ABC Blog

Do Mice Come Out During the Day?

A mouse out during the day eating a piece of food

People often think that mice are only active at night because they usually spot them or hear them at night. In reality, you can see a mouse any time of day. Mice have just evolved to be more active at night because there are typically fewer dangers for them after the sun goes down. For example, in the wild, mice learned there were fewer predators out when it was dark, so this was the ideal time to go searching for food. This same principle can be applied to mice that are living inside your home. Once you turn off the lights and everyone heads to bed, including your pets, there’s a better chance for mice to find food and build their nests without putting themselves in harm’s way.

However, there are reasons that you might see a mouse out during the day. These rodents may be traveling to a place where … Read Full Post »

Rats Won’t Go Near Traps: What Am I Doing Wrong?

a rat that is staring at a trap but won't go near it

It’s stressful enough to discover there might be rats in or around your home. It’s downright maddening to spend valuable time and money to set traps—only to find that the rats won’t go near your traps. If this kind of infuriating situation is happening to you, don’t panic. And know you aren’t alone. Rats are much more intelligent than many homeowners realize. For example, studies have shown that rats recognize when foods result in harm to another rat in the colony, and then actively avoid these foods in the future. They also notice when an object like a trap is a new addition to their environment, and they avoid it.

One way to get around this hurdle and convince rats to approach the trap is to trick them into thinking the trap is a safe object. Start by placing bait on your trap, but don’t set it quite yet. Once you … Read Full Post »

Landscape Lighting Around Your Pool: Expert Tips

A yard where a homeowner has recently updated their landscape lighting around the pool

Well-placed lights around your pool area can enhance the beauty of your backyard and help you get the most out of your investment, day or night. In addition, installing landscape lighting can illuminate walkways to help your swimmers find their way from your back door to your pool more safely. Some common options include lights next to a patio, pergola, seating area, walls or perimeter. Additionally, lighting on water features, trees, plants, garden beds, decorations or statues can help create a welcoming atmosphere and accent certain areas of your property.

If you’re considering adding to the aesthetics and function of your pool area through lighting, you’ll want to keep some other considerations in mind. For instance, if you choose lighting that’s too bright or harsh, then you can inadvertently ruin the casual and serene atmosphere you’re probably trying to achieve. In some situations, low-voltage LED lighting can effectively provide the extra … Read Full Post »

Why Do My Christmas Lights Keep Blowing a Fuse?

A strand of Christmas lights that keep blowing fuse

Christmas is typically a joyful time of year, but preparing for the holidays can be incredibly stressful. Every year, homeowners spend hours decorating their house just to realize that a bulb or even a whole strand of lights isn’t working once they plug everything in. Other times, a display works just fine on the first night, and then the lights suddenly go out the next day.

These annoying problems often stem from blown fuses in the lighting system. The main reasons why your Christmas lights keep blowing a fuse include using multiple strands of lights, using the wrong type of lights or using damaged lights.

Using Multiple Strands of Lights

Whether indoors or outdoors, homeowners often string together several strands of Christmas lights when decorating. This can be an efficient method to cover a section of your roof or light the full length of a tall tree. However, if you link too many … Read Full Post »

Do Possums Attack? Your Questions Answered

A possum bearing its teeth as if it was going to attack

Possums are undeniably odd-looking animals, especially when they’re feeling threatened. When they sense danger, their first response is often to hiss and bare their teeth. But, do possums attack? Consider this as a clue: When hissing and showing off that triangular-shaped mouth full of pointy little teeth doesn’t scare off a potential predator, the possum’s next move is the one responsible for the common phrase, “playing possum.” That’s right—when faced with danger, this creature rolls over, goes limp, closes its eyes and pretends to be lifeless. Not exactly the behavior of an aggressive, menacing attacker.

