ABC Blog

What’s the Best Fall Fertilizer for Grass?

a well kept lawn

Fall is a great time to take care of your grass and prepare it for the cold winter months ahead. So, when spring rolls around, it can thrive once again. Fertilizing your lawn is an important part of fall lawn maintenance. The best fall fertilizer for your grass will contain extra potassium to help your lawn survive the cold.

Is fertilizing your lawn in the early fall really so important? In a word, yes. Applying the right fertilizer to your grass at the right time will help it strengthen and rebuild any roots that were affected by drought or heat over the summer. Fertilizing will also help kill off weeds and feed your grass the nutrients it needs leading up to winter. Furthermore, applying only as much fertilizer as your grass needs and at the right time of year will reduce the risk of fertilizer runoff that could pollute your local … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?

a white dryer that is not heating

Have you started running your clothes through the dryer multiple times? Does it seem like your dryer isn’t even heating at all? If your dryer isn’t drying clothes as well as it used to, there are a number of things that could be causing this problem.

For one, your problem might not have anything to do with the dryer. If your washer isn’t working as it should, then it might not strain enough water out of your clothes before you transfer them to the dryer. When this happens, the dryer might need to run longer to dry out these sopping wet clothes.

Fortunately, there might be some easy fixes you can try on your own to get your dryer working again.

Simple Fixes

You can run into issues if you’re trying to dry different types of items at the same time. For example, towels and clothes. Most clothing items dry quicker than towels. If … Read Full Post »

Yellow Garden Spider: Harmful or Helpful?

yellow garden spider on a web

If you’re out in the yard and you come across a big, black-and-yellow spider, chances are good that it’s a yellow garden spider. This is a very common species of arachnid that’s found across the country. But, their large size and striking appearance can make almost anyone’s heart rate speed up a little. As soon as you see one, your first question might be, is a yellow garden spider harmful or helpful?

The good news is, this spider rarely comes indoors. And, as long as you don’t pick it up and handle it, it’s very unlikely that it will bite you. Even if you are bitten by a yellow garden spider, its venom isn’t harmful to humans—but it is to other pests, including flies and mosquitoes. Since spiders help keep pest populations down, all this puts the yellow garden spider in the “helpful” category. Still, many people aren’t big spider fans—especially … Read Full Post »

Flour Bugs: Identification & Control Tips

a bowl of flour with bugs in them

There’s a wide range of bugs that you might find in the food in your pantry. They might invade food items and dried goods like flour, tea, nuts, seeds, rice, crackers, chocolate, dried fruits, spices, pasta and powdered milk. While most of these bugs won’t bite you or otherwise damage your home, they can ruin the food in your pantry. And, not to mention, they can be tough to get rid of if a population becomes established.

Sometimes, the problem can be dealt with by throwing away the infested package. However, if the infestation grows, the best way to treat these pests is to contact a professional. These pros have the experience needed to best identify what kind of pests are in your pantry. Then, they can help you understand your options for treating the infestation.

If you have found bugs in your flour, you likely have a lot of questions. But … Read Full Post »

What Is a Slab Leak?

a home with a slab leak

Many homeowners have heard the term “slab leak”. But, what does it mean and how would you know if you had one? These types of leaks can be quite a concern, as they can end up costing a pretty penny.

For starters, the term slab refers to the concrete slab that many homes are built on. If you have a slab leak, it means that there is water leaking under your home’s foundation. This can happen if you have pipes running under or through your foundation that burst or crack.

Slab leaks often happen when plumbing gets older and wears down over time. However, pipes can also break due to other factors. For example, leaks can occur if your pipes were not installed correctly or were damaged during the construction of your home. This can also happen if minerals in your water have corroded your pipes.

It’s important to detect and fix slab … Read Full Post »

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 »