ABC Blog

Do Mosquitoes Sleep? Your Questions Answered

a backyard with a deck and a pool

If you’ve ever spent time outside on a warm summer evening—or late at night, early in the morning or even midday—you might have asked yourself: Do mosquitoes sleep? Unless it’s the dead of winter, there never seems to be a time when mosquitoes aren’t out in droves. Surprisingly, the question of whether mosquitoes actually do sleep and how is still being researched. That said, scientists believe that mosquitoes at least enter into a sleeplike state. During these periods, they aren’t active, which means they aren’t out looking for victims to bite.

So, then why does it seem like mosquitoes never sleep? The reason is actually pretty simple. There are several species of mosquitoes found in the United States, each of which is active at different times. This means that during mosquito season, you run the risk of mosquito bites almost any time you go outdoors.

There are thousands of species of mosquitoes … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Pool Pumps Last?

a pool at a home with two deck chairs and a retaining wall

A pool pump can last anywhere from around 8 years to as long as 15 years or more. The lifespan of this vital piece of equipment typically depends on things like the type of pump you buy and whether you regularly maintain the pump.

One of the primary signs that there might be a problem with your pool pump is if the water looks cloudy or if algae or grime is building up on the surface of your pool. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire pump is bad or that you must replace the whole thing. In some cases, you might need to replace just one part of the pump, such as the motor or the filter. In most cases, pool owners are better off calling in a pro to make these fixes, as someone with the experience and tools to get the job done right can usually quickly … Read Full Post »

How To Keep Grass Out of Flower Beds

a yard where someone has successfully kept grass out of flower beds

Homeowners work hard to make sure their yard looks as nice as their home. They often spend precious nights and weekends picking out the right landscaping and taking care of their lawn. When you have dedicated hours trying to keep everything looking nice and tidy, it is so frustrating when grass suddenly pops up in your flower beds.

If you are having this problem, there are several methods you can try to get rid of grass in your flower beds.

Pulling Grass

This is the most obvious method that you can do by yourself and with no or few tools. Homeowners often put on garden gloves when pulling grass and other weeds to help make sure they get a good grip on the plants. If you choose this route, keep in mind that it is important to pull out not only the grass but also its root system. Otherwise, it is likely this … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Termite Holes

A termite hole in a baseboard

If you spot tiny holes in wood or drywall somewhere in your home or garage, you might suspect termites as the culprit. It’s important to learn how to identify termite holes so you can determine whether that is what you are seeing, and if so, decide what steps to take to remedy the problem. It’s also smart to learn how to identify termites themselves, as well as common signs of termite activity, so you’ll know as early as possible when a problem is developing. Termites are known to cause extensive, not to mention costly, structural damage to people’s homes—to the tune of over two billion dollars’ worth each year in the United States alone.

Termite holes, also known as termite exit holes or kick-out holes, are tiny openings created when termites tunnel through wood, mud or drywall to the outside. These holes are usually no more than an eighth of an … Read Full Post »

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 »