ABC Blog

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 »

Add Some Color to San Antonio Landscaping

Cooler weather can make traditional landscaping plants die out or go dormant, and a lawn that normally looks vibrant with colorful plants can start to look dull and boring. Add some color to your landscaping with plants that prefer cooler weather to perk up your lawn this winter season.

Calendulas

Calendulas are beautiful yellow flowers that bloom during the winter to add warmth to a lawn. An added benefit of calendulas is that they attract any butterfly species that are active in San Antonio during the winter months.

Snapdragons

Snapdragons are available in a variety of sizes, and the rocket snapdragons that grow to be about three feet tall are ideal for landscaping purposes. Colors range from bright red to deep purple, so snapdragons are definitely able to add color to a lawn. Blooming occurs through December and again in March, so planting snapdragons in the fall or middle of the winter is best.

Pansies

Pansies … Read Full Post »

How to Prevent and Control Oak Wilt

One of the most recognizable features of the Texas landscape is the oak trees that decorate the state. Can you imagine the countryside without them? Ceratocystis fagacearum, a fungal disease known as oak wilt, is the perpetrator behind the dwindling oak population. These magnificent trees are being singled out by this fungal disease and rapidly reducing the oak population. Properly identifying oak wilt and utilizing successful oak wilt management techniques can help reduce tree loss.

So how do you identify oak wilt? Patterns of tree mortality such as defoliation during different seasons are one way to identify oak wilt. While exceptions have been documented, live oaks generally lose their leaves and die within six months of being infected. Red oaks display autumn-like coloration that sets them apart from surrounding foliage. They never survive the fungus, usually dying within three to four weeks after being infected.

The oaks leaves can paint a disturbing … Read Full Post »