ABC Blog

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 »

Make Your Own Compost!

Some people think compost is only for gardens, but compost can be beneficial for lawns as well. Beautiful landscaping should include composting to provide soil with the rich nutrients needed for healthy lawns.

Composting Benefits

  • Microorganisms in compost help control plant pathogens and diseases in the soil.
  • Compost attaches to contaminants in the soil to prevent plants from absorbing them and to keep them from polluting waterways.
  • Composting helps prevent erosion by holding the soil and water together.
  • Compost attracts earthworms along with other macro-organisms and their tunneling creates necessary space for air and water in the soil.
  • Compost contains sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen and microorganisms necessary for plant growth.

When lawn care in Austin incorporates composting, the results are gorgeous, vigorous lawns that enhance Austin’s landscaping.

Create Your Own Compost

You can make compost with kitchen scraps and yard waste. If you manage your compost bin well, the compost will be ready to apply in just a few … Read Full Post »

The Importance of Sectioning a Sprinkler System

Having a sprinkler system in place ensures a thriving lawn even as the neighbor’s yard turns parched under the Texas sun. However, sprinklers should be set up to deliver optimum water to make sure that turf grass and ornamentals get enough water to flourish. By redesigning the sprinkler system into sections, homeowners can adjust the amount, timing and intensity of watering to properly support the landscaping.

Considerations for Sprinkler Sectioning

Different types of Houston landscaping materials will have different moisture requirements. Location in terms of sun and wind exposure will also affect watering needs. For instance, grass and ornamentals in a shady location will need less watering than plants in full sun and in areas exposed to brisk winds.

Growth patterns affect the type of sprinkler system and the amount of water needed. For efficient coverage, sprinklers should be positioned to water the designated area without being blocked by taller plants and thicker … Read Full Post »

A Homeowner’s Guide to Austin Wildlife

When most people think about wild animals, they imagine wildlife in secluded or wooded areas. However, there are plenty of different types of wildlife roaming the streets of Austin. Since some creatures can be dangerous, homeowners should be familiar with the wild animals sharing their city.What Types of Wildlife Live in Austin?In addition to a wide variety of birds, there are several small wild animals living in Austin. Opossums, squirrels, deer, foxes, coyotes, groundhogs, rats, mice, moles, skunks, raccoons, bats, and snakes are reported frequently. Some people also report seeing armadillos occasionally. Beavers, muskrats, weasels, iguanas, gophers, and porcupines have been sighted, but are rarer than the previously mentioned animals. Some types of wildlife are more common in certain areas of the city.Which Animals Pose a Threat to Homeowners?

Homeowners should be concerned about the animals that can be considered common pests. Animals such as deer, coyotes or skunks are not … Read Full Post »

Attention Homeowners: Don’t Ignore Your Trees!

If we are being honest with ourselves, many homeowners only think about the trees in their yards when they become a nuisance. The roots have grown under a concrete patio and created cracks, dead tree limbs are threatening our roof or our outdoor space, or worse yet, the limbs are touching power lines, presenting a possible fire hazard.

In actuality, the trees in our yards deserve much more attention from us, as they are the lifeblood of our yards. They absorb and trap harmful carbon dioxide in the air, preventing it from reaching the earth’s upper atmosphere. The trees’ root systems help prevent soil erosion, and best of all, trees provide much needed shade on a hot Texas summer day.

Lack of specific knowledge when it comes to taking care of our trees can cause irreversible harm to them, leaving them susceptible to diseases and weakening them to the point where one … Read Full Post »

The Benefits of Lawn Aeration

If you’re living in Houston and are not taking advantage of lawn aeration, it’s time to get in touch with a Houston lawn care specialist at ABC. The soil in our region benefits from aeration and can help create a beautiful, healthy lawn.

The benefits of lawn aeration include:

• A reduction in the level of compaction occurring in the soil. If you do not have your lawn aerated on a regular basis, the soil will become compact and difficult to work with in the future. Compacted soil may also cause problems with plants that are already present because of the difficulty that plants may have with growing roots down into heavily compacted soil.

• The main purpose of lawn aeration is to allow the soil to gain access to the air. Soil needs to be able to access the air in the surrounding atmosphere to remain healthy and in prime condition for … Read Full Post »