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What Size Furnace Do I Need?

A working furnace is a vital part of any home, even in warmer states like Texas. The last thing you want is to have a malfunctioning furnace in the dead of winter. If your furnace is reaching the end of its life, you’ll want to reach out to a heating specialist. A heating specialist knows all the calculations and factors that must be considered before making a large purchase like this one.

While some homeowners may think the bigger the better, this isn’t always the case. A furnace that is too big will also work too hard, which results in skyrocketing energy bills. On the other hand, a furnace that is too small will not heat your home completely, leaving you cold in the winter. Plus, it will have a shorter lifespan since it is working overtime to produce enough heat.

So, what do heating specialists look at when determining what size … Read Full Post »

What Kind of Grass Do I Have?

a homeowner's grass

Want to know the first step to growing that lush, perfect lawn you’ve always dreamt of? It’s knowing what kind of grass you have, and how to take care of it. With more than 12,000 species of grass grown worldwide, and dozens of regional varieties in every U.S. state, it can be more difficult than it sounds.

But it doesn’t have to be a guessing game.

Nearly all perennial grass found in U.S. lawns across the fall into one of two categories: cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses.

Cool Season Grasses

They’re called cool-season grasses because the majority of their growth happens during the cooler seasons of the year. A cool-season grass growing in a warmer climate area will likely die during the hotter months of summer and will need to be reseeded each year.

Below are some of the more common grasses found in the cool-season regions of the U.S.

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What Attracts Rats?

a rat in a garden

Knowing what attracts rats is a big part of keeping them away from your home and property. Rats are wild animals that naturally live outdoors, building nests under shrubbery, inside dead trees or in underground burrows. Like all animals, rats have three basic needs—food, water and shelter. When you’re dealing with a rat infestation on your property, it means they have found all three. This is why a big part of getting rid of rats is eliminating what’s attracting them.

If you’re dealing with a problem, you may notice some of the following signs of rats:

  • Scattered rat droppings
  • Shredded paper, insulation or other nesting materials
  • Squeaking or scratching sounds coming from within the walls or ceilings
  • Gnaw marks on cabinets, baseboards or other areas
  • Greasy rub marks along walls, baseboards or rafters, where these pests commonly walk along their routes between their nest and their food and water sources
  • An actual rat sighting—though this is less … Read Full Post »

What Color Are Bed Bugs?

two bed bugs and a bed bug egg

Do you know the typical signs of bed bugs and how to determine them from other types of household pests? The best way to catch a bed bug infestation before it goes too far is to understand the appearance of bed bugs in all parts of their life cycle.

In this article, you will learn what bed bugs look like, what color they are and how their appearance changes before and after a blood meal. You will also discover what bed bug stains look like, as well as other common signs of bed bugs. Equipped with this information, homeowners can catch an infestation even before they spot bed bugs in their home.

A bed bug infestation does not mean that your home is dirty, but it is crucial to treat the problem as soon as possible. This article will highlight how to get rid of these pests.

The Color of Bed Bugs Throughout … Read Full Post »

My Christmas Lights Aren’t Working But the Fuses Are Good

a string of christmas lights

Ah, ‘tis the season! Pretty packages, mistletoe and the aroma of cider. And, of course, the annual untangling and testing of last year’s snarl of Christmas lights.

As usual, you’re probably going to find a few burnt-out bulbs, half-lighting strands and possibly even a string or two that don’t light up at all.

What to do?

Run to the store and brave the crazed holiday crowds to buy even more lights? Learn to live with the dead spots in your otherwise perfectly decorated tree or home? Risk electrocution by trying to fix them yourself?

Every year, millions of holiday homeowners ask themselves these questions while trying to complete their Christmas decorating to-do list.

Before you decide, let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why single or multiple Christmas lights might not be working even if the fuses are good.

Why Aren’t My Christmas Lights Working?

