ABC Blog

How To Bring Back Dead Grass

a front yard with a dying lawn

If you have grass, you want to be able to take pride in your lush, green lawn. But maintaining healthy grass requires time, effort and know-how. Sometimes, you have to deal with problems like bald patches. Yellow or brown areas are another common issue. Knowing how to bring back dead grass is an important part of keeping your lawn thriving. If you know what’s causing the issue, you can take steps to fix it.

One important thing to know is the difference between dormant and dead grass. Sometimes, brown grass looks dead, but it’s not.

Dead Grass Versus Dormant Grass

All grass varieties have a dormant season, when they stop growing and lose their green. For warm-season grasses, this happens starting in fall, when the temperature outside cools down. Once the soil temperature drops below about 50 degrees on a consistent basis, the grass starts to go dormant.

Grass will also go dormant during … Read Full Post »

How to Get Rid of Moles in Your Yard

a mole in dirt

The Eastern Mole is the most common species of mole in North America. They live their entire lives in complex networks of interconnecting underground tunnels. If you have noticed these unsightly tunnels in your own yard, you may be wondering what you can do to get rid of moles in your yard.

The first step to figuring out these pests’ activities is learning what moles eat. Moles eat insects, worms, grubs and other invertebrates which they access by these tunnels which connect to shallower tunnels below the surface.

The small, potato-shaped creatures are voracious eaters. While they don’t eat plants or plant roots, they can burrow through and destroy wide swaths of lawns and gardens in a single night while on the hunt for their next meal. Moles can burrow up to 18 feet in a single hour and are most active at dusk and dawn.

Moles are most attracted to soft soil … Read Full Post »

Can Dogs Carry Bed Bugs?

a bed bug on skin

Few creepie-crawlies in the insect world have a mental and emotional impact on us humans like bed bugs.

They come out at night…while we’re sleeping…to drink our blood…

The common bed bug is tiny, with a flat, oval body roughly the size of an apple seed. It can expand to nearly twice its normal size while feeding, turning from muddy brown to dark red in color.

Bed bugs get their name from the types of locations they prefer to infest and feed. They are most active at night and look for a ready source of blood to feed on. That’s why beds (and the humans sleeping in them) are their ideal targets.

Likewise, female bed bugs will lay eggs in the protected seams and crevices of your mattress (or your dog’s bed). This is their way of looking out for their offspring, who will have a convenient source of blood.

These eggs hatch as nymphs, … Read Full Post »

How to Winterize Your Home and Yard

a home after a winter storm

Winter is here, and even in a place with milder temperatures, preparing your home and lawn for whatever Mother Nature throws your way can give you and your family peace of mind. Since it’s hard to tell when a more serious freeze or winter storm will pop up, it’s important to get your home prepared early. No matter what comes your way, there are critical steps you can take to be ready.

Heating System

If your heater smells when you turn it on for the first time of the season, that’s a good reminder of the importance of having your HVAC serviced before temperatures dip. Fall is a good time to contact a licensed professional for a tune-up on your heating system. Just as a service call in the spring gets you ready for the blistering summer, a check before winter helps your entire HVAC system run more efficiently. A unit that … Read Full Post »

Too Much Fertilizer Is Never a Good Thing

a lawn with yellow spots because too much fertilizer was used

Adding fertilizer to your lawn gives it an extra boost, helping it stay healthy so it can establish a good root system. A solid root system protects the lawn from foot traffic, mowing and weather extremes. All plants—including the grass that makes up your lawn—use a lot of energy to not only establish roots but also to grow naturally. Fertilizer can help your lawn in all of these processes.

As with anything else, you can use too much fertilizer, so you should take steps to ensure you are applying the correct type and amount for your lawn’s needs. Fertilizer can be made of a number of things, from synthetic compounds to a variety of composted manures. When shopping for the right type, check the bag. It will have three numbers on the label, listed as # – # – #. Each number on the packaging represents the fertilizer’s percentage of three … Read Full Post »

Bermuda Grass Versus St. Augustine Grass

bermuda grass

Lush lawns are a homeowner’s dream, a beautiful green canvas that not only frames the home but also provides a soft setting for recreational activities. As we all know, such lawns don’t just happen. They take regular maintenance and care—even throughout the winter months.

The amount of upkeep a lawn requires relies in large part on the type of grass used. Two common varieties used in lawns across the nations are Bermuda and St. Augustine. Each has its own set of needs in order to keep it looking its best in a variety of weather conditions. A landscaping professional can answer specific questions about how either variety would be likely to perform in your area.

Let’s look at the qualities of each type of grass, how it works as a lawn grass and any special needs that each type might require.

Bermuda

Bermuda grass, pictured above, is known for being a tough variety that … Read Full Post »

Fire Ant Control & Identification Guide

fire ants coming out of a nest

They say everything is hotter in Texas. That’s usually in reference to the weather and the food, but it can also apply to the burn you feel when you’re bitten by fire ants. If you spend any time outdoors, you’ve probably been bitten by these insects at least once or twice. They get their name from the fiery sensation caused by their bites.

Unfortunately, fire ants are an especially aggressive species of ant. That means you aren’t imagining it: When their nest gets disturbed, they will come after you, fast. Their bites sting and burn, and they can also cause raised, pus-filled blisters on the skin.

Interestingly, these ants don’t just bite people—they bite first to grab hold of you, and then they curl their abdomens under to sting your skin. It’s actually the venom in their sting that causes the painful, burning sensation. Their stingers are at the tip of their … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Mice Live?

a mouse in an attic

The thought of having mice in your home is disturbing. If these creatures have shown up, you are probably wondering how long they might stick around. Well, the average lifespan of each mouse is just around two and a half years. However, where there is one mouse, there are typically many more mice.

This means that even if the one mouse that you know of dies off, it does not necessarily mean that your mouse problem is over. This animal might have left behind several more friends and family members.

This is due to the nature of the mouse life cycle. Female mice can get pregnant as early as just a month or two after they are born. Once they reach sexual maturity, female mice are fertile as often as every four to five days. They typically mate at night and can breed at any time of the year. Once a female … Read Full Post »

How Long Does It Take to Pressure Wash a House?

a homeowner pressure washing their home

When you want to pressure wash your house, one thing you will likely consider is how long the project will take. Will you need a couple hours to finish the job? A whole weekend? Something in between?

In general, it takes around three to five hours to pressure wash a small to medium-sized house. This estimate includes the time needed to complete the basic steps involved in power washing, such as:

  • preparing the area you want to clean;
  • setting up your equipment;
  • spreading detergent on the area;
  • letting the detergent set;
  • rinsing off the cleaning solution;
  • cleaning up the project area and
  • putting your equipment away.

However, the exact amount of time for each pressure wash job depends on several different factors. Here are some reasons why your project might take more or less time.

The Size of Your Home

It might be obvious that power washing a 5,000 square foot home will usually take longer than trying to wash a … Read Full Post »

Can Bed Bugs Climb Metal?

a bed bug climbing on a person's skin

If even the thought of bed bugs makes you cringe, you aren’t alone. Most people live in fear of encountering these pests because they are notoriously hard to get rid of. Many are eager to learn easy ways they can prevent these pests. For example, some people wonder whether bed bugs can climb metal. The thinking here is that a metal bed frame might offer protection if these bugs have a hard time climbing the slick surface of the frame. Although bed bugs do find it easier to climb more textured surfaces like fabric or wood, they can climb metal. Unfortunately, this means beds on metal frames can harbor these pests just as well as any other type of bed. However, by learning the early signs of bed bugs, you can help prevent a full-blown infestation. 

Bed bugs can be creative about how they reach you in … Read Full Post »