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Deep Root Feeding: Do Your Trees Need It?

Deep root feeding, also known as deep root fertilization, is a treatment that delivers nutrients directly to the root zone of a tree or shrub. If a tree is not adequately nourished, the tree cannot flourish. In the worst-case scenario, tree removal may be necessary.

Is Deep Root Feeding Necessary?

Deep root feeding is not always necessary, but some trees require it. Trees in the Houston area grow in an environment that can make it difficult to fertilize trees adequately using traditional broadcasting fertilization methods. Here are some circumstances that require treatment:

  • If a tree grows in very compact soil, nutrients are less likely to penetrate the soil and reach the root zone.
  • Trees cannot gather adequate nutrients from the immediate environment in some urban and suburban areas.
  • If the branch and leaf growth of the tree appears to be stunted, this can be a serious sign that the tree is not obtaining adequate water … Read Full Post »

The Bee Control Controversy

why do bees swarm

You may have heard that honeybee populations in the United States are on the decline, resulting in a considerable increase in the price of local honey. Unless you consume a lot of love, you may wonder why you should care about bees. Aren’t they just annoying pests that build nests around your home and threaten to sting your children?

The truth is that honeybees aren’t even native to North America, but they, along with around 4,000 native species, are responsible for pollinating flowers and plants. Without these pollinators doing their job, humans and other animals would be robbed of about half of their plant food sources. As a result, bees are essential to all life on Earth.

Native Versus Nonnative Bees

Native bees, such as bumblebees and orchard mason bees, have evolved to work in harmony with native plants and move pollen among them, helping grow flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Many people … Read Full Post »

Hidden Dangers in Your Home: Outdated Breaker Panels

Most homeowners know where to find their circuit breaker panel or box, but not everyone is aware of how important this box is in your home. All of the electricity that is supplied to your home runs through that panel. The breakers are designed to automatically shut off in dangerous situations like an electrical short or overload. But some older panels may not have the same safety features that newer models have and can even make some electrical issues worse.

Most concerning is the fact that older panels can actually be a fire hazard. If an older panel is overloaded, it may generate enough heat to start a small fire. Electrical fires are notoriously difficult to put out, and a small fire can spread rapidly. Since most breaker panels are in garages or other remote locations in the home, a fire can get out of hand before it is even detected.

Older … Read Full Post »

Pests in the Attic

Animals and other urban wildlife are always looking for places to breed, store food and hide from predators. Unfortunately, some creatures may choose to take up residence in your attic. They use vents and other small openings to gain entry. Some of them stay inside the attic; others leave during the night to search for food.

An assortment of pests live in attics. They include various insects, rodents, birds and bats. Some raccoons and opossums also appreciate the shelter that an attic provides. Most of these creatures are nocturnal and can carry small parasites, such as fleas and ticks.

Pests often damage the attic and eventually harm other parts of the home. Rodents may chew on telephone or electrical wires. Some animals destroy insulation or air ducts. Raccoons can even tear holes through the roof. This kind of destruction may cause major water leaks or a fire.

Pests can also defecate and urinate … Read Full Post »

The Relationship Between Plumbing and Pests

Most homeowners are unaware of the association between plumbing and pests, but the fact is that the two are intertwined. Problems with a home’s plumbing can attract certain types of pests. Not to mention, the presence of pests in the plumbing of a home can cause some serious plumbing issues. Lowe’s notes that pests ranging from rodents to snakes can find their way into the plumbing of a building and wreak havoc.

How Do Plumbing Problems Attract Pests?

When a home has leaky plumbing, pests may move in because they detect a water source and are attracted to the area where the leak originates. Homeowners should be aware that standing water attracts pests including mosquitoes, so having a simple leak can lead to a serious pest problem in your home.

Pests that eat wood are particularly interested in moist wood because it is easier for them to chew, and they rely on moisture … Read Full Post »

What Attracts Scorpions to My Home?

