ABC Blog

Dust Mites In Bed: Protecting Yourself From These Allergens

Dust Mites In Bed

Imagine your bed and pillows being infested with tiny bugs measuring less than half a millimeter in length that feed off the skin cells you slough off in your sleep. Sound like a horror movie? If the very thought of such a thing makes your skin crawl, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, these little creatures aren’t something out of a sci-fi flick. They are dust mites, and dust mites in bed are a very normal and common occurrence in many homes.

It’s natural, of course, to feel a bit horrified by the idea of harboring dust mites in bed, especially if you’re among the many folks who are allergic to these creatures. But barring a dust mite allergy, are dust mites in bed really something you need to worry about? Many people have heard they should replace pillows, linens and even mattresses on a regular basis to keep dust mites at bay. … Read Full Post »

Hummingbirds in Texas: How To Welcome Them To Your Yard

Hummingbirds in Texas

You are sitting on your porch, reading a book, when it happens: a hummingbird pays you a visit. The impossibly tiny bird flits from flower to flower. Then it hovers. Its wings are a blur of frantic activity while the head barely moves. After a moment it’s gone, zipping off in search of greener pastures.

The experience is a bit of everyday magic, and it leaves you with a happy, contented feeling. I wish they’d come by more often, you think.

Seeing hummingbirds in Texas isn’t an everyday occurrence, but there are several things you can do to make your yard friendlier to them and encourage them to stop by more frequently.

It starts with knowing which hummingbirds can be found in Texas–and when.

Hummingbird Migration: Texas

You might not know this, but there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 different species of hummingbirds in the world. Most of those, however, never make it anywhere … Read Full Post »

What Do Baby Termites Look Like?

what do baby termites look like

Any homeowner who has seen small, winged, ant-like insects in or around their home has probably wondered, What do baby termites look like? It’s smart to worry about a possible termite infestation, as these insects are a serious problem if they infest your home, garage or other structure. They can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your property.

In fact, Americans reportedly spend $1 billion each year on termite control and repairs to correct damage caused by these small but powerful pests. Clearly, a savvy homeowner should know how to identify termites. Telling these creatures apart from winged ants, for example, or any other look-alike insect species, however, can be tough. Many of us are familiar with what these insects look like in their adult form, but what about termite larvae? Read on to learn more about baby termites, the termite life cycle, swarming season and how to … Read Full Post »

Purple Texas Wildflowers: How To Add Color To Your Landscape

Purple Texas wildflowers

A rite of passage here in Texas is taking the family for the annual bluebonnet photo. Did you know that these plants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wildflowers in Texas? And that you can actually grow these flowers in your own back (or front) yard?

Whether you’re tired of the usual suspects in your home garden or you’re considering wildflowers as another way to use native plants in your landscaping, wildflowers are a gorgeous option that can add a nice splash of color to any property.

Below, we will suggest different types of purple Texas wildflowers you might consider incorporating in your lawn, as well as answer common questions homeowners have about adding these plants to your outdoor spaces.

Different Types of Purple Wildflowers You Can Find in Texas

Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to Texas wildflowers, but they’ve got nothing … Read Full Post »

Do Fleas Die in the Dryer? Flea Control Secrets Revealed

Can fleas drown in the washing machine

Fleas. The word itself makes many homeowners shudder, especially if they also happen to have pets. After all, these pesky insects may be tiny, but a flea infestation can mean big trouble for your pet, your home and you.

Many homeowners wonder, do fleas die in the dryer? Can they drown in the washing machine, or is washing flea-infested items a waste of time? When you find even one flea in your living space, it’s tempting to toss everything you own—sheets, clothing, cushion covers, your dog’s bed—into the wash. While it seems as if that should take care of the problem, the reality isn’t quite so straightforward. Let’s take a look at the facts.

Can Fleas Drown in the Washing Machine?

Before we delve into whether fleas can survive a trip through the spin cycle, it’s important to understand a bit more about these tiny, fascinating insects—what they are, what they do … Read Full Post »

Winter Pool Chemicals: What Do The Experts Recommend?

Winter pool chemicals

Winterizing your pool in warmer climates looks a bit different than getting your pool ready for icy conditions in other parts of the country. Maintaining your winter pool chemicals is important, whether you use your pool during the colder times of the year or not, because leaves and other debris which fall into your pool affect your pH levels.

When it comes to maintaining your pool during the winter in the South, you have a few options. With our typically mild winters, some pool owners prefer to maintain their current regular service throughout the year or switch to fewer visits per month. Others simply lower the water level of their pool to just below the tile line and pull the drain plugs on their equipment. Most people don’t even put on a pool cover during this time, although some do.

In this post, we’ll … Read Full Post »

Tapping Noise in Attic at Night: What Should You Do?

Tapping Noise in Attic at Night

When things go bump in the night in your home, it’s usually not a good sign, nor do you experience warm and fuzzy feelings. What do you do when you hear a tapping noise in the attic at night? If you are like most people, you probably sit quietly to try to identify the noise. Suddenly, a slew of questions run through your head: Is a branch hitting the roof? Is a squirrel running right above me? Is something in the attic? Has someone broken in?

As temperatures decrease through the fall and winter, various creatures look for warm places to seek shelter. Your attic may look to them like the perfect spot to settle in for the winter and raise a family. While you may take pity on these critters, you really don’t want them in your attic. There are a number of reasons why, including the damage they can … Read Full Post »

Add Color To Your Yard With Texas Winter Flowers

plants that grow in winter

Anyone from Texas can tell you that we have unique weather patterns. There are few other places where you can experience all four seasons in just one day. The running joke of “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute” rings true to many of us. While it can be nice to experience summer weather on a December day here in Texas, winter flowers can pose a challenge for even most experienced gardeners. 

While keeping soil type and watering requirements in mind, remember that on average, Houston gets 18 days each year with temperatures that dip below freezing. Our growing season lasts an average of 300 days, which can be great for growing a wide variety of plants and flowers. Keep in mind that throughout the winter, our days are shorter, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you choose flowers which require a certain number of … Read Full Post »

Your Guide to the Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017

There are many signs of the holiday season here in Houston. Stores put up their holiday displays, gingerbread and peppermint goodies start appearing everywhere and gift guides aplenty flood our inboxes and our mailboxes. In addition to making time for holiday decorating, deciding what lights to buy and getting presents, calendars start to fill up with seasonal events. We’ve compiled a list of Best Holiday Lights Houston 2017 to help you make time for some special memories this year.

Nothing puts everyone in the mood for Christmas quite like lights. Depending on which lights displays you choose to see, you may opt to stay in the car, which can be easier for friends and family members who are younger or older, who might have a harder time walking long distances or standing for long periods of time. Driving around to see lights can also be a good option for those rare Houston days … Read Full Post »

Too Much Water in Pool Due to Rain? What You Can Do

too much water in pool due to rain

Here in the southern states, we almost always enjoy it when it rains. A good soaking typically cools the temperature and provides our lawn and landscaping with much-needed water. However, there are times when a strong storm, hurricane or tropical depression dumps a lot of rain on our property. That’s when there is too much of a good thing, which can lead to too much water in your pool due to rain.

We’ll tell you what you can do when your area experiences heavy rainfall, how to lower your pool’s water level, what happens when your pool is overflowing from rain, the problems a storm or severe weather event can cause and give you some tips on hurricane pool preparation.

How To Lower Pool Water Level

If you have a typical rainfall, or even several inches, your pool should be fine, since drains and skimmers are designed to remove the excess water. … Read Full Post »