ABC Blog

Fleas In House, No Pets: Why Do I Have A Problem?

Fleas in house no pets

If you think that you can only have fleas in your home if you have a dog or a cat, you aren’t alone. Contrary to this common misconception, although flea infestations are more common if you have a dog or a cat, these parasites can make their way inside on any type of fabric—which includes any piece of clothing on your body or any item you may bring inside your house that has been in an infested area.

If you have grass in your front or back yard, these tiny parasites can hitch a ride with you or a guest into your home. Fleas could also enter your living spaces if you return from a friend’s house with a flea problem which has yet to be discovered. Another possibility is that a wild animal with fleas, such as an opossum, feral cat, skunk or raccoon, may have taken up residence without … Read Full Post »

Does Lavender Really Repel Bed Bugs?

Does lavender really repel bed bugs

Waking up in the morning to find yourself covered in itchy, irritated red bumps is a shocking experience. If the bumps are situated in lines along your skin instead of in more random clusters, you might be even more concerned, as that is a common bite pattern associated with bed bugs. Instantly, you may wonder if these unwelcome pests are infesting your mattress or other areas of your home. If you’ve ever heard about natural repellents alleged to be effective in controlling these insects, you might wonder, does lavender really repel bed bugs?

Unfortunately, lavender is not an effective method to keep bed bugs away. Public health officials recognize the significant psychological toll an infestation can have and advise against DIY bed bug control methods and in favor of enlisting an experienced pest professional to deal with the problem. In order to completely eliminate bed bugs from your home, entomologists recommend … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last: Appliance Repair 101

how long do garbage disposals last

Garbage disposals are the backbone of your kitchen. These electric powerhouses shred away food waste within a matter of seconds, making clean up a much easier-to-complete task. But if these machines are so important, why do many of us go blank when someone asks “how long do garbage disposals last?” And what should we do if we wake up one morning to find puddles of water under the sink? Or perhaps even worse, what if our garbage disposal was not working with no noise at all indicating that you flipped the switch to the “On” position?

While garbage disposals are part of our daily routine, their operation remains foreign to many of us. This not only makes garbage disposal troubleshooting difficult, but also can make it harder to know how to properly care for and maintain this important kitchen appliance.

If you came to this post to find out how long disposals last, … Read Full Post »

AC Compressor Not Working: What’s Going On?

AC Compressor Not Working

It’s a hot day, and you’ve just returned home after a long afternoon out in the grueling Texas heat. The first thing you probably want to do is plop yourself down on the living room sofa and enjoy a refreshing rush of cold air. Except that today, of all days, you realize that something seems to be wrong with your air conditioner. How could this be? You hear the machine powering on and the familiar sound of air whirring through the system. Maybe it’s because of your AC compressor not working or another component that’s broken. Perhaps it’s another problem entirely.

Understanding how HVAC systems work can help you diagnose the problem you are having and determine what to do next. In this blog post, we’ll explain some of the common air conditioner problems, including why your air conditioner compressor might be turning on, but not cooling, and why an important part of … Read Full Post »

Garbage Disposal Humming: Quick Fix Or Big Problem?

Garbage Disposal Humming

We tend not to think much about our appliances. That is, until something goes wrong.

One evening, as you are going about your normal routine, you scrape your leftover food from your dinner plate, turn on the disposal and wait for that familiar and gratifying noise of food heading down your garbage disposal.

But something’s not quite right. What’s that humming sound? There’s supposed to be roaring. Grinding. Not a soft little purr.

But that’s all you’re getting.

What does it mean? Is there some kind of quick fix? Or is your disposal ruined?

We rely on our garbage disposals after pretty much every meal. We expect these appliances to take whatever we throw at them and keep on going, even when you don’t notice and a spoon slips down your drain or your children put eggshells in the garbage disposal.

