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10 Worst Pests Around the World

Texas is known for having some pretty destructive pests, from crazy ants to cockroaches, but these local bugs can’t compete with the problems worldwide. Below are 10 of the strangest and worst invasive species of insects, rodents, amphibians, and even plants found worldwide:

1. The Asian Tiger Mosquito. Originating in Asia, this black-and-white striped mosquito is now one of the most widespread animal species on the planet. In just two decades, it’s spread to 28 separate countries. Like other mosquitoes, it can carry West Nile virus and other blood-borne diseases.

2. The Cotton Whitefly. These tiny bugs measure just a millimeter in length and don’t seem threatening. However, they are devastating to plant life, carrying up to 100 different plant viruses and feasting on 900 species of plants. These bugs exist in every continent except Antarctica.

3. The Snakehead Fish. This fearsome fish has been destroying local ecosystems in several countries, including the … Read Full Post »

Green Grass Needs More Than Water

What’s that subtle sound? It’s your grass begging for a little TLC. While it’s true that frequent watering will keep your lawn healthy in the blistering San Antonio heat, watering restrictions are definitely a consideration. Not to mention, your lawn needs and deserves so much more than water in order to remain healthy.

Green with Envy

Your neighbors will talk about your lawn—it’s just a fact of life. Give them something to talk about with a luscious lawn that makes them want to kick off their shoes and walk barefoot right up to your front door to ask you what your secret is.

Caring for Your Lawn

➢ Fertilize on Schedule

Proper fertilization is key, but it must be done at the right times of year and with the right blend for your type of grass. For example, a fertilizer formulated for Bermuda grass would kill St. Augustine. It’s important to know exactly which breed … Read Full Post »

Bee Removal: Signing a Peace Treaty with Our Buzzy Buddies

You love their honey, and from a safe distance, you think they’re cute. However, when you find their nest in your yard, their presence becomes a safety issue. Bees are generally harmless, beneficial insects that have no desire to interfere with your life, but they can deliver painful stings when they become defensive. If you or members of your household suffer from bee allergies, a single sting could be deadly. If you own a business, your customers won’t stick around if bees are swarming around their heads. Sometimes removing bees is absolutely necessary, but there’s usually no need to reach for poison. Removal and relocation is the only method we use here at ABC for managing bee problems. Instead of waging war with them, consider yourself their real estate agent—focus on finding them a new place to live.

Why Our Buzzy Friends are so Important

In the last few years, bees have … Read Full Post »

5 Best Bugs for the Garden

As a gardener, you’re always on the lookout for invasive or destructive bugs that can munch their way through your plants and ruin the hard work that you put in during the growing season. You might not be as familiar with the garden-friendly bugs that thrive in North Texas. By crowding out unwanted pests, these five critters act as natural bug repellents.

1. Aphid Midge

These creatures give a whole new meaning to the term “small, but deadly.” While the adult flies are innocuous, their larvae are the aphid’s worst nightmare. Each tiny, bright orange slug can eat as many as 60 full-grown aphids per day by delivering a powerful toxin that allows them to devour the leaf-munching insects from the inside out. Aphid midges lay their eggs among the leaves of plants that produce large amounts of pollen, so be sure to space some evenly throughout your garden.

2. Ladybug

The ladybug needs … Read Full Post »

Scientists Discover Neuropeptide That Can Prevent Insect Reproduction

Many of our customers express concerns about whether the pesticides that they treat their lawns with are safe for the environment. While a number of the chemical agents currently on the market are fine when used in a controlled fashion, scientific research has recently revealed that new natural methods of controlling insect populations could be even better for the planet. Natalisin, a recently discovered chemical, may be able to cut down on the number of pests that reproduce, without causing the side effects common with other treatments.

What Is Natalisin?

Natalisin is a neuropeptide that naturally occurs within the brains of insects. What is a neuropeptide you may ask? It is a chemical that controls the majority of biological activity in insects, including actions like muscle movement. One of the most important functions that natalisin controls is pheromone creation.

