ABC Blog

Do Termites Bite? Risks Posed By These Dangerous Pests

Do termites bite

Do termites bite? This is a common question among individuals who encounter these destructive insects around their home or yard. For one thing, when you spot termites in or around your home, you’re probably seeing adult termites, which can look quite a bit like ants—and we all know that ants bite. Plus, it’s well-known that termites feed on wood. A typical termite colony can number in the many thousands, and these critters are capable of destroying entire structures by weakening the frame as they feed on and tunnel through it. If a termite can chew through wood, then it stands to reason that it could bite a human or a dog, right?

Well, not necessarily. The answer to whether termites bite people is a bit complicated, but the simple answer is that it’s unlikely you’ll ever be bitten by a termite. Here’s why.

To understand why you’ll probably never be the victim of … Read Full Post »

Cyanuric Acid: Is That What’s Missing From Your Pool?

Cyanuric Acid

To save a little money, you decided to go the DIY route with your pool. You did the cleaning. You handled the maintenance issues. You mixed in the chlorine and other chemicals to keep the pool pristine.

At first, it seemed to work pretty well. The kids had lots of fun, and you got to enjoy not paying for a service, putting a small chunk of change back into your pocket. Not too bad.

After a little time passed, though, you noticed that you were starting to get some algae growth. Later, you discovered that the pool was kind of green and cloudy. Then, after a bunch of kids came over and swam for the afternoon, several of them got sick—including yours.

What was going on? Weren’t the pool chemicals supposed to be stopping those kinds of things from happening?

They are, provided that you make sure you’re using the right chemicals in the … Read Full Post »

The Difference Between Bed Bug Bites And Mosquito Bites

Difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites

Unless you live inside an air-conditioned bubble, you’re likely to find yourself scratching your skin at some point throughout the year as you come into contact with different varieties of biting insects. Both indoors and outdoors, and especially during the summer, you might have run-ins with fleas, mosquitoes, horse flies, black flies or even—shudder—bed bugs. Bed bugs can be very difficult to get rid of, so finding suspicious, itchy welts on your skin can cause momentary panic as you try to figure out the culprit. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to tell the difference between bed bug bites and mosquito bites or the bites of other insects, as long as you know what to look for. Read on to learn about various insect bites and the signs and symptoms that will indicate which pesky pest has taken a chomp out of you.

Mosquito Bites Vs. Flea Bites

Here’s the good news: Most common … Read Full Post »

Can Fleas Fly? How To Handle An Infestation

Can fleas fly

Do you live with a furry pet? If so, whether you have a dog, cat, ferret, guinea pig or something else, there’s a possibility that you are also living with fleas. This is true even if you are meticulous about cleaning your home and bathing your pet. Furthermore, the risk of a flea infestation increases if your pet spends time both indoors and outdoors.

Unfortunately, it’s also possible to have a flea infestation in your home even if you don’t have pets. If squirrels, rats or other rodents make a nest or get trapped inside your attic or walls, they can carry fleas that travel into your living spaces in search of a human blood meal.

A flea infestation is a highly undesirable situation. Not only are flea bites itchy and annoying at best, these tiny parasites can also cause health problems in dogs and other animals such as anemia, hair … Read Full Post »

Muscovy Ducks: Invasive Nuisance Or The Perfect Pet?

Muscovy ducks

In areas of the country where Muscovy duck populations have moved in and taken over, homeowners are polarized over these odd-looking fowl. Some people love them for what they consider their friendly personalities, their usefulness in controlling insect populations and their unique markings and appearance. Other people, however, can’t stand them. They consider Muscovies a serious nuisance and just want them gone from their properties and neighborhoods.

It’s undeniable that feral Muscovy ducks have become a real problem for homeowners living in certain urban areas, including some neighborhoods of Houston and other areas of Texas, as well as in many regions in Florida. Muscovies leave their waste droppings everywhere, including all over homeowners’ porches, front walks and cars and even in their pools. These ducks have been known to destroy flower beds and other landscaping features as they forage for food. They can also be a hazard to drivers, many of … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live In A Plastic Bag?

