ABC Blog

My Dog Has Fleas: What To Do in the House?

Temperatures are rising, bringing more opportunities for outdoor activities and fun in the sun. It isn’t just people and pets that love to be outside and active in warmer weather. Fleas love it, too!

Fleas thrive when temperatures hover between 65-80 degrees and humidity sits between 75 percent and 85 percent. These pests are a summer problem in some parts of the country and almost a year-round menace for more southern states.

Different species of fleas can be found hopping around your home, your yard, your pets and you. You can find dog fleas, cat fleas, rabbit fleas and human fleas, named for the species’ preferred host. However, any type of flea can infest more than one kind of host.

How Do You Know Your Pet Has Fleas?

An obvious way to know Fido has fleas is if you see little dark specks in their fur or tiny brownish insects hopping around on them. … Read Full Post »

When to Trim Crape Myrtles

a crape myrtle bush

Crape myrtles are popular trees because of their beautiful flowers that bloom in spring and hang on through warm summers. Their leaves are stunning in the fall, and even their vase-like shape and bark have their appeal in the winter. The question on many homeowners’ and landscapers’ minds is “When is the best time to prune them?”

Depending on the climate of your area, pruning should take place in late winter or early spring. It should definitely happen before the first blooms start to grow. It is important not to go overboard when cutting back the tree’s pretty branches. Many people cut their crape myrtles down to a nub, which is an eyesore in more than one way.

Not only does it look like a horrible accident, but such a severe trim stops the interesting, mottled bark from forming. Why buy and plant such pleasant trees only to remove all that beauty? … Read Full Post »

My AC Line Is Frozen: What Happened?

Have you noticed that your air conditioner doesn’t seem to have the same cooling power it used to? It’s a good idea to give your AC system a once-over as soon as possible to try to identify the problem.

After removing the cover to your AC, do you notice that the lines or other internal components are frozen, or coated in ice? This is a sign that a bigger problem could be happening.

Why do AC Lines Freeze?

Typically, air conditioner lines freeze up when the unit’s evaporator coils get too cold.

The evaporator coil is one of the key parts of your AC system. The coil is full of refrigerant that is pumped through lines from the compressor. It then absorbs the heat from the air it pulls from the room.

The AC fan blows air over the coils, and this air is cooled as it passes over the refrigerant-filled coils, before blowing back … Read Full Post »

What Are Bed Bugs Attracted To?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

Homeowners all across the United States deal with the presence of bed bugs in their homes. A bed bug outbreak can happen to anyone because bed bugs are attracted to humans in a variety of ways. By learning more about bed bugs and methods of controlling them, you will be better prepared to identify the signs of bed bugs.

What Attracts Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are attracted to blood, heat and the carbon dioxide humans breath out. Because bed bugs are parasites, they feed on the blood of the people and pets in your home. These pests will bite you during the night for up to ten minutes. They prefer to live wherever they can get an easy meal, which is most often in the bedroom. Although bed bugs often bite when you are sleeping, they are not afraid of light. They may bite you, your loved ones or your household pets … Read Full Post »

Why Are There Mosquitoes in My House?

“Why are there mosquitoes in my house?” This is a common question many people ask pest control professionals. Having mosquitoes outdoors is bad enough. Their itchy bites can turn yard work or hanging out on the patio into a miserable experience. But getting mosquito bites inside the house, where you’re supposed to be safe, is even worse. How do they get in, and why do they stay?

Mosquitoes get into the house the same way as any pest: through open doors and windows. They also sneak in through rips in screens or gaps around exterior doors and windows. Mosquitoes are not very strong fliers, so they might seek shelter from the wind inside your home. They are also attracted to standing water since they need water to breed. If they can find a good place to breed indoors, they can become an annoying ongoing problem.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and … Read Full Post »

Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

a plant near a window in a humid home

When the temperatures start to rise, we can all be very thankful for the invention of the air conditioner. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temperatures down to a livable level. The cool air pouring from the vents brings the inside temps down to a livable level.

Hot air might make you uncomfortable, but high humidity can trigger breathing issues for people with asthma or other disorders. It also can increase the chances of mold growing in your home, which is a whole other problem. So removing that moisture from your home’s air is important for several reasons. Doesn’t the air conditioner do the job?

The short answer is yes, but there is more to it. An air conditioner does reduce the amount of moisture in your home. However, it does so as a secondary benefit to its main job, which is to cool the temperature of the … Read Full Post »

Carpenter Ants Versus Black Ants

a carpenter ant on a piece of wood

Finding ants in your kitchen, bathroom or other areas of your home is a pain. There always seems to be more of them after the first one is dealt with. Most of the time they’re just a nuisance. But, some species like carpenter ants can seriously damage the structure (and value) of your home.

At first glance, it can be difficult to notice the differences between species like the common black ant and the carpenter ant. However, there are a few key features that can help you determine which is in your home.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants, pictured above, are big black ants and typically around a half of an inch long. While they are most often black, they can also be red, brown or a combination of those colors. Known for their powerful jaws and painful bites, carpenter ants inject a bite wound with formic acid. This is what causes an intense … Read Full Post »

Identifying Chigger Bites Versus Mosquito Bites

You are outside, and something feels not quite right on your skin. You start scratching. And scratching. It could be a mosquito bite, or it could be a nip from a chigger. But how can you tell which is which? Bug bites overall look similar, and everyone reacts to them differently. That means it can be tough to know what is in your home or yard, waiting to strike. Here is a quick look at some ways you might differentiate the two.

Chigger Bites

You will generally find chiggers down low: wild plants, gardens, woods or brush, grass fields, shrubbery and lawns that are manicured and cut short. You more than likely won’t actually see them, however. These bugs, also known as berry bugs or harvest mites, are red mites that are so small that they are almost invisible with normal sight. There are more than 50 types of chiggers that feed … Read Full Post »

Why Do My Lights Dim When the AC Turns On?

a gray living room with a white couch

If the lights dim when the AC turns on in your home, it may not be cause for alarm. Your home’s electrical wiring is a limited circuit, so when one appliance draws a lot of power, it’s taking it away from anything else that you have plugged in. It’s also possible, that the dimming lights are a sign of a problem.

Of everything in your home that uses electricity, your heating and cooling system use by far the most. The AC needs a lot of power when it first turns on. In some homes, especially older ones with dated electrical wiring, the lights dim slightly when the AC turns on because a lot of power is being drawn momentarily. In this case, the lights dimming briefly is normal and doesn’t signal a problem.

However, in other homes, the dimming lights do signal a problem. It could be within the AC system or … Read Full Post »

AC Is Cooling but Not Removing Humidity

No one wants to be uncomfortable in their own home, especially when the air-conditioner seems to be working fine but something feels off. You have probably heard people living in desert climates say “It’s a dry heat.” But it’s still hot, and even worse than being hot in your house is sitting in a humid chill. What could be going on with your AC?

Usually, an air conditioner’s refrigerant draws in excess moisture from the indoor air. That vapor then condenses into water droplets. This drains into a pan under the unit’s evaporator coils and through a hose to your yard. If your AC isn’t pulling in that moisture, the humidity is just hanging around, which makes everything feel stuffy even if you are feeling a cool breeze. There are several reasons that your AC might not be dehumidifying. You can always contact a pro for AC problems, but there are … Read Full Post »