Unexpected Bee Problems to Be on the Lookout for in Austin

Going Beyond the Sting

When was the last time you suffered a bee sting? For your sake, we hope that it has been a while. Although everyone learns to avoid direct contact with bees at a young age, it seems like these hardy pollinators just can’t keep their wings—and stingers—off of us. What’s more, you might be surprised to learn that bees cause lots of issues that have nothing to do with their ability to inflict pain.

Burrowing Carpenter Bees

If you’ve found some unexplained holes in the side of your house, you might be dealing with a carpenter bee infestation. Unlike honey bees, this species likes to burrow into wood and set up colonies in fully sheltered locations. The potential damage to your home may be further compounded by the presence of hungry woodpeckers that dig deep into your exterior walls in search of tasty larvae. The best course of action is … Read Full Post »

Bobby Jenkins Spoke at AARO Rally to Promote School Attendance

School Attendance Affects Everyone

Do you have kids? If you do, you understand how important the issue of school attendance can be. After all, every day a kid spends in school is a day they’re learning a new skill. It’s also a day they’re not getting into trouble out on the streets. Unfortunately, central Texas has a pretty serious problem with preventable school absences. That’s why Bobby Jenkins (pictured far left), the president and CEO of ABC Home & Commercial Services, recently spoke at an event to raise awareness of the issue.

Who’s Bobby Jenkins and What Did He Say?

As the president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Bobby Jenkins inspires and guides the highly skilled employees and technicians who have worked for this family-focused business since its beginning. He’s also fully committed to the welfare and prosperity of folks across central Texas.

At a September 3 rally hosted by the E3 Alliance, … Read Full Post »

ABC Named “Best Pest Control” in Austin Chronicle

Service with a smile really does get you noticed

At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we’ve been taking care of our customers since our founding. Homeowners and business owners across the Austin area have been good to us, and we make sure to give back whenever possible. That’s why it’s so gratifying to hear that we’ve been named among the best pest control services in the city by the Austin Chronicle.

Why Are We the Best?

Talk about a loaded question. According to the Chronicle, the “60+ years ABC has been tending to Austin’s residential and commercial needs have given them a definitive advantage over the pests that plague us.” It’s true that our experience is a real asset. We currently employ several generations of pest control specialists, each of whom can learn something from the others.

The Chronicle goes on to say that “the new generation of bug busters [at ABC] continues the … Read Full Post »

The Importance of Pruning Shrubs and Trees

Don’t let your property’s vegetation get out of control

There are plenty of reasons not to prune back the trees and shrubs that populate your property: You might like the privacy that they provide or enjoy lounging in their shade on warm days; you might even be a fan of the “natural look” that’s so popular these days. However, most Austin-area homeowners let their vegetation get out of control simply because they’re too busy to take care of it themselves. We can help with that. Here are a few good reasons why pruning is a good idea in the first place.

It’s Good for Their Health

It sounds counter-intuitive, but smaller, less densely vegetated plants, shrubs and trees tend to be healthier than their overgrown counterparts. Spaced-out leaves allow more sunlight to reach beyond the canopy and nourish every single leaf. The same principle applies to rainwater: If leaves are too dense, plants’ … Read Full Post »

5 Signs of a Malfunctioning Dishwasher

How to tell if your dishwasher is on the fritz

Like all appliances, dishwashers experience difficulty from time to time. If you encounter any of these common problems, it’s a good idea to have your machine looked at right away.

1. You washed the dishes but they’re not clean

There’s nothing worse than opening up the dishwasher after a cycle only to find that everything inside is still dirty. Though the problem could simply be that you didn’t stack the dishes the right way, it could also be due to a clogged spray arm or filter. The easiest way to figure out the problem is to reload the dishes and run another cycle, making sure to use enough detergent.

2. The floor around the machine is soaking wet

Poor dish stacking can also contribute to leaks, especially if you’re trying to put too much into the dishwasher at once. If your floor becomes one big … Read Full Post »

The Breakdown: Why Are My Utility Bills So High?

