ABC Blog

Best Holiday Lights in Houston

Christmas lights in Houston

School has just started, and Halloween is still around the corner.

Savvy homeowners know that the first signs of autumn mean it’s time to start thinking about holiday light displays. To properly deck your home with lights and festive decorations takes time and planning.

To get you in the proper holiday spirit, let’s look at some of the best Christmas lights in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Public Holiday Light Displays in Houston

First of all, let’s explore a few noteworthy public displays in the area (some of these have an entry fee).

Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo (Hermann Park, begins in November): Each year the Houston Zoo hosts a dazzling light display with animal sculptures, lights in the trees and colorful projections. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

Dickinson Festival of Lights (Dickinson, from Nov. 26 – 30, 2016): A free holiday light display you can walk through, with free parking … Read Full Post »

Where Do House Flies Come From?

where do house flies come from

In warm, humid climates like we have in Houston, flies can be a real nuisance. When they invade your home, you want them gone as fast as possible. In this article, we discuss four types of flies common to our area, where they come from, and how to deal with them.

Types of houseflies

House flies are perhaps the most common flying pest in our homes. These are a half to a third of an inch in length, black or gray in color, and have translucent wings. They are attracted to garbage cans, animal feces, and fresh food.

Blowflies, also known as bottle flies, are much less common indoors, but far more annoying when they appear. Similar in appearance to house flies, these are a bit larger and slower moving. Blow flies are usually associated with dead animals.

Drain flies are small brownish-black flies with dark wings and a furry, almost moth-like appearance. They … Read Full Post »

The Importance of Eliminating Stagnant Water

Aedes albopictus mosquito genus of the culicine family of mosqui

We knew it was coming.

Pesky summer mosquitoes have Houston and Harris County homeowners running for cover this summer. The late spring floods didn’t help the already growing problems we face every summer.

It’s easy to understand why it’s so important to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. In addition to their itchy bites, these tiny winged vampires can cause serious diseases such as West Nile virus, Dengue fever, and now Zika. As of July 21, 2016, Texas has seen 69 reported cases of Zika. Sadly, one of those cases was an infant who contracted the virus before birth. ABC has spent the first half of 2016 keeping our customers, friends, and the community updated on Zika Virus. You can rest assured we will continue to do so until this problem has been contained.

Mosquitoes are a year-round consideration.

When the weather gets colder, many people breathe a sigh of relief and forget all about these … Read Full Post »

Photos from ABC’s Recent Visit to A Child’s Hope in Haiti.

ABC Home and Commercial Services Charity Work

Raleigh and Dylan Jenkins in Haiti visiting the site for A Child’s Hope

ABC Home and Commercial Services is dedicated to charitable work in our community.

Charitable work in the Houston area is a fundamental value for our family business. But did you know that ABC also sponsors humanitarian work done in communities abroad? ABC Home & Commercial Services Owner, Raleigh Jenkins, is a founder and member of the Board of Directors for A Child’s Hope. The goal of this non-profit organization is to provide a safe, loving, spiritual environment for Haitian orphans who were impacted by the devastating earthquake in 2010.

The Earthquake

In mid-January of 2010, a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital, Port-au-Prince. Port-au-Prince is home to over 900,000 people. After the initial earthquake had subsided, it was followed by two weeks of aftershocks that further-wounded an already vulnerable region.

Due to the sheer magnitude of destruction, no one … Read Full Post »

How To Sting-Proof Your Outdoor Activities This Summer

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Memorial Day usually signifies the semi-official kickoff of the Summer outdoor season — it’s time to let the fun begin with picnics, backyard Bar-B-Qs and pool parties. However, nothing can derail a good time faster than a painful sting from one of the Houston area’s line up of common stinging insects.

Below are the most likely suspects, some info on where they are likely to nest and the best ways to ensure they don’t ruin your good time. It should be noted that many of the below bad bugs are very unlikely to sting you unless they perceive you as a threat to their nests or colonies.

Here we go:

Bald-faced Hornets

Aggressiveness: Bald-faced hornets are the most aggressive wasps in Georgia. Getting within 10 feet of their nests can earn you a pretty nice multi-sting welt or worse.

Where they live: Bald-faced hornets’ football-shaped nests are built of paper and usually are suspended from … Read Full Post »

Open Your Pool: The10-step Checklist.

