Most Reviewed Austin Pest Control Service

Sunday, July 12, 2009 Posted by

No other Pest Control Service in Austin has more Google Reviews:

Listen to what Tony has to say:

“We just celebrated our first year here in Austin and as you can imagine, we love everything about it: the people, the weather, our exterminating company. That’s right, I said it. When we first moved in we immediately noticed that we were going to need a good pest control service (ants, rolly pollies, June bugs, etc.). Luckily for us, Bulwark knocked on our door our third day here. They advised us that we needed to set up service and quick…with them or with someone else but do it and do it quick. After consulting with family and neighbors, Bulwark came highly recommended. And boy were they right. Every time they come, they are professional, personable, and most importantly, GOOD. With three kids and two dogs, it was important to us to get the bugs in our backyard under control. And since Bulwark started coming, it’s all good. And the last two times we’ve had the pleasure of having Roger as our technician. He’s been on time, professional, and great with the kids and dogs. In addition to doing a good and thorough job of spraying, he’s given us some great tips on how to combat Texas critters. I sincerely hope we can have him assigned to us permanently. And for anyone that is looking for a pest control company, look no further. You’ve found the best. Thanks Bulwark and thanks Roger.”

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This is what other customers are saying about Bulwark Exterminating

Jessica writes:
“Have been a customer for 7 or 8 years at two different residences. Jeff Baker has been our technician on several occasions here and is terrific. Listens to what our specific needs/problems are, is full of excellent information and tips about the various creepy crawly things we live around, takes extra precautions treating the area around our rabbits’ dwelling, and puts my mind at ease, giving the outdoor perimeter and our indoor living space the level of treatment necessary to keep us safe from all the scorpions and centipedes here in the hill country. We have had great service from other Bulwark technicians as well, and Bulwark is always willing to get someone out here quickly for us, anytime between regular treatments…we recently completely cleared our backyard of years and years of layers of leaves and, as a result, suddenly saw scorpions and centipedes in the house…I called yesterday and Jeff came out today and did a great job!”

Chris writes:
“Admittingly, I have been an ABC Pest & Lawn customer for as long as I can remember. My parents have used them since I was a kid growing up, and I continued to use them myself. My family and I just moved into our house a few months ago and were getting ready to transfer our pest control service from our old home to our new one. I was approached by a enthusiastic Bulwark employee named Oliver who sold me on the idea of “thinking outside of the box” and trying something new–which happens to be something that I am not used to doing. I signed up with Bulwark yesterday and first thing this morning, technician NATE BURGI was at my door (actually, he was 15 minutes early which is a plus in my book). Nate was extremely knowledgeable, professional and was very interested in assisting with my pest control needs. Nate was extremely diligent in providing a thorough and quality service for me and my family. So far, I am extremely impressed with Bulwark and I am glad that I made the decision to switch from ABC to Bulwark. Thanks Nate, Oliver, and Bulwark Exterminating. Chris F. Teravista/Round Rock.”

Texas Scorpion Control

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 Posted by

scorpion with babiesTexas, commonly referred to as the Lone Star state, is has so much history. The Alamo is where Texas was won, Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, and Dallas is home to the Cowboys. There is so much more that Texas has to offer with historic sites to visit. Texas is also home to something else that has been around for thousands of years, the scorpion.

What does a scorpion look like? 

Scorpions have a segmented body. The main part of the body is the head and the abdomen. At the very end of the abdomen a tail will stick out, then on top of the tail there will be a stinger.  By the head of the scorpion it will have two pinchers. The color will vary from a light brown to a dark brown color.

What kind of scorpion is in Texas? 

Texas is home to the Bark Scorpion. The Bark Scorpion is about 2 to 3 inches long and can live any where from 2 to 6 year. The Bark Scorpion sting is one of the most venomous of all scorpions, and can even be deadly.

Why are there so many scorpions in Texas? 

Since Texas has such good weather year round, and never gets a deep freeze, scorpions can be out almost year round.  When the scorpions are out longer, they can breed more and infest a home much faster. To ensure that your home is not infested, it is good to get your home treated.

How are scorpions controlled?

Many scorpions will live on the outside of your home, inside the block walls around the home. They will also live under rocks, at the base of plants, and by pool equipment. On the inside of the home, scorpions will live inside the walls. Both the home and inside of the walls will need to be properly treated to control the scorpions.

scorpionWhat is a proper treatment? 