Of all of the common household pests here in Texas, one may be the creepy-crawliest of them all: the scorpion. While some scorpions may be limited to crawling on the floor, others are able to climb walls, drapes and hide in the folds of clothing. You might find a scorpion in a variety of places, such as inside of a shoe or under a piles of clothing. In addition to being painful, a scorpion’s sting is venomous and can cause serious illness. In a few cases, the sting may even cause death. To know how to eradicate these poisonous pests, homeowners must understand what attracts scorpions to homes.

What Attracts Scorpions to My Home?

The more you know about these arachnids, the more equipped you are to know where and when to spot them, how to know they have made it inside of your home, and most importantly, how to get them out—for … Read Full Post »

Common Lawn Weeds in Texas

Common lawn weeds in Texas make lawns appear untidy and unhealthy because lawn weeds in Texas grow faster than lawn grass between cuttings. Also, weeds can spread plant diseases as insects move from one plant to another. Common lawn weeds in Texas lawns consume water, fertilizer and sunlight meant for desirable plants and grasses.

Broad-leaf Weeds in Texas Lawns

Broad-leaf weeds thrive in disturbed soil. They have adapted to cover bare ground quickly and stabilize the soil. Examples of broad-leaf weeds in Texas lawns are poison ivy, pigweed, purslane and chickweed.

Grassy Weeds in Texas Lawns

The growth habit of a grassy weed can resemble lawn grass. However, grassy weeds are prolific seed producers and usually have conspicuous seed heads. Also, grassy weeds have tough roots so they can recover easily from grazing pressure in the wild. Examples of grassy weeds are Bermuda grass, Johnson grass and grassbur.

Annual Weeds

Annual weeds are weeds that grow one or two seasons and produce … Read Full Post »

IPM: Protecting Children and Pets While Eliminating Pests

Many parents understand the importance of having a pest-free home. However, they also know that several chemicals used to control various pests are dangerous for pets and children. In some cases, the results have been fatal. ABC Home & Commercial Services understands parents’ concerns and values every family member’s health. This is why they offer an alternative form of pest control, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method.

What Is The IPM Method?

The EPA encourages this method because it is less environmentally harmful than standard pest control methods. IPM can be summed up as a holistic approach to pest management. The practice encourages education and awareness for homeowners. It also encourages preventative treatments in addition to control methods if infestations occur.

What Are The Components Of IPM?

The IPM method includes several components. The first part is pest monitoring. Homeowners must be vigilant and know how to look for signs of problematic infestations. The … Read Full Post »

Good Mowing Practices for Austin Lawns

Austin lawn care techniques need to change throughout the year because maintenance and mowing techniques for each season are different. Your lawn can be a compliment to the beautiful Austin landscape when you know the best practices to use for various weather conditions.

Winter Maintenance

During the winter months, it’s important to winterize your sprinkler system, lawn mower and lawn tools to prepare them for springtime use. Continual maintenance is important, even when they are in disuse.

Mowing

If you plan to use a riding lawn mower this Spring, make sure you know how to operate it safely. Set your mower height one or two notches lower if you plan to mow during the winter to help prevent damage by winter winds that can dry out new growth. If the grass is too long through the winter, it may smother itself, succumb to disease or suffer injury from repeated freezing and thawing. However, cutting … Read Full Post »

One of Dallas’s Most Unwanted House Guests: The Scorpion

Scorpions are one of the most fearsome pests in Texas. These venomous arachnids crawl around homes under the cover of night and pose a serious threat when disturbed. Texas is home to 18 scorpion species, but only one is found in the Dallas area. Fortunately, none of these scorpions are known to cause fatal stings. The most common species in Texas and the only species in Dallas is the striped bark scorpion, which has two striped bands running down its back. These scorpions only measure 2 inches long, but their venom is packed with neurotoxins that cause intense pain and swelling.

Scorpions at Night

Closely related to ticks and spiders, scorpions have evolved to withstand desert-like conditions. To conserve moisture and regulate their temperatures, scorpions hide in dark places during the day and prowl for food at night. Because scorpions are nocturnal, infestations often go unnoticed. One of the best ways to … Read Full Post »