ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

Carpenter Ant Bite: The Dangers These Ants Pose

Carpenter Ant Bite

Carpenter ant bites can be a big pain—quite literally. A bite on human skin looks like a pea-sized blemish, and the aftermath may feel like a strong pinch or even a quick burn on the skin. This is because when carpenter ants bite, these insects spray formic acid onto their victim. Formic acid isn’t necessarily dangerous to humans, but it does increase the intensity of the pain you feel. You can reduce the pain associated with a carpenter ant bite by washing the impacted area with soap and water right away. Doing so will flush away the formic acid that causes pain to the area, which should cause the discomfort to recede. If not, a cold compress or ice should help to soothe the bite site.

Don’t be surprised if a carpenter ant bite draws blood. These insects are equipped with really strong jaws to chew through wood to make nests. … Read Full Post »

Are Mosquitoes Attracted To Perfume?

Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume

Spending time outside during certain times of the year can put you in closer contact with a number of insects. You’ve noticed those days you’re outdoors and wearing perfume, you’re getting bitten by mosquitoes more often. Is it all in your head, or are the rumors true? Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume?

Unfortunately, these insects are more likely to sense your presence if they can smell you. Mosquitoes feed on nectar when they aren’t producing eggs, so when we put on that fragrance, it sends off even more signals for them to come to find us. However, it’s not just a flowery perfume that could be attracting them—mosquitoes can smell deodorant, cologne, scented lotions and even fragranced body wash with the olfactory receptors in their antennae. By switching to unscented products, you could provide yourself with some degree of protection from itchy mosquito bumps.

There are many other rumors that get spread … Read Full Post »

How To Keep A Lawn Green In The Summer Heat

How to keep lawn green in summer heat

In the heat of a Texas summer, it can feel like keeping your grass green is a full-time job—which makes sense when you learn that even warm season species prefer temperatures in the 70s. It may seem like after you miss one day of watering, all of a sudden there are brown spots everywhere. Looking at what appears to be a dying lawn, you may realize you’re not completely sure how to keep your lawn green in the summer heat.

As you might suspect, the most important thing you can do for your lawn during the hottest times of the year is to water. In most Texas lawns, watering between a half-inch to a full inch of water each week can keep grass species that are suited for our climate healthy even in high temperatures. Bermuda grass and buffalo grass can handle just a half-inch of water, as well as other … Read Full Post »

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working: What Should I Do?

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working

The pump is the heart of your pool. This important part creates the pressure that moves your pool water through the filters, chlorinators and all the other components of your pool’s circulation system. Recently you’ve started to worry because your previously crystal clear swimming pool is turning a muddy greenish color and you’re not sure why.

You know the pump is on because you can hear it. Did you make a mistake in your calculations for how long you need to run it? Is it the time of day? The wrong pump? What could be the reason for your pool pump humming but not working?

Unfortunately, several things could be the culprit. Some of the most common reasons are that:

  • You might have a bad capacitor.
  • Debris might be blocking the impeller and consequently disabling the pool pump.
  • There might be problems with the motor shaft.

What do all of these issues mean? Quite simply, your … Read Full Post »

What Is Crabgrass? Weed Management Advice From The Pros

What is crabgrass

The condition of your yard is a large part of your property’s overall curb appeal. Because of this, homeowners can spend significant amounts of valuable free time making sure plants are watered, the grass is mowed and everything is healthy. Despite your best efforts, many of us have to deal with weeds. If you are trying to troubleshoot a weed problem, you might come across information which leads you to ask yourself: What is crabgrass?

Crabgrass is one of the most common weeds which can grow in residential areas, as well as popping up in gardens, orchards and vineyards. Also sometimes called summer grass, watergrass and crowfoot grass, crabgrass stems extend out from a central cluster in a way which resembles crab legs. Along with other common weeds, crabgrass was inadvertently introduced from Eurasia, and can become very difficult to remove. Crabgrass is an annual, meaning that the plant germinates, produces … Read Full Post »

Bed Bug Or Tick: What’s In My Home?

bed bug or tick

After spotting a tiny bug in your house, you are understandably freaked out. Could it be a bed bug, or was it actually a tick? If you’re being honest with yourself, it could be any kind of pest, and you wouldn’t know the difference. Even if you did, these insects are so small it can be hard to tell them apart.

