ABC Blog

I Have Cloudy Pool Water: What Is Going On?

A swimming pool with cloudy pool water

It can be quite alarming when you head outside, ready to take a dip in your pool, only to notice that your pool water is cloudy. What went wrong, and what can you do to fix it? Can you still swim in cloudy pool water? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you keep your water crystal clear going forward?

Quite simply, cloudiness means that your pool is dirty. Whether it’s because of organic matter or bacteria, you’ll want to resolve the problem before getting in, as it’s generally not hygienic nor safe to swim in a pool that is murky. The first step to clearing up your cloudy pool is figuring out the cause of the problem. A pool professional will likely tell you that there are a few reasons that this would be happening.

Unbalanced Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is the main chemical in a pool to keep the water safe. This sanitizer … Read Full Post »

Do Mosquito Bracelets Work? How To Prevent Mosquito Bites

An orange mosquito repellent bracelet

The return of warmer weather has most people itching to head outside—only to head back indoors as a different type of itching begins. Unfortunately, in many regions, there simply isn’t much time after winter subsides to enjoy temperate weather before mosquito season starts up. These annoying insects can seem like the bane of our existence in the spring, summer and fall, whether we’re trying to do some yard work or simply enjoy the outdoors. But how can you protect yourself from these pests and their itchy bites? Do mosquito bracelets work? What about other methods to repel them or keep them at bay? Let’s take a look at various methods of mosquito control to see what works best.

Mosquito bracelets, also called mosquito wristbands, are an appealing form of pest repellent for many people since they seem safer than lots of the alternatives, as you don’t have to rub chemicals on … Read Full Post »

Bee Hive Vs. Wasp Nest: Identification Tips

A bee hive

Bee and wasp stings are painful, so it’s easy to get nervous if you see a yellow and black creature flying around your yard–especially if they show up in areas where you and your family enjoy spending time outside. While not all of these insects are dangerous, many different types of bees and wasps look alike. It’s important to know what kind of insect you’re dealing with before you try to get rid of them. The safest way to deal with stinging insects is to contact a pest control professional. However, if you want to try to identify a bee hive or wasp nest on your own, there are a few precautions you can take to increase your safety.

Before you approach the focal point of bee or wasp activity, put on light-colored protective clothing like pants, a long-sleeved shirt and closed-toe shoes. To avoid attracting these insects, avoid wearing bright … 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

How To Get Rid Of A Roach Infestation

A dead cockroach

You turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night and spot it—a cockroach. The next morning as you go into the kitchen, you spot another one, scuttling away. After a few of these unwelcome encounters, you’ve come to the conclusion that you have cockroaches in your home. Most importantly, you want that to change. When it comes to getting rid of roaches, often the best route is to contact a pest control specialist who can apply effective treatments to roach nesting and breeding grounds. However, there are some things you can do to help limit your roach population and make your home less attractive to these common pests.

The first step to eliminating a roach infestation is pinpointing where these creatures are nesting. Common areas around a home include:

  • Around sinks in the bathroom and kitchen
  • Behind the refrigerator
  • In closets and cabinets
  • Under beds or couches
  • Around doors or windows

When you’ve discovered … Read Full Post »

Landscaping With Drought Tolerant Texas Plants

A shrimp plant which is a drought tolerant texas plant

Living in Texas means dealing with blistering heat during the summer months and, let’s face it, often during the spring and fall as well. Many regions in the state also face harsh weather conditions in the winter, which means any Texas yard or garden must be as hardy as Texas homeowners themselves. This is why landscaping with drought tolerant Texas plants has become so popular in landscape design.

In addition, due to the size of our state, not every plant is adapted to every area. Depending on where you’re located, here are a few options for drought resistant plants that will thrive in your yard:

  • Central Texas: Black and blue sage, pink salvia, oregano, carpet rose, mint and rosemary.
  • North Texas: Hot lips salvia, lamb’s ear, rock rose, Mexican bush sage, beautyberry and St. John’s wort.
  • South Texas: German red carnation, yarro, oxblood lily, Mexican heather, indigo spires salvia and firebush.
  • East Texas: Baby’s breath, … Read Full Post »

Landscaping Spring Cleanup: Advice From The Experts

a hat, gardening shears and gloves to get started with spring landscaping cleanup

As the temperature starts to warm up and the first signs of spring appear, homeowners quickly turn their attention to their yards, as many grasses and plants go dormant during the cooler months of the year. When considering your landscaping, spring cleanup can consist of:

  • Clearing all debris, including dead leaves, fallen branches, pet waste and other clutter.
  • Planning your mowing, fertilizing and watering schedule, or signing up for a lawn service to take over these regular tasks for you.
  • Dethatching any dead roots or leaves in your lawn that may prevent your newly growing plants from getting the nutrients they need.
  • Pruning trees and shrubs to encourage healthy growth.
  • Take a blower to patios and decks to get all dust and other particles off of your commonly used spaces
  • Giving your lawn and landscaping some breathing room by planning to aerate.
  • Re-edging your flower beds.
  • Beginning a regular watering and weeding routine to encourage new growth of … Read Full Post »