ABC Blog

Please choose a city to view local blog posts:

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 »

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

bed bug bites on a leg

We all know that insects outdoors can sting or bite, leaving marks on people’s skin. However, that isn’t the only place you might come across biting bugs. Some of them thrive in and prefer life indoors as well, especially in bed linens and other clothing.

Bed bugs can get at any part of your body. That said, their bites are generally found on the neck, face, hands, arms, legs and shoulders, places where skin may be exposed while asleep. These bites generally show up in clusters of three to five or more and form a sort of zigzag pattern on the body. If you wake up to find little red bumps that weren’t there when you went to bed, your best bet is to call in a licensed pest control professional. They can determine what has invaded your space and get rid of them the best way possible.

Another tricky thing about … Read Full Post »

My Fridge Is Leaking Water: What’s Wrong?

water on hardwood floor from a fridge leaking water

When you find your fridge leaking water, don’t ignore it. Beyond the simple annoyance of the mess on your floor, a leak is a sign of a problem with your refrigerator that needs attention. The leak could also damage your floors, cabinets and baseboards, which can be very expensive to fix.

Fortunately, there aren’t many different causes of a leaking fridge. Many common reasons why fridges leak are actually relatively simple and inexpensive fixes.

Leaky or Frozen Water Supply Line

One of the most common causes of a refrigerator leak is a leaky or frozen water supply line. If this is the issue, you may also notice other symptoms besides the leak. The fridge’s water dispenser may not work right, or the ice trays might not fill completely.

If you pull the fridge out from the wall, you’ll see the plastic hose running between the refrigerator and the wall. This is … Read Full Post »

Types of Christmas Lights

christmas lights on a house

Christmas is a time for cheer and togetherness. A time for friends and families to spend time together and enjoy the warmth of the season. A big part of that warmth is the beautiful glow of Christmas lights. If you are looking to have your own display this holiday season, you should know what’s out there.

Mini String Lights

This type of bulb is the type you probably think of when you think of Christmas lights. They offer a couple of benefits over other types. The bulbs are generally the least expensive of all choices, easier to find and offer a brighter glow. On the downside, the mini string lights use more electricity, have a shorter lifespan and pose a larger threat of starting a fire. This type of bulb can also burst when temperatures drop below freezing.

LED Lights

Gaining traction on the mini lights are strings that feature LED lights. You can … Read Full Post »

What Is Lawn Aeration?

a lawn that has been partially aerated

Lawn care includes a list of maintenance tasks, some performed as needed, others monthly and still others every year. One of these annual jobs to get your yard in the best shape possible is aeration.

By definition, aeration is the introduction of air into a material. In this case, the material is the dirt in your lawn. Most lawns could use a good aeration regularly as long as it is done at the right time and in the right way.

Why Aerate Your Lawn?

Over time, the dirt in your yard will pack down due to people walking on it, mowers driving over it and other activities. When the dirt becomes packed down, grass roots can’t get what they need to grow. Even one-quarter of an inch of compacted dirt will block the air, nutrients and water necessary for your grass to be its healthiest.

The situation is even more of an issue if … Read Full Post »

My Garbage Disposal Is Spinning but Not Draining

a garbage disposal that is spinning but not draining

A garbage disposal is one of the most valuable conveniences in the modern kitchen. Mounted below the sink drain, the garbage disposal uses several blades that spin like propellers to grind solid food waste into bits. These small bits are washed away through a grey-water plumbing system.

The garbage disposal reduces waste odors and makes kitchen clean-up significantly quicker and easier.

Until it stops working, that is.

There are a number of reasons that a disposal might stop working. Luckily, most have simple fixes that a homeowner can troubleshoot themselves. More severe issues may require the help of a licensed professional, who can do so quickly and with minimal disturbance.

A garbage disposal that has stopped working will often prevent your sink from draining. And, unground matter in the unit can clog your system until it has been cleared.

Sometimes a garbage disposal will sound like it’s working properly (you can hear the blades spinning). … Read Full Post »

Why Does My AC Smell Like Vinegar?

air that smells like vinegar blowing through a home

Is there anything better than the fresh cool breeze of an air conditioner on a sweltering summer day? No way.

However, if your AC smells like rotten eggs or vinegar, that pleasant respite from the heat is going to sour. Air conditioners that emit an unpleasant smell are not only a buzzkill to your refreshment and comfort, they are also warning signs of serious functional issues and potentially expensive breakdowns.

In short, that bad smell is your AC’s way of letting you know that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. An off-putting vinegar odor is most typically caused by a build-up of bacteria or mold in your AC system. This can continue to grow and spread throughout your home.

The good news is that this is a fairly common issue and there are some tried-and-true methods to resolve it.

The first step in dealing with a sour-smelling air conditioner is to determine … Read Full Post »

The Best Christmas Lights in Dallas

Looking for the best holiday lights in Dallas? When the holiday season comes around, one of the best ways to enjoy quality time with your loved ones is to take in spectacular displays of twinkling lights. There’s just something about all that sparkly illumination that brings good cheer and inspires a sense of holiday magic.

Planning ahead is crucial if you want to take in the more popular Dallas holiday lights events. This is true for free events as well as ticketed events. A bit of planning goes a long way when it comes to enjoying a fun experience that is as hassle-free as possible.

Here are the best spots in Dallas for taking in holiday lights, from free neighborhood displays to elaborate ticketed events.

  • Holiday at the Arboretum: Anyone who loves the Christmas carol The 12 Days of Christmas should plan a visit to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Cicada Killer Wasps in Texas

a cicada killer wasp in texas

Cicada killer wasps rarely harm humans, but they can still make people worried due to their large size. They can also cause annoyances to Texas homeowners when they burrow into the ground to build their underground tunnels, leaving a wake of dirt behind them.

Gardens, lawns and even patios are at risk of damage when cicada killer wasps are around. Their tunnels also draw larger pests, like skunks, to your property.

Even though female cicada killers largely ignore humans and males do not have stingers, there is still the possibility of getting stung if the female wasp feels threatened. While their stings are mild, they can hurt your pets.

The first step to getting rid of these pests is to know how to detect them by their appearance and behaviors. It’s also important to be able to tell them apart from more harmful stinging bugs like hornets.

A few cicada killer wasps on your … Read Full Post »

Does Bleach Kill Roaches?

Many of us have been through this scenario: You walk into the kitchen or bathroom after dark and flip on the light only to see a roach skitter across the wall or countertop. After a shudder or two, you make an action plan, trying to figure out how to rid your home of these seemingly indestructible insects.

A quick online search turns up a ton of “surefire” solutions, from hosing your home down in chemicals to using pantry items like vinegar to do the job. The problem with chemicals is the lingering fumes and the danger they and the chemicals themselves pose to people and pets. And, distilled vinegar and other household items just don’t work.

One common liquid that gets a lot of online attention in the battle with roaches is bleach. So, can bleach kill roaches? Technically, it COULD. But the methods to do that are pretty inefficient and time-consuming.

Bleach’s … Read Full Post »