The link between timely HVAC repair and your energy usage

Air conditioning is imperative in Austin, and you also need your heater to be in good shape for the winter months. However, many people are in shock when they see their energy bill, especially during the warmest part of the year. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to reduce your electric bill without having to turn off your HVAC system and suffer the weather.

Dealing With a High Utility Bill

If your utility bills seem to be significantly increasing for no particular reason, this is a strong indicator that you need to contact a professional HVAC repair company. The reality is that every HVAC system will eventually begin to fail, and this can lead to electric bills that creep higher and higher every month. Additionally, simple issues such as failing to change your HVAC unit’s filter and having old air … Read Full Post »

7 Travel Tips That Outsmart Bed Bugs

The last souvenir you want to bring home from your travels is a suitcase full of bed bugs. Unfortunately, these little guys love to travel, and they have no problem getting through security without a boarding pass. Bed bugs are small, flat, brown parasitic insects with six legs and no wings. As connoisseurs of human blood, they will gleefully hide in bed sheets and wait until you fall asleep before turning you into an all-night buffet.

Bed Bugs Have Perfected the Art of Free Travel

Bed bugs are usually brought into hotels by guests. When you place your suitcase on the bed or floor, they crawl inside and hide. Because they are tiny, they may go unnoticed by hotel staff until someone complains. People enter and leave hotels and resorts constantly, so there’s no way to completely prevent bed bugs from coming in. The presence of bed bugs doesn’t indicate poor sanitation—they’re … Read Full Post »

ABC Austin Featured on Time Warner Cable News

 

The Importance of Keeping an Eye Out for Leaks in Austin

Master Plumber Mike Yazalina and Arborist Scott Martin are members of ABC Home & Commercial Services’ Austin plumbing team, and they were recently featured in an article and video for Time Warner News (click here to view). The duo discussed some of the dangers that can be caused by leaky pipes, including unexpected tree root growth in undesirable areas.

How Do Leaks Impact Tree Roots?

When most people think of a leaky pipe, their primary concern is the many problems that water damage can cause within their home. However, it’s important to remember that not all of the piping that provides your house with water is positioned in a manner that would cause it to leak indoors. Instead, these leaks can go into the soil underneath and around your home, and this is a recipe for disaster if you have trees on … Read Full Post »

3 Functional Landscaping Tips

Let your Austin landscape do the work

Whether you’re a dedicated gardener or weekend warrior, taking care of the home landscape means getting your hands dirty. Why not add some smart function to all that lawn care? Here are three tips that can save on cooling costs, control the water bill and keep your yard on level ground.

1. Enjoy the Shade

Trees and shrubs around the house are a beautiful part of the landscape, but they’re also great energy savers because they lower surrounding temperatures by as much as 9 degrees. Tall shades like red maples and cedar elms can save up to 30% on cooling costs. Shrubs do their part to beat the summer heat by shading exterior walls and windows. Esperanza, Texas sage and cenizo are just a few examples of shrubs that thrive around Austin homes, and each one brings a unique look to the yard.

2. Grow More With … Read Full Post »

5 Common AC Noises and What They Mean

How to tell when it’s time for a service call

When it’s working properly, your air conditioner makes a pleasant noise that’s easy to get used to. Unfortunately, even the best-made HVAC systems can and do experience serious problems that require attention, troubleshooting and potential repairs. These problems are often preceded or indicated by strange noises that interrupt the pleasant sounds you’ve become accustomed to. Here are five of the most common.

1. Banging Sounds in Your Compressor

If you hear a banging sound emanating from your air conditioner’s compressor, you could be dealing with a loose fan blade that’s repeatedly banging against something else inside the housing. This is especially likely if the noise occurs at regular intervals. Consequences of this problem may include worn-down fan blades that require frequent and increasingly expensive replacement.

2. Persistent Buzzing or Rattling

A vague, seemingly random buzzing or rattling sound probably isn’t being caused by a single … Read Full Post »