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Striped Bark Scorpions High in Numbers

Some unwanted guests are making frequent appearances in San Antonio due to this past summer’s heat: striped bark scorpions. They are the most common type of scorpion found in Texas, but San Antonio residents do not want these creepy critters taking up residence in their homes. Knowing more about these arthropods will help you avoid a direct encounter with them.

Where to Find Striped Bark Scorpions

Striped bark scorpions prefer cool, dark places. In outdoor locations, they can be found in crevices around buildings, under rocks and even under water dishes for pets. Unfortunately, they can easily get into homes through small cracks. Caulking around windows is important. Make sure doors have weather stripping to prevent spaces underneath. If there are any other unsealed openings into the home, seal them well. Keep in mind—scorpions can climb. When they do get into homes, they tend to hide in or under furniture, in shoes … Read Full Post »

Love Your Lawn…Without Chinch Bugs

It starts when you notice just a slight yellowing of your once lush lawn. At first, you consider the recent lack of rain, but the yellowing continues to spread and turns your prized lawn into an eyesore. A healthy lawn that turns ugly yellow is one sign that a homeowner is dealing with a chinch bug infestation.

Chinch bugs are lawn pests that feed on healthy grass. The problems use a straw-like part of their mouths to drink the juice of a grass blade while injecting harmful chemicals into the plant. A chinch bug infestation results in a yellow, unhealthy lawn that is typically most damaged in areas exposed to sunlight.

They are identifying whether a chinch bug infestation involves investigating the grass near the soil. Chinch bugs tend to be more active on hot days in the summer and in areas that receive direct sunlight. Anyone interested in improving their Houston … Read Full Post »

Austin Landscaping: Four Seasons of Shrub Care

In Central Texas, a lush, green row of beautiful shrubs quickly offsets the often disagreeable heat, inviting friends and family to enjoy a bit of an oasis just outside your home. While watering, pruning and fertilizing are key factors in keeping your shrubbery healthy, these aspects of basic gardening work most efficiently when combined with a comprehensive lawn care system.

ABC Home & Commercial Services employs specialized Austin landscaping techniques in order to cater specifically to the various types of plant life found here. Rather than approach the care of your shrubbery and lawn with only spring and summer in mind, our team of experienced professionals believes that you deserve beautiful, healthy plants throughout the year. Our highly trained and certified lawn care experts work with you and your lawn to keep it looking its best, regardless of the season.

In order to provide customers with the best service available in Austin … Read Full Post »

Houston Bees Mean Business

Bees can inflict painful stings; some people are highly allergic to them. Those who have never been stung could be at high risk, as they may not even know they are allergic. In Houston, several types of bees are commonly found. Honeybees, carpenters, bumblebees, stingless bees, and Africanized honeybees are common. Africanized honeybees are also called killer bees because of their extreme aggression. Bees are essential to the earth’s ecosystem, but their growing population has resulted in the need for pest control in Houston.

Encountering A Beehive

When bees are spotted, it is best to avoid getting too close to the hive to identify the bees. These flying insects will sting intruders, but only if they come too close. The best thing to do is run away fast. Intruders who stop to stare at a beehive may not get stung right away. However, the bees protecting the hive release a pheromone that … Read Full Post »

Protecting Dallas Trees from Twig Girdlers

Twig girdlers are beetles that commonly attack pecan, chinaberry and mimosa trees in North Central Texas. Adult twig girdlers are easy to spot. Their long, brown bodies are anywhere from 1/2″ to 3/4″ long. Their wings are covered in orange, pink or yellow spots.

Twig girdlers are most abundant in the Dallas area between August and October. After mating, female twig girdlers will lay eggs in “V”-shaped notches they have chewed underneath branches. Newly-hatched larvae will feed on the host tree for up to two years. The larvae are not as easy to spot as the adults. This puts homeowners at a disadvantage because once the eggs are laid, adult twig girdlers will not likely hang around.

Damage is not usually noticed until the larvae have been feeding on the host tree for quite some time. Leaves will begin turning and twigs will fall. These parasites cause a great deal of harm … Read Full Post »

Monitor Your Home From Anywhere!

