ABC Blog

Do Mice Usually Go Upstairs?

Stairs inside of a house

Are you hearing the sound of mice scurrying through your walls at night? Mice are excellent climbers, so it’s natural for homeowners to wonder: Do mice usually go upstairs?

While mice can easily climb and jump their way to tall heights, it’s important to understand their habits and why they might be motivated to go to the upper stories of your home. It’s additionally important to know the habits, appearance and diet of brown mice so that you can deal with a house mouse infestation right away.

Finally, this guide will walk you through how to mouse-proof your house. Keep in mind that the best way to deal with mice is to enlist the help of a pest control specialist.

Do Mice Usually Go Upstairs?

Mice are excellent runners, climbers and jumpers, so they can easily go upstairs in a home. In fact, mice can jump as high as one foot, which is nearly … Read Full Post »

What Size Furnace Do I Need?

A working furnace is a vital part of any home, even in warmer states like Texas. The last thing you want is to have a malfunctioning furnace in the dead of winter. If your furnace is reaching the end of its life, you’ll want to reach out to a heating specialist. A heating specialist knows all the calculations and factors that must be considered before making a large purchase like this one.

While some homeowners may think the bigger the better, this isn’t always the case. A furnace that is too big will also work too hard, which results in skyrocketing energy bills. On the other hand, a furnace that is too small will not heat your home completely, leaving you cold in the winter. Plus, it will have a shorter lifespan since it is working overtime to produce enough heat.

So, what do heating specialists look at when determining what size … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

a toilet leaking at the base

If you find water pooling on the floor around your toilet, you want it fixed as soon as possible. Any water leak is cause for concern. Water leaks can damage flooring, baseboards and cabinets and drive up utility bills. Fortunately, if you find your toilet leaking at base, it can be fixed relatively easily by a qualified plumber. This is also a job that capable DIY homeowners can often handle on their own.

If your toilet is leaking at the base, it’s important to make sure you know exactly where the water is coming from. Sometimes, you’ll see water on the floor around the toilet and assume it’s coming from the base. But really, it’s dripping down from the tank. It may also be coming from the water supply lines that run between the toilet and the wall.

One way to check that the water is actually leaking from the base of … Read Full Post »

My Garbage Disposal Is Spinning but Not Draining

a garbage disposal that is spinning but not draining

A garbage disposal is one of the most valuable conveniences in the modern kitchen. Mounted below the sink drain, the garbage disposal uses several blades that spin like propellers to grind solid food waste into bits. These small bits are washed away through a grey-water plumbing system.

The garbage disposal reduces waste odors and makes kitchen clean-up significantly quicker and easier.

Until it stops working, that is.

There are a number of reasons that a disposal might stop working. Luckily, most have simple fixes that a homeowner can troubleshoot themselves. More severe issues may require the help of a licensed professional, who can do so quickly and with minimal disturbance.

A garbage disposal that has stopped working will often prevent your sink from draining. And, unground matter in the unit can clog your system until it has been cleared.

Sometimes a garbage disposal will sound like it’s working properly (you can hear the blades spinning). … Read Full Post »

What Are the Benefits of Water Softeners?

a shower head

So what does “hard” water really mean? 

When rain falls, it is pure water. Once it seeps into the ground, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water that has collected a large amount of such minerals is called “hard.” In fact, about 85 percent of water in the United States can be classified as hard water.

Is a water softener worth it? It’s important to first see if you are noticing the signs of hard water. Seeing stains on your sinks and tubs or on your kitchen utensils? It’s a good bet you have hard water. Seeing scale deposits on kitchen appliances and plumbing is another sign. Are you having to use more soap than usual? Hard water doesn’t lather well, so you have to use more. Hard water will also face your clothing and make your skin and hair feel dry after a shower. 

Water also has a continuum of … Read Full Post »

My AC Line Is Frozen: What Happened?

Have you noticed that your air conditioner doesn’t seem to have the same cooling power it used to? It’s a good idea to give your AC system a once-over as soon as possible to try to identify the problem.

After removing the cover to your AC, do you notice that the lines or other internal components are frozen, or coated in ice? This is a sign that a bigger problem could be happening.

Why do AC Lines Freeze?

Typically, air conditioner lines freeze up when the unit’s evaporator coils get too cold.

The evaporator coil is one of the key parts of your AC system. The coil is full of refrigerant that is pumped through lines from the compressor. It then absorbs the heat from the air it pulls from the room.

The AC fan blows air over the coils, and this air is cooled as it passes over the refrigerant-filled coils, before blowing back … Read Full Post »

Identifying Chigger Bites Versus Mosquito Bites

You are outside, and something feels not quite right on your skin. You start scratching. And scratching. It could be a mosquito bite, or it could be a nip from a chigger. But how can you tell which is which? Bug bites overall look similar, and everyone reacts to them differently. That means it can be tough to know what is in your home or yard, waiting to strike. Here is a quick look at some ways you might differentiate the two.

Chigger Bites

You will generally find chiggers down low: wild plants, gardens, woods or brush, grass fields, shrubbery and lawns that are manicured and cut short. You more than likely won’t actually see them, however. These bugs, also known as berry bugs or harvest mites, are red mites that are so small that they are almost invisible with normal sight. There are more than 50 types of chiggers that feed … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Smell Blood?

a mosquito on a pair of jeans

Being a homeowner is overwhelming. There are so many details to keep up with—both inside and outside of your house. After a long day of household chores, the last thing you want is to deal with pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are both annoying and dangerous. You deserve time to enjoy outdoor relaxation without the threat of itchy bites. Even worse, you do not want to expose yourself or your family to diseases like Zika or the West Nile Virus.

Mosquitoes are a common problem for homeowners across the United States. Are you a homeowner who has been dealing with a mosquito problem in your yard? You may be wondering what is attracting these pests to your home and to your skin.

It’s common to hear that mosquitoes can smell the “sweetness” of human blood, but is this idea actually true? In reality, mosquitoes zero in on the smell of your sweat, not your blood.

It … Read Full Post »

I Found a Roach in My House: Should I Be Worried?

a cockroach in a house

“I found a roach in my house. Should I be worried?” This is a common question that customers often ask pest control professionals. If you find a single cockroach in your home, does it mean there are more? Could you have a cockroach infestation? And whether it’s just one roach or a whole nest of them, what should you do about it?

The simple answer is, if you find a roach in your house, there is definitely reason to worry there might be other roaches hidden nearby. It’s possible there is even a full-blown infestation. It largely depends on what type of roach you’ve found.

Certain kinds of cockroaches, like American cockroaches, can make their way inside people’s homes almost by accident. American cockroaches are the big ones—well over an inch long, a half-inch wide, and medium reddish-brown in color. These roaches normally live outside. They sneak in through gaps around doors, … Read Full Post »

How To Find a Water Leak

how to find water leaks

Water is essential in a home. We use it to drink, cook, bathe, wash our clothes and dishes and water our yards. Unfortunately, things go wrong sometimes: Pipes crack or break, and water leaks out where it shouldn’t. Sometimes water leaks are obvious, but not always. It’s important to know how to find water leaks because, occasionally, they stay hidden for days or even weeks at a time.

For some people, the first sign of a hidden water leak is when they receive an astronomically high water bill and wonder how it got so high. Water usage and bills often fluctuate month to month, especially in the summer. Most people use more water when it’s hot outside, both to bathe on sweaty days and to keep the yard green. But sometimes, it’s a shock when the utility bill arrives, and they find out they unknowingly used far more water than usual.

A … Read Full Post »