ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

Do Bed Bugs Smell? What Homeowners Need To Know

Decorative pillows on a gray bed

Some people wonder if bed bugs give off a particular scent that can signal their presence in the home. Others are wanting to know whether bed bugs themselves possess a sense of smell; if they do, there might be odors that bed bugs find repellent that could be used to deter them from infesting people’s homes.

Bed bugs do give off a certain, unpleasant scent when they’re disturbed, which is related to the pheromones they emit when alarmed. Some people have described it as a sweet or coriander-like scent, while others have said it’s a musty or moldy smell. This scent might not be obvious to everyone, however—some people can’t smell it at all—and it might only be detected when there are lots of bed bugs present, indicating a heavy infestation.

This means that if there are bed bugs present somewhere in your home, chances are, you won’t smell them—and if you … Read Full Post »

Bed Bugs In My Couch: What Should I Do?

bed bugs in a couch in a brown living room

If you’ve had an experience that led you to suspect the presence of bed bugs in your couch, you might wonder if that’s even possible. The name “bed bugs,” after all, suggests these pests are found in people’s sleeping areas, not their living room furniture. But anyone who’s ever dozed off on the couch while watching their favorite TV show and then later found lines of itchy red bumps on their skin knows that isn’t true.

Bed bugs definitely don’t restrict themselves to beds, although they are most often found in places where people sleep. That’s because they are safest when they feed on the blood of their victims while they are still, often when a person is fast asleep. Bed bugs have been known to infest many types of furniture and spaces where people spend lots of time, including couches, sectionals and easy chairs. So, if you suspect there are … Read Full Post »

Do Mosquito Foggers Work? How To Get Relief

A backyard with lots of greenery that might make a homeowner wonder: do mosquito foggers work

Whether we’re attending neighborhood barbecues, hosting parties outside, playing with our kids in the backyard or all of the above, we tend to spend more time outdoors as the weather starts to warm up. Unfortunately, warmer weather doesn’t just mean we get to spend more time with family and friends in our yards—it also means that mosquitoes are back. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of multiple mosquito bites knows that it’s an unpleasant experience. And, if you’ve recently felt attacked by these biting insects while spending time in your own yard, you’re probably looking for a solution. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for mosquito control out there, but some of these methods are more effective than others. You have likely heard of a variety of different products that claim to kill these pests, such as bug zappers, citronella candles and mosquito foggers. But, how effective … Read Full Post »

Do Cockroaches Bite? Your Questions Answered

A cockroach

If you find a cockroach—or even multiple cockroaches—in your home, it’s only natural to be concerned about the impact these pests can have on you and your family members. Since these creatures often seem to come out of nowhere and take you by surprise, you may have even wondered whether cockroaches bite or if they pose any other dangers.

While roaches are capable of biting us and our pets, this happens very rarely. With slightly cupped jaws that move sideways to chew food, a cockroach can technically gnaw on skin, although researchers argue that this only happens when a person is immobile and there are food particles stuck on hair and skin. These creatures would much rather feast on the food in your pantry, the leftovers on your counter or the scraps in your trash. Roaches are scavengers and omnivores and will consume practically any type of organic matter. As such, … Read Full Post »

Pool Pump Won’t Prime: What Is Going On?

A blue pool with a pump that isn't priming

Pool pumps are supposed to make it easier for you to keep your pool beautiful, clean and ready to enjoy with family and friends. However, when a pool pump won’t prime correctly, it can spell disaster at the worst possible time.

Priming is the process of creating a vacuum effect so the pump can pull water out of the pool, pass it through the filter and push the filtered water back into the pool. When this process fails, pool water can quickly become dirty, cloudy and overrun with algae and bacteria.

