ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

A Homeowner’s Guide To Winter Weeds In Texas

Winter Weeds in Texas

As summer draws to a close and fall begins, a big part of your lawn maintenance will involve getting ahead of the winter weeds. As your grass becomes dormant, it’s important to take steps to prevent heartier varieties of weeds from taking hold once colder temperatures set in. Being able to identify the different types of winter weeds in Texas can help you identify and get rid of any of these unsightly plants before they take over your lawn.

The most common winter weeds us Texans have to look out for are chickweed, henbit and annual bluegrass.

Chickweed

Chickweed isn’t just a weed; it’s also an edible plant. This species actually got its name because chicks, as well as other foul, love to eat it. However, unless you have chickens who will keep this weed from spreading across your lawn, you’ll want to control this bothersome plant as quickly as you can.

Chickweed is … Read Full Post »

My Furnace Won’t Stay On: What’s Going On?

Furnace Won’t Stay On

You’re freezing, so you get up to turn on the heater to warm things up. You hear your furnace click on and go sit back down, assuming you’ll feel toasty soon. A couple of minutes later, you hear the heat shut off. You repeat this process a few times when you come to terms with the fact that your furnace won’t stay on. So, what’s wrong? And, more importantly, what should you do to get your heat working again?

Your Thermocouple Is Bad

If you have a furnace with a pilot light, then you will have a thermocouple. The job of the thermocouple is to determine whether or not the pilot light is lit. This is a safety device that closes your gas valve when the pilot light goes out so gas doesn’t enter your home. You can check to see if this is your problem by seeing whether or not your … Read Full Post »

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like

The emotional toll of a bed bug infestation can be significant, in part because these tiny pests are so difficult to eradicate. For one thing, they hide in discreet locations, making them almost impossible to find. If you are currently dealing with bed bugs in your home, you’re probably wondering, what do baby bed bugs look like? Do they bite? And, perhaps most importantly, how can I get rid of these pests?

Baby bed bugs, which are also called nymphs, are actually similar in appearance to their adult counterparts, except for some key differences—mainly their size and their color. After hatching from tiny white eggs that are so small that they are difficult to see with the naked eye, bed bugs go through five stages before reaching adulthood.

First-stage nymphs are tiny (less than 1/16″)  and a pale, yellowish-white color. After feeding, baby bed bugs’ abdomens turn red due to the blood … Read Full Post »

What Is Digging Up My Lawn At Night And How Do I Stop It?

what is digging up my lawn at night

Plenty of homeowners have experienced the unpleasant shock of discovering unsightly holes, torn-up turf and piles of dirt scattered around the yard that seemed to appear while they were sleeping. If this has happened to you, you probably immediately wondered what is digging up your lawn at night.

Raccoons and skunks are two common grub-eating nocturnal culprits for digging in yards. Skunks tend to make shallow holes with loosened soil, while raccoons can actually use their front paws to pull up chunks of sod and flip them over to find whatever delicious food might lie beneath. Rabbits are burrowing animals that have also been known to dig holes in yards, and they have a better chance of doing so undetected at night. In addition, there are other animals that are active during the day, including squirrels, that might damage your lawn, and you may not discover the problem until the following … Read Full Post »

Will Pipes Freeze At 32 Degrees? Avoiding Disaster

Will Pipes Freeze at 32 Degrees

9319

Here in Texas, we are lucky that our winters are relatively mild. However, we do have those nights where it can get a bit chillier than we’re accustomed to. When it drops below freezing, many homeowners start to wonder: Will pipes freeze at 32 degrees? Water freezes at 32 degrees, so technically that is the temperature at which it becomes possible for pipes to freeze as well. That said, it’s not quite that simple.

Pipes can freeze at 32 degrees or below, but it will take a sustained period of time for this to happen. In other words, a pipe needs to be at freezing temperatures for at least half a day before homeowners have to worry about any freezing occurring. And, generally speaking, the temperature needs to be well below 32 for at least that length of time before freezing becomes likely.