Properly treating your home will be done in four different parts; treating inside the walls of the home, treating the foundation of the home, treating the fence line, and treating the plants.  An in wall treatment is done by taking the face plates off the outlets and placing a product in to the walls of the home. Treatment around the foundation of the home with a power sprayer and not a back pack sprayer is most effective. Power spraying will give you the needed quantity, and will also get under the rock and into the soil. Granulating the plants will help exterminate any scorpions around your plants. Placing a product inside the fence will help kill any scorpions trying to live inside there.

How do you know if a company is going to do this kind of treatment to control the scorpions? 

When looking for a company to control the scorpions, looks at the rating with customers.  This can be done by looking on Google, Yelp, Family Own Pest Control, and Angie’s List. Looking on some of these sites will help you see how the company is doing with treating the scorpions.   It will give you an added assurance, that the company is doing a correct treatment.

Texas Scorpion Control

Bulwark Exterminating
209 East Ben White Boulevard
Austin, TX
(512) 291-1200

A Wildlife Pro
3803 Speedway
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 914-7287
1905 Kramer Lane,
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 236-5008 

Dangerous Spiders and How to Avoid Them

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Posted by

Mike Bonds is the technology director for NYC Pest Pros, a NYC based pest control company that focuses on education, awareness and green sustainability.

There are literally thousands of spider species in North America, all of which are important parts of a healthy ecosystem. While most pose no threat to humans and pets, there are a handful of species that are considered pests and can cause serious health problems or death. Here are some of the most common dangerous spiders and what to do about them.

Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spider

Widow spiders (Latrodectus) are members of the comb-footed spider family and can be identified by their messy, tangled webs. The black widow is the most familiar widow species and is typically found in the American South and Southwest. However, there are also other varieties of the black widow that can be found in Northern states. Two other widow species, the false widow and the brown widow, are also located in many portions of the country.

All but the false widow posses the characteristic hourglass pattern on their undersides. Interestingly, only the females are dangerous. The small, drab-colored males are harmless. That said, any pest control company will tell you that the female widows bite can cause serious problems. These include severe pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches and severe muscle cramps. In small children, the elderly and those with compromised immunity, the bite can be fatal.


recluse spider

The most well-known species in this group (Loxosceles) can be identified by the telltale violin pattern on its head, or cephalothorax. These spiders are mainly restricted to the Southern states. However, there are other recluse varieties in many portion of the US that pose little or no threat. True to their name, recluses prefer to stay hidden and aren’t aggressive.

They’re wandering hunters, which means that they don’t spin webs. The danger of these spiders, while real, is dramatically over-blown. It’s common for people to mistake insect bites, MRSA and certain skin conditions as recluse bites, even when these cases occur outside of the spiders’ natural range.

Even if you live in an area where the recluse population is abundant, few actual bites occur. In one case, exterminators found more than 2,000 brown recluses in a family’s home. In the eight years the family had been living there, not a single bite occurred. Even if someone is bitten, the bite doesn’t always result in infection and necrosis. In healthy individuals, little more than time and an ice pack may be all that’s needed.

Hobo Spiders

Female hobo spider

The hobo spider (Tegenaria) is restricted to the Pacific Northwest and is part of the funnel-web family, not to be confused with Australia’s Sydney Funnel Web. They look strikingly similar to the average wolf spider, with the exception that they build and inhabitsheet-like webs with a funnel at the end. There are many other types of funnel-web builders that are harmless, however, so learning to properly distinguish them is important.

Asking a pest control company how to distinguish them is a good start. With hobo spiders, the males are more toxic than females, particularly the subadults. Bite symptoms can include pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, swelling and necrosis.

If these spiders or any of their variants are in your area, it’s important to be cautious. Never put your hands in places you can’t see into, and always wear thick leather gloves when handling wood or debris. Keeping clutter out of corners and eliminating entry points is also recommended. It’s also a good idea to call in a pest control service to spray your home against this pest problem.

Controlling Spiders

It’s best to take preventative measures instead of having to deal with one of these intimidating creatures in person. Avoid having piles of junk or clutter in your house or garage. Never stick your hand into boxes or anywhere where you can not see into the space. These are prime places where spiders take up residence. It’s best advised to not deal with these types of spiders on your own as they are no easy feat for the average homeowner.

