ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

Your Guide To Trimming Fruit Trees

a lemon tree bearing lots of fruit

When fruit trees are well cared for, they can make a gorgeous addition to your yard. Fruit trees also bring pleasure year after year as they bear flowers followed by delicious fruits. If they aren’t cared for in the right ways and at the right times, however, they can have trouble growing fruit. They might even wind up looking scraggly and stunted after a few short years. Fortunately, trimming fruit trees is easy enough to do yourself, as long as you have the time, tools and knowledge needed to do it right.

Trimming fruit trees increases both sunlight and air flow among the tree’s strongest and healthiest branches. This extra sunlight and air flow stimulates their growth. If you’ve planted a young fruit tree, expect to trim pretty aggressively for several years to stimulate growth. Don’t expect the tree to bear fruit for the first few years. Just concentrate on trimming … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Fleas on Your Mattress

dogs laying on a bed which led to fleas on the mattress

Waking up in the morning with itchy bites on your skin is no fun. Not only are you uncomfortable from all the itching, but you’re also now aware that you have a pest problem to deal with. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to get rid of fleas on your mattress so you can sleep comfortably once again.

First, of course, it’s a good idea to determine whether you’re dealing with fleas or some other type of pest. After all, there are other types of pests that can cause itchy bites, like mosquitoes or bed bugs. Both flea bites and mosquito bites might happen at any time of day or night, and both leave itchy red welts that soon fade and get less itchy for most people. Bed bugs, on the other hand, typically venture out only in darkness to bite people while they sleep. Also, most people find bed … Read Full Post »

Types of Mosquitoes in Oklahoma

a group of mosquitoes in oklahoma

It might surprise you to learn there are sixty different types of mosquitoes active in Oklahoma. Fortunately, most people won’t have to deal with all or even most of them. But, the bad news is, there are several types of mosquitoes in Oklahoma that most people will have to deal with at some point.

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying, though they are definitely that. Their itchy bites can ruin a fun backyard get-together, and if you’re one of those people who are especially sensitive to mosquito bites, you could be scratching and miserable for days. Worse yet, these pests are capable of transmitting serious illnesses to us and our furry friends.

Also, you can’t always get a break from mosquitoes by going inside. They can slip through an open door with you when you head back into the house to escape them. If you have plants growing in planters inside your home or … 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 »

Blinking Red Light on AC Unit Thermostat: What’s Going On?

the living room of a home where they just discovered a blinking red light on the ac unit

Any time you see a blinking red light in your home it can be stressful. Blinking red lights are often a sign that something is going wrong. If you see this kind of light on your AC unit thermostat, it might not mean that there’s a major problem. The most likely reason that this red light has started blinking is that your outdoor AC unit has shut off. This can happen even if your indoor unit is still running, and some simple issues might be the culprit.

For example, your outdoor AC unit might not be getting the power it needs to run. This can happen if a circuit breaker has tripped or if a fuse blows. If either of these things are the problem, then you should be able to get your outdoor unit working. Simply flip the breaker back to “on” or contact a professional to replace the blown … Read Full Post »

What Is My Pool’s Evaporation Rate?

a pool with low water levels which leads a homeowner to wonder what their pool evaporation rate is

Pools generally lose about a quarter of an inch of water every day due to evaporation. That said, the evaporation rate depends on several circumstances in your local environment. This means that even under typical conditions, your pool could lose thousands of gallons of water each year from evaporation.

The easiest thing to do is check an evaporation rate map for your area, such as the one made by the National Weather Service. However, if you want to estimate the specific evaporation rate in your pool, you can also measure it.

Using a tape measure or ruler, measure the distance between the surface of your pool water and the top of the pool deck. Wait a week to let the water evaporate and then measure this same distance between the water and pool deck again.

Subtract the first measurement from this second measurement to get a value for how much the water level … Read Full Post »

Where Do Mosquitoes Come From?

a group of mosquitoes flying in a homeowners yard which makes them wonder where mosquitoes come from

There are over 3,500 kinds of mosquitoes, and they can be found in almost every country in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are nearly 200 different types of mosquitoes, many of which came to the country aboard ships over the past several hundred years.

For example, it’s believed that the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito came to the U.S. on trading ships in the late 1400s and early 1500s. More recently, some types of mosquitoes have traveled to the U.S. on ships coming from the Caribbean. Another species—the Aedes albopictus—came to the country from Asia in the 1980s through a ship carrying tires.

This can be of particular concern due to the diseases mosquitoes transmit. Some of these pests carry diseases like the Zika virus, the West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever that can make humans sick or even fatally ill.

Of the nearly 200 types of mosquitoes in … Read Full Post »

My Fridge Isn’t Cold but the Freezer Is

a stainless steel fridge in a white kitchen

It is so frustrating and confusing when your freezer is working, but your fridge won’t get cold. How is this even possible? Well, a few different things might lead to this stressful situation.

Some of the simpler issues that might be causing this problem are things that can happen in any household. For example, if someone left the refrigerator door open. This can cause the vent between the freezer and fridge to freeze over. If this happens, you can take your food out of your fridge and freezer, unplug the unit overnight and then plug it back in. If the door being open was what was keeping your fridge from cooling, then this process should fix your issue.

Something else that might be causing the issue is overloading. Putting too much in your fridge can block the vents and keep the cool air from circulating as it should. It’s pretty rare for … 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 »

Flea Infestation in My Yard: What Can I Do?

a german shepherd mix in a flea infested yard

There’s not much that’s worse than spending time outdoors in your yard, only to be bothered by the tiny tickle of fleas jumping onto your feet and ankles. Then, there are those itchy bites they leave behind. If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your yard, it’s time to take action, because it will only get worse if left untreated. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and they can live a long time if conditions are right. A flea infestation in the yard can be tough to get rid of without the help of a pest professional.

When fleas infest a yard, they are probably first introduced by wild animals like squirrels, possums or raccoons that spend time in your yard. This can also happen if a wild animal with fleas dies in your yard. When fleas lose the animal host they were living and feeding … Read Full Post »