ABC Blog

Does Mulch Attract Termites? Your Questions Answered

termites crawling through mulch

If you’ve ever dug into the mulch around your property, you’ve probably noticed that there are quite a few insects squirming around in the mulch. You may have even noticed one of the most destructive pests in the country—the termite. Upon this observation, you may start to wonder if mulch attracts termites. If so, should you remove it? Or, does finding termites in mulch serve as a warning sign that an infestation already taken place?

While termite control specialists advise against piling up mulch near the foundation of your home, it isn’t necessarily because the mulch attracts new termites from outside. What the presence of mulch against the home does do, however, is provide an environment that encourages existing termites to set up shop more permanently. In fact, any kind of organic matter near your home that remains moist can provide that necessary cover for a termite invasion.

Therefore, while mulch doesn’t … Read Full Post »

Bed Bug Feces And Other Signs Of An Infestation

Bed bug feces on white fabric

You’ve found strange black spots in your bed—dots about the size of poppy seeds, some of which might bleed like a spot of ink on the fabric of your sheets, pillows or mattress. When you go through all the possibilities, you might have wondered whether what you have seen is bed bug feces.

If you’ve noticed these tiny black spots, and especially if you also have itchy bites anywhere on your body, bed bugs are a very real possibility. Bed bugs are feared by many for good reason and, unfortunately, these tiny pests can infest even the cleanest of homes. While anyone can fall victim to a bed bug problem, they are a particular risk in the homes of people who travel a lot or who frequent garage sales and thrift shops. Traveling and acquiring second-hand furniture and other used items are two activities that could lead to inadvertently bringing home … Read Full Post »

Do Termites Eat Drywall? Your Questions Answered

Termites eating away at a wall

If you believe you have a termite infestation, you may be wondering what materials a termite will eat. One of the questions that may be running through your head is: do termites eat drywall? Termites live off a diet of cellulose, which is an organic material that can be found in all living and once-living things, including trees, plants and grass. While termites prefer a diet of the cellulose in wood, they are absolutely willing to chew through other objects that contain cellulose to fill themselves up. For example, termites can and will chew through all kinds of building materials, including soil, sheetrock and, yes, drywall.

In fact, any kind of organic material will suit a termite just fine. This is why termites cause billions of dollars of damage to homes each year. Unfortunately, few building materials are safe from termite infestations, so a colony can destroy an entire foundation with … Read Full Post »

When Should I Aerate My Lawn? Your Questions Answered

A backyard with St. Augustine grass

Homeowners that are researching how to keep their lawns lush and thriving may have the question: How and when should I aerate my lawn? Many people aren’t sure exactly what lawn aeration is, when to do it or whether it’s really necessary. If you consider the time and energy many of us spend on our grass and landscaping, aerating your yard is something that should be on your annual lawn care schedule. The best time to aerate your lawn is during your particular grass variety’s growing season, which means late spring for warm-season grasses like Bermuda and St. Augustine, or early spring or fall for cool-season grasses like ryegrass and fescue.

By aerating your lawn during its ideal growing time, you’re giving your turf a better chance to quickly grow into the holes that have been created as you provide your plants with a better pathway to sunlight, nutrients and moisture. … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Why Is My Electric Bill So High

No homeowner wants to be hit with a surprisingly large utility bill. With so many other things on your plate, it can be hard to determine exactly why your energy costs might have skyrocketed suddenly, or why your monthly costs have gotten so expensive over time. If you find yourself in the position of asking yourself: Why is my electric bill so high?, you should know that while there are actually a number of factors that could be responsible, the most likely is a problem with your heating and cooling system.