Unfortunately, these kinds of common plumbing mistakes—as well as just general wear and tear—can cause … Read Full Post »

Closing A Pool For The Season: Tips From The Experts

Closing a pool for the season

Closing your pool for the season? Why would you? Sure, the weather gets colder in the south over the winter, but it’s not freezing like in northern states. Even if you don’t plan on really using your pool, “closing” it seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

That’s what you thought—until last year.

This past winter, you neglected your pool in the off-season, and in the spring you paid for it—literally. Your backyard oasis sustained damage and cleaning that needed to be addressed before you could swim again.

You don’t want that to happen again this year, but you’re not quite sure exactly how to winterize your pool.

In this post, we’ll share expert advice with you on closing a pool for the season so you can dive in when the temperatures heat up again.

Why Maintain Your Pool During Winter?

Before we go into more detail about what pool owners need to do during the … Read Full Post »

Texas Spiders: How Homeowners Can Protect Loved Ones

texas spiders

If you live in the great state of Texas, you’ve probably heard the saying that “Everything is bigger in Texas”—and when it comes to Texas spiders, that’s often all too true! These creepy-crawlies can make even the strongest among us shudder, or jump in fear when we encounter one of them.

Tarantulas, with their enormous, hairy bodies and long, thick, hairy legs, are an excellent example of just how big Texas spiders can get; they are one of the most famous Texas spiders, along with black widows and brown recluses. But there are many other varieties of Texas spiders—almost 900 species, in fact! Although most species you are likely to encounter in and around your home are harmless, there are a few which are venomous that you’ll want to learn more about so that you can protect your family from the health risks associated with poisonous spider bites. 

The Brown Recluse: … Read Full Post »

Should I Cover My AC Unit In The Winter?

HVAC tips for winter

Anyone who lives in the southern portions of the United States will tell you that having a good air conditioning system is essential because, for about two-thirds of the year, your unit is going to be running pretty much nonstop.

You’ll depend upon your AC to survive our hot, sweltering summers, when the temperatures frequently hit triple digits. You’ll also rely on your system during much of the spring and fall, since the 80s and 90s stick around for much longer here than in many other parts of the country.

During the hottest times of the year, homeowners may regularly clean or replace filters, pay attention to how their system is running and remove debris from around outdoor vents.

When the cold weather (briefly) sets in, however, many of us promptly forget all about our AC, basking in lower electric bills while we can. Some homeowners might not even give the air conditioner … Read Full Post »

Deer Mouse Vs. House Mouse: Which Is The Bigger Pest?

Deer Mouse vs. House Mouse

Scritch-scritch-scratch. Scritch-scritch-scratch.

When the sound wakes you up in the middle of the night, you immediately know: something got into the walls.

But what? Rats? Squirrels? Opossums? Raccoons?

Could be any of these uninvited guests. So, you grab a broom and flashlight and head out to search for entry points, not exactly sure what you’re looking for.

Luckily, your mission doesn’t take long. You not only discover the tiny hole the critters used to get in, but also actually see one of the little visitors scampering away—a mouse.

Now comes another important question for any homeowner: was it a house mouse or a deer mouse?

Deer and house mice are two of the most common rodents found in homes in the southern states. A majority of homeowners often have a hard time telling one from the other, so this is one of the most common questions pest professionals are asked.

Why does this matter?

While both types of rodents … Read Full Post »

How Long After Fumigation Is It Safe For Pets?

How long after fumigation is it safe to bring pets

First, it was ants. As a homeowner in the South, you’re probably already used to protecting against fire ants and other crawling insects in your yard. Perhaps then it became a surprise when you discovered them swarming over what you thought was a totally clean kitchen counter. You sprayed. You put out traps. You squished the ones you noticed.

But the ants wouldn’t go away.

Next, there were beetles. Then a spider bit your son in his room when he was home visiting from college. Then came the rats. You may feel as though you are living through a serious of plagues, and nothing’s working.

So, you’re finally considering your options. Looking into the “F” word: fumigation.

When your house is overrun, sometimes fumigation is an option to control certain types of pest infestations. Moreover, when you have numerous different types of pests, this method can take them all out at once, rather than … Read Full Post »