How long do bed bugs live in a plastic bag

Love to travel? Many of us do—until a chance encounter with dreaded bed bugs leaves us wishing we’d never set foot outside our homes. “Dread” is not too strong a word when it comes to these pests, which are the bane of travelers and hoteliers alike. Travel isn’t the only way these pests can come into your home.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they infest a sleeping area, or any other part of your home, for that matter. If you’ve ever encountered them and suffered their incredibly itchy bites, you may have taken a DIY approach to handle the problem. You may have read that bagging your luggage, linens or clothing and leaving it in the hot sun is an effective do-it-yourself technique. But how long do bed bugs live in a plastic bag?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is that it depends. Bed … Read Full Post »

Mold In Air Vents: Harmful, Or Nothing To Worry About?

Mold in air vents harmful

Your eyes are itchy and watery. You’re sneezing and coughing. You might expect these symptoms when you walk outside or play with your dogs, especially during the times of year that seasonal allergies are a problem.

What if this starts happening inside your own home?

If you’re noticing nose stuffiness, wheezing or throat irritation whenever you’re indoors at your house, the problem could be hiding in your air vents. You might be dealing with black mold.

You can usually spot mold on the walls, floors, ceilings and fabrics around your home. But sometimes, harmful mold lurks in a place you can’t see: inside your air vents.

If you suspect you may have black mold hiding in your air vents, you’ll need to take action to determine what your problem is and take steps to make sure your family is not at risk. This comprehensive guide will help you understand symptoms, solutions and … Read Full Post »

How To Remove Calcium Deposits From Pool

How to remove calcium deposits from pool plaster

You do what you can to keep your pool clean and well-maintained. You skim for leaves, bugs and other debris. You sweep. Even when you are not sure you need to, you vacuum.

Compared to some of your neighbors, you feel like a responsible pool owner.

One day, you notice that the plaster seems to be discolored right around the water line. What’s going on?

If this has happened to you, you are absolutely not alone. This is one of the more common questions pool owners have, along with another frequent query: Why is my pool green? Most likely, if you notice stains along your waterline, you’re dealing with a calcium deposit. Unfortunately, calcium deposits tend to be incredibly difficult to clean.

What exactly are calcium deposits and what can you do to remove them?

Understanding Calcium Deposits And Why They Occur

How–and why–does a pool develop calcium deposits?

There are a few reasons you may start … Read Full Post »

Midges In Florida: A Nuisance Or A Larger Problem?

Midges in Florida

See if this sounds familiar.

You decide to fire up the grill for dinner. Everything is going great—until you feel the familiar bite of a bug. Then it happens again. Suddenly, you feel another twinge. Each time, you can’t see what could possibly be attacking you.

At first, you assume it must be mosquitoes, but none seem to be around. Then you see the swarm. Dozens of tiny, flying insects hovering nearby in a cloud. Sandflies. Biting midges, or as they are sometimes more commonly called, “no see ‘ums”.

Oh well, you think, they’re annoying, but at least they’re not dangerous. Or, are they? What can you do if you don’t want to have to deal with these pesky pests?

Lots of Florida residents wonder if there is anything they can do to deal with midges. Why? First off, they’re everywhere. Needless to say, they can be incredibly annoying if you’re trying to enjoy … Read Full Post »

Texas Landscaping Plants: Landscape Designer Picks

Texas landscaping plants

Depending on the source, Texas has either four, five or even seven geographical regions, each with its own distinct features and climatic conditions. Whatever the number, we can all agree that different areas of the state are host to varying plant species based on unique patterns of hot and cold weather, seasonal rainfall and other factors, all of which affect the types of Texas landscaping plants that gardeners can choose from to elevate the aesthetic of your outdoor spaces.

Soil composition also varies from one region of Texas to another. Many portions of the state feature rocky or sandy soil, which won’t support certain popular varieties of plants and trees without much careful intervention on the part of the gardener. Converting dry, well-draining soil into something that will support plants not well suited for the region involves complicated and expensive processes of soil building, heavy watering and more.

Instead of fighting against … Read Full Post »