ABC Blog

Gnat Versus Mosquito: What’s That Bug?

a tiny black bug that makes a homeowner question if its a gnat or mosquito

Do you have tiny, flying bugs invading your home or yard? Not only are these pests annoying but some of them can carry diseases and cause discomfort for you and your family members. That said, there are many kinds of flying pests, including gnats and mosquitoes. Before getting started with treatment, it’s important to know what kind of bug you’re dealing with.

How To Identify Gnats

Many people use the term “gnat” to refer to any kind of small flying bug, including fungus gnats, black gnats, buffalo gnats or even fruit flies. Any number of things could attract these pests to your home, depending on the species. For example, some types of gnats might be attracted to decaying food. This could be anything from overripe fruit on your counter to leftover food in your trash to scraps in your garbage disposal.

Other gnats are attracted to excess moisture in areas like the soil … Read Full Post »

Flour Bugs: Identification & Control Tips

a bowl of flour with bugs in them

There’s a wide range of bugs that you might find in the food in your pantry. They might invade food items and dried goods like flour, tea, nuts, seeds, rice, crackers, chocolate, dried fruits, spices, pasta and powdered milk. While most of these bugs won’t bite you or otherwise damage your home, they can ruin the food in your pantry. And, not to mention, they can be tough to get rid of if a population becomes established.

Sometimes, the problem can be dealt with by throwing away the infested package. However, if the infestation grows, the best way to treat these pests is to contact a professional. These pros have the experience needed to best identify what kind of pests are in your pantry. Then, they can help you understand your options for treating the infestation.

If you have found bugs in your flour, you likely have a lot of questions. But … Read Full Post »

What Is a Slab Leak?

a home with a slab leak

Many homeowners have heard the term “slab leak”. But, what does it mean and how would you know if you had one? These types of leaks can be quite a concern, as they can end up costing a pretty penny.

For starters, the term slab refers to the concrete slab that many homes are built on. If you have a slab leak, it means that there is water leaking under your home’s foundation. This can happen if you have pipes running under or through your foundation that burst or crack.

Slab leaks often happen when plumbing gets older and wears down over time. However, pipes can also break due to other factors. For example, leaks can occur if your pipes were not installed correctly or were damaged during the construction of your home. This can also happen if minerals in your water have corroded your pipes.

It’s important to detect and fix slab … Read Full Post »

What if My Toilet Won’t Flush All the Way?

a toilet that won't flush all the way

It’s annoying when your toilet won’t flush all the way. This problem is already bad enough if it’s just you in the house, but it’s especially frustrating if it happens when family is visiting or you’re hosting a gathering. Not only is it gross when the contents of your toilet bowl don’t completely empty when you flush, but it’s also concerning. This could be an initial sign of a larger issue that could lead to messy and expensive problems.

When you push the handle on your toilet, this should start a chain reaction. The handle should lift a stopper, which should then allow water to flow into the toilet bowl. Then, all the contents flow out through the drain in the bottom. However, this process doesn’t always work, which means that the contents in the bowl might get left behind. There are a few different reasons why you may be having … Read Full Post »

When Is Mosquito Season in Texas?

a mosquito biting someone which leads them to wonder when mosquito season is in Texas

Mosquitoes can be a nuisance when you are trying to enjoy time outside. Not to mention, these pests are one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. Many types of mosquitoes carry diseases like the Zika virus, yellow fever and the West Nile virus that can have grave health consequences.

Mosquitoes are usually the most active during the warmer months of the year. They thrive when it is consistently at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside and in areas with standing water or moist climates. Unfortunately, Texas has one of the longest mosquito seasons in the country. Several factors can affect mosquito activity from year to year. For one, mosquito populations rise when there are warm temperatures early in the year and when it stays warm at night. Mosquito activity can also increase in years with lots of rainfall, since there is more of an opportunity for females to lay eggs.

In … Read Full Post »

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Deck

a deck next to a pool with lots of mosquitoes buzzing around

When the weather is warm, your yard is green and everything is in bloom, there’s nothing more tempting than hanging out on your deck—unless you’re plagued by mosquitoes the minute you head outside. These thirsty bloodsuckers can ruin a space that should be your peaceful refuge. If you’re wondering how to keep mosquitoes away from your deck, prepare for it to take time and vigilance on your part to make a dent in their numbers. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep mosquito populations low in your yard.

Dump or Clear Out Standing Water

The first thing to know about mosquitoes is that they need water to breed. Making sure there is no standing water on your deck or anywhere nearby is key to keeping mosquitoes away. If there’s even a bit of water left over after a rain, or after watering your grass or potted plants, it’s enough for … Read Full Post »

How Fast Do Bed Bugs Multiply?

two adult bed bugs next to a bed bug egg

If you have found a bed bug or you’re experiencing the signs of a bed bug problem, you likely have plenty of questions. Like, how fast do bed bugs multiply? The good news is that they don’t reproduce as quickly as some other pests do. Bed bugs only lay one or two eggs a day. The bad news is that it can be difficult to catch a bed bug problem early. And, once a bed bug infestation is established, it is incredibly hard to get rid of.

Bed bugs are tiny and excellent at hiding. Lots of times, when bed bugs reproduce, they do so in unexpected places—not just in a bed or mattress, as their name suggests. These pests may nest behind baseboards, hanging picture frames or loose wallpaper. They might hide and nest in drawers, between cushions or floorboards, or even in tiny cracks in walls.

So, how can you confirm … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Water Softeners Last?

a kitchen with white cabinets

Softening water can help prolong the life of your home’s pipes, water heater and other appliances. Plus, it can make your water easier on your skin and hair. This is because hard water not only dries out people’s skin, but the sediment in hard water can also build up in your plumbing.

Water softeners work for about 10 to 15 years, but a variety of factors can affect how long the equipment lasts. For one, the quality and type of water softener that you own matters. This is because some types of water softeners can degrade more quickly. For instance, water softeners that run on a timer system instead of on-demand may run through water and regenerate more often than needed. These systems replenish salt based on a set schedule, even if you haven’t been using much water. This can make the system work much harder than it needs to and … Read Full Post »

If One Room Has Bed Bugs, Do They All?

a bed bug crawling up a wall

If you’re like most people, discovering bed bugs in your home is nothing short of a nightmare. Maybe you brought them back home after traveling, or they hitchhiked in on some used furniture picked up at a yard sale. However they arrived in your home, bed bugs multiply quickly, so they need to be eliminated fast, before their population explodes. But how difficult will it be to get rid of them? If one room has bed bugs, do they all?

The short answer is that it’s possible there are bed bugs in more than one room in your house. It depends on your living habits, how long the bed bugs have been there, how extensive the infestation is and how you respond to their presence once you find out about them. Let’s learn more about these pests, including signs of you might have a problem, ways to get rid of them … Read Full Post »

Common Zoysia Grass Problems

zoysia grass that is turning yellow

Many types of grass go through seasons when they are greener and others when they are brown and dormant. Zoysia grass is a versatile type of grass that homeowners can use in a variety of different climates and soils. This means that while zoysia grass will usually go dormant in drier and cooler periods, it should perk up again when seasons change.

However, if you have zoysia grass and your lawn has turned completely brown, has some dead spots or is starting to thin out, then you might have a problem. Here are some of the most common issues homeowners with zoysia grass may come across.

Fungal Diseases

Zoysia grass is typically less vulnerable to diseases than some other types of grass. However, it can sometimes fall prey to fungal diseases like “large patch.” This kind of disease is most common in the spring, but it can also happen in the fall when … Read Full Post »