ABC Blog

Rodent Control: How to Build a Barn Owl Box

Rodent control is extremely important this time of year. Temperatures are getting cooler and rodents are looking for a warm place to spend the winter months. Fortunately for us, North Texas is home to the best possible natural rodent control: barn owls. Barn owls are expert hunters with a healthy appetite. One owl alone can eat up to 10 mice a night and have 6-to-10 chicks to feed at a time.

Another upside is that they love the grassy plain areas covering much of North Texas. However, barn owls do not construct their own nests, which can make them seem scarce in many areas. By building a simple barn owl box for them to nest in, they will quickly make it their home and, in turn, help make sure your home and garden stay rodent free.

How to Build a Barn Owl Box

Step 1: Design

The box needs to be roomy enough to … Read Full Post »

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 »

Identifying Rat Damage (in your DFW Home)

If you’ve ever had a rat in your home, then you know it is the one thing you NEVER want to have happen again. Besides nearly scaring you to death and making your skin crawl, rats cause millions of dollars in damage to homes across the country each year. Just one rat can cause thousands of dollars in structural damage and pose severe health risks to your family and pets. Spotting the signs of structural damage caused by rats will not only prevent a rat infestation from flourishing, but it can also save you money in the long run in costly repairs and prevent the severe diseases carried by these rodents.

Damage to Physical Structures

Rats are not clean animals. They leave chew marks, tracks, food trails and mark their territory in urine. As a result, you can usually spot where a rat has been before if you know to look for … 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 »

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Home

Here at ABC Home and Commercial, we know that the best rodent control is prevention – and keeping rodents from entering your home in the first place. Professional rodent control and eradication methods require safe removal and installing barriers to prevent them from re-entering. Having a familiarity with the type of rodents that enter your house can help you decide the best prevention methods for your home. In North Texas, homes are prone to rats, mice and squirrel invasions. While these animals may seem small and easy to outwit, according to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management they have several physical abilities that make them designed to enter small spaces to escape the cold and harsh weather conditions.

Physical Abilities of Rodents:

  • Run along or climb electrical wires, pipes, fences, poles, ropes, cables, vines, shrubs, and trees to gain entry to a building.
  • Climb almost any rough vertical surface such as wood, … 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 »

DIY Mice Repellent: What Works and What Doesn’t

Mice are cunning creatures that can manage to find their way into even the smallest openings in your home. They can fit through a space as small as a dime, crawl through sewer lines or improperly sealed drainage pipes and chew through your foundation. All just to gain entry into your residence. As creative as they are, it can seem impossible to successfully repel them from your home. While there are several methods to humanely and naturally repel them, the last thing you want to do is experiment with a new DIY mice repellent that doesn’t work and end up with an infestation for the holidays.

Common practice discourages chemical repellents and glue traps for their harmful effects on the environment and our pets. Many people have turned to all-natural mice repellent methods that may work in the short-term but do not stand up over time. The ABC experts are here … 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 »

5 Signs There’s a Pest in Your Attic & 8 Ways to Prevent It

Pest in Your Attic | ABC Home and Commercial

As we move into November, the days and nights spent outside enjoying the warm weather are coming to an end. Just as we start to head indoors, so do pesky critters trying to find warmth and shelter in our homes. Mice, rats, bats, squirrels and raccoons are the most common pests in your attic in Texas and Oklahoma homes. If the proper precautions are not taken, they can be found in garages, under porches, and in your attic during the colder months. These pests are notorious for squeezing into very small entry points and nesting in attics and walls. Once inside, they can chew insulation, wood and wires. Not only does this cause significant damage to your home, but exposed wires also create a potential fire hazard.

A pest invasion can be preventable with the proper precautions. The first step is determining if there is a pest in your … Read Full Post »