While bed bugs and ticks feed on blood and most types are flat and rounded, that is not always the case. If you are wondering if it’s a bed bug or tick that you have seen, you should know that bed bugs are usually found indoors, while ticks most often inhabit wooded or grassy areas outside. While a bed bug might bite you several times when you are asleep, a tick will latch onto you and feed for several days until it’s full.

It can be hard to tell a tick … Read Full Post »

How Often Should I Water My Lawn With A Sprinkler System?

How Often Should I Water My Lawn With Sprinkler System

We all have that one neighbor with the perfect lawn. You know, the yard that you can’t help but pause in front of to admire. On one of these occasions, you ask yourself: “How often should I water my lawn with a sprinkler system so that it looks just like that?”

Unfortunately, determining a proper lawn watering schedule isn’t as simple as you might expect. Many different factors influence how much moisture your plants need to thrive, including what type of soil you have, your weather, what plant species you have in your yard and how much water your sprinkler heads put out. In addition, one homeowner might just want the grass to survive the heat of summer, while another might want that picture-perfect, golf course-quality turf.

Grass needs to be watered when the leaf blades begin to curl or when your lawn looks dark and dull. Unless you have a dry … Read Full Post »

Can Fleas Lay Eggs On Human Hair?

Can fleas lay eggs on human hair

Even after putting the flea collar on your pet, the itching continues. Suddenly, you begin to feel the urge the scratch, too. You stare at poor Fido, who looks quite miserable, and start to wonder, can fleas lay eggs on human hair? If these creatures can infest your dog’s fur, wouldn’t it make sense that they could do the same on our own heads?

While fleas can technically lay eggs on our scalp, the possibility of this happening is extremely rare. Given how much these small parasites can disrupt a household, however, knowing all you can about fleas can help you avoid an infestation or manage an existing flea problem.

Let’s answer more questions homeowners frequently have about these common pests.

Can Fleas Live On Humans?

While humans can serve as a temporary host for fleas, eggs are more viable if a flea consumes the blood of a preferred food source. There are over … Read Full Post »

Do Termites Eat Cedar? Protecting Your Home From Damage

Do termites eat cedar

Most homeowners have heard of termites, and know that these pests chew their way through wooden structures, including houses, garages and fences, as well as other natural food sources. Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to homes and properties each year. Their colonies can number in the thousands or even millions, and a termite colony can lay waste to wooden beams, rafters, siding or flooring in your home or garage.

Which types of wood are their favorites? For example, do termites eat cedar, an evergreen tree that is common in Texas and other southern states? Or, if some people think cedar is an effective DIY method to keep wool moths at bay, you might wonder: could cedar repel termites as well?

The short answer is that while some research has shown that some types of commercially-available wood may be more palatable to termites than others, subterranean species have been found … Read Full Post »

Bugs That Look Like Bed Bugs: Identification Tips

The idea of a bug sharing the space where you sleep is not one to take lightly—especially if it’s one that bites! If you spotted a tiny bug wandering around your bedroom, your first instinct might have been to assume that it is a bed bug. However, there are more bugs that look like bed bugs than you might expect. While the complete list could be quite long, the short list is fleas, immature roaches, booklice, carpet beetles, bat bugs and ticks.

So, how can you know if that minuscule visitor was really a bed bug? Here are a few characteristics of bed bugs that can tip you off to the presence of these bloodsucking creatures:

  • Adults are reddish-brown to black in color.
  • A bed bug that hasn’t had a blood meal recently is usually oval-shaped and flat. After feeding, these parasites will swell up, become longer and change color to redder to … Read Full Post »