ABC Blog

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 »

What Colors Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?

A mosquito that landed on someone who is wearing jeans

Swimming, yard work, grilling out—these are just a few of the hallmark activities of warm weather. But when these pastimes switch from fun outdoor time to itchy battles with mosquitoes, many people start to wonder what they can do to prevent those obnoxious bites. For example, is there a color of clothing you could wear that would offer you protection against mosquitoes?

It’s a smart possibility to consider, since research has shown that mosquitoes do seem to bother people wearing light-colored clothing less than those wearing darker colors. Is this because dark clothes retain more heat, causing us to sweat more than lighter ones? Or is it because dark clothing provides a greater contrast against daytime skies, helping mosquitoes close in on their targets and hide more effectively once they land and start to feed?

The answer to these questions is still up for debate, but many scientists agree that blue or … Read Full Post »

Why Are My Sprinkler Heads Not Popping Up?

Sprinkler heads not popping up on an irrigation system can rob your grass of water it needs

If you want a yard full of lush, beautiful grass, you need to supply plenty of what it needs most: water. Of course, that can be easier said than done, especially if you’ve ever turned on your yard’s irrigation system only to discover that your sprinkler heads are not popping up. So, what should you do when you encounter this problem?

While there are several different types of sprinkler systems, pop-up sprinklers are very common in residential areas because they lie flush to the ground a majority of the time, so they don’t detract from your lawn’s visual appeal. The top of the sprinkler has a nozzle coming from a piston that comes up when your system is on and retracts when not in use.

When you turn on the sprinklers and one or more sprinkler heads don’t pop up, the first possibility to consider is also one of the simplest to … Read Full Post »

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 »