ABC Blog

How To Get Rid Of Springtails: Handling A Springtail Infestation

how to get rid of springtails

When hearing the word springtail for the first time, some people might be surprised to learn that this is considered a pest. Those who live in dry climates are even less likely to have heard of one before, as these small pests typically inhabit moist environments. If you have heard of these pests, however, you may already know that in the spring and summer months, when the weather is humid and moist, springtails can become quite the nuisance. Despite their incredibly small size—most species that make their way into homes range between one and two millimeters—their presence alone leaves homeowners searching for information on how to get rid of springtails.

Although these creatures do not bite, contact with some species can result in itchy, irritated skin which feels identical to many people to an insect bite. This phenomenon explains the common misconception that springtails bite people. Although springtails can’t spread disease and … Read Full Post »

What Attracts Wasps And How To Keep Them Away

What attracts wasps

If you’ve ever heard a loud buzzing noise circling around your head, chances are, you’ve seen or encountered a wasp. While our initial instinct is to swat and shoo them away, thinking the insect is planning to sting us, the first thing you should know is that most wasps are solitary, non-stinging varieties. Here’s another fact about this insect that might surprise you: there are around 30,000 identified species.

Often mistaken for a bee, a wasp is actually quite different. Their coloring can range from yellow to brown, metallic blue and bright red, with the brighter colored wasps generally belonging to the Vespidae family, or stinging wasps. Another distinct feature is the insect’s body. Wasps have a pointed lower abdomen and a narrow waist called a petiole, which separates the abdomen and thorax. Whereas bees live in colonies in the beehive, wasps instead build a nest using wood fibers that are scraped … Read Full Post »

How To Fix Water Pooling In Yard And Other Drainage Issues

How to fix water pooling in yard

Maybe you traded in your old home for a new one and didn’t notice the issue until after the first hard rain. Perhaps you took up gardening now that you have more time and the extra water you’re using seems to have led to a problem.

Whatever the reason, there are parts of your yard where water just seems to sit. You’re not quite sure why. You definitely don’t like the way it looks and also don’t like the idea of wasting water. You want to avoid having mud tracked into the house by pets or kids. Most importantly, you really don’t want your yard to become a mosquito magnet.

No one wants random, unsightly pools of water marring their yard. Here in the south, it’s an even bigger deal because our warm weather means longer mosquito seasons. Plus, when water won’t drain out of pockets in your yard, you are at a … Read Full Post »

What Is Fiesta San Antonio? All About This City Celebration

what is Fiesta San Antonio

What is Fiesta San Antonio? Fiesta is the city’s biggest annual festival to celebrate the rich culture and history of the Alamo City. More than one-fifth of Fiesta attendees come from outside of San Antonio and around three and a half million people take part in this popular celebration each year. Keep reading to learn more about Fiesta, the history behind the festival, the parades, Rey Feo and more.

History of Fiesta San Antonio

The history of Fiesta San Antonio dates back to 1891. Previously known and referred to as Fiesta San Jacinto, Fiesta San Antonio began as a flower parade. The initial idea and concept, like most parades and festivals, was meant to be a celebration. According to the Texas State Historical Association, the festival was meant to salute the heroes of the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto; it was the brainchild of Ellen Maury Slyden, the wife of then … Read Full Post »

Composting Oak Leaves: A Complete Guide

Composting oak leaves

Newcomers to Texas and other parts of the country where oaks are prevalent are surprised to learn that these stately trees lose their leaves in the spring rather than during the fall. While oaks give us wonderful shade from the intense sun, they do give us lots of other things during the year: leaves.

No matter how long you’ve had oak trees, if you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably not a huge fan of having dead leaves cover that beautiful lawn you’ve spent so much time on. Moreover, you might have heard that oak leaves are acidic and worry they will damage your grass or soil if you don’t get rid of them quickly.

In the past, you may have simply raked up the leaves and put them in bags. Is there a better solution?

