ABC Blog

Can Cats Smell Mice?

a cat that has sniffed out a mouse in a garden

We have all seen the popular cartoons about a cat trying to chase down a mouse and going nuts as the mouse plays all sorts of tricks on it, but how much of this is true in real life? It has been said that animals have an ability to sense that something is different or wrong in their environment long before humans have any idea that something is going on. When it comes to cats and mice, this is definitely true.

Cats have many of the same kinds of heightened senses that some of the world’s top predators use to track down their prey. This gives cats an increased ability to smell mice, but cats are not the only pets with this type of talent. Like their feline friends, dogs can smell mice too.

On average, both cats and dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. That is one reason … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Mice Live?

a mouse in an attic

The thought of having mice in your home is disturbing. If these creatures have shown up, you are probably wondering how long they might stick around. Well, the average lifespan of each mouse is just around two and a half years. However, where there is one mouse, there are typically many more mice.

This means that even if the one mouse that you know of dies off, it does not necessarily mean that your mouse problem is over. This animal might have left behind several more friends and family members.

This is due to the nature of the mouse life cycle. Female mice can get pregnant as early as just a month or two after they are born. Once they reach sexual maturity, female mice are fertile as often as every four to five days. They typically mate at night and can breed at any time of the year. Once a female … Read Full Post »

Does Salt Kill Fleas? How To Control These Pests

a salt shaker that has been knocked over

Fleas can invade your home by hanging onto your pet or another animal in your neighborhood. Once these pests make it into your house, they often spread quickly and can be tough to get rid of. Thankfully, a pest control professional can help you free your house of fleas and reclaim your home from these pests as soon as possible. However, if you prefer to handle the infestation on your own, there are a number of flea control options that you might consider.

A common natural remedy for controlling fleas is to spread table salt or sea salt that you might have in your cabinet. Salt naturally absorbs moisture, so when you sprinkle it on fleas, it dries out their bodies. This is because many pests like fleas take in oxygen through tiny tubes all over their bodies. When they breathe in salt through these tubes, it can kill them

To use … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Spider Bites Versus Bed Bug Bites

a bed bug crawling on someone

Most of the time, we do not see the bugs that bite us. In fact, we might not even know we have bites until long afterward. At this point, it is too late to catch the pest in action. What makes things more complicated is that many different kinds of bug bites look alike. If you do not know when you were bitten or where you were when it happened, it’s difficult to know what bug bit you.

Two of the most common offenders are spiders and bed bugs. These bug bites can make you itch in the same kind of way as flea or mosquito bites can. They can also make you itch like hives or chickenpox. Their bites might look similar, but there are some things you can look out for to help figure out what kind of pest bit you.

One sign to watch for is the pattern of … Read Full Post »

Southern House Spider: Identification Tips

a southern house spider climbing up a wall

There are more than 45,000 different kinds of spiders that live in areas across the world. Fortunately, most of the spiders in the U.S. are not dangerous to humans.

One common spider in this part of the world is the southern house spider (Kukulcania hibernalis). This spider is sometimes also referred to as a southern crevice spider. As their name implies, these spiders live in Texas, Florida and other southern states. They are typically found in a variety of manmade structures, including houses, bridges and barns. They like to live in dark, sheltered spaces of a structure, such as in the crevices of windowsills and overhangs of a home.

Identifying Male Versus Female Southern House Spiders

Interestingly, male and female southern house spiders look very different from one another. The females are about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch long. Females are a charcoal gray color with dark patches. The end … Read Full Post »

What Causes Cockroaches in Your House?

a cockroach climbing up a wall

What causes cockroaches? This is a good question to ask whether you have a cockroach problem in your home or not. Cockroaches are frightening and disgusting to most. Worse yet, they can actually transmit serious illnesses to people. Knowing what causes cockroaches will help you avoid attracting these pests into your living space.

The bad news is, there are lots of things that can attract cockroaches into your home. Many of us leave pet food out in bowls, or dirty dishes in the sink. We also don’t always wipe down the stovetop and kitchen counters as soon as we should. Unfortunately, these common and seemingly innocent behaviors can actually draw cockroaches. Keeping up with housecleaning, especially in the kitchen, goes a long way toward combating roaches. Still, even the cleanest houses can have major roach problems. Let’s learn more about these pests to find out how to keep them away from … Read Full Post »

Can Bed Bugs Climb Metal?

a bed bug climbing on a person's skin

If even the thought of bed bugs makes you cringe, you aren’t alone. Most people live in fear of encountering these pests because they are notoriously hard to get rid of. Many are eager to learn easy ways they can prevent these pests. For example, some people wonder whether bed bugs can climb metal. The thinking here is that a metal bed frame might offer protection if these bugs have a hard time climbing the slick surface of the frame. Although bed bugs do find it easier to climb more textured surfaces like fabric or wood, they can climb metal. Unfortunately, this means beds on metal frames can harbor these pests just as well as any other type of bed. However, by learning the early signs of bed bugs, you can help prevent a full-blown infestation. 

Bed bugs can be creative about how they reach you in … Read Full Post »

Common Household Spiders in Oklahoma

a brown recluse spider which is one species of spider that can be found in Oklahoma

When you find a spider or multiple spiders in your Oklahoma home, it can be alarming. One of your first thoughts is probably whether the spider poses a threat to your family. Many different kinds of spiders live in Oklahoma and only some of them are dangerous. Nonetheless, even though most spiders will not hurt humans, it is understandable to not want these creatures around.

All spiders and many other critters like ticks have eight legs and segmented bodies. Since so many pests look alike, it is helpful to pay attention to the unique characteristics of each species. This can help you figure out what type of spiders you have in your home. Some of the most common kinds of household spiders in Oklahoma include the following.

Brown Recluse Spiders

The brown recluse spider, which is pictured above, is sometimes referred to as the fiddleback or brown spider. These spiders are one of … Read Full Post »

Can You Get Lyme Disease From Mosquitoes?

a homeowner getting bitten by a mosquito which makes them wonder if you can get lyme disease from mosquitoes

For most folks, the itchy bites that mosquitoes inflict on us are reason enough to want them gone. But, once you start thinking about the diseases these pests can spread, you may want to know the quickest ways you can get rid of these pests. Unfortunately, the CDC reports that illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled in the United States. From 2004 to 2016, there were more than 640,000 reported cases of illnesses transmitted from these pests.

Recently, it has become pretty well known that mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus. Therefore, it’s natural to wonder if they can also spread Lyme disease or other diseases.

There is good news for those worried about Lyme disease. According to the CDC, Lyme disease cannot be spread by mosquitoes. It can only be spread through the bite of infected ticks. Adult ticks are about the size of a sesame seed, and … Read Full Post »

What Do Bats Eat?

a bat hanging on a tree.

Bats have gotten a bad reputation from movies and urban legends for attacking humans and drinking their blood. In reality, people are not the food of choice for bats. However, not all bats are alike—there are hundreds of species of bats, and they feed on a wide variety of things.

For example, some types of bats eat plants and plant parts like pollen, seeds, nectar and fruit. These bats typically like bananas, figs and mangoes the most. As the bats move from plant to plant, they often help distribute seeds and pollinate plants along their path. These plant-eating bats may also target other sweet things, such as the sugary water used in hummingbird feeders.

There are also some bat species that eat meat and drink blood. While bats don’t typically attack humans, some kinds of bats will eat other kinds of animals, such as lizards, fish, birds, frogs and other bats. Additionally, … Read Full Post »