ABC Blog

Do Termites Die in the Winter?

a house in winter

Termites are extremely destructive and can damage your biggest investment—your home. You may be wondering, when the weather cools down, are you still at risk of a termite infestation? Should you still be on the lookout for signs of termites or do termites die in winter?

The reality is that termites like things warm. In warmer climates, these insects will be active all year long. In places where it gets cold for at least part of the year, it is a bit of a different story. When temperatures hit about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, a termite can die within minutes. So self-preservation means that when temperatures get to around 50 degrees, termites start moving farther underground, where the soil is warmer.

One of the most common types of termite in the U.S., the subterranean termite, not only loves warmth, but also prefers wetter conditions. Just after a rain is a prime time … Read Full Post »

I Found Dead Termites On My Windowsill

dead termites on a windowsill

Spotting dead termites on your windowsill is an unpleasant experience as a homeowner, and it means you have a bigger termite problem. Why do dead termites end up on your window sill, and what does it mean for the rest of your home?

Dead termites on your windowsill are a sign that swarmer termites were trying to mate and start new colonies on your property. It also means that there may be a pre-existing colony in your home.

Along with seeing termite swarms, there are other common signs of termites in your home. It’s important for homeowners to understand the signs so that they can act quickly to control a termite infestation.

Termites can cause costly damage to your home, and one of the worst species is the Formosan termite. This article will break down how to identify these pests, how to prevent them from getting inside your home and what to do … Read Full Post »

How Does a Furnace Work?

a home with a working furnace

A furnace is one of the most important elements of any home, providing heat and comfort throughout the colder months. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the appliances in a home that homeowners don’t understand all that well.

Understanding at least the operational basics helps you understand how your heating system, and even your larger HVAC system, works. This gives you an educated head start if and when a heating situation arises.

Understanding your heating system can also help you evaluate the need for professional HVAC assistance.

How A Furnace Works 

There are many different components of a heating system that work together to heat your home. Here are the steps involved in how a furnace heats your home.

  1. Air is collected from the return register and passes through an air filter to remove particles.
  2. The furnace starts when the thermostat signals that the home has dropped below the desired temperature.
  3. The ignition starts the burner and flames … Read Full Post »

Why Do I Have Low Hot Water Pressure?

a bathroom with low hot water pressure

You go to wash dishes or take a nice, hot shower—only to realize when you turn on the water that the pressure is low. Having low hot water pressure is annoying, but it can also be a sign of a real problem that needs attention. It’s often best to resolve the issue as soon as you can. Otherwise, it could become an even bigger problem that is harder and more expensive to fix.

Before you start troubleshooting the cause of your low hot water pressure, it’s a good idea to check in with your neighbors. Is your house only affected, or are your neighbors experiencing the same thing? If the low pressure seems like a sudden problem, instead of something that has developed gradually over time, it could be something affecting the whole neighborhood.

Sometimes there is a larger-scale issue like a break in a nearby water main. Other times, the city … Read Full Post »

Furnace Fan Won’t Turn Off: What’s Wrong?

a house where the furnace fan won't turn off

Is the blower fan on your furnace running continuously? When the furnace fan won’t turn off, several different things could be causing it to keep running. It’s a good idea to address this or contact professional help quickly. A constantly running blower fan is not just a waste of electricity. It’s also a signal of a potential problem with your heating and cooling system.

Check Out the Problem

The first and simplest check is to make sure your thermostat is set to AUTO rather than ON. If it’s set to ON, change it to AUTO. This should allow the blower fan to shut off within just a few minutes.

If that doesn’t do the trick, the next possibility is that the thermostat is set to an overly high temperature. This can cause the blower fan to run continuously as the system tries hard to bring your home to the desired temperature. To rule … Read Full Post »

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

a group of mice eating cereal

Do you have a sneaking suspicion that there is a population of mice in your home even though you haven’t actually seen a mouse yet? Your fears are not unjustified.

Mice are nocturnal and are most active at night. It’s rare to see them during the day, even if you have a large mouse infestation in your home. The best way to spot a mouse problem is to notice the signs they leave behind.

Many homeowners report that they have found mouse droppings but no mouse. Droppings, loose nesting materials, a musky smell and other signs indicate that your home has a mouse infestation. You should contact a rodent control specialist as soon as you notice the signs.

The Most Common Signs of a Mouse Infestation

Mice are nocturnal animals, so they are most active between dusk and dawn. Mice do sometimes come out during the day, but it’s rare. Instead, there are other … Read Full Post »

Earwig Versus Termite: Which Pest Do I Have?

an earwig

Do you know the difference between an earwig and a termite? These two pests are often mistaken for each other, but they are extremely different in appearance and habits.

As a homeowner, it’s valuable to tell these insects apart so that you know what to do when you spot one of them in or around your home. While earwigs can become an annoyance, they do not pose the same threat to your home’s structure as termites.

If you spot termites or some signs of termites, it’s wise to contact a pest control professional. The faster you catch an infestation, the less damage it can do to your home. This guide will also break down two common signs of termites in your home: termites coming out of walls and termite tunnels on walls.

Earwig Appearance and Habits

Earwigs and termites may look similar to an untrained eye; however, they have quite a few physical distinctions. … Read Full Post »

Do Mice Carry Rabies?

a mouse

When you have a mouse infestation, it needs to be dealt with as efficiently as possible. Mice are incredibly fast breeders, so an infestation that’s not eliminated quickly is likely to grow out of control. These rodents can cause property damage and they contaminate anything they touch. This is partly because they carry bacteria and diseases that can make people sick. But, do mice carry rabies?

Mice are rarely infected with rabies, and they have not been known to transmit rabies to humans. Still, they pose a danger to people’s health in several ways. While they don’t carry rabies, they carry other harmful bacteria and diseases. These include salmonella, hantavirus, leptospirosis, typhus and plague.

When rodents crawl on your kitchen counters or chew through cereal boxes in your pantry, they are contaminating your food along with the surfaces in your home. Additionally, the pathogens in mouse urine and droppings have the potential … Read Full Post »

Can Rats See in the Dark?

a rat in darkness

When you hear rustling around the house at night, it could be a family member going into the kitchen for a midnight snack. If you hear noises in the wall, it’s an entirely different kind of hungry critter. Rats regularly scrounge for food and water at night, which has led to the popular belief that rodents can see very well in the dark. But can they really?

It is true that rats are nocturnal animals and would much rather hide away during the daylight hours than run about your home. Rats are incredibly sensitive to bright lights. It hurts their eyes. So it would make sense for them to have night vision. However, rats actually have pretty poor vision no matter how much light there is.

Most rats have adapted to living in low light and are pretty nearsighted, with the ability to only see a couple of feet in front of … Read Full Post »

Black Mice: Identification and Control Guide

a black mouse

If you’ve spotted black mice in your home or around your property, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them—fast. The good news is, there is no special trick to it. Black mice aren’t a special type of mice. If you see a black mouse, it’s probably a regular house mouse with darker fur. House mice can have fur ranging from brownish to light gray, to dark gray or nearly black in color.

Getting rid of house mice is similar to controlling other mouse populations. You have to use traps, close off their entry points and get rid of whatever is attracting them. The bad news is, mice can be very hard to control without professional help.

A big problem with mice is that they are very prolific. A single female house mouse has multiple babies at a time and multiple litters each year. This means she can have 30 or … Read Full Post »