ABC Blog

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 »

The Healing Potential of Commercial Landscaping

Landscaping can be undoubtedly appealing to the eye. Well-designed and manicured scenery can provide sanctuary from the bustling city or busy institution. While the visual appeal is obvious, there are also psychological benefits to landscaping. Landscaping designed to help ease stress and calm the mind can consist of additions such as water features, privacy-enhancing structures, flowers and more.

Introducing a water fountain to your yard can help create a serene and relaxing environment. The sound of running water is calming and healthy for resting your mind and body. But if you want to take that next step, a koi pond might be what you are looking for. Some studies show that gazing at fish help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

You may have moments when you want a little time to yourself, or perhaps a bit more privacy. Partitions or screens that give needed privacy are a visually appealing option. … Read Full Post »

A Quick Guide to Year-round Edible Gardening in San Antonio

There’s nothing quite like a fresh salad of homegrown, handpicked vegetables or a main dish sprinkled with fresh herbs just cut from the garden. One of the benefits of living in San Antonio is that there are edible plants that can be grown at any time of the year. Knowing what to grow and when to grow it is a matter of doing some research on gardening in the region.

San Antonio is considered to be in Hardiness Zone 8 according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. The information listed below is based on the season during which the plant will be ready for harvesting.

Spring

  • Broccoli can be started in the winter and transplanted to the garden by February. The timing of the planting season for broccoli makes it the perfect vegetable to be enjoyed in the spring.
  • Cucumbers are sown in warm weather and harvested quickly. If you start as soon as frost … Read Full Post »