In fact, there is not only a better solution, but several options. Most of them come down … Read Full Post »

Overseeding Weedy Lawn: Homeowners Take Back Their Yards

Overseeding Weedy Lawn

When you look out over your yard, does the sight you see bring you a sense of pleasure and pride, or do you cringe with embarrassment? If you’re in the latter camp due to unsightly weeds and patchy, lifeless grass, don’t despair—and don’t give up! Your yard doesn’t have to be the neighborhood eyesore, and you don’t have to declare your neglected lawn a total loss.

Depending on the severity of your situation, it’s possible that you’ll need to re-sod the entire area, but a far easier fix might work just as well. The simple yet highly effective key lies in overseeding weedy lawns to reclaim the lush, green, beautiful grass that all homeowners desire.

Let’s find out how just a bit of time, care and know-how will help you resuscitate your ailing lawn into a thing of emerald, weed-free beauty.

Overseed: Definition And Benefits

The term “overseed” may sound technical and even … Read Full Post »

Can Fleas Live on Clothes? Keeping Fleas from Spreading

can fleas live on clothes

Can fleas live on clothes? The easy way to answer the question is no, but that’s a question that pops into many homeowners’ heads, especially when they have a pet with fur that’s become infested with these tiny parasites. Fleas are irritating pests, to be sure: Their itchy bites can cause serious health issues in animals, including dermatitis and anemia. These tiny bugs can even carry infectious diseases that affect humans, such as the plague.

No wonder finding a flea on your skin can make you shudder! You might wonder whether your clothes or your bedding might be infested, or perhaps simply whether you can spread fleas through clothes. Another common question is, can fleas live in your bed or your carpet? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you keep fleas from moving from one part of your property to another? Let’s find out more about these tiny creatures that can … Read Full Post »

Cigarette Beetle In Bedroom: Punchline Or Pest Problem?

Cigarette Beetle in Bedroom

Although you may not realize it, the cigarette beetle is one of the most common pests to infiltrate our homes. Also referred to as pantry pests, these small reddish-brown shelled beetles are usually found in stored household commodities like spices and flour—items most homeowners have in their kitchen. Cigarette beetles get their name because they also feed on chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and dried tobacco leaves. While it makes sense to find these creatures in your kitchen, can you find a cigarette beetle in the bedroom?

Yes, unfortunately, this beetle can be anywhere and will feed on items we don’t even consider food, including leather, dried flowers, books and even silk. Although this pest has such a funny name, homeowners find dealing with cigarette beetles is no laughing matter. While no one wants pests in their home feeding on our spices, pasta and cereal, both the cigarette beetle and the drugstore … Read Full Post »

Galvanized Plumbing: What is It, and Why Should I Care?

Galvanized plumbing

Many homes built after World War II, but prior to the 1960s, used galvanized steel pipes for indoor plumbing. Some galvanized plumbing was still being installed as late as the 1980s. Although there are benefits to using galvanized steel, your plumbing problems may be linked to these types of pipes. Learn more about why you may need to upgrade your home’s plumbing, how long galvanized pipes last, whether these pipes contain lead and how to determine which kind of plumbing you have.

What is Galvanized Plumbing?

Lead was once the most common metal used to make pipes to transport water. By 1900, over 70 percent of larger cities used lead-based pipes in municipal drinking water systems. After increased pressure to curb lead poisoning, builders began looking for an alternative to lead pipes. By the 1960s, galvanized steel had replaced lead as the building block of choice for plumbing. 

Steel pipes are galvanized when they … Read Full Post »

How HVAC Systems Work and How to Best Maintain Them

How HVAC Systems Work

Although most of us just think of these appliances as our air conditioner or heater, it’s our HVAC system that heats and cools the air in our home, making our hot summers bearable and keeping the inside of our homes cozy during our infrequent cold snaps. We rely on these systems to keep us comfortable when we are indoors, but few of us know exactly how HVAC systems work.

The four main components of the typical HVAC system are the outside condenser, inside furnace, evaporator coil and duct system. The process of cooling your air starts with the condenser, where the refrigerant is compressed into a liquid and piped inside to the evaporator coil. Air is drawn from the home by the furnace, which blows through the evaporator coil. In the evaporator coil, the refrigerant expands into a gas and becomes very cold, absorbing the heat as it passes through, … Read Full Post »