ABC Blog

When To Stop Feeding Hummingbirds For The Year

When to stop feeding hummingbirds

If you are like many homeowners, you love hummingbirds. Watching them flitter and flutter around your yard is captivating. Seeing them hover in place as they enjoy the nectar you’ve left out for them is even better. Their speed and size and almost unnatural presence are awe-inspiring.

So, when your neighbor told you that you were stopping them from migrating by leaving out your feeders in the fall, your first instinct was to rush out and take them down. After all, you don’t want to do anything that could possibly harm these beautiful creatures.

Luckily, you decided to do some research first. Smart move on your part.

Why?

Because what your neighbor told you is a myth, and it’s one that lawn technicians hear all the time.

Leaving feeders out does not stop migration. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you leave a hummingbird feeder out while these birds are migrating, you’re actually providing these … Read Full Post »

Best Christmas Lights Houston, 2018 Edition

Every year, it seems as if Back to School kicks off a long, fast slide through autumn and the holiday season, and before we know it, we are into the new year. Starting in early fall, the calendar starts filling up and the excitement of the holiday season builds.  Whether you’ll be spending the holidays with beloved family and friends or on your own, there’s something for every Houstonian to make the season merry and bright. Cue the holiday music and prepare for all the twinkling, sparkling holiday lights displays. Whether you’re into full-scale, over-the-top events or smaller, DIY neighborhood displays, we’ve got you covered. Use our guide to plan your Christmas lights Houston 2018 holiday tour now, so you’ll be sure to experience maximum holiday cheer this season!

Houston Christmas Lights Tours

When it comes to Houston Christmas lights tours, you have several options. One fun way to take the guesswork … Read Full Post »

Cyanuric Acid: Is That What’s Missing From Your Pool?

Cyanuric Acid

To save a little money, you decided to go the DIY route with your pool. You did the cleaning. You handled the maintenance issues. You mixed in the chlorine and other chemicals to keep the pool pristine.

At first, it seemed to work pretty well. The kids had lots of fun, and you got to enjoy not paying for a service, putting a small chunk of change back into your pocket. Not too bad.

After a little time passed, though, you noticed that you were starting to get some algae growth. Later, you discovered that the pool was kind of green and cloudy. Then, after a bunch of kids came over and swam for the afternoon, several of them got sick—including yours.

What was going on? Weren’t the pool chemicals supposed to be stopping those kinds of things from happening?

They are, provided that you make sure you’re using the right chemicals in the … Read Full Post »

Can Fleas Fly? How To Handle An Infestation

Can fleas fly

Do you live with a furry pet? If so, whether you have a dog, cat, ferret, guinea pig or something else, there’s a possibility that you are also living with fleas. This is true even if you are meticulous about cleaning your home and bathing your pet. Furthermore, the risk of a flea infestation increases if your pet spends time both indoors and outdoors.

Unfortunately, it’s also possible to have a flea infestation in your home even if you don’t have pets. If squirrels, rats or other rodents make a nest or get trapped inside your attic or walls, they can carry fleas that travel into your living spaces in search of a human blood meal.

A flea infestation is a highly undesirable situation. Not only are flea bites itchy and annoying at best, these tiny parasites can also cause health problems in dogs and other animals such as anemia, hair … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live In A Plastic Bag?

How long do bed bugs live in a plastic bag

Love to travel? Many of us do—until a chance encounter with dreaded bed bugs leaves us wishing we’d never set foot outside our homes. “Dread” is not too strong a word when it comes to these pests, which are the bane of travelers and hoteliers alike. Travel isn’t the only way these pests can come into your home.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they infest a sleeping area, or any other part of your home, for that matter. If you’ve ever encountered them and suffered their incredibly itchy bites, you may have taken a DIY approach to handle the problem. You may have read that bagging your luggage, linens or clothing and leaving it in the hot sun is an effective do-it-yourself technique. But how long do bed bugs live in a plastic bag?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is that it depends. Bed … Read Full Post »

Mold In Air Vents: Harmful, Or Nothing To Worry About?

