ABC Blog

Cluster Flies vs House Flies

Cluster flies in house all of a sudden

In Orlando, Florida, flies are as common as freshly squeezed orange juice – especially during the hot months of summer.

They’re present at every backyard BBQ, and residents have grown accustomed to shooing them away from the potato and fruit salads. But, what many residents fail to realize is that they are often dealing with more than one type of fly.

Contrary to popular belief, there are many species of flies. In fact, there are more than 20,000 species in North America alone. And while we’d love to discuss the differences between all fly species, we wanted to focus on the housefly and the cluster fly, as the cluster fly is most present in the late summer and early autumn months of the year.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences together.

Cluster Flies

Though commonly know as cluster flies, many people often refer to these flying insects as attic flies.

Cluster flies emerge in … Read Full Post »

Where Do House Flies Come From?

where do house flies come from

In warm, humid climates like we have in Houston, flies can be a real nuisance. When they invade your home, you want them gone as fast as possible. In this article, we discuss four types of flies common to our area, where they come from, and how to deal with them.

Types of houseflies

House flies are perhaps the most common flying pest in our homes. These are a half to a third of an inch in length, black or gray in color, and have translucent wings. They are attracted to garbage cans, animal feces, and fresh food.

Blowflies, also known as bottle flies, are much less common indoors, but far more annoying when they appear. Similar in appearance to house flies, these are a bit larger and slower moving. Blow flies are usually associated with dead animals.

Drain flies are small brownish-black flies with dark wings and a furry, almost moth-like appearance. They … Read Full Post »

Your Guide to Preventing and Eliminating Flea Infestation at Home

household flea treatment

Contrary to popular belief, fleas are attracted to more animals than just your furry pet. They’re known to bite humans, too. Similar to mosquitos, fleas feed off their host’s blood, and while they’re traditionally known to target animals – especially dogs and cats – flea bites for humans are more common than you think.

Fleas might be small in size, but a bite from this wingless insect can cause major irritation, and sometimes lead to a serious reaction. The best way to avoid potential problems is to adopt and carry out preventative measures before they make their way into your home and onto your body.

Here are a few ways to prevent fleas from biting you and your loved ones at home.

Inspect Your Furry Friends

The most common way fleas enter your home is via your pet. And once inside, they reproduce at rapid speeds; in their life cycle, females can lay up … Read Full Post »

What do Bats have to do with Bed Bugs?

Where do bed bugs come from?

 

What would you say if we told you bed bugs come from bats? Seems crazy; shocking even! We know. But as unbelievable as it sounds—it’s true. The bloodsucking bed bug’s origins do in fact, trace back to bats.

Our team at ABC Home & Commercial may know a thing or two about bed bugs, but we realize that many of our neighbors here in Austin aren’t so in tune with this headache-causing pest.

Whether you’ve dealt with a bed bug infestation in the past, or have yet to encounter the creepy crawlers in your home, understanding where the pests come from and why they’re in your home is your best bet for keeping your home safe.

Let’s take a look together at how and why such tiny creatures can create such a big problem.

Historical Figures

According to a study conducted at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, scientist found that bats were the first ancestral … Read Full Post »

5 Bugs That Help Austin Stay Weird

bugs are keeping Austin weird too

It’s that time of year again: the days are long, the sun is hot (or just hotter), and it seems that everyone is enjoying the great outdoors from sun-up to sundown. Whether you’re standing by the grill in your backyard or cooling off at the local watering hole, we Austinites know how to get the full summer experience.

While you might have adjusted to the Texas summer heat, so too have the insects that occupy the city each summer—and not just the pesky bugs you’re accustomed to seeing around your home either. Sure, the constant buzzing of a mosquito is easily identified, but the Austin area is home to some pretty weird bugs too.

Let’s explore a few of these summer pests.

The Africanized Killer Bees (Apis mellifera scutella)

Jeffrey W. Lotz, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

You’re probably thinking, “bees aren’t weird,” and we won’t argue with that. But bee-ware, Africanized … Read Full Post »

Mosquito Bite FAQ’s: Resisting the urge to scratch

Let’s face it: nobody likes mosquitoes. Or their bites.

