ABC Blog

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 »

How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool

How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool

There’s nothing like having a pool in your backyard, especially during the dog days of summer. On a hot day, it’s so nice to get into your swimsuit and take a refreshing dip. But wait – there’s a snake in the pool. How did that get there? How do you get rid of it? How can you keep snakes out of your pool?

How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Pool

When it comes to snakes, there are only two camps – you either tolerate them or you hate them and want them to just go away. But unfortunately for members of the latter camp, snakes are a fact of life in the Southwest. There are actually 76 species of snakes in Texas alone. Most are not poisonous, but you definitely don’t want to find one floating in your pool or jumping out at you or your family from around the edge … Read Full Post »

Do Possums Carry Rabies?

Do Possums Carry Rabies

Many people find possums scary, even threatening—and that’s perfectly understandable. After all, possums (also known as “opossums”) have those frightening-looking teeth that they’re all too happy to bare when surprised in their natural habitat—which might, unfortunately, include your backyard. They also use an intimidating hissing sound to scare off potential predators. But do these small animals deserve their bad reputation?

Do Possums Carry Rabies?

Many people have only limited knowledge about them, and might wonder: Do possums carry rabies? Do possums attack? Do they bite humans? To answer these questions, let’s learn a little more about this rather misunderstood creature.

Facts About Possums

Possums are smallish animals, about the size of a cat, with long tails, pointy faces and grayish-white fur. They are marsupials—animals, like kangaroos, that carry their young in a pouch on the mother’s belly. And while possums are often seen as pests, the truth is, they’re quiet animals that usually don’t … Read Full Post »

Types of Rodents and Wildlife in Houston

Types of Rodents

Whether their presence pops into your mind when thinking about the Lone Star state or not, the reality is, Texas is home to an abundance of rodents and wildlife. Houston is no different. In fact, our city is one of the most populated and diverse wild animal ecosystems in the state. The greater Houston area offers a combination of lush outdoors, bayous and urban dwellings which serve as the habitat for a wide array of rodents and wildlife.

Types of Rodents and Wildlife in Houston

Seeing rodents or other types of wildlife when you are out and about is one thing. Spotting one of these animals in your yard is likely to produce an entirely different reaction. Learn more about the types of rodents and wildlife that might make it into your outdoor spaces and the steps you can take to make sure they get out—and stay out.

Roof Rats

Rats are much larger than … Read Full Post »

Snakes in Texas

Snakes in Texas

Snakes.

If the very word sends shivers down your spine and makes you recoil in fear, you aren’t alone. Snakes in Texas are as ubiquitous as cowboy hats, horses and prickly pear cactuses—which is to say, you may not see them in urban areas on a daily basis but get even just a little bit rural and they’re sure to start popping up (or slithering along). While newcomers to Houston or any other Texas metropolis may not expect to deal with wildlife, snakes in Houston—and the rest of the state—are a simple fact of life. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about this much-maligned and often misunderstood animal.

Snakes in Texas

The two broad categories of snakes are venomous and non-venomous. Texas is home to a wide variety of species within those two groups, including many that present little or no threat to humans. Of course, plenty of snakes that are … Read Full Post »