Seek out professional help from a local company. If you are dealing with a spider situation in an outdoor garden, there are some excellent eco-friendly pest control techniques that you may employ. Additionally, there is no shortage of excellent resources online where you can find more helpful information on dealing with these dangerous spiders and other pests.

Top Texas Caverns – The Best Of Texas Underground

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Posted by

That’s right, there are so many caves in Texas that even long-long residents have likely not had the opportunity to see half of these fabulous show caves. Long used by Native tribes for shelter and safety, many of these caverns boast a rich Texas history filled with legends and lore. Informative, guided tours are available of these Texas caves, making them safely accessible for most.

Natural Bridge Caverns

Texas Cavern

Arguably the most popular cave in Texas, Natural Bridge Caverns is certainly the most amazing and largest show cave in the Lone Star State. Proximal to San Antonio on the outskirts of the Texas Hill Country, visitors meander from each cavernous room in sheer awe at the massive flowstones and soda straw stalactites. Massive chandeliers and cave ribbons also fill the cave, as do colossal formations that feature some rather fascinating names. A wide variety of tours can take visitors deeper into the cave, and there are lantern tours, adventure tours, and many other activities including a zip line tour and an area where the family can pan for gold. Daily hours and onsite concessions make stopping by Natural Bridge Caverns an easy spontaneous day trip.

Longhorn Caverns – Burnet

One of the best caves in Texas (and the most popular) is Longhorn Caverns. Longhorn Caverns State Park offers more than just a spectacular cave, but miles of marked hiking trails and historical sites, too. Back to the cave, guided tours last just over an hour, and there is a Wild Cave Tour offered for those willing to go a little deeper. These cavern chambers were uniquely formed by cutting action of running water and dissolution of limestone, creating absolutely stunning, meandering chambers. Concessions and a gift shop are onsite, and you can purchase tickets for day tours and monthly ghost hunting tours online at Longhorns Caverns.

Inner Space Caverns – Georgetown

Accidentally discovered by a core drilling team in the 60s, Inner Space Cavern boasts huge columns, amazing flowstones, eerie sky openings, and a surplus of intriguing formations. Most notably, this cavern is one of the few in the state where prehistoric animal fossils and remains have been uncovered. Open daily, several guided tours from traditional to adventures await visitors, and one of the more popular tours is the Sister Caves Tour of exhibits inside and outside of the caves, including Indian burial grounds, cave sinks, and a historic railroad. The Hidden Passages Tour takes you through a newly opened segment of the cave, so you can be among the earliest explorers of this undeveloped section.

Wonder World Park – San Marcos

Most don’t associate Texas with earthquakes, but the formation of the cave at Wonder World is a direct result of one that occurred along the Balcones Fault Line. In fact, this is the only example of an earthquake formed cave in the US! Beyond the impressive formations and fossils within the cave, many impossibly large boulders seem to literally hang in the air, ready to drop at a moments notice. Don’t worry, they’re solidly trapped between the rubble of the earthquake, but it’s a remarkable sight. Exit the cave through the Stratovator to take a super-cool ride to the top of the observation tower, and then enjoy strolling through the anti-gravity house, where water flows uphill!

Ideal for families with youngsters, there’s still more to do at Wonder World. Take a ride on the park’s train through waterfalls to the Texas Wildlife Petting Park where you can interact with and feed the animals along the way. Hang out cafe and grab some lunch, and make sure to snap a pic of the group at the Wonder World Park display wall before heading out as a souvenir.

Fans of the underground (and the cool climate offered to escape the stifling Texas heat) will love these cavern options, sure to delight all ages of the family!

T. L. Mastic’s first cave experience was in her home state of New Mexico when she visited Carlsbad Caverns. Later, as a Highland Lakes resident, she discovered these other enjoyable caverns. She writes about and promotes the Highland Lakes area. For more information about this region, please visit Facebook and Twitter.

Learn the Truth About Bed Bugs and Make Your Pest Control Efforts More Effective

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Posted by

baby bedbugUnless you’ve personally encountered their presence, you probably don’t know much about the habits of bed bugs and the proper way to exterminate them. Despite the wide outbreak of bed bug infestations in more recent years and the amount of information that has become available, there are still many misconceptions that people have about the little bloodsucking creatures that make it difficult to identify a real bed bug problem and determine how to accurately take care of it. Separating the truth from the inaccuracies will help you be more effective in your bed bug pest control prevention and elimination efforts.

