ABC Blog

Built to Last: How the Bed Bug Got Its Groove Back

Though they were thought absent from the U.S. for the past 50 years, bed bugs have made a big comeback across the nation. Much to the chagrin of travelers and homeowners, these pests can establish colonies quickly. For homeowners in the Bryan-College Station area, getting rid of these troublesome pests can seem impossible. Before you tackle a bed bug infestation, you’ll need to know a little about how this pest is built.

Why Are Bed Bugs So Hard to Eliminate?

One of the big reasons bed bugs have shown up in the news so much recently is that they’re very difficult to get rid of once they’ve established a colony. It’s the bed bug’s unique anatomy that allows this pest to establish itself so quickly and cause problems for homeowners.

These flat, oval-shaped, reddish-brown bugs often make their way into homes via the luggage and clothing of travelers. Once they reach maturity, bed … Read Full Post »

Why Commercially Available Pesticides Might Be a Bad Idea

If you’re like many people, your first reaction to a pest control situation might be to head to your favorite mass-market retail store, searching for pesticides to help eliminate the infestation. Although these products can work in some cases, it’s generally a better idea to seek the help of a professional. These are just a few reasons commercially available pesticides can be bad.

They’re Costly

Even though it might seem like store-bought pesticides make pest control more affordable than hiring a professional, these products’ costs can add up. Few people see accurate results the first time they purchase sprays and traps; most buy bottle after bottle in hopes of getting rid of their pest-related issues.

They Often Don’t Work

Unfortunately, commercially available pesticides generally don’t work as well as pest control companies products. Many don’t treat certain species of insects or don’t work well in general. This can be frustrating and leave you with … Read Full Post »

Compost Piles: Do They Attract Insects?

One of the easiest ways to get rid of kitchen scraps and other organic waste from around our homes is to compost. Maintaining a healthy compost pile doesn’t take much space or attention. The benefit is nutrient-rich soil that develops in just a few months and can be used to improve soil in gardens and around the yard.

Composting reduces the amount of solid waste that would otherwise go to landfills. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that 20% to 30% of what we throw away is organic material that can be composted. By composting, we get good soil and cut down on what goes to landfills.

A compost pile doesn’t need fancy equipment, just a space in your yard or garden that isn’t too wet or too sunny so that the organic materials will get the right amount of air and water to decompose quickly. The climate in the Houston area … Read Full Post »

How to Properly Remove a Tick

Ticks are tiny, spider-like parasites that fasten themselves to your pet’s skin to feed on its blood. Although these creepy little critters prefer to feed on the blood of animals, they’ll attach themselves to people if necessary. Typically, they can be found in areas where there are a lot of trees or underbrush.

Tick Prevention

Since ticks can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, you’ll want to do your best to prevent them from hopping on you or your pet. Products such as Frontline and Advantix can help to prevent ticks from collecting on your dog or cat. Additionally, the following tips can help keep ticks at bay as well.

• Stay away from heavily wooded areas.
• Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
• Tuck your pants into your socks.
• Wear light-colored clothing.
• Spray insect repellent on yourself and your pet when outdoors.
• Keep your pet away from … Read Full Post »

Is That Spider a Troublemaker?

No one likes to see spiders in their home, but it’s essential to understand which of these eight-legged pests is dangerous for you and your family. After all, making this distinction will make it easier for you to determine whether or not it’s appropriate to scream when a tiny arachnid unexpectedly appears in your living room.

The Most Dangerous Spiders in Texas

There have been several news stories about venomous spiders finding their way to unexpected regions by hitching a ride in produce. However, for the most part, Houston residents only need to worry about two dangerous arachnid family members. Unfortunately, both terrifying pests have a habit of being found indoors and outdoors. Because of this, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the brown recluse and the black widow.

