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Protect Your Property by Taming Your Trees

Those majestic old trees on your property have been growing just fine on their own for decades or even longer, so why do you need a tree service? Trees will perform self-maintenance if left to their own devices in a wooded environment, but the coexistence of trees and people in cities and residential areas requires human intervention to ensure safety and prevent damage to homes, landscaping and the tree itself. For a harmonious existence between you and your trees, turn to the Dallas lawn care and tree care specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services.Benefits to Your Home and Lawn

Overgrown trees may need pruning for several reasons, such as providing clearance for power lines, buildings, homes or people. Trees may also need to be thinned at the crown to increase the amount of sunlight and air that reaches the foliage, encouraging optimal growth. Thinning additionally helps shed more sunlight on … Read Full Post »

Insects Can Still Present Problems in Winter

Once the first hard freeze hits Austin, you may think that your pest problems are over for a few months, but do you know where the insects actually go? Some insects migrate to warmer climates, while others are designed to tolerate the colder temperatures by overwintering, which is a type of hibernation process. When bugs hibernate in the soil or under leaves, rocks and logs, they do not affect humans at all. However, many insects are likely to seek shelter in your home rather than under a log during the winter months and that’s why you need year-round Austin pest control tips.

Insects That Thrive Indoors

Finding flies or ants in your home during the summer months is a common occurrence, especially if you leave doors and windows open, but spotting just one of these pests in the winter could be a sign of an infestation. Adult insects usually lie dormant in … Read Full Post »

Life-Saving Education for Allergic Kids

Childhood is a carefree time when kids are encouraged to play and have fun. Unfortunately, a bee or wasp can bring the fun to an end. In the United States, roughly 3% of children are allergic to insect bites or stings. While many reactions cause mild swelling and discomfort, a bee sting can also cause a life-threatening reaction that requires epinephrine. That’s why it’s essential to teach allergic kids to identify signs of wasps and bees and to act accordingly.

In College Station and many parts of Texas, stinging insects are active all year. As pest control experts, ABC highly recommends treating your outdoor areas during fall and winter through a collective approach that includes landscaping, pest control and lawn care in College Station.

Photos, field guides and online videos are all excellent resources for teaching children how to identify and avoid stinging insects. Children should be aware that wasps don’t only … Read Full Post »

Give Your Pool a Makeover in Time for Spring

Are you planning to leave a pool remodel project until warmer weather? Consider getting your pool makeover finished now to have your pool ready to go when warm weather returns.

Getting the Deck or Patio Prepared

Not all of the action is in the water, so anyone who wants to lounge poolside without swimming needs a relaxing patio or deck space to unwind.

Getting the deck or patio ready adjacent to the pool doesn’t necessarily require renovation. Consider purchasing some outdoor furniture that’s modern, sleek, and high-quality to achieve a relaxing and attractive atmosphere without construction.

Popular outdoor furniture that is functional and beautiful includes hardwood and wicker dark-colored furniture. Real Simple Magazine suggests looking for furniture pieces that are easy to move for convenience, and that can also withstand the local climate.

Pool Re-Tiling

Tiles can get worn out and damaged over time. If you’ve been putting off a pool re-tiling, consider getting it done … Read Full Post »

Stink Bugs Cause a Stink for Gardeners

Most gardeners are eager to share a bountiful harvest with friends and neighbors. There is usually enough to go around, but a few greedy stink bugs can destroy an entire crop in a few short weeks. Take precautions now to deter these hungry bugs from devouring the spoils of your hard labor—even in winter.

Identify the Enemy

Stink bugs are easily recognized due to their brown or green shield-shaped bodies. Their markings vary in color, and triangles on their backs are called scutellum.

Stink bugs leave blemishes the size of pinheads on fruits and vegetables, including winter veggies such as kale and spinach. Sometimes excrement is also present. The damage is more than cosmetic—the area underneath the depression or blemish may not ripen. Some fruits will turn brown underneath the blemish.