Houston Pool Opening Checklist

Sit back. Relax. It’s summertime!

Every May, thousands of Houston families open their backyard swimming pools for the summer season. Opening a pool isn’t as simple as pulling off the cover and jumping in.

We have put together a checklist for our ABC family insiders.

1. FILTER PUMPS AND OTHER PUMPS

Are they operable?
Are any of them making a loud noise?
Are they priming ok?
Are there any leaks?
Are the pump baskets intact?

2. CLEANER PUMP

Is it operable?
Is it making a loud noise?
Are there any leaks?

3. FILTERS

Check filter pressure. Your filter may need to be back washed or have the internal assemblies cleaned or replaced.
If your filter has a push/pull valve or multiport valve, do they operate smoothly?
Are there any leaks?

4. POOL CLEANER UNIT

Is is operable?
Inspect tires, wheel bearings, debris bags, etc.

5. WATERSIDE

Are skimmer baskets and skimmer covers intact?
Are there any cracks … Read Full Post »

Mosquitoes Are A Post-Flood Problem

houston flooding brings more mosquitoes to residential neighborhoods

Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle

Harris County and the Houston metro area have seen a major increase in flooding over the past couple of years. This past weekend through Monday saw disastrous torrential rainfall, totaling close to 20 inches in some northern parts of the metro area, near Cypress Creek. During these highly troubling weather events, we urge our customers’ and their families to stay off the roads.

The floodwaters may be subsiding, but another problem comes with high volumes of rain: mosquitoes. This year, health dilemmas like Zika Virus and weather patterns like El Niño and La Niña are compounding the mosquito issues Southeast Texas residents face every year. As summer quickly approaches, one bad flood after another may spur earlier than usual mosquito problems for Houston residents.

Why do mosquitoes like these conditions?

Mosquitoes are like all other insects in that they begin life as a larva. The most common types of … Read Full Post »

Why Do Termites Swarm In Houston?

termites damage to home

Termites are an ongoing problem for Houston homeowners. Flourishing in the warmth and humidity of East Texas, they establish large colonies and get right to work eating the wood in our homes and landscaping. Springtime marks termite mating season when termites swarm to find new locations where they can establish additional colonies.

What are termites?

Termites are small insects that live in colonies and feed on organic matter, particularly the cellulose found within the wood. In nature, they play an important role in helping decompose fallen trees. In your home, however, they can be destructive creatures that can weaken structures and damage foundations.

There are three main types of termites in the US:

  • Formosan Subterranean Termites
  • Native Subterranean Termites
  • Drywood Termites

Native subterranean termites eat everything from paper to cotton to wood. Because of their biology, they rely on microbes to help digest cellulose, so they are drawn to areas with rotting wood, such as mulch and … Read Full Post »

5 Questions & Answers about Zika in Houston

Zika is spread by tiger mosquitoes

Zika Virus FAQ’s

Zika Virus has been in the news a lot lately. Zika is still rare in the U.S. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay informed.

The health and safety of our neighbors are what inspired the Jenkins family to get into this business over 30 years ago. Mosquitoes spread diseases like Zika, so it is part of the ABC mission to keep our customers in Harris County and beyond informed. We’ve put together a list of questions and answers about Zika, travel, and mosquito diseases.

Question: Where did Zika Virus originate?

Answer: Most sources indicate that Zika originated in Africa. That is also where the carriers of the disease, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, originated. Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry travel the world like most pests — via human transport. Chances are, a few infected mosquitoes were transported from Africa along trade routes around the world, and those insects reproduced.

The disease is … Read Full Post »

4 Rodent Species Houston Residents Should Know

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Every Year NPMA declares one week in November Rodent Awareness Week.

It is important to us that our neighbors stay in the know. Rodent Awareness Week 2015 is a great time to brush up on your rodent knowledge so that you can keep your home free from rats and mice. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself and your family.

Houston has a pretty well-documented roof rat problem and has for a few years now. The wet cool months of November-March are when we get the most calls for help with rodent control in Houston, Texas.

4 Rodent Species To Look Out For In Houston

Deer Mice

These are brown-bodied mice with pointy noses, small ears, and
short brown and white bellies and tails. Deer mice mature at 7 weeks and can rapidly reproduce, which is why even just one mouse could signal an infestation. If you find a deer mouse, a nest, … Read Full Post »