Myth #1: Bed Bugs Can’t Be Seen

There’s no doubt that bed bugs are quite small, but they aren’t completely invisible. As they develop into adults and feed on blood, they grow and darken, making them easier to spot. What actually makes bed bugs hard to detect is their ability to conceal themselves in discreet places. So, don’t come to the conclusion that the critter you’re seeing can’t be a bed bug just because you’ve always thought they weren’t visible to the naked eye.

Myth #2: Exposing Bed Bugs to Extreme Temperatures is the Quickest Way to Kill Them

While it is true that bed bugs die in severe climates, those temperatures are virtually impossible for you to reach on your own. These insects are very resilient, and it would take long periods of exposure to extreme climates before they begin to perish. Simply heating or cooling your home won’t do the job and will just make it intolerable, and possible dangerous, for those in the household. Calling in a pest control professional that has experience with bed bugs is your best chance at disposing of the insects.

bedbug bagMyth #3: Bites Are the Best Way to Know if Bed Bugs Are Present

Bites can definitely be a sign that you are in the company of bed bugs, however, there is also the possibility that you’ve been bitten by a different kind of insect since there is no real distinction in markings. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone shows a physical reaction to bed bug bites, so you can’t always rely on the appearance of welts to warn you of an infestation.

Myth #4: A Bed Bug Infestation Means Everything Must Be Disposed Of

It’s common to think that once you’ve discovered bed bugs you must automatically get rid of your mattress, box spring, bedding, couch, etc., but this depends on the seriousness of the infestation and if it’s treated properly. Oftentimes, your furniture can be saved with the help of a pest control professional, but either way, throwing out your things won’t take care of the whole problem without the rest of the residence receiving treatment.

Myth #5: Bed Bugs Only Inhabit Beds and Dirty Living Spaces

Bed bugs are excellent travelers and hiders. This means that they can hitchhike by way of clothing, luggage, etc. into any dwelling, spotless or dirty. They will then proceed to tuck themselves away wherever they see fit (baseboards, carpet, light sockets, behind framed pictures and anywhere other crevice that’s dark and inviting) until it’s time to come out and feed.

Myth #6: Bug Bombs Will Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are resistant to numerous kinds of pesticides, and a DIY bug bomb treatment simply won’t be able to get rid of an infestation. Decluttering, deep cleaning and a professional pest control plan is the most efficient way to thoroughly handle a bed bug situation.

Any evidence of a bed bug problem warrants an immediate call to your pest control professional. The first line of defense against bed bugs is to know the facts about them. Don’t take your chances by trying to manage them on your own.

About the Author:  Tiffany Olson is a professional blogger from California who enjoys writing on home improvement and pest control related topics. In her off time she enjoys travel, making art, and cooking.

Are Your Pets Bringing Fleas And Ticks Into Your Home?

Thursday, January 16, 2014 Posted by

For homeowners, winter is a welcomed time of year as nuisance bugs seem to take a break from infesting homes. But even with the decrease in insects during the colder months of the year, they can still invade your home, especially if they can find a warm host to survive on.


For those who own pets, that means there is still a good chance pests can infest your home by attaching themselves to the animals and hitching a free ride inside. The two most common insects that pets carry into homes are fleas and ticks, and although they might not look like much of a threat, the diseases they can transmit to humans and pets says otherwise. If you have taken the necessary precautions to seal your home from invasive pests this winter, make sure you don’t forget about checking your pets each time they come in your home, as well. It could be the difference between a peaceful winter and a costly pest problem.

The Dangers of Fleas and Ticks


Fleas are often referred to as a nuisance bug since the saliva from their bites can cause allergic reactions in humans and pets alike. This reaction causes many pets to heavily scratch the infected area, which can lead to rough skin, baldness, and skin infections. However, they can also carry parasites and diseases, including tapeworms, murine typhus, and the bubonic plague. If left untreated, these diseases can lead to serious illness and even death.


Ticks carry many dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to both humans and pets, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, tularemia, and ehrlichiosis. Pets can also pick up the highly contagious fungal infection ringworm which can be transmitted to other animals including humans. Lastly, since ticks suck blood, if your pet is anemic a heavy tick infestation could kill them.