Pheromones help male and female insects signal each other, via scent, when they’re ready … Read Full Post »

Rodents: From Dirty Pests to Fancy Pets

To many homeowners, rodents are disgusting, filthy creatures, but for some people, they’re fuzzy little friends that fit in a shirt pocket. Mice, rats, hamsters and other rodents are welcome guests in homes across the globe, but although their genetic codes are similar, there are major differences between pets and pests.

The History of Rodents as Pets

Half of the world’s mammal population belongs to the rodent family, but only a few species have managed to penetrate the wall of squeamishness that separates them from human affection. Syrian hamsters were first discovered by a zoologist working in the Middle East. They were sent to labs for breeding and arrived on the American and European pet scene in the 1930s. Many domesticated hamster breeds now exist, and hamsters are among the best-selling rodents in pet stores. Other popular pet rodents include gerbils, guinea pigs and chinchillas.

Cuteness Overcomes a Sordid Past

The history of mice … Read Full Post »

From Yard to Plate: Pests as Food

They aren’t on many North American menus, but pests like roaches and arachnids may become a more common food source in the future. In parts of the world where animal meat is scarce, people have long enjoyed eating a variety of healthy, nutritious bugs. Those who advocate the practice believe that edible insects like crunchy crickets, chewy mealworms and juicy locusts could potentially solve hunger problems in underprivileged countries. In Western society, they might be more likely to put an end to binge eating.

The Benefits of Bug-Eating

Insect meat has a lot to offer. It’s inexpensive and easy to process and prepare. With little fat, tons of vitamins and minerals and high-quality protein, it provides near-perfect nutritional balance. If you’re concerned about green living, you should note that bugs emit 10 times less methane and 300 times less nitrous oxide than traditional livestock, so they have a smaller carbon footprint. Most … Read Full Post »

San Antonio Pest Control Specialists Battle Invasive Bug Species

Armadillos, rattlesnakes, fire ants and scorpions are common sights in Texas, but there are new pests on the block who are trying to take over the state. The most recent offenders include crazy ants, Africanized bees and stink bugs. Of all invasive species in Texas, insects are the most damaging. Arthropods and insects are responsible for more than half of all invasive species management costs, which equal about $150 million per year.

Crazy Ants

As the name suggests, these wildly invasive ants are crazier than fire ants, which have plagued Texas for years. These populous ant colonies were first discovered in 2002, but no one knows their exact origin. Since their discovery, colonies have spread throughout the state. Sensitive electrical equipment and air conditioners are prime targets for these loony ants. Although their bite isn’t as fierce as a fire ant’s bite, they cause costly damage to electrical equipment. They’re even capable … Read Full Post »

Wanna be Green? Try Losing Your Lawn!

As a homeowner, you probably take pride in your grassy front yard. There’s no shame in this: For many homeowners, nothing says “I’ve made it” like a fenced-in patch of brilliant green grass.

Unfortunately, San Antonio has been experiencing severe drought for several years on end, and forecasters expect the problem to continue. There’s a good chance that already tight city and county water restrictions will become even stricter: in nearby Austin, watering your lawn during the day is punishable by a $475 fine. Cut down on lawn care and get out in front of this looming problem with eco-friendly drought-resistant landscaping that uses native, drought-tolerant plants instead of water-guzzling grass.

What’s a Drought-Tolerant Landscape?

Also known as a “xeriscape,” drought-resistant landscaping is an area of landscaping that eschews moisture-loving varieties of grass in favor of water-sipping plant species like succulents, prairie grasses and desert-native shrubs. According to the University of Arizona’s Water … Read Full Post »

Safety Alert: Spread of the Dangerous “Kissing Bug” in Texas

bugs are keeping Austin weird too

The kissing bug is not as cute as it sounds. In fact, its other nickname, the assassin bug, may be more accurate. Scientifically known as triatomine bugs, these insects are more than just bothersome. They can carry Chagas disease, which is potentially life-threatening. Although the kissing bug is more common in Mexico, Central America and South America, the pest has been found in 27 of the U.S. states, including Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is Chagas Disease?

Chagas disease is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to mammals through the feces of the kissing bug. The kissing bug feeds on the blood of animals and humans, usually during the night. The insects tend to bite the faces of humans, leaving behind droppings near the bite wound. If the droppings, which may be infected with the parasite that causes Chagas disease, are rubbed into the wound, the … Read Full Post »