More people are buying video surveillance and alarm systems in Houston, but burglaries are not the only reason for the recent popularity of these systems. People are discovering the multiple benefits Houston home security systems offer. A CCTV system with one or more cameras allows homeowners to view their property in real-time anywhere there is Internet access.

See what the kids are doing. When teenagers and kids arrive home from school before their parents do, they may be tempted to get into trouble. A camera system allows parents to observe their home whenever they want and ensure their kids aren’t eating cookies before dinner or throwing a football in the house. Parents can also have peace of mind knowing their children safely made it home.

Outdoor cameras are effective at deterring criminals. When thieves stake out homes, they look for properties with easy access, no alarm, and no cameras. No criminal wants … Read Full Post »

Insects in the Garden: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Guest Post By Woodrow D. Weasel on his blog Ground Breaking Tips

LINK TO SHARE:  http://goo.gl/RbxOX

Gardens are fantastic tiny worlds. Like in our macro-size earth, maintaining a delicate balance is essential to a healthy micro-ecosystem. This is even true of the bugs!

The important thing is – get educated. Know your bugs. Please don’t assume they are all bad. Many beneficial insects play an essential role in the health of your garden. Understanding their purpose is also advantageous so you can find natural ways to deal with them. Chemical remedies can be a last resort.

Generally speaking, if a bug is wrong, it has a good predator that can work with you to eliminate it. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and identifying which bugs are good, which are bad, and which are just plain ugly. Then you will be empowered to work with nature to maintain a healthy garden.

Remember, if you … Read Full Post »

Not all Bugs are Pests needing Control

Bugs fascinate children; they love to watch an ant groom itself, a bee gather nectar, or a spider build its web. On the opposite end of the spectrum, adult attitudes toward insects are generally negative — the ant is a nuisance and the bee might sting!

Through these attitudes we send our children a clear, subconscious message that insects are unsafe, unclean, and unappealing. Most children adopt this viewpoint before they leave elementary school that the “only good bug is a dead bug.”

Although we work hard to rid your home of pests, we are insect lovers at heart! We see great value in what insects do for our ecosystem, and want to let you know that not all bugs are pests!

Aside from ladybugs (which are considered cute) and butterflies (they’re pretty), most insects are regarded with a certain degree of fear or revulsion. A few, like honey bees and praying mantis, may be … Read Full Post »

Crazy Ants are the new Pest Control Problem in the Austin Area

There’s a new ant in town, and wherever it goes, fire ants start disappearing. It also doesn’t sting or bite. But don’t get excited yet. The Rasberry crazy ant which showed up in Travis County and Round Rock this fall swarms into homes by the hundreds of thousands in search of food.

In the Houston area, where the ants are much more prevalent, they have already made some homeowners miserable, said Roger Gold, professor of entomology at Texas A&M University.

“People that have them said they wish they had the fire ants back,” he said. “We have pictures of families sweeping them up with brooms where there are piles of ants. … They can get into AC systems and short them out.”

When the ants get electrocuted they produce a pheromone that causes other ants to rush in, Gold said, leading to so many ants in the electrical system that it shorts out. … Read Full Post »

Houston Landscape Design

Preparing the plans for a Houston landscape design of your yard can be daunting, but starting with the basics can take away from the pressure. The most basic question might be, “What will I plant?” The best choices for North Texas landscaping are the obvious ones: the ones that can handle this Texas heat! So, what are the top 5 Landscape Plants for North Central Texas?

The top 5 perennial Landscape Plants for Central Texas

Salvia (Salvia greggii)
Salvia is native to the Trans Pecos of Texas, favoring the area’s limestone outcrops and canyon lands. Salvia comes in a wide variety of colors, from white, to pink and red. It is a small, shrubby plant with fragrant leaves. The flowers bloom all summer long and into the fall. It prefers full sun. With too much shade, it will become leggy. Cut it back to the main stem in January or February to create complete, new … Read Full Post »