Take Precautions

Take steps before the growing season begins to deter stink bugs from settling into the garden. Our Houston lawn care and landscaping … Read Full Post »

Handling Firewood Improperly Can Cause Pest Problems

Heating your Houston home with firewood is cozy, romantic, and environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, if your wood isn’t handled and stored correctly, it can harbor unwanted pests. These insects pose no serious threat to your home in most cases, but a few species could be problematic.

A variety of insects infest wood. The list includes bark lice, millipedes, centipedes, pill bugs, sowbugs, springtails, termites, beetles, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and wasps. Termites are the biggest threat to your home’s structure, but they’re not usually a problem unless you bring firewood into a moist environment and store the logs against your home. If you find live termites in a wood pile, move the wood as far away from your home as possible.

Wood-boring beetles can be a nuisance if they create noise or wood dust. Bark beetles live inside a tree’s bark or between the bark and heartwood. If infested wood is stacked against … Read Full Post »

Add Some Color to San Antonio Landscaping

Cooler weather can make traditional landscaping plants die out or go dormant, and a lawn that normally looks vibrant with colorful plants can start to look dull and boring. Add some color to your landscaping with plants that prefer cooler weather to perk up your lawn this winter season.


Calendulas are beautiful yellow flowers that bloom during the winter to add warmth to a lawn. An added benefit of calendulas is that they attract any butterfly species that are active in San Antonio during the winter months.


Snapdragons are available in a variety of sizes, and the rocket snapdragons that grow to be about three feet tall are ideal for landscaping purposes. Colors range from bright red to deep purple, so snapdragons are definitely able to add color to a lawn. Blooming occurs through December and again in March, so planting snapdragons in the fall or middle of the winter is best.


Pansies … Read Full Post »

How to Prevent and Control Oak Wilt

One of the most recognizable features of the Texas landscape is the oak trees that decorate the state. Can you imagine the countryside without them? Ceratocystis fagacearum, a fungal disease known as oak wilt, is the perpetrator behind the dwindling oak population. These magnificent trees are being singled out by this fungal disease and rapidly reducing the oak population. Properly identifying oak wilt and utilizing successful oak wilt management techniques can help reduce tree loss.

So how do you identify oak wilt? Patterns of tree mortality such as defoliation during different seasons are one way to identify oak wilt. While exceptions have been documented, live oaks generally lose their leaves and die within six months of being infected. Red oaks display autumn-like coloration that sets them apart from surrounding foliage. They never survive the fungus, usually dying within three to four weeks after being infected.

The oaks leaves can paint a disturbing … Read Full Post »

Smoke Alarms 101

Smoke alarms are essential for your and your family’s safety. Do you know what kind of smoke alarm you have, and are you aware of how your alarm is powered?

Types of Smoke Alarms

The U.S. Fire Administration explains that two types of smoke alarms are available.

An ion smoke alarm is a less expensive option and most beneficial in open flames. The quick reaction that an ion type of alarm has makes it ideal in the case of a kitchen fire that has been caused by cooking.

A photoelectric type of smoke alarm is more sensitive to fires that involve smolders instead of open flames.

While the two types of alarms have different reactions to fires, both are effective for helping people stay informed during a fire.

There are also different methods for powering a smoke alarm:

9-volt batteries are the most common power source for smoke alarms. These batteries should be changed at least once … Read Full Post »

The Beneficial Ladybug

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A Family of Friendly Insects in Florida

Members of the Coccinellidae family, commonly known as ladybugs, are not technically bugs. Entomologists call these insects by the more accurate term—ladybird beetles. There are about 5,000 species of ladybird beetles worldwide, most beneficial to mankind. Although the ladybug is often pictured as red with black spots, these insects come in various colors and patterns.

The common ladybug is a friend to gardeners and landscapers. When aphids and scale insects threaten rose bushes and garden vegetables, the ladybug fights back with vigor. One ladybug may eat 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. The female ladybug lays her eggs on plants that aphids, mealybugs, and scales frequently. As soon as the eggs hatch, the larvae start feeding. Consider the ladybug an ally in natural pest control. These effective exterminators are even considerate enough to replace themselves regularly. One female ladybug may lay 1,000 eggs in her lifetime. … Read Full Post »