ABC Blog

Carpenter Ant Bite: The Dangers These Ants Pose

Carpenter Ant Bite

Carpenter ant bites can be a big pain—quite literally. A bite on human skin looks like a pea-sized blemish, and the aftermath may feel like a strong pinch or even a quick burn on the skin. This is because when carpenter ants bite, these insects spray formic acid onto their victim. Formic acid isn’t necessarily dangerous to humans, but it does increase the intensity of the pain you feel. You can reduce the pain associated with a carpenter ant bite by washing the impacted area with soap and water right away. Doing so will flush away the formic acid that causes pain to the area, which should cause the discomfort to recede. If not, a cold compress or ice should help to soothe the bite site.

Don’t be surprised if a carpenter ant bite draws blood. These insects are equipped with really strong jaws to chew through wood to make nests. … Read Full Post »

How To Keep A Lawn Green In The Summer Heat

How to keep lawn green in summer heat

In the heat of a Texas summer, it can feel like keeping your grass green is a full-time job—which makes sense when you learn that even warm season species prefer temperatures in the 70s. It may seem like after you miss one day of watering, all of a sudden there are brown spots everywhere. Looking at what appears to be a dying lawn, you may realize you’re not completely sure how to keep your lawn green in the summer heat.

As you might suspect, the most important thing you can do for your lawn during the hottest times of the year is to water. In most Texas lawns, watering between a half-inch to a full inch of water each week can keep grass species that are suited for our climate healthy even in high temperatures. Bermuda grass and buffalo grass can handle just a half-inch of water, as well as other … Read Full Post »

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working: What Should I Do?

Pool Pump Humming But Not Working

The pump is the heart of your pool. This important part creates the pressure that moves your pool water through the filters, chlorinators and all the other components of your pool’s circulation system. Recently you’ve started to worry because your previously crystal clear swimming pool is turning a muddy greenish color and you’re not sure why.

You know the pump is on because you can hear it. Did you make a mistake in your calculations for how long you need to run it? Is it the time of day? The wrong pump? What could be the reason for your pool pump humming but not working?

Unfortunately, several things could be the culprit. Some of the most common reasons are that:

  • You might have a bad capacitor.
  • Debris might be blocking the impeller and consequently disabling the pool pump.
  • There might be problems with the motor shaft.

What do all of these issues mean? Quite simply, your … Read Full Post »

How Often Should I Water My Lawn With A Sprinkler System?

How Often Should I Water My Lawn With Sprinkler System

We all have that one neighbor with the perfect lawn. You know, the yard that you can’t help but pause in front of to admire. On one of these occasions, you ask yourself: “How often should I water my lawn with a sprinkler system so that it looks just like that?”

Unfortunately, determining a proper lawn watering schedule isn’t as simple as you might expect. Many different factors influence how much moisture your plants need to thrive, including what type of soil you have, your weather, what plant species you have in your yard and how much water your sprinkler heads put out. In addition, one homeowner might just want the grass to survive the heat of summer, while another might want that picture-perfect, golf course-quality turf.

Grass needs to be watered when the leaf blades begin to curl or when your lawn looks dark and dull. Unless you have a dry … Read Full Post »

Can Fleas Lay Eggs On Human Hair?

Can fleas lay eggs on human hair

Even after putting the flea collar on your pet, the itching continues. Suddenly, you begin to feel the urge the scratch, too. You stare at poor Fido, who looks quite miserable, and start to wonder, can fleas lay eggs on human hair? If these creatures can infest your dog’s fur, wouldn’t it make sense that they could do the same on our own heads?

While fleas can technically lay eggs on our scalp, the possibility of this happening is extremely rare. Given how much these small parasites can disrupt a household, however, knowing all you can about fleas can help you avoid an infestation or manage an existing flea problem.

Let’s answer more questions homeowners frequently have about these common pests.

Can Fleas Live On Humans?

While humans can serve as a temporary host for fleas, eggs are more viable if a flea consumes the blood of a preferred food source. There are over … Read Full Post »

Why Do Cockroaches Come Out At Night?

