ABC Blog

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

hornet_featuredimg

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

rodents you should know featured img

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 »

Brown Patch Lawn Fungus on the Rise in Houston

Have you ever noticed beige patches of dead-looking grass interrupting your lush green lawn? The name of this turfgrass disease is a no-brainer: Brown Patch.

Brown Patch is technically classified as a summer lawn disease. However, our Houston Lawn Specialists have noticed an increase in reported cases in the fall due to excessive lawn watering in an effort to battle the overly rough weather conditions Houston experienced during the past few months.

Brown Patch derives from a disease called Rhizoctonia, which is a fungus that thrives in warm, humid climates (sound familiar, Houston?). It lives in plant debris, or thatch, and enters plants through wounds caused during mowing. In most cases, grass can go several months before showing any sign of disease, but trust us, it is growing beneath the surface – and fast.

Brown Patch damage first appears in your lawn as circular areas of brown, dead grass surrounded by … Read Full Post »

5 Great Indoor Activities For Summer Fun in Houston

If you’re a Houston parent, then keeping your children cool during the hot summer is likely a huge priority. Longer periods of direct sunlight and high-humidity can harm children, who are more susceptible to heat-related illness and dehydration than adults. Not to mention the crankiness factor. Do you really want to listen to your child complain about being hot all day?

Fortunately, indoor family activities can give you and your kids the opportunity to add a little variety to summer vacation while staying cool. We are lucky to live in a city with a great selection of kid-friendly museums, indoor play places, and arts and crafts centers.

So, when the family needs a break from the pool or the playground, beat the heat with a few of these indoor alternatives.

1. Sky Zone Sports

photo by Clintus McGintus

www.skyzone.com/houston/
Sky Zone offers kids the opportunity to release some energy. The indoor trampoline park features one … Read Full Post »