The good news is that the diseases transmitted from fleas and ticks can be treated, but they must be dealt with right away, as they can go from bad to worse in a matter of weeks. If you notice any of the symptoms that your pets are infested, make sure to have them treated as soon as possible to keep them, and your family, safe..


How They Attach Themselves to Pets

As mentioned above, the cold temperatures of winter usually spell the end of bug problems. But, if these insects can find a warm host, they can survive and even thrive through the winter. For many, this means the pests attach themselves to cats and dogs and feed on their warm blood through the cold winter months. Unfortunately, it is very easy for fleas and ticks to attach themselves to your pets whenever they are outdoors. Even the simple act of walking through thick, tall grass can be enough for these bugs to find a new home on your pet. Once attached, the bugs will hitch a free ride into your home and reproduce at incredible rates. The next thing you know, your home is infested, and you need to have the pests professionally removed.

How to Prevent the Form Entering Your Home

The best way to keep your home free of fleas and ticks this winter is to be proactive in your inspections. Each time your pets return indoors, perform a thorough inspection of their fur to make sure they are clear of bugs. If your pets usually stay within your yard through the winter, you can also prevent these pests by keeping your grass cut low, especially around fences, trees, or other tall plants in your yard. There are also a variety of treatments you can use on your yard that kill and repel the bugs. If you find any signs of fleas or ticks on your cat or dog, make sure to have them removed properly to avoid any harmful effects on your pets.


Flea and Tick Removal

To remove fleas, there are many over-the-counter treatments you can use, but they are not as effective as those you can have prescribed by a veterinarian. Although they are more expensive, these prescribed treatments are much safer and will give you a better chance at preventing an infestation. Tick removal for pets is a bit trickier. The proper removal is essential in keeping your pet safe. Make sure you remove the entire tick, especially the head, which if left behind can still transmit the disease. Once removed, save the evidence and date in a container. If a tick-borne disease begins to surface in your cat or dog, bring the removed tick to your veterinarian for further instructions.

Winter may mean fewer bugs, but even the least likely of critters can still find sanctuary in your warm home. By proactively inspecting your pets for fleas and ticks, you can help prevent an infestation from occurring within your home. Remember that if these bugs do find a way in your home this winter, their prompt removal is of the utmost importance. With the deadly diseases that fleas and ticks can transmit to humans and pets alike, it is better to be safe than sorry this upcoming winter.

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Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.

Experts Predict Rising Bed Bug Cases in 2014 Nationwide

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 Posted by

Bed bugs infestations are reaching epidemic proportions with no end currently in sight. Rather than reaching their apex, bed bug numbers are increasing yearly with the rise expected to continue for 2014.

In 2013, Chicago was determined to be the number one city having bed bug problems, with cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver, Cincinnati, and Columbus following. Bed bugs mainly gain media attention when multiple-unit dwellings and other public areas are affected but infestations can be found in single family home units as well.

bedbugs invadeEarly Bed Bug Surges

While bed bug infestations began around 2004 according to experts, news stories regarding these annoying critters didn’t begin until 2010. This is the year that buildings with multiple units, such as apartment complexes, began having substantial issues with controlling bed bug populations. Since then, these little bugs have made headlines on a consistent basis due to their resilience and ability to spread quickly. Public areas such as schools, libraries, department stores, and even public transportation can experience problems with huge bed bug populations.

The 2013 the Bugs without Borders Survey, conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), had confirmed that bed bug infestations were encountered in condos or apartments by 98 percent of pest management companies, and increase from 90 percent in 2011.

While these critters had been nearly unnoticed in prior years, world wide travel has shown an increase in populations in the U.S from countries where bed bug populations had not been controlled. These tiny insects travel in personal property items, easily going from place to place via luggage, boxes, shoes, pant hems and any other little hiding place they can make their way into. Resistance to common pesticides has made bed bug populations grow and spread quickly from place to place within the U.S. Experts in Entomology and the pest control industry have voiced their opinions on the rising bed bug levels and what it means for the country as a whole.

Dini Miller, Ph. D., Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech said “Bed bugs have been a hot topic in the news during the past several years; especially when a new geographical area is infested or bed bugs are discovered in public places such as hotels or shopping centers. Unfortunately, people have become desensitized to the issue, leading them to believe the risk has decreased, but the issue is actually greater than before.”