Why do cockroaches come out at night

When you wake up before the sun rises and go to make your coffee, you’re not expecting to discover a cockroach in the cabinet next to your coffee grounds. Chances are that in your pre-caffeinated state, your reactions aren’t quite as sharp, resulting in your kitchen visitor scurrying away before you can find anything to smash it with. If someone had asked, you would have sworn that you didn’t have any bug problems—especially roaches. But you also know that you usually don’t spot one of these creatures, unless it’s dark.

So, why do cockroaches come out at night? The short answer is that, like other nocturnal animals, roaches have evolved to forage for food and water in low-light environments, since these conditions help them avoid predators. In this blog post, we will explore cockroach activity patterns in more detail and offer you tips on how to keep these pests away from … Read Full Post »

Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Clothes?

can mosquitoes bite through clothes

Mosquitoes are a problem for most of the year in the warmer parts of the country. But even so, it can feel like they come back earlier each year. You thought you were at least going to have a few weeks of relaxation in beautiful weather before they showed up again, but these bloodsucking pests had different plans. As you’re relaxing in your backyard you may be wondering: Can mosquitoes bite through clothes? Will I be safe from these biting insects if I just cover up?

Mosquitoes prefer to access blood directly through the skin, but that doesn’t mean they won’t use their proboscis to get to the blood through the clothes you are wearing. Generally speaking, loose, long-sleeved and light-colored clothes significantly reduce the chances of your getting a mosquito bite. That being said, they do not completely remove the possibility of being bitten.

Let’s look at some specific examples.

Can Mosquitoes … Read Full Post »

Which Zoysia Grass Type Is Right For My Lawn?

Zoysia grass types

Most homeowners quickly realize that keeping a healthy, green carpet of grass in their yards is much more difficult than they originally anticipated. While most species commonly found in residential areas share similar characteristics, there are some distinctive qualities that make some types do better or worse under some conditions, particularly in parts of the country that are hot with little rainfall.

The most common warm-season species are bermudagrass, buffalo grass, centipede grass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustine and Zoysia grass. Zoysia is a popular choice for homeowners because it can tolerate shade, drought, cold and traffic. Better yet, these species have a low fertilizer requirement. With dozens of varieties to choose from, Zoysia grass types can provide slightly different advantages, depending on what you need, how much time you want to spend on your lawn and the conditions in your lawn. The quality and availability of each cultivar can vary by … Read Full Post »

My Pool Turned Green Overnight: What Should I Do?

pool turned green overnight

It can be a nasty shock when you discover that the normally clear, sky-blue water in your pool turned green overnight. Why is my pool green? Typically, algae is the source of green pool water, and it’s certainly possible that it took over quickly, even overnight. This is especially likely if it is very warm outside, since algae blooms more rapidly in warmer temperatures. It is even more common, however, for there to have been an ongoing, undetected chemical imbalance in your pool water that enabled algae to grow.

As a rule of thumb, the deeper the shade of green, the more algae has bloomed. If your pool has just a mild green tint to it, that’s a good thing—it means you’ve likely noticed the problem before it has gone too far, which should make it easier to treat. The first step toward getting your pool back to normal? Determining the … Read Full Post »

When To Open A Pool In Texas: A Complete Guide

When To Open Pool

If you look forward to swimming in your own backyard oasis, as the winter months come to a close, your thoughts probably turn to when to open your pool. While that’s not always the case for every pool owner, winter can be painful for those of us who like to spend time outdoors, especially in those parts of the country where we are used to sunshine and short sleeves nearly year-round. Here in Texas, most of us open our pools for the season when the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees. Since we can have some strange cold fronts some years, that can be in mid-March some years and not until early April in others.

Before we know it, we will be lounging poolside, dipping our toes in refreshing, crystal-clear water and enjoying warmer weather. Until that time comes, you may be wondering how to clean a swimming pool after winter, which … Read Full Post »