ABC Blog

How to Create an Epic Pool in Your Own Backyard

If you own a backyard pool, you may have the typical oasis that many of your neighbors also have. Wouldn’t you prefer to flaunt the same kind of spectacular pool that famous hotels and resorts feature? You may not be able to match the extravagance of a five-star accommodation, but you can apply some similar design ideas and create an aquatic masterpiece in your own yard.

By pulling specific qualities from elaborate designs, you can customize your pool to give it epic appeal. Remodeling a pool may be as simple as adding some landscaping, or it can be a marathon renovation. The initial idea of a pool overhaul may seem overwhelming, but imagine diving into your new luxurious splash zone as a reward for your efforts.

Before you take the sledgehammer or ax to your backyard, consider what you can do to avoid total annihilation. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Landscaping … Read Full Post »

Mosquito Dangers: What You Need to Know

Along with the enjoyment of warm weather comes the annoyance of mosquitoes. Although you may plan on just ignoring these pests, the frequency of mosquito bites may become irritating and the potential for serious health concerns should keep you cautious. This summer, it may be wise to be proactive about a mosquito problem.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are carriers of an array of viruses. Although not every mosquito is a threat, there is no way to know before a mosquito bites you. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has a thorough list of mosquito-borne diseases, but the four diseases most likely to affect any given family in the United States are West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever and canine heartworm.

West Nile virus is a potentially fatal disease that causes brain inflammation and flulike symptoms. Malaria involves a parasite attacking your red blood cells, causing a persistent fever. Dengue is a type of fever … Read Full Post »

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 properly 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 do require it. Trees in the Houston area grow in an environment that can make it difficult to adequately fertilize trees using traditional broadcasting methods of fertilization. Here are some circumstances that require treatment:

  • If a tree is growing in very compact soil, nutrients are less likely to penetrate the soil and reach the root zone.
  • In some urban and suburban areas, trees are not able to gather adequate nutrients from the immediate environment.
  • If the branch and leaf growth of the tree appears to be stunted, this can be a serious sign that … 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 honey, you may be wondering 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 on the continent, 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 over thousands of years to work in harmony with native plants and move pollen among them, helping … 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, which is the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method.

What Is The IPM Method?

The EPA encourages the use of this method because they say it is less harmful to the environment 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 … 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 »

Home Invaders: Which Species of Roaches Infest the Indoors?

The hot, humid environment in Texas provides an ideal breeding ground for many insect species, including one of the most hated pests, the cockroach. Several roach species live primarily outdoors and go unnoticed due to their nocturnal habits, but some of these creepy insects enter the home and establish populations within walls or other dark hiding spots. Pest control in Houston is important for residents to eliminate and control these bugs that harbor inside buildings.

Common Roach Species in Houston

German cockroaches are the small species that cause the most problems indoors. Due to their ability to eat anything, hide in tiny crevices and breed at a rapid rate, Houston pest control companies utilize several tactics to eliminate these insects. German roaches live exclusively indoors while contributing to germ distribution, allergies and asthma. American cockroaches are startling when spotted because of their large size. Living both inside homes and outdoors, they are … Read Full Post »

The Integrated Pest Management Approach

Many people have concerns about the hazards associated with the overuse of pesticides. This has caused a number of pest control companies to take a new approach to treating pest infestations. ABC Home & Commercial Services uses integrated pest management to regulate, treat, and prevent future infestations. The strategy involved in the IPM approach is based on practical procedures that present the least amount of risk.

Integrated pest management is an effective way to respond to pest issues. By understanding the life cycles and behaviors of insects and vermin, specialists can use a holistic method to control invasions. ABC San Antonio exterminators utilize the latest data regarding pest habits and pesticides, in order to provide clients with the most comprehensive treatment system possible.

The first step in the IPM approach is determining the level at which action should be taken. This involves deciding when pests will become an environmental or economical threat. … Read Full Post »