Michael Bonds of Organic Pest Control NYC said “For the most part, bed bug levels are rising. In addition to this reality, we’ve found many of the individuals and businesses that we serve have developed a higher threshold of tolerance for these pests, which actually compounds the problem. This is a dangerous combination, as people are essentially enabling these populations to spread by feeling like there is no way to win the war against them. In cities like Chicago and New York, where residents are living more densely, this acceptance of bed bugs is becoming more common. The public needs to educate themselves on the risks of bed bugs to prevent infestations. We try to educate our customers on all fronts regarding bed bug prevention.”

bedbugUnderstanding Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are hard to control due to resilience to common pesticides, their ability to travel, and reproductive habits. Bed bugs typically reproduce several times over the course of a year, or even daily, with females laying hundreds of eggs over their lifetimes, which can be as long as 9 months time if the conditions are right. Bed bugs can travel in any item they can find a hiding place, such as luggage, boxes, shoes, used furniture, and all types of clothing. These tiny creatures can withstand a wide range of temperatures, even surviving negative degree temperatures for several days. Adult bed bugs can live for several months without feeding.

Those who have detected bed bug infestations in their homes experience a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety from the situation. The amount of work and cost associated with eradication is enough stress in and of itself. However, the added stigma that is commonly associated with those who have a bed bug infestation adds to the problem. Bed bugs are not caused by lack of cleanliness or any wrongdoing on the part of those unfortunate enough to develop a bed bug issue but rather the misfortune of bringing bed bugs from another location or living close to another infested area.

Locating Bed Bug Populations

The bite of a bed bug typically goes unnoticed so detection is not always easy. The first place to begin is areas such as mattresses, bed rails, headboards, and bedding since these resilient pests often reside near where they feed. Check in folds, seams, and creases for tiny white elongated eggs, nymphs, shed skins, adult bed bugs, tiny blood smears on sheets from bites, as well as patches of tiny dark brown to black dots of bed bug waste. However, bed bugs can travel over a large area quickly so populations may occur in nightstands, dressers, wallpaper, and other small hiding places within a room. These critters can also hide in electrical sockets and have been known to populate inside of electronics such as laptops and radios that sit near beds or couches.

If bed bugs have been detected in the home, it is important to have the population eradicated as quickly as possible to prevent further spreading. It is best to consult professional pest control services in your area in addition to home control methods. Special heat treatments and vacuuming can help eradicate these nuisance insects when combined with professional treatment methods.

It is important to be able to detect bed bugs and their presence at home and in public areas to prevent bringing them into the home in the first place. There are special products that can detect the early presence of these creatures. Use of encasements for both mattresses and box springs can go a long way in preventing bed bug infestations.

Austin Landscaping Rebates

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 Posted by

watering lawnDid you know that watering and irrigating your property is a major contributing factor to attracting pests like scorpions and roaches?

Did you know that significant water usage and savings can be made by exchanging your turf grass for native plant beds and permeable landscaping; all while getting financial rebates and assisting in keeping your property pest free?

It’s true! Residential properties in Austin, TX and surrounding areas may receive $25 for every 100 square feet that is converted from healthy turf grass to native Texas plants; up to a rebate of $1,250. Additionally, the less water on your property equates to less pests.

Here’s what you need to know:

Austin WaterWise Landscaping Rebate

If you are a residential customer of a qualifying Austin water provider, you can get a rebate if you switch out your healthy grass for native Texas plants and landscape that use less water. For every 100 square feet of healthy grass you replace, you get a $25 rebate. The maximum rebate a property can receive is $1,250.

Customers of Austin Water or other qualifying water providers need to fill out an application. Applications are accepted for two separate time periods: Spring installations (December 1 – March 31) and fall installations (June 1 – September 30). You can submit one application per installation period.

