ABC Blog

Dallisgrass Vs. Crabgrass: Which Weed Do I Have?

A patch of crabgrass

If you’ve ever seen clumps of grass in your yard that don’t match the rest of the lawn and seem to grow faster than anything else around them, you probably realized you have weeds. What you may not have known is what those plants are called or how to get rid of them. Two of the most common weed grasses to show up in most yards that are often mistaken for each other are dallisgrass or crabgrass. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between dallisgrass vs. crabgrass so you can learn how to identify each type and what steps you can take to maintain a lush, weed-free lawn. For starters, let’s take a look at dallisgrass.

Dallisgrass

Dallisgrass migrated north to the U.S. from its native home in South America. Dallisgrass is a coarse, clumping grass that spreads from short, thick rhizomes. It is identifiable by its grayish-green … Read Full Post »

The Ultimate Guide To St. Augustine Grass Care

St augustine grass care

Homeowners who want a thick, lush lawn that is less vulnerable to weed growth, easy on your bare feet and common in residential areas often choose St. Augustine grass. However, the benefits of this versatile variety are offset by the fact that St. Augustine isn’t low maintenance. If you want to keep your lawn green from spring to fall, experts recommend that your St. Augustine grass care focus on three main areas: mowing, fertilizing and watering.

Mowing

Homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn that cutting your grass is not just about aesthetics, but also helps keep plants healthy. At the beginning of spring, when soil temperatures grow warmer and plants emerge from dormancy, it’s time to start mowing. To encourage the optimal growth of St. Augustine grass, we recommend setting your lawnmower to a height of between two and a half to four inches. As long as you don’t let your grass … Read Full Post »

What To Put In A Mouse Trap To Attract Rodents

What To Put In A Mouse Trap

Finding a mouse in the home—or, even worse, more than one—sends most people into a frenzy of worrying about whether or not there’s an actual infestation. You may be pacing around your home wondering what to put in a mouse trap and where to place these devices, because no matter how small and cute they may seem on TV and in pictures, mice definitely are pests.

When thinking of what to put in your mouse trap, your mind might instantly go to cheese. In reality, a mouse’s favorite things to snack on are fruits, nuts, seeds and other sweet foods, so these will be your best bet when baiting a trap. However, mice also eat anywhere from 15 to 20 times a day, so if they are hungry, they will eat whatever they can get their paws on. In desperate times, they will even eat each other!

If you have reached your wit’s … 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 »

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 »

Garbage Disposal Water Comes Back Up: What Should I Do?

Garbage disposal water comes back up

You’re relieved that you finally finished the dishes and then it happens—your garbage disposal water comes back up. To your dismay, water mixed with bits of food is now flowing into your sink, despite just having turned on your disposal, and you’re left wondering how and why this occurred.

If you notice water backing up in your kitchen sink, one of three things has probably happened:

  • There is a blockage.
  • You have been overusing your disposal.
  • Your garbage disposal was not installed correctly.

The most likely of these three scenarios is that you have some sort of obstruction. A blockage in your drain is made up of food and other debris that have been slowly building up over time. Before this happened, you may have noticed that your sink had been draining slower than usual. In most cases, homeowners decide to ignore these early signs of a bigger problem because water is still draining.

In some … Read Full Post »

What Does A Carpenter Do? Why To Hire A Pro

What does a carpenter do

Many homeowners find themselves looking around their property and finding things they want fixed here and there—whether it’s siding that needs to be repaired or a whole new deck that they want in their backyard. The issue is, who’s the right person for the job? Maybe a carpenter? But what does a carpenter do exactly?

The lines often blur between what a carpenter, woodworker and handyman can do because quite frankly they can perform many of the same tasks.

Generally, carpenters construct, erect, install and repair structures and fixtures made from wood and other materials. Carpenters can do anything from small repairs, such as fixing your crown molding, to bigger home projects, such as adding on new areas of your home. Basically, a carpenter can make improvements on nearly any part of your property.

While some of these smaller repairs around your home may seem like easy do-it-yourself projects, many homeowners end up … 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 »

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 »

Does Baking Soda Kill Ants? Your Questions Answered

does baking soda kill ants

Despite your best efforts cleaning up sugary spills around the house, those little black bugs continue to haunt you.  You are now left with the same old dilemma: How do you get rid of these insects in a way that’s safe for both your kids and your pets? You’ve tried the “natural” over-the-counter stuff with middling results, and this time you’re looking for something effective. You’ve heard stories of household items like baking soda and cornmeal killing ants. Well, can baking soda kill ants? From what you’ve heard, this common household product doesn’t just kill ants—it causes them to explode!

Baking soda is a leavening agent. That means it produces air bubbles and air pockets. So, the theory is that if an ant eats the granules, carbon dioxide bubbles will form, and eventually these bubbles will cause the ant to explode from the inside out. Gross, but also very effective if … Read Full Post »