Possums are not known to attack. In fact, they are known to be quite gentle and docile, though pet owners do report dogs or cats getting into fights with possums. Like any wild animal, possums do their best to avoid being cornered. They are far more likely to flee or play possum than to use any … Read Full Post »

Do Raccoons Attack? What You Need to Know

A raccoon climbing down a tree, which may lead a homeowner to wonder, "Do raccoons attack?"

In response to your dog barking at something in the backyard, you turned on your patio lights to see a raccoon. This discovery brings many questions to the forefront of your mind, including whether or not a raccoon would attack you, your family members or your pets.

The good news is that, in many cases, raccoons will back off if confronted by a person or loud pets. However, this isn’t a guarantee. Sometimes raccoons can and will attack people, and this can be dangerous.

Generally speaking, raccoons attack in three situations:

  • when they’re cornered,
  • when they’re protecting their young and
  • when they’re sick.

The first two situations both fall under the larger umbrella of protection because healthy raccoons only attack humans to protect themselves or their families. Otherwise, they’ll run.

Then, why do raccoons have a reputation for being menacing?

Raccoons behave in such a way that can be intimidating to get out of bad situations. However, the … Read Full Post »

Cockroach Identification and Management Tips

A German cockroach

You turn on the light in the morning to get started with your day when you see a brown bug scurry out of sight. You’re pretty sure you just saw a cockroach, but, if you are being honest with yourself, you admit that you’re in denial. It could’ve been something else, right? After all, you work hard to keep your home nice and clean.

Well, the unfortunate truth is that cockroaches can make their way into even the tidiest of homes. And, while there are many different species of cockroaches, in general, these creatures are flat insects, and many species will have two pairs of wings that lay flat on their back. Their color ranges from light brown to black, and size can vary from as small as a half of an inch in length all the way up to two inches long. While finding a cockroach is never ideal, some … Read Full Post »

Not Sure What Fleas Look Like? Identification Tips

A flea biting a human

If you’ve ever had itchy bites on your skin and asked yourself whether they might be flea bites, you’ve probably also wondered what fleas look like. If you’ve never encountered these creatures before, you’re lucky, but also means you may be in the dark about whether you might have a flea problem. Unfortunately, fleas are so small and move so quickly, that they can be hard to spot, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Fleas are about the same size and color as a speck of black pepper, and their eggs are smaller than grains of sand. Unless you have sharp eyesight, you could have fleas in your midst—even infesting your home—and not realize it.

Why should you worry about fleas? After all, while they do bite, they don’t carry or transmit diseases to humans or our pets as some types of insects do. But they are still … Read Full Post »

Big Flies in House: How Can I Get Rid of Them?

A big fly in a house sitting on a couch

What started with just one or two big flies in your house started to become a pattern, which led you to wonder if you had some kind of a larger pest problem. Swatting away at these flies soon became a constant battle and a big headache. What brought these flies into your house, and what can you do now to both get rid of them for good and prevent this from happening again?

Unfortunately, during the warmer months, it’s not uncommon to feel as if keeping flies out of your home is a constant battle that you’re losing. There are several different types of flies that people routinely find in their homes, and many of them are there simply because they’re opportunistic—meaning, they come in from outdoors when they get the chance, in search of food and shelter. They can slip through even if you simply open the door briefly to … Read Full Post »

Tick vs. Flea: How Can I Tell Them Apart?

A tick crawling on a leaf

After a hike with your family and dog, you give Fido a belly rub and find a small, dark brown colored bug in his fur. You know that ticks are commonly found in tall grassy areas like the one you just visited, but you also know that it’s flea season. So, what are the differences between ticks and fleas, and how can you tell which one you have seen?

For starters, you should know that ticks aren’t technically bugs at all but rather small arachnids, and while they can vary in size, once they have fed, they generally swell to a quarter-inch long and are clearly visible. On the other hand, fleas are considered true insects and are much smaller than ticks, rarely exceeding an eighth of an inch in size.

Let’s delve a bit deeper into what these pests look like and their behavior so you know more about each creature … Read Full Post »