ABC Blog

How Fast Do Bed Bugs Multiply?

two adult bed bugs next to a bed bug egg

If you have found a bed bug or you’re experiencing the signs of a bed bug problem, you likely have plenty of questions. Like, how fast do bed bugs multiply? The good news is that they don’t reproduce as quickly as some other pests do. Bed bugs only lay one or two eggs a day. The bad news is that it can be difficult to catch a bed bug problem early. And, once a bed bug infestation is established, it is incredibly hard to get rid of.

Bed bugs are tiny and excellent at hiding. Lots of times, when bed bugs reproduce, they do so in unexpected places—not just in a bed or mattress, as their name suggests. These pests may nest behind baseboards, hanging picture frames or loose wallpaper. They might hide and nest in drawers, between cushions or floorboards, or even in tiny cracks in walls.

So, how can you confirm … Read Full Post »

My Fridge Is Making a Loud Noise: What’s Wrong?

a fridge making a loud noise

When there are loud sounds coming from your refrigerator, your pulse probably starts to quicken. Not only is a fridge making loud noises a distraction, but it’s also concerning, since it could be a sign that something might be wrong. When this is happening, it’s usually best to contact an appliance repair specialist. These pros are best-equipped to troubleshoot these issues and make any needed repairs. That said, there are some simpler issues that homeowners can check on their own while help is on the way.

The problem could be coming from the condenser, which needs to be cleaned regularly, because it collects dirt, pet hair and debris. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple do-it-yourself task. To clean the condenser, first, you’ll need to unplug the fridge. Then, take the back panel off, clear any debris that you find and put the panel back in place. For most households, it’s best … Read Full Post »

Bermuda Grass Calendar for Texas Lawns

a homeowner following the bermuda grass calendar for texas lawns by mowing the lawn

Bermuda grass is a popular choice for Texas lawns, and there are several reasons why. First, bermuda grass is a warm season grass that does well in both heat and drought conditions. It’s also hardy, meaning it can take a lot of foot traffic without wearing down. Bermuda grass can grow quickly and thrive from either seed or sod, and it grows well in shallow or deep soil, which makes it versatile.

That said, there is still general maintenance homeowners can do to ensure bermuda grass grows healthy and strong. Follow this bermuda grass calendar in Texas if you want your lawn to look great, even in our extreme temperatures and sometimes under dry and humid conditions.

Mowing 

As your grass starts to come out of its dormant phase in March, you can start mowing. Mow the lawn at a 1 to 2-inch height weekly, or as frequently as needed as long as … Read Full Post »

GFCI Outlet Is Not Working: What Happened?

A red light coming from the outlet which indicates the GFCI outlet is not working

It’s frustrating when you plug something into an outlet and it doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s a small issue that homeowners can easily fix. In other cases, it could also mean you have a bigger problem.

There are a few reasons why GFCI outlets stop working. The outlet might have tripped, there may be a poor electrical connection, the outlet may be defective or the outlet has failed. It’s typically best to contact a licensed electrician to troubleshoot these types of problems. That said, there are some basic steps you might take to try to find out why your outlet isn’t working.

The first step you can take is to check to see if the outlet has tripped. “Tripping” is a built-in safety feature to protect homeowners from electrocution. Each GFCI outlet has a reset and a test button on it. If the reset button has popped out, press the button … Read Full Post »

What Do Mouse Droppings Look Like?

Mouse droppings in a bathroom cabinet

If you spot small, dark-brown pellets in a corner of your garage or in the back of a kitchen cabinet, you may wonder if you’ve found evidence of a rodent infestation. As your blood pressure starts to rise, a series of questions may begin to cycle through your head, including: What do mouse droppings look like? How are they different from rat droppings? How similar are they to cockroach feces? And, perhaps most importantly: What should I do next if I determine that I have mice living in and around my home?