Some common issues that can prevent a pool pump from priming correctly include:

  • Air in the pool pump
  • A dirty pool pump impeller
  • Low water pressure
  • Pool pump leaks

When your pool pump won’t prime, the best way to save time and money is to call a swimming pool repair expert. A professional can identify and fix most of these problems quickly and help prevent future … Read Full Post »

What Eats Termites? Controlling An Infestation

Subterranean termites burrowing in dirt

Many homeowners, especially those who spot signs of termite activity in their homes or elsewhere around their property, may wonder if there are any animals that eat termites. Do these pests have natural predators that can help keep termite populations low and protect homes from damage? Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage to American homes and other structures each and every year, and once they have infested a home, they are notoriously difficult to get rid of.

Worse, termite colonies are typically hidden to the untrained eye, which means these insects can go about their destructive business for quite a long time before they’re detected. The varieties responsible for the vast majority of serious damage to our homes, subterranean termites, largely live out their lives in the dark, and their queens can lay many eggs in a single day. This means that termites’ natural reproductive and feeding habits can … Read Full Post »

Is Hiring A Landscape Designer Worth It?

A backyard with a fireplace and a gray couch

You have been scrolling through gardening blogs and tearing out pictures from magazines, collecting ideas that will refresh the look of your outdoor living space. Lush plantings and meandering pathways, a front-gate arbor with climbing roses, a formal courtyard with a water feature are all on the table. Perhaps you have your heart set on an outdoor kitchen and covered patio? The good news is that thinking about your outdoor space, and determining how you want to use it, is the first step to making a change—whether your project is large or small. The not-so-good news is that implementing those ideas is not always as easy as it seems, and it can, in fact, be quite overwhelming when you get beyond the research phase. When it comes to really getting started, many homeowners wonder if it is worth it to hire a landscape designer or if it makes more sense … Read Full Post »

Do Termites Have Wings? Identification Tips

A winged subterranean termite

If you have spotted a swarm of small insects flying or crawling inside your home or elsewhere on your property, you might have instantly feared a pest infestation—and then asked yourself, “Do termites have wings?” The short answer here is yes: Certain types of termites in certain stages of their life cycle do have wings.

Not all termites have wings, however, and even those that do have wings don’t keep them forever. Furthermore, there are other winged insects, such as winged ants, that are commonly and easily mistaken for termites. A professional exterminator can determine exactly what type of insect is swarming in or around your home, whether it’s a termite, a winged ant or something else altogether. There are also certain signs and characteristics that homeowners can learn to look out for in order to make an initial diagnosis on their own.

Wanting to know how to identify termites and distinguish … Read Full Post »

How To Tell If You Have Termites In Your Walls

A white and gray living room

Maybe you spotted some strange, tiny holes in your drywall or baseboards, close to where the wall meets the floor. Or perhaps you knocked on the wall on a spot you thought was solid, and oddly enough, it sounded hollow. Each of these signs could be an indication that you could have termites living—and feeding—inside your walls. However, these aren’t the only signs.

If you wonder if you might have termites, take a closer look around to see if you can spot any of the following:

  • Faint lines on drywall along areas where termites are tunneling
  • Wood that seems hollow when you tap on it with a screwdriver
  • Bubbling or peeling paint
  • Small pinholes where termites have eaten through your drywall
  • Baseboards that crumble under slight pressure
  • Jammed windows or doors
  • Buckling wood
  • Discolored drywall

While there are visible clues of termite activity, keep in mind that the subterranean variety, the type that is responsible for a reported $1.5 billion … Read Full Post »

A Homeowner’s Guide To Termites In Texas

A group of termites on wood

There are many reasons Texans love calling this part of the country home. We have warm weather nearly all year round, with so much to offer in terms of nature, history, sporting events, museums and other attractions. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones that are drawn to this state. Termites in Texas—specifically, the subterranean, Formosan and drywood varieties—are a major problem for countless homeowners. These destructive pests are responsible for costing homeowners in Texas hundreds of millions of dollars of damage each year.

How does this tiny pest get away with so much?

Subterranean termites, the most common species of termite found in Texas, tunnel in moist soil in search of cellulose, their primary food source that is found in wood, plants, cardboard, insulation and even pet excrement. Because these pests are tunneling underground, many homeowners are unaware they have a problem until these voracious insects have already caused extensive damage. These … Read Full Post »