Black Widow: The venom that the black widow injects into its intended prey is a highly dangerous neurotoxin that has led … Read Full Post »

How to Ease the Burn of a Fire Ant’s Bite

When a fire ant bites you, you’ll notice it. The venom that fire ants secrete causes pain, itchiness and small red welts. Symptoms usually go away within a couple of days, but those days can seem like an eternity. Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize the sting of fire ant bites.

Allergen Warning

Very few people are allergic to fire ant venom. Pain and slight swelling are to be expected in the case of a fire ant bite, but you should waste no time in going to the emergency room if any of the following symptoms manifest, as they may indicate a serious allergic reaction:

• Parts of your body other than where the bite occurred begin to swell, itch or break out in hives
• Stomach discomfort, vomiting or diarrhea
• Difficulty breathing
• Tongue, throat or lip swelling
• Trouble swallowing
• Dizziness or blackouts

How to Deal with Fire Ants and Their Bites

Since fire ants … Read Full Post »

Caught Between a Web and a Hard Place

If you have long been afraid of spiders, you will likely look for signs of infestations during all seasons of the year. Arachnids, however, are savvy creatures and can often begin building nests in out-of-the-way locations. Before you’ve had time to respond, you’ll be dealing with an infestation that can be very tough to eradicate. By checking for spiders in hidden areas, you can ensure that your house remains free of pests (and keep your anxiety from exploding into full-blown arachnophobia).

Furniture Items

Though spiders most commonly spin webs in the rafters, a rarely moved piece of furniture may also make a lovely home. Couches or chairs that have remained in one place for several weeks should be closely examined. In nearly all instances, the critters will be found on the underside of the upholstery.


Sinks are perfect havens for spiders that are looking to breed. The cabinet areas underneath sinks usually feature … Read Full Post »

Why Is That Mouse in My House?

Having pests in your home is always a troublesome experience, and you probably aren’t pleased by the idea that there are mice and rats living in the house alongside your family. Understanding a bit more about what causes these infestations and how to get rid of them, however, can help you handle your own pest control problem.

What Causes Rodent Infestations?

There are actually quite a few reasons why rodents enter homes. Many of them look for warm homes to find shelter from the cold, and some simply look for places that offer food, water and other necessities. Having a dirty and unsanitary home can cause rodents as well, although even clean, clutter-free houses are susceptible to infestations.

How Can You Tell If You Have Mice or Rats in Your Home?

There are several things that you can look for if you think that you might have a rodent infestation:

• Mouse or rat droppings … Read Full Post »

Keeping Crawlies off Indoor Plants

Having houseplants is a great way to improve your home’s aesthetic appeal and air quality, but you might be afraid that your indoor plants will attract insects. Although different types of bugs love plants, following these tips will help you keep critters away from them.

Choose the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants for your home’s environment and lighting conditions is an essential first step. Before investing in house plants, research to ensure they will do well inside your house.

Use Clean Soil

Although digging up a bit of dirt from your backyard might be tempting, this should usually be avoided. Outdoor dirt can contain insects and larvae, and you don’t want to bring these pests into your home. Instead, opt for high-quality potting soil that can be purchased at your local retail store or garden center. The soil will be clean and free of bugs and might also have more nutrients for your … Read Full Post »

Why Aren’t Your Rat Traps Working?

If you have recently spotted mice or rats in your home, you might have set a couple of traps to try to capture them. Unfortunately, rat traps really aren’t the best solution to a rodent problem.

Some Traps Just Don’t Work

Many traps are not sensitive enough to pick up on the lightweight scurrying of a mouse or rat, so rodents can run right over them without getting trapped.

Some Rodents Are Very Crafty

A lot of rodents are experienced with traps and able to snatch the cheese right off of them without getting trapped. Many are frightened of these apparatuses and will avoid them completely. In most cases, mice and rats can find food in your home without having to resort to snatching it from a trap.

Dealing with a Trapped Rodent Isn’t Pleasant

If you have ever had to deal with the remains in a rat trap, you know that it really isn’t a … Read Full Post »