Rats and mice look similar to each other, and so it stands to reason that are similarities between their droppings as well. But there are also marked differences between these two rodents and the waste materials they leave behind. If you do find signs of either rats or mice—or both—you’ll want to take action, as you do not want … Read Full Post »

There’s a Raccoon in My Attic: What Can I Do?

A raccoon sitting on a homeowner's roof

Are you hearing something going thump in the night? If so, this might mean a raccoon family is living rent-free in your attic or crawl space. Some of the first signs that you might have raccoons in your home include the sounds of an animal moving around in the attic or chimney.

Other ways homeowners often find out these animals have moved in include visible indications, such as pawprints or damage to their house’s shingles, electrical wiring or insulation. They might also notice an accumulation of nesting materials inside the house, a destroyed garden or debris around their property, such as dead birds, feces or scattered trash.

If you spot possible signs of a problem, some ways to check whether you have raccoons on your property instead of another pest include looking at the pawprints and scat the animal left behind. Raccoons leave hand-like prints with their five-fingered paws, and their droppings … Read Full Post »

Why Clogged Drains From Washing Machines Occur

A front-load washing machine filled to the brim with clothes

It’s frustrating to put a load of laundry in the washer and press start, only to wind up a half-hour later with a machine full of wet clothes and dirty water that won’t drain. When this happens, it’s most likely because your washing machine drain has a blockage that needs to be cleared before the water can properly exit the machine. The most common reason for a clogged drain from washing machine is an issue with the filter.

Appliance repair specialists find all sorts of items—most commonly, socks, underwear and baby clothes—that have gotten stuck in washing machine filters during the wash or spin cycle. This happens because it’s easy for small items to slip through, block the filter and prevent the washer from draining properly. If your washer isn’t a front-load type of washing machine, however, the problem is likely due to something else, as only front-loading machines are equipped … Read Full Post »

How to Paint Trim Without Tape and Other Tips

a homeowner wearing red and yellow painting gloves with a paintbrush in hand getting ready to paint trim without tape

Updating a room with a new coat of paint is an inexpensive and relatively easy way to redecorate the whole house. Painting is a great home project—with just a roller, a can or two of paint and a few hours of your time, you can freshen up your space. But many people decide to forego painting the trim, since it seems like more of a detailed project requiring lots of precision and attention to detail. The mere idea of taping it all off is enough to turn some people off! The good news is, it’s actually fairly simple to learn how to paint trim without tape and make it look great. All you need is a few simple tips and tricks to make sure you’re doing the job right. If it turns out to be too big of a job, you can call in a professional to ensure that it … Read Full Post »

Why Do I Have Yellow Spots in My Grass?

A lawn that has brown patch, which is a common cause of yellow spots in grass

After putting lots of hard work into taking care of your lawn and creating a lawn care schedule, you’re frustrated to see that all that effort was for nothing. There are unsightly yellow spots in your grass and you’re unsure of what went wrong and what you can do to fix it.

There are several reasons why you might have yellow spots in your grass, including certain fungal diseases that various types of grass can be prone to, as well as pest infestations like grub worms and chinch bugs that can cause patches of discoloration. If you have pets, particularly dogs, their urine can also cause yellow spots in grass, especially if they typically “do their business” in one area. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in each of these cases to mitigate the discoloration and help return your grass to a thick, green state.

Pet Urine

One of the most common … Read Full Post »

How to Clean Gutters From the Ground

A light blue and brick one story home

Cleaning your gutters is a necessary task, but it’s not something the average homeowner is excited to do. From handling dirt and debris to making sure you are using your ladder safely, the whole process can easily turn into a lot more than you bargained for. If you clean your gutters yourself, it can be tempting to put it off for quite some time.

However, it’s possible to simplify gutter cleaning at least a little. Specifically, it’s not always necessary to climb a ladder to clean your gutters, particularly if you recently had gutters installed or do keep up with regular cleaning. In fact, you may be able to remain on the ground the whole time if you have the right equipment. You have a few options for cleaning the gutters from the ground, depending on what tools you already have or are willing to rent or purchase.

Use Your Hose

The first … Read Full Post »