Air Conditioning Or Heating Issues

You may not realize that keeping your home at a comfortable temperature typically accounts for nearly half of your energy use for any given month. Reviewing your billing history is always a good place to start your research if you feel something is amiss. Check your current statement against the same month one year ago. In … Read Full Post »

What Is EM Heat On A Thermostat?

frozen leaves hanging from a tree

If you take a look at the thermostat that controls your home’s heating and cooling systems, you might notice a switch or button labeled “EM heat.” If you see this, your home probably has a heat pump. The first part of the phrase “EM heat” stands for emergency. The emergency heat setting on your thermostat controls your heating system’s auxiliary heat source, which can be tapped into when outside temperatures drop below a certain threshold—usually anything colder than 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that you understand the answer to the original question—What is EM heat on a thermostat?—let’s learn more about this setting and why it comes on.

When functioning properly, the heating system’s heat pump pushes warm air from inside your home to the outside during hot weather and moves heat to the inside during cold weather. When outdoor temperatures drop into the thirties, however, it can become too … Read Full Post »

Texas Weeds: Identification And Control Tips

Yellow nutsedge

Our yards are often the first impression visitors have of our home. One thing all of us can agree on: Texas weeds are a nuisance, as are these unsightly plants in any other parts of the country. Better understanding how to keep your grass free of weeks starts with knowing common weeds in the state, which are divided into three different categories: broadleaf weeds, sedges and grass-like weeds.

Broadleaf Weeds

These weeds are actually relatively simple to locate in your yard, as they don’t resemble grass and most varieties develop flowers. As their name suggests, these types of weeds have broader leaves than grass.

Common broadleaf weeds homeowners may find in their lawns across the state include:

  • Henbit: This is a winter annual weed with greenish-purple stems, purple flowers that develop in the spring and egg-shaped leaves.
  • Chickweed: Chickweed is an annual flowering plant that develops white blooms from February until September, but can bloom … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Furnace Short Cycling?

Furnace short cycling

If you turn on your furnace and discover it’s not heating your home properly, you probably realize how much you take your heater for granted. In some cases, it may seem as though your furnace shuts off just about as quickly as it turns back on. If this has ever happened to you, you probably have asked yourself: Why is my furnace short cycling?

Homeowners in this situation can usually blame one (or more of the following) culprits for this issue: a clogged air filter, a dirty flame sensor, an oversized unit or a malfunctioning thermostat.

Clogged Air Filter

When your system’s filters are caked with dust particles, pet hair, pet dander and other debris that make it into your indoor environment, this buildup restricts airflow. The warm air becomes blocked in your furnace, raising its internal temperature. This warm air sends a signal to your system to shut off.

A furnace that turns … Read Full Post »

Possum Out During The Day: Is It Rabid?

Possum During The Day

It can be somewhat shocking to look outside and notice a possum out during the day. The first question that probably pops into your mind is: “Is it rabid?” After all, many of us have heard that raccoons that are active during daylight hours are more likely to have rabies, so it would make sense for the same logic to apply to a possum, another nocturnal animal. Right?

The truth is, while rabies might cause normally nocturnal animals like raccoons and skunks to behave in strange ways, including venturing out during daylight hours, possums aren’t actually likely to contract rabies. Furthermore, possums (as well as raccoons and skunks) can be active during the day even when they are perfectly healthy. For example, it’s possible that a smaller possum out during the day is immature and has been separated from its mother or even orphaned. Or, a larger adult possum venturing out … Read Full Post »

Your Guide To Christmas Events In San Antonio For 2019

Christmas events San Antonio 2019

As the weather starts to drop (even if ever so slightly), our city begins to transform. Before you know it, your calendar will quickly be filled with holiday and Christmas events in San Antonio in 2019. As a matter of fact, the list of happenings in and around town can almost be overwhelming! There are sporting events, holiday festivals, Christmas food vendors and amusement parks—more than enough to please everyone.

While the holidays are a very special time of year, it can be hard to keep track of everything going on, especially when most of us also need to find time to put up holiday decorations and choose holiday recipes for family gatherings. Check out our picks for 2019 so that you can make some new traditions while revisiting local annual favorites which make the holidays in our area truly magical.

San Antonio Riverwalk Events

The Riverwalk is a perfect place to get … Read Full Post »