Mold in air vents harmful

Your eyes are itchy and watery. You’re sneezing and coughing. You might expect these symptoms when you walk outside or play with your dogs, especially during the times of year that seasonal allergies are a problem.

What if this starts happening inside your own home?

If you’re noticing nose stuffiness, wheezing or throat irritation whenever you’re indoors at your house, the problem could be hiding in your air vents. You might be dealing with black mold.

You can usually spot mold on the walls, floors, ceilings and fabrics around your home. But sometimes, harmful mold lurks in a place you can’t see: inside your air vents.

If you suspect you may have black mold hiding in your air vents, you’ll need to take action to determine what your problem is and take steps to make sure your family is not at risk. This comprehensive guide will help you understand symptoms, solutions and … Read Full Post »

How To Remove Calcium Deposits From Pool

How to remove calcium deposits from pool plaster

You do what you can to keep your pool clean and well-maintained. You skim for leaves, bugs and other debris. You sweep. Even when you are not sure you need to, you vacuum.

Compared to some of your neighbors, you feel like a responsible pool owner.

One day, you notice that the plaster seems to be discolored right around the water line. What’s going on?

If this has happened to you, you are absolutely not alone. This is one of the more common questions pool owners have, along with another frequent query: Why is my pool green? Most likely, if you notice stains along your waterline, you’re dealing with a calcium deposit. Unfortunately, calcium deposits tend to be incredibly difficult to clean.

What exactly are calcium deposits and what can you do to remove them?

Understanding Calcium Deposits And Why They Occur

How–and why–does a pool develop calcium deposits?

There are a few reasons you may start … Read Full Post »

Texas Landscaping Plants: Landscape Designer Picks

Texas landscaping plants

Depending on the source, Texas has either four, five or even seven geographical regions, each with its own distinct features and climatic conditions. Whatever the number, we can all agree that different areas of the state are host to varying plant species based on unique patterns of hot and cold weather, seasonal rainfall and other factors, all of which affect the types of Texas landscaping plants that gardeners can choose from to elevate the aesthetic of your outdoor spaces.

Soil composition also varies from one region of Texas to another. Many portions of the state feature rocky or sandy soil, which won’t support certain popular varieties of plants and trees without much careful intervention on the part of the gardener. Converting dry, well-draining soil into something that will support plants not well suited for the region involves complicated and expensive processes of soil building, heavy watering and more.

Instead of fighting against … Read Full Post »

The Most Comfortable Pool Temperature For Your Swimmers

Comfortable pool temperature

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. Having your own swimming pool gives you a natural gathering place for friends and family, a perfect spot to relax and unwind and a nice return on investment if and when you decide to sell your home. 

Being a pool owner also means learning all about what makes for an ideal swim. If you are a new pool owner, or simply hadn’t given the matter much thought, you might not know what the most comfortable pool temperature is for your guests. In this post, we will explore what the experts consider the ideal temperatures for your pool, along with what the minimum swimming pool temperature is, what unheated pool temperatures hover around, what the ideal swimming pool temperature is for seniors and what the ideal outdoor pool temperature year round is. Ready to dive in (pun … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Termites Swarm? Protecting Your Home

how long do termites swarm

Termite swarms are a fast-paced phenomenon: One minute, there are no visible termites present. The next minute, several of these winged insects have emerged from their nest and are beginning to fly or crawl around. Within just another minute or so, hundreds or even thousands of termites are swarming out of their colony, ready to propagate their species.

An hour later, the termites are gone once again, receded back to their home within the walls of your house or inside a rotten log outdoors. But how long do termites swarm, and how can you defend your property against these invaders, which are blamed for damage that costs U.S. homeowners over $1 billion each year to mitigate?

The term “termite swarm” refers to the phenomenon within a termite colony when, each spring, reproductive termites leave the warmth and darkness of their nest and come out into the open air by the thousands in … Read Full Post »