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Holiday Safety Tips [INFOGRAPHIC]


The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 15,000 people are injured each year while decorating for the holidays. Whether it’s because of a fall from a ladder, a fire linked to your Christmas tree, or a mishap experienced while putting up your Christmas lights, an injury is the last thing you want to spend time having to deal with during this busy time of year.

Holiday Safety Tips

ABC Home & Commercial Services wants to help you get ready for the holidays. Make sure that you stay safe this holiday season by following our list of dos and don’ts for using ladders, decorating with Christmas lights, and keeping your pets and children safe.

From all of us at ABC, we wish you a joyous – and safe – holiday season.


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Fall is Tree Planting Season in Austin

tree planting tips

Tips and Tricks for Planting a Tree This Fall

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. Between sipping apple cider, snacking on pumpkin muffins, and preemptively planning for this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner, there are just so many activities we look forward to.

And though you might be more interested in carving pumpkins or watching football, you might want to consider planting a few new trees around your home. Did you know that fall is the perfect time of year to plant new trees in Austin?

Below are a few of our tree planting tips.

Selecting Your Tree

Properly planting a new tree starts with your selection. The first step to choosing the right tree is deciding its purpose. For example, will it provide privacy or is it simply for aesthetics? Deciding how your tree will enhance your home will help you decide which tree you should look for.

What type of tree would … Read Full Post »

How to keep mosquitoes out of your yard

how to keep mosquitoes out of your yard

Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather.  When it cools down in Austin, we all get excited at the prospect of going outside without getting bitten. Unfortunately, the temperature hasn’t dropped enough to completely get rid of mosquitoes, but we still want to enjoy the cooler weather.  What’s a homeowner to do to keep mosquitoes out of his or her yard?

How to Keep Mosquitoes From Bugging You

Your most important first step to is to recognize mosquito breeding grounds in your yard and get rid of them as quickly as possible.  Mosquitoes breed in standing water.  Make your yard as inhospitable as possible by getting rid of standing water.  Remember that even tiny amounts of water – like a thimbleful – can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.  Scan your yard on a daily basis for standing water sources and dump any that you find. If you see mosquito larvae in the process, you … Read Full Post »

How to get rid of rats in your house

how to get rid of rats

Everyone loves living in Austin. Our warm sunny days, greenbelts, live oak trees, organic gardening, and outdoor patio restaurants are the envy of the rest of the country. There’s no doubt that Austin is a great place to live.

Guess what? All of the things that make Austin so appealing to people also make it an ideal habitat for our local rat population.

Rattus rattus

Most rats in central Texas are a species known as roof rats (Rattus rattus). These smaller brown and black rats are different from Norway rats, which are a larger breed found throughout most of the rest of the country. Roof rats prefer our warmer climate and live in trees, bushes, and woodpiles during the summer. Because they don’t burrow like their northern cousins, they go looking for warmer places to nest in the winter.

The Ideal Rat Habitat

Rats love our greenbelt areas with access to water, lush vegetation, seeds, … Read Full Post »

Rats and Mice: Can You Tell The Difference?

Differences between mice and rats

Rodents in the home conjure up strong reactions for many of us. Though some people are not bothered by the sight of a rat or mouse, there are others among us who run away screaming – much like the female character on Tom & Jerry.

If you have a rat or mouse infestation in your home, you might notice these critters scratching in your attic, scurrying across the floor, or climbing up a wall or pipe. And these are nocturnal creatures, so all these activities probably happen at night – just the time when you’re more likely to be frightened. If you’ve noticed rodents in or around your home, your first step is to try to figure out exactly what they are. Knowing the differences between rats and mice can help you determine the most appropriate eradication tactics.

Differences Between Rats and Mice

Rats and mice have a lot of similar features, but … Read Full Post »

Choosing An AC System For Your Home

air conditioner types

The weather in Austin can sometimes feel like perpetual summer, with hot and muggy weather for more than half of the year. When considering air conditioning for your home, it’s valuable to know the different air conditioner types that exist so you can make the best choice for our sweltering climate.

Air Conditioner Types

Perhaps the most common air conditioner type is central AC, which provides cooling throughout your home. These units consist of an evaporator unit, a condenser unit, and ducts or other distribution mechanisms that send the cold air throughout the home. Below [3:]

Split Systems

The most common form of central air conditioning is a split system, involving both an indoors unit and an outdoors unit. In a split system, the cooling or evaporation coil unit is inside the home, usually inside a cabinet located in a central location within the home, while the condenser and compressor are outdoors, usually … Read Full Post »

Improve Your Perspective With Professionally Cleaned Windows

professional window washer

One of the first things many people notice when entering a home is the amount of natural light. If you have a lot of windows, you want to make sure the focus is on the sunshine coming in – not discolorations and smudges collecting all over your windows.

Unfortunately, lots of windows can equal a lot of cleaning. Dust can accumulate on blinds and screens and rub off on windows. Grubby little hands can attract food and dirt. Sometimes birds even see their reflection on windows, mistake it for another bird, and run head on into the glass!

How can you keep your windows clean and sunlight pouring in without spending a lot of extra time doing it yourself? Consider using a professional window washer who can clean your windows thoroughly, quickly, and without injury.

Save Yourself Time

It might seem silly to hire someone to wash your windows – until you look at … Read Full Post »

What do Bats have to do with Bed Bugs?

Where do bed bugs come from?


What would you say if we told you bed bugs come from bats? Seems crazy; shocking even! We know. But as unbelievable as it sounds—it’s true. The bloodsucking bed bug’s origins do in fact, trace back to bats.

Our team at ABC Home & Commercial may know a thing or two about bed bugs, but we realize that many of our neighbors here in Austin aren’t so in tune with this headache-causing pest.

Whether you’ve dealt with a bed bug infestation in the past, or have yet to encounter the creepy crawlers in your home, understanding where the pests come from and why they’re in your home is your best bet for keeping your home safe.

Let’s take a look together at how and why such tiny creatures can create such a big problem.

Historical Figures

According to a study conducted at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, scientist found that bats were the first ancestral … Read Full Post »

Termite Research: The Next Frontier of Science

termite droppings

The word “termite” is not generally one that comes to mind when thinking about species that have a positive impact on our environment. Termites can become the bane of our existence – invading our homes and destroying our property. They can cause property value loss and force you to invest time and effort trying to rid our homes of their presence.

But have you ever stopped to think about the overall environmental impact of termites? Is there any way they could ever be a positive inspiration?

Researchers at various universities are starting to learn how termites and their respective digestive systems work, and how we might put that knowledge to use to create cleaner energy in the future.

Breaking it down

Termite intestinal tracts contain many different enzymes that enable termites to break down wood, a very dense biomass, into food. Researchers from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, CalTech, and the … Read Full Post »

Backyard Beauty – Landscaping Ideas for Austinites

austin landscaping

Here at ABC Austin, we love the summer time. We’re suckers for a good backyard BBQ, weekend swims at Barton Springs, and of course, spotting the weird bugs that make their presence known around the city when the mercury is high.

But with the kids heading back to school and cooler temperatures (and evidently this year, lots of rain?) around the corner now is the perfect time to focus on a backyard redesign.

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, be creative, and—finally—start working on a new backyard we’ve been dreaming of all summer long.

So whether you have a large yard or just a small space to work with, we have a list of ideas that are sure to get your green thumb moving. Here are a few of our favorites ideas.

Plant Local Varieties

Shopping local has become quite the fad in recent years—and why shouldn’t it be? Choosing local products is an excellent … Read Full Post »