ABC Blog

One of Dallas’s Most Unwanted House Guests: The Scorpion

Scorpions are one of the most fearsome pests in Texas. These venomous arachnids crawl around homes under the cover of night and pose a serious threat when disturbed. Texas is home to 18 scorpion species, but only one is found in the Dallas area. Fortunately, none of these scorpions are known to cause fatal stings. The most common species in Texas and the only species in Dallas is the striped bark scorpion, which has two striped bands running down its back. These scorpions only measure 2 inches long, but their venom is packed with neurotoxins that cause intense pain and swelling.

Scorpions at Night

Closely related to ticks and spiders, scorpions have evolved to withstand desert-like conditions. To conserve moisture and regulate their temperatures, scorpions hide in dark places during the day and prowl for food at night. Because scorpions are nocturnal, infestations often go unnoticed. One of the best ways to … Read Full Post »

Home Invaders: Which Species of Roaches Infest the Indoors?

The hot, humid environment in Texas provides an ideal breeding ground for many insect species, including one of the most hated pests, the cockroach. Several roach species live primarily outdoors and go unnoticed due to their nocturnal habits, but some of these creepy insects enter the home and establish populations within walls or other dark hiding spots. Pest control in Houston is important for residents to eliminate and control these bugs that harbor inside buildings.

Common Roach Species in Houston

German cockroaches are the small species that cause the most problems indoors. Due to their ability to eat anything, hide in tiny crevices and breed at a rapid rate, Houston pest control companies utilize several tactics to eliminate these insects. German roaches live exclusively indoors while contributing to germ distribution, allergies and asthma. American cockroaches are startling when spotted because of their large size. Living both inside homes and outdoors, they are … Read Full Post »

Tackling Plumbing Fixtures During Bathroom Remodeling

Many Austin homeowners will remodel their bathrooms this year. While there is a wealth of information on the Internet about DIY projects, it is important to remember that not all resources offer good information. Homeowners should limit themselves to cosmetic projects and avoid major plumbing tasks. When it comes to actual plumbing procedures, it is important to contact a professional plumber. There are several good reasons for this.

Some Plumbing Projects May Require Permits

In nearly every city, there are special codes for plumbing projects. For example, Austin has special requirements for water heater placement and toilet water consumption. Violations of local plumbing codes may make it very difficult for homeowners to resell their properties in the future. Most homeowners will be required to hire a professional to fix the problem, which will cost even more money. In some cases, violations may result in fines if they cause damage to city property … Read Full Post »

Enhancing Your Home with a Natural Gas Fireplace

There is something about curling up next to a fireplace that induces instant relaxation. However, why should you limit your