Download The Waterwise Rebate Application Here

Qualifying Austin Water Providers Eligible For Rebates

  • Aqua Texas- Morningside
  • Aqua Texas- Night Hawk WSC
  • Aqua Texas- Rivercrest Water Systems
  • City of Rollingwood
  • City of Sunset Valley
  • City of Westlake Hills
  • Creedmoor-Maha WSC
  • High Valley WSC
  • Lost Creek MUD
  • Manville WSC
  • Marsha WSC
  • North Austin MUD #1
  • Northtown MUD
  • Shady Hollow MUD
  • Travis County WCID #10
  • Village of San Leanna
  • Wells Branch MUD
  • Windermere Utility

Eligibility For Austin WaterWise Landscaping Rebate

  • You must be a customer of an above listed water provider, or an Austin Water residential customer.
  • You must complete and submit the application for the appropriate installation period, and provide appropriate supporting documentation (see below).
  • At least 75% of the turf grass being replaced must be alive and healthy.
  • A minimum of 500 square feet of healthy grass must be replaced.

More Information On WaterWise Program Requirements

There are many program requirements that must be followed in order to earn the allotted rebate(s). Application materials must be sent to Austin Water Conversion, conversion area requirements must be met, and irrigation systems must be turned off and capped, or set to low use.

For more information on Austin’s WaterWise Landscaping Rebate, visit:

Author Bio:  is a pest management professional at Bulwark Exterminating in Austin, TX. As a pest professional, I recommend taking advantage of the Austin landscaping rebate, as less water on your property equates to less pests.

Is That A Hoof On My Roof?

Friday, December 20, 2013 Posted by

squirrelThe brisk weather of fall and winter is approaching, and it’s time for everyone to prepare for the harsh months ahead. Just as human prepare for the cold wind and snow, animals also prepare food and warm shelter to survive through fall and winter. However, there are animals that decide to take shelter in an inhabited home during fall and winter to take advantage of the warmth and strong protection from the elements. While it may be paradise for them, it can be a nightmare for the homeowner. To keep pests out of your home this winter, follow these helpful tips.


Snakes are not very fond of the cold. They prefer warm and cozy areas to curl up in. That is why snakes are a common pest found in homes during fall and winter. While not all snakes are venomous or constrictors, they can still be uncomfortable to live with.

To keep snakes away, do a thorough check on the outside of your home for any holes or cracks that a snake could slither through. This includes ventilation ducts, utility pipes and dryer vents. Remember, snakes can be incredibly small and they’re all very flexible. Even a tiny hole could be big enough for a snake to get through. It’s also a good idea to check higher up on the walls in case there are any access points such as trees or poles near the wall.

You can also put down some snake repellent around the perimeter of your house right before or during fall to keep snakes away.


Similarly to snakes, rats make their way into houses through small openings in the house. However, rats can be even more flexible than snakes and they’re better climbers. They can make their way into openings as small as a penny. You’ll need to be even more vigilant in finding access points when trying to keep rats out.

One of the main issues with rats is that they frequently make their way into the living quarters instead of staying in hiding like a snake. It may be impossible to keep rats out completely since there are so many ways rats can get in, but you can rat-proof the interior of your home by putting wire mesh over any openings in the wall such as holes around pipes or cables, putting all food in sealed plastic containers and placing rat repellent around and within your home. If you plan on putting chemical repellent in your home, remember to keep it away from pets, children and food.


Squirrels are a slightly different matter because they store their food supply for the winter in the place that they intend on inhabiting for the season. If their food supply is already in the home, keeping them out can be very difficult. In addition, all homeowners must realize that keeping a squirrel away from their food during winter can quickly lead to the squirrel’s death.

For a more humane method, it’s best to prepare during mid to late summer while the squirrels are preparing to store food. Squirrels frequently access houses by jumping from nearby branches and entering through high access points. Since blocking off high access points may be impossible, it’s best to work from the ground up. Wrap a two-foot wide piece of sheet metal around the trunks of the trees that are close to your house. The metal should be secured about eight feet off of the ground to keep them from avoiding it.

If these methods fail, you can also purchase traps to capture most pests in your home. Glue traps are popular since they are fairly humane and they can catch practically any pest. If you’re not comfortable dealing with a live animal in a trap, you can call an exterminator or a wildlife rescue specialist to release the animal for you.

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Austin blogger, Peter Wendt, recently contacted his Austin roofing contractor for information about how to keep critters out of his attic this winter. All he wants to hear up there is Santa’s sleigh landing!

Identifying Termites in Your Home

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Posted by

TermitesThe last thing we want as homeowners are termites eating our investment. Have you noticed any signs of termite damage around your property? Is there a chance termites are chewing on the wood that holds up your home? These are great questions that we in the pest control industry struggle to answer on a routine basis.