The first step to answering the question, “Why aren’t … Read Full Post »

Your Guide to the Christmas Parades in Bryan, Texas

Santa on his sleight at a Christmas parade in Bryan, TX

If you’re looking to experience a fun and festive Christmas parade, Bryan, TX, is the place to be this holiday season. There are several Christmas parades in Bryan to choose from—though only one is a lighted parade, with lighted floats, firetrucks and other vehicles.

There are also many other local events to help you and your loved ones kick off a merry and festive holiday season. Let’s take a look at the best of Bryan at Christmastime:

  • Santa Arrival Parade: Santa comes to town the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 25, 2022, and downtown Bryan is illuminated for the Christmas season. This early evening event is free and open to the public. Come see Jolly Old Saint Nick circle the square as twinkling lights kick off the season of merriment!
  • Downtown Bryan Holiday Stroll & Lighted Parade: This is Bryan-College Station’s one and only lighted Christmas parade. Beginning at 6 PM on … Read Full Post »

I Found Mouse Droppings But No Mouse

mouse droppings on floor

You might not have spotted a mouse in your house, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t moved in. There are several other signs that you have a rodent problem that needs immediate attention.

Sudden Appearance of Pellets

A sure sign is droppings around food, in drawers or cupboards (especially in the kitchen) and under a sink. Not everyone is quite sure what they are seeing when they spy droppings in their home, so it’s important to know what mouse droppings look like. What you are looking for are smallish dark pellets, about one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long, with pointed ends.

It can be easy to want to believe it’s just food particles or something else, but the reality is you have unwanted guests if you are seeing these droppings. You can get a flashlight and take a peek behind cabinets and under sinks and appliances to see if … Read Full Post »

Can Rats See in the Dark?

a rat in darkness

When you hear rustling around the house at night, it could be a family member going into the kitchen for a midnight snack. If you hear noises in the wall, it’s an entirely different kind of hungry critter. Rats regularly scrounge for food and water at night, which has led to the popular belief that rodents can see very well in the dark. But can they really?

It is true that rats are nocturnal animals and would much rather hide away during the daylight hours than run about your home. Rats are incredibly sensitive to bright lights. It hurts their eyes. So it would make sense for them to have night vision. However, rats actually have pretty poor vision no matter how much light there is.

Most rats have adapted to living in low light and are pretty nearsighted, with the ability to only see a couple of feet in front of … Read Full Post »

The Giant African Land Snail: What You Need To Know

a giant African land snail

Giant African Land Snails are an invasive species that can cause property damage and disrupt agriculture. While they originated in Africa, they are now found worldwide. Infestations are extremely serious.

These snails prefer warm and humid climates, which is why they are most often found in the southeastern states of America. Currently, a new Giant African Land Snail population has been discovered in Pasco County, Florida. This is the third time that the state has dealt with an infestation.

Florida residents should understand the risks of a Giant African Land Snail infestation and learn how to identify these pests. This guide will break down their appearance, habitats, mating habits, reproduction cycle and more. It will also cover the previous infestations in Florida and what the state is currently doing to eradicate these pests again.

What Do Giant African Land Snails Look Like?

As you can probably tell from their name, Giant … Read Full Post »

What To Do About Mice in Walls

a brown mouse

Scurrying, squeaking or scratching noises in the walls at night typically means one thing; rodents. The 2021 American Housing Survey, conducted by the U.S Census Bureau, reveals that almost 15 million homes in the U.S. reported rodent sightings last year.

Mice and other rodents aren’t just a danger to your walls, wiring and insulation either.

The saliva, urine and feces of mice or rats can spread a host of deadly diseases to humans and pets.

Common Signs of Mice in Walls

Mice can be noticeable house guests, leaving droppings and gnaw marks behind as they search for food and shelter.

These signs can not only indicate their presence in your home but help narrow down the specific areas they’re regularly invading. If you find shredded packaging, food remains or droppings in your pantry, it’s a sure sign that mice are helping themselves to your food.

Scattered bits of insulation, cardboard or plastic wiring are a good … Read Full Post »