But when you live in a city like San Antonio, mosquitos are a part of life. And it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.

That’s why we compiled a list answering a few popular questions people have about those unwanted pests. From the whys and what’s, to the do’s and dont’s of what to do if a mosquito lands on you.

Top Moquito Bite FAQ’s

Q1: Why do mosquitoes bite people?

Mosquitoes are nearly impossible to eliminate. They can adapt to changing environments and grow steadily in the summer months when temperatures are both hot and humid, or what we like to call mid-July San Antonio weather.

You may not know this, but only a small percentage of mosquitoes bite humans. And while that may come as a surprise to some, it’s because mosquitoes bite to reproduce, not to live.

Female mosquitoes bite people to gather protein … Read Full Post »

Ladybugs: Your Backyard’s Best Friend (And Foe!)

What’s the first image that comes to mind when thinking of a ladybug? If your answer involves a picture of a grandchild dressing up as one for Halloween, or making a wish on one as a child, you’re not alone.

Ladybugs, unlike other pests, are often paired with positive memories, and typically thought of as harmless creatures. And with their delicate wings and beautiful black-spotted backs, it’s hard to image them as anything other than a pretty creature.

But when it comes to your backyard, these gentle critters can offer more than just good luck. They can help combat destructive pests like aphids, mites, and scale. Here are a few ways you can attract (and keep!) ladybugs in your backyard.

Plenty of Pollen

Like all pests, ladybugs need to eat, and they have their favorite meals. To attract ladybugs to your backyard or garden, consider including a few pollen plants in the area. These … Read Full Post »

5 Great Indoor Activities For Summer Fun in Houston

If you’re a Houston parent, then keeping your children cool during the hot summer is likely a huge priority. Longer periods of direct sunlight and high-humidity can harm children, who are more susceptible to heat-related illness and dehydration than adults. Not to mention the crankiness factor. Do you really want to listen to your child complain about being hot all day?

Fortunately, indoor family activities can give you and your kids the opportunity to add a little variety to summer vacation while staying cool. We are lucky to live in a city with a great selection of kid-friendly museums, indoor play places, and arts and crafts centers.

So, when the family needs a break from the pool or the playground, beat the heat with a few of these indoor alternatives.

1. Sky Zone Sports

photo by Clintus McGintus

www.skyzone.com/houston/
Sky Zone offers kids the opportunity to release some energy. The indoor trampoline park features one … Read Full Post »

5 Family Activities to Avoid Orlando’s Summer Heat

Orlando may be blessed with mild winters and tropical showers that cool things off from time to time, but for the most part, our summers are HOT. When it’s 90+ degrees outside, outdoor family fun can be a little exhausting for everyone. Kids can fall victim to heat stroke and dehydration more easily than adults, who sweat more and adjust faster to heat.

Sunburns also become problematic in summer. The UV index in Florida can reach extreme levels between the months of June and September.

If your family needs a break from the unbearable summer heat, consider an indoor activity as an alternative to theme parks and trips to the lake.

ABC put together a list of our favorite indoor activities for families in Orlando.

Read Full Post »

ABC Named “Best Pest Control” in Austin Chronicle

Service with a smile really does get you noticed

At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we’ve been taking care of our customers since our founding. Homeowners and business owners across the Austin area have been good to us, and we make sure to give back whenever possible. That’s why it’s so gratifying to hear that we’ve been named among the best pest control services in the city by the Austin Chronicle.

Why Are We the Best?

Talk about a loaded question. According to the Chronicle, the “60+ years ABC has been tending to Austin’s residential and commercial needs have given them a definitive advantage over the pests that plague us.” It’s true that our experience is a real asset. We currently employ several generations of pest control specialists, each of whom can learn something from the others.

The Chronicle goes on to say that “the new generation of bug busters [at ABC] continues the … Read Full Post »