Identifying termites isn’t an easy task. They live most of their lives tucked behind the walls of homes and they’re perfectly comfortable remaining there for many years.  First let’s take a quick look at the types of termites:

Types of Termites

One group of termites is what we call subterranean termites. These are termites that are typically associated with your Northern states. Subterranean termites make colonies in the ground outside of the home. They make their way to the wood structure of the home through underground tunnels and return back to the colony once they’re done eating.

Another group of termites are the drywood termites. These termites actually make their colonies inside the walls of the house. Because these termites don’t have a need to leave the home, it’s often very difficult to suspect termite damage.

Dampwood termites love to make their home in damp wood, whether it’s in rotten logs or sections of your home that are subjected to flooding. Such termites are common on the Pacific Coast as well as Southern Florida.

termite damageHow to Identify Termites

One of the most common ways people find out they have termites in their house are by seeing what we call swarmer’s. Termites will try to reproduce and spread their colonies. Those that have wings, or swarmers, will be flying around the home in search of a new beginning. If you notice them flying around your home there is a chance you have termites.

Another way to determine if you have termites is through detection systems. Pest control companies can install baiting systems around the house that will indicate the existence of termites. Some baiting systems have wood and if there is any indication of chewed wood, termites are likely to blame.

Subterranean termites leave their mark by creating mud tubes along the exterior of the home. If you notice dried up mud tubes outside your home you may want to have it tested for termites. Other types of termites make small holes where they enter and dump out fecal matter.

It’s always best to leave the detection of termites to the professionals. It’s important to understand the signs of termite damage, but don’t attempt to make your own judgment or get rid of the termites on your own. There are very strong chemicals on the market for removing termites and it’s safest to leave the job up to the professionals.

In many cases termite removal requires leaving the home for a few days. When the fumigation approach is taken, professionals spray poison throughout the home and then place tarps over it to seal it. Homeowners are allowed to return to the home once the toxins have fully settled.

Reach out to a local pest control company to determine the best approach for removing termites from your home.

Four Essential Tips For Car Buyers In Texas

Thursday, December 12, 2013 Posted by

Buying CarThere are some states and cities you can live in and not need to rely on motor vehicles for transportation, but Texas isn’t one of them. Texas is made up of 268,581 square miles of cities, suburbs, deserts, and coastlines, and if you want to get around in The Lone Star State you’re going to need a car. When you’re looking for a car that’s made to withstand Texas’ extreme heat and miles of highways and roads, you need to make sure that you’re shopping correctly. If you’re a Texas resident that’s looking for a car, remember to keep these car shopping tips in mind.

Figure out the value of your old car

When you’re thinking about buying a new car, your thoughts probably aren’t on how much money your old car is worth. It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning on selling it or trading it in, you need to figure out how much your previous car is worth. Once you know how much it’s worth, you’ll be in a much better position to negotiate with buyers and dealerships. Kelley Blue Book is still considered the ultimate authority in car value, so head over to their website with some basic information about your car so that you can get a quote.

Don’t rely on emotion

“I’ll know the right car for me when I see it”

So many car buyers have gone with their gut or their emotions when they looked at a car they fell in love with, and doing that is a good way to go over your budget or to buy a car that doesn’t meet your needs. That new Hyundai convertible you found in Fort Worth may look like everything you’ve ever wanted in a car, but you’ll regret it when you’re driving with the top down during a two week stretch of triple digit heat in the summer. There’s nothing wrong with buying a car that appeals to you visually, but that good looking car should also be able to meet your other important criteria for finding your new car.

Don’t fall for urgency

Unless you’re going car shopping on the last day of a big sale, you shouldn’t believe it when a salesman says that they can only give you this deal today. Salesmen aren’t saying that because they don’t want you to miss out on an amazing deal, they’re doing that so they can make another sale before the day is done.

Avoid shopping for new models as soon as they debut

It seems like people flock to the dealership as soon as next year’s model is available. Don’t go car shopping as soon as the latest model cars are revealed if you want to save money and if you truly need to have the latest Hyundai. Dealers in Fort Worth, Dallas, and around the state can inflate the prices of new model cars when they first come out because they’re so popular. Some people are willing to pay anything to make sure that they have the latest model vehicle, and their need to be the first to have something new will cost them a significant amount of money.

Joan is a part-time writer who loves to share her adventures in travel and finance with her readers.