularly, the soil will become compact and challenging to work with in the future. Compacted soil may also cause problems with plants that are already present because of the difficulty that plants may have with growing roots down into heavily compacted soil.

• The primary purpose of lawn aeration is to allow the soil to access the air. Soil needs to be able to access the air in the surrounding atmosphere to remain healthy and in prime condition for growing plants.

• Creating a point where air can … Read Full Post »