While you may assume that homeowners in the North … Read Full Post »

Where To See Christmas Lights In Austin & Holiday Events

Christmas lights in Austin

Wondering about the best places to see Christmas lights in Austin this holiday season? You’re in luck, since our town has a multitude of fabulous spots for enjoying spectacular lights displays. We’ve also got holiday events of all varieties, whether you enjoy neighborhood light displays; larger, more ceremonial holiday light events; gingerbread house building; live performances or something else entirely. Read on to learn where to see the best Christmas lights in Austin and find out about other fun, popular holiday events around town, so you and your loved ones can make holiday memories that will warm your hearts for years to come.

The Best Christmas Events In Austin For Families

We are lucky to have so many great Christmas events in Austin, and many of them are perfect for families, as well as individuals of all ages. Here are some of our favorite Christmas events so that you and your family … Read Full Post »

The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Lights In Houston In 2019

Christmas Lights Houston 2019

The holiday season is a magical time of year here in Houston. The city becomes transformed—even before Thanksgiving—and the excitement in the air is almost palpable. Many residents and their loved ones visiting from other places enjoy attending seasonal events and looking at all of the Christmas lights in Houston and the surrounding communities, and 2019 has more options than ever to choose from.

It can be a challenge to keep track of everything going on—especially when you’re trying to find time to decorate your own home and attend to a long list of to-dos. With the help of this guide, you can plan your holiday season so that you can enjoy beloved local traditions and create new opportunities to make special memories.

Best Christmas Lights Events To Ring In The Season

Part of the fun of the holidays is seeing the sparkling lights all over town, and we’re lucky to have so … Read Full Post »

Rodents In Texas: A Homeowner’s Control & Prevention Guide

Rodents in Texas

An unfortunate reality of living in the great state of Texas is that we have to worry about many different rodents. If you made it to this blog post, you have probably spotted one. You may even have come to terms with the fact that—much to your dismay—you might have a rodent problem. While some of the most common rodents in Texas are mice and rats, there are also some larger animals you may come across on your property.

Mice And Rats

The three most common types of rodents you’ll see in Texas are the Norway rat, the house mouse and the roof rat. The Norway rat grows to be an average of eight inches in length, with an additional seven inches, when you include the creature’s tail, which is longer than the body. These rodents have brown fur that is often peppered with black, and occasionally a gray or white stomach.

Have … Read Full Post »

Florida Centipedes: How To Control And Prevent An Infestation

Florida centipedes

If you had to make a list of the creepiest of creepy-crawlies you’d rather not have in your home, Florida centipedes would probably be near the top. Who wants a pest with all those legs showing up inside?

Centipedes do more than freak Floridians out in the middle of the night. These creatures bite, which can be pretty painful, due to the toxins they release. You won’t get sick from a centipede bite, and they are certainly not fatal, but victims will tell you a close encounter is still quite unpleasant.

To make matters worse, these arthropods lay dozens of eggs at a time, which can easily turn into a horrifying centipede infestation in your home. To add insult to injury, a pest control expert will tell you that when centipedes show up inside your house, it’s likely that other pests are also present.

Why is that?

Centipedes are situated right in the middle … Read Full Post »

Why Is Cold Air Blowing Out Of Vents When The Heat Is On?

Cold air blowing out of vents when heat is on

When you come home on a chilly day, the last thing you want is to be met with is a gust of cold air blowing out of your vents when the heat is on. This unpleasant surprise is common, unfortunately, and can make uncomfortably cold weather that much more difficult to handle. Thankfully, there are a few common causes of this issue that can help you identify a solution.

Your Air Filter Is Dirty

Did changing your air filters slip your mind? Clogged air filters could be causing cold air to blow out of your vents. A dirty air filter can block airflow over your furnace’s heat exchanger, which can cause it to overheat. Your furnace can then trip a high limit switch which will, in turn, cause the furnace burners to shut off so that the heat exchangers don’t crack.

Your Pilot Light Is Out

If you have an older furnace with a … Read Full Post »