ABC Blog

Rats vs. Mice: Which Pest Is Invading Your Home?

rats vs mice

In a battle between rats vs. mice, rats will win. Known as muricide, rats will kill and eat mice out of hunger. That said, do you really care which species of rodent is scurrying across your floor or making scratching sounds in your walls or attic? Probably not.

The reason you should care about the differences between mice and rats is that your pest control efforts will vary, depending on which type of rodent you have and which species. For example, catching and killing rats and mice are different. A trap for a mouse won’t work on a rat and vice versa. Where you set the traps can also make a big difference in how effective your efforts are, whether you have a roof rat or Norway rat problem.

How are these pesky pests different? We’ll explore the many ways these animals are distinct so that you can better devise … Read Full Post »

Are Water Snakes in Texas Poisonous?

water snakes in Texas

Seeing a snake in the water, especially when you’re swimming, can be one of the scariest experiences a water-loving Texan can have. Your first reaction is probably that these slithery creatures swim faster than you and can catch you if they want to. If you live near a body of water or have a pool or water feature, you may also wonder what the possibility is that a snake could make its way onto your property, or even worse, inside your home.

Snakes play an important role in our ecosystem. That said, water snakes are considered to be aggressive, so they can strike when approached, even if you don’t realize they are nearby. Knowing more about the different types of water snakes in Texas and what does (and doesn’t attract them) can give you peace of mind and help protect your family from the risk of being bitten. Better understanding what … Read Full Post »

Repelling Squirrels From Your Home and Yard

Repelling Squirrels

Squirrels can provoke strong feelings in homeowners—mostly negative. Although these animals may look cute and furry, squirrels can dig up your yard, raid your bird feeder, chew through electrical wires, damage your insulation and leave droppings in your attic.

A squirrel’s incisor teeth grow continuously, and because the rodents chew on everything, they can damage your deck, siding, hammock, fencing and electronics. If they gnaw their way into your attic, squirrels can expose your belongings to the elements, including rain. Over time, this nuisance pest can even cause structural damage to your home.

Let’s discuss how to deter squirrels from your house, what signs to look for to indicate they are inside, how to keep them from eating from your bird feeder and tips to remove squirrels from your home.

How To Deter Squirrels From House

The most common types of squirrels are ground squirrels, tree squirrels and flying squirrels. Ground squirrels eat … Read Full Post »

Tapping Noise in Attic at Night: What Should You Do?

Tapping Noise in Attic at Night

When things go bump in the night in your home, it’s usually not a good sign, nor do you experience warm and fuzzy feelings. What do you do when you hear a tapping noise in the attic at night? If you are like most people, you probably sit quietly to try to identify the noise. Suddenly, a slew of questions run through your head: Is a branch hitting the roof? Is a squirrel running right above me? Is something in the attic? Has someone broken in?

As temperatures decrease through the fall and winter, various creatures look for warm places to seek shelter. Your attic may look to them like the perfect spot to settle in for the winter and raise a family. While you may take pity on these critters, you really don’t want them in your attic. There are a number of reasons why, including the damage they can … Read Full Post »

Keeping Pests From Moving In While You’re Away This Holiday

Keeping Pests From Moving In

The holidays are upon us and that means one of two things: family and friends flooding your house or traveling to visit loved ones. It makes the perfect opportunity for overwintering pests to sneak into your empty home unnoticed.

Overwintering pests are the insects and animals that seem to disappear for the winter. Instead of disappearing, these pests find a warm, safe space to lie dormant for the winter. Your home provides the ideal winter hideout for insects such as stink bugs, Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs, to name a few. This is also the ideal time for rodents such as mice, rats and squirrels to escape the winter elements in your home until warmer weather arrives.

If you are planning to leave for the holiday be sure to prepare your home and eliminate any possible points of entry before you leave. Taking preventative pest control measures for keeping pests from … Read Full Post »

Roof Rat vs. Norway Rat: How Are They Different?

Roof rat vs. Norway rat

There are few pests which homeowners dislike as much as rats.

It’s easy to see why these furry creatures evoke such negative feelings. In addition to carrying diseases, rats can destroy your property by chewing and gnawing on wires, pipes, water hoses, wood doors, floors, walls, clothing, furniture, cement and more. These rodents can consume and contaminate your food, go through your trash and make a huge mess. Rats can also destroy crops.

To take care of a rat problem, you have to know which species of rat you are dealing with. There are over 50 species of rats, but only a few we are likely to see in and around our homes.

The roof rat (which has an almost comical scientific name: Rattus rattus) likes to be up high like its name suggests and usually nests in walls and attics. In the wild, these animals can be found in trees, among vines … Read Full Post »

Moles In Texas: How To Control This Lawn Pest

moles in Texas

When something is burrowing in your yard, it can be hard to know what you’re dealing with. Those mounds of dirt can seemingly pop up overnight, displacing plants and flowers or creating ugly tunnels. One of the possible culprits for this type of lawn damage is a mole. What kinds of moles live in Texas, and what should homeowners know about these creatures? In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these animals, including how to discourage them from making your property their home.

Moles in Texas: How To Control This Lawn Pest

Knowing the difference between gophers, moles and voles, and which is damaging your lawn is helpful in determining the best course of action. All three burrow underground but differ in appearance and diet. When any of these animals take up residence on a golf course or another large tract of land, it can be very … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Armadillos

how to get rid of armadillos

It’s too big to be a rodent, but it’s not a raccoon or possum. What could it be digging up your yard or garden? If you are in the southeast part of the United States, one possibility—if you have ruled out your own dog—is the armadillo. Although these small mammals have a cult-like following in some parts of the country, armadillos can cause real damage by digging shallow holes all across your property in search of food, uprooting your ornamental plants and even waking you up in the middle of the night as they rub their shells against your home. As with most other types of pests, taking the time to learn more about the animal, what attracts them to your yard and what risks they pose helps better understand how to get rid of armadillos.

How to Get Rid of Armadillos

The armadillo made its way to the United States from … Read Full Post »

How to Get Rid of Geckos

How to Get Rid of Geckos

What’s that hanging around your porch light in the evenings, particularly in the warmer months? Most likely, it’s a gecko. 

How to Get Rid of Geckos

In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of the common household gecko, how to get rid of them (if that’s what you decide to do) and how to prevent them from coming back again. Read on to learn more about this reptile.

Is that a lizard?

Technically, yes. Geckos are small lizards that belong to the Gekkonidae family. While geckos are lizards, a few characteristics set them apart from other reptiles. The common household gecko has bulging, lidless eyes and sticky toepads. These toepads allow geckos to climb walls and even move across ceilings. These crawling creatures are typically between three and six inches in length. Geckos can shed their skin, although they usually eat it afterwards, as it contains nutrients. Males are often much larger … Read Full Post »

Does Lime Keep Snakes Away?

Does Lime Keep Snakes Away

If you’ve ever encountered a snake in your backyard, you already know it’s a frightening sight. The truth is, spotting a snake in your backyard or garden is more common than people think. So how can you avoid this situation and keep snakes out of your yard? 

Does Lime Keep Snakes Away?

In this post, we’ll debunk a few myths, explain what to do if you find a snake on your lawn and we’ll give you methods you can use to prevent them from coming back. Before diving into various methods for removing a snake from your yard, it’s important to understand which snake species you’re more likely to encounter and why they might be attracted to your yard in the first place.

What Kind of Snake is it?

One of the most common snake species you’ll find in your backyard or garden is the garter snake. You might also know them as a garden snake. … Read Full Post »