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How To Tell if Termites Are Active

white termites in soil

While an infestation of something like cockroaches, ants, or spiders might be more apparent, knowing whether your home is housing termites can be more difficult. 

For many people, it takes uncovering damage to wood during construction or seeing a swarm to raise the issue of a termite infestation. These insects are largely silent, hard to discover, and found in every U.S. state except for Alaska, where temperatures are too low for termites to survive. Because of how widespread this pest is and the extreme damage it can cause before being discovered, termites cause more than $50 billion in property damage yearly. 

How To Tell if Termites Are Active

Termites aren’t a problem you can fix on your own. A licensed pest control professional will be able to inspect your structure and determine whether:

  • You have termites.
  • There was a previous termite issue that is no longer a threat.
  • Your home … Read Full Post »

How Much Fertilizer for My Lawn?

a handful of fertilizer

Knowing how to fertilize your lawn can seem difficult. While it’s easier than most homeowners think, it’s important to get the ratio of fertilizer correct. If you apply too much fertilizer, it will burn your grass and kill your roots. Then, you’ll have to start over from the beginning with grass seedlings. But applying too little fertilizer means your lawn will not get the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

The good news is that there’s an easy formula to determine exactly how much fertilizer you need on your lawn. Working with a lawn care specialist will ensure you never use too little or too much.

After you apply fertilizer, you should stay off your grass for a day or two to give the nutrients a chance to sink into the soil. Walking or running on the lawn too soon can damage the grass and disrupt the fertilization process.

How Much Fertilizer for … Read Full Post »

How To Flush a Water Heater

a water heater

Hot water at home is a luxury. There’s no better feeling than having a steaming hot shower after a long day. But, did you know you have to take care of your water heater to keep enjoying the comfort and relaxation that hot water brings?

Water heaters are one of the most overlooked appliances for many homeowners. Homeowners often tend to forget to clean them. If you haven’t given yours any TLC in a while, here’s a guide on how to flush a water heater. With regular upkeep, you can keep it running smoothly for years.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Flushing Your Water Heater

If you haven’t flushed your water heater in a long time, or have never done it, expect a lot of sediment buildup. To prevent any long-term damage and keep your water heater running efficiently, experts recommend cleaning it or getting it cleaned by a professional at least once a … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Thermostat Flashing Cool On?

a thermostat on a wall

Air conditioners have one job—to give you cool air so you can stay comfortable. While that may sound straightforward, there’s a complex system inside each unit, and various things can go wrong. Sometimes, the thermostat can act up, too.

A thermostat flashing “cool on” is a typical problem homeowners face. Here’s an in-depth guide to help you troubleshoot your AC and thermostat issues. But remember that the best solution is to call an AC professional who can do the job effectively.

What To Do When Your Thermostat Is Flashing “Cool On”

Why is your thermostat flashing “cool on”? This operation mode means your AC is starting to do its job. It’s a safety delaying measure that lets the AC system prepare. It also protects the compressor and prevents the unit from short cycling.

The flashing is usually nothing to worry about unless it keeps going after several minutes. If that’s the case, there might … Read Full Post »

How Do I Keep My Air Conditioning From Freezing Up?

A house's kitchen

You might not think your AC can freeze when it’s hot outside. But, it’s a more common problem than you think and can happen even on the hottest days. The best way to prevent it is to maintain your AC unit well. If your AC is already freezing up, there are ways to troubleshoot the problem. The best solution is to contact an AC specialist who can have your unit running smoothly again.

What Causes Air Conditioners to Freeze Up and How to Prevent It

Before answering the question, “How do I keep my air conditioning from freezing up?” it’s helpful to know more about how ACs function. They work by expanding the refrigerant in the evaporator coil, cooling down the air that passes through and releasing cold air into your home. It also removes the hot and humid air, helping you feel more comfortable. But if there’s something out of order … Read Full Post »

How To Fix Patchy Grass

a brown patch of grass

There’s nothing quite like warm weather. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of the sprinklers and enjoying time outside in your yard.

It can be disheartening when you see a patchy area or a couple of spots close to the house where the grass just isn’t green and healthy.

It may save you some time to know that simply watering bare or brown patches won’t help. If watering were the only problem, you wouldn’t see irregular patches. Instead, you would notice some pattern related to your sprinkler system. Barren and brown patches indicate something else is happening in your lawn.

Fixing bare patches in your lawn can be simple once you’ve figured out the root cause of why the patches are present.

What Causes Patches of Dead Grass?

There are many reasons why you may have patches of dead grass and some are easier to fix than others. Here are the reasons why … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioner Starts Then Stops After Only a Few Seconds

Nothing feels better than turning on the air conditioner on a hot and humid day. But, that joy turns into frustration when the air conditioner starts and then stops after only a few seconds. This issue is called “short cycling.” While it is a fairly common problem in AC units, it is a sign that something is wrong. It’s best to resolve it quickly before it leads to more expensive repairs.

If your AC has been short cycling, here are the most common causes and what can be done to fix your unit. In more complex cases, the smart move is to contact an HVAC professional who can address the problem.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

Thermostats help air conditioners achieve your desired room temperature. If you set it to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, the thermostat will turn the AC on and off to maintain the right temperature. But if the thermostat is malfunctioning, it can’t sense … Read Full Post »

Crazy Ants: Identification & Control Guide

a crazy ant

Do you know how to tell crazy ants apart from other ant species? Crazy ants, which are found in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia, get their name because of the way they move. Instead of following uniform lines, they run in erratic zig-zag patterns.

Crazy ants are also known for multiplying rapidly since their colonies can have multiple queen ants. They can quickly become a nuisance for homeowners because of their large swarms and reproduction rates.

A third distinction is that crazy ants do not build their own nests. Instead, they camp out in trees, debris and crevices inside homes. Since they will leave their homes at a moment’s notice, controlling them with bait is challenging. For more on crazy ant behavior, appearance, and habitat, keep reading.

There are several things homeowners can do to prevent a crazy ant infestation. However, once they have taken up residence, professional pest control is required. … Read Full Post »

Are Mosquitoes Active at Night?

a mosquito on jeans

Few things beat an evening sitting out on the porch or lounging in the backyard while the kids play in the pool. Of course, one thing that can wreck your entire evening is mosquitoes. They seem to come out of nowhere just after sunset and can be relentless.

You may have noticed that if you go inside and return later when it’s dark, the mosquitoes aren’t nearly as bad. So if you came out even later, would they be gone? Many homeowners wonder, are these pests active all night, or do mosquitoes sleep like us?

Mosquitoes are Indeed Active at Night

The short answer is yes, but that doesn’t explain why they’re such a nuisance at dusk. If you’re in the habit of walking or porch-sitting at sunrise, you’ve probably noticed they’re awful then, too.

There are many species of mosquitoes. Some, like the common house mosquito, are much more common than others. Some … Read Full Post »

Identifying a Paper Wasp Versus a Yellowjacket

A paper wasp

When the weather starts to get warmer, that means it’s time for homeowners to be diligent about wasp activity around their home. However, it’s common for homeowners to confuse wasp species, such as paper wasps and yellowjackets.

This guide will go over paper wasps versus yellowjackets regarding their appearance, behavior, diet and nesting habits.

Next, it’s helpful to understand that several types of paper wasps are common in the United States. Thankfully, there are simple ways that homeowners can learn to tell them apart.

Finally, every homeowner who has experienced a paper wasp problem wants to know how to control them. While there are some methods homeowners can try on their own, the best way to get rid of paper wasps is to contact a professional. These pests are quick to sting when they feel threatened.

Once the paper wasps are gone, there are several preventative actions that homeowners can take to keep them … Read Full Post »