ABC Blog

San Antonio Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

 

San Antonio Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

Spring is a great time of year to turn your focus as a homeowner to how to improve your living and outdoor spaces. The return of nicer weather is also a great excuse to get out, enjoying all San Antonio has to offer.

San Antonio Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017

ABC Home & Commercial Services has been making life easier for homeowners for over 60 years. Our San Antonio Homeowners Guide for Spring 2017 is full of resources and helpful information to continue on that tradition.

The 9-page Guide includes:

  • Ten Things to Do in San Antonio This Spring
  • Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
  • Spring Cleaning List of Where to Donate or Dispose of Common Household Items Locally
  • Advice on How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard
  • Spring Gardening Tips
  • 6 Signs You May Need to Repair Your AC
  • What You Need to Know About Oak Wilt
  • Easy Home Improvement Projects

Download the guide here. Read on for a taste of the information you’ll find inside.

How To Mosquito-Proof Your Yard

Spring is such a lovely time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors in San Antonio. Unfortunately, mosquitoes can sometimes spoil our fun. Here are a few ways to prevent these biting insects from hanging out in your yard.

Take Preventative Measures

Mosquitoes thrive in areas with long grasses, unkempt plants and shrubs and piled up branches and other debris. Keep your grass cut short, and regularly trim back plants and shrubs so they don’t harbor mosquitoes. If you’ve got branches or other wood sources piled up in your yard, make sure to clear it away and keep it from piling up again.

Remove Standing Water

Mosquitoes depend on standing water to reproduce, so take a stroll around your yard a few times a week to make sure there is no water that has accumulated in pots, wheelbarrows and in other areas of your lawn. If you have a birdbath, you can purchase disks which contain a bacteria toxic to mosquito larvae but safe for birds.

Use Natural Deterrents

Incorporate natural deterrents into your yard such as citronella, lemon thyme, lemon balm, catnip and feverfew.  Natural treatments such as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and garlic spray can also help deter mosquitoes.

Invite Natural Predators In

Bats, purple martins, dragonflies, toads, and damselflies are natural predators of mosquitoes. They won’t do the job on their own, but in combination with other efforts, they can help reduce the mosquito population. You can encourage these mosquito-eaters to visit your yard by creating a draw, like bat and purple martin houses where they can roost.

Try DIY Mosquito Control

Many chemical treatments, traps and bug zappers can help eliminate mosquitoes.  Mosquito traps attract mosquitoes by imitating human characteristics, like producing heat and releasing CO2.  Bug zappers use a combination of light and electricity to attract and kill mosquitoes.

What You Need to Know About Oak Wilt

Oak wilt is a fungal infection which is especially prevalent in trees in Central Texas. Here are things you need to know about this “sudden oak death” to protect your property from this tree killer.

What Species Are Affected?

The infectious disease caused by the Ceratocystis fagacearum fungus can impact any type of oak, but red oaks, including Texas oak, Shumard oak, blackjack oak and water oak are the most vulnerable. White oaks and live oaks are also affected, although to a lesser degree.

Signs of Oak Wilt

In general, live oaks impacted by the fungus tend to lose their leaves within six months of being infected. Early on, a live oak can develop yellow veins which turn brown as the infection eats away at the tree. Impacted young red oak leaves may wilt and turn pale green and brown, although the infection is harder to spot in these trees. The best indication of oak wilt in red oaks is to look for fungal mats in the spring which form underneath the tree’s bark.

Will Oak Wilt Spread to Other Trees In My Yard?

Oak wilt can spread easily. Insects help spread the spores in fungal mats of affected trees by feeding on sap that leaks out of the trees and mixes with mats. Insects that reach a new tree can introduce spores into tree tissue by coming into contact with weak spots on the tree or open wounds.

How Can You Control Oak Wilt?

Red oaks which have been impacted should be cut down and burned or buried to prevent the spread of fungal mats elsewhere. You can also prevent the spread of the disease with herbicide, deep girdling, stripping a tree or bark or drying the wood. Make sure not to distribute unseasoned firewood made from red oaks, as the fungus can spread to healthy firewood in storage.

When and How Should I Prune My Oak Trees?

Avoid pruning your oaks between February and June to prevent the spread of oak wilt. Always paint fresh wounds on oaks with latex paint or wound dressing, clean your tools with 10% bleach solution and promptly chip, burn or bury the remains of diseased red oaks.

ABC Is Your Partner in Home Maintenance and Home Improvement

ABC Home & Commercial Services is your partner in both home maintenance and home improvement. With the help of the skilled and highly-trained technicians at ABC and the helpful information in our Spring Guide, you can better enjoy your biggest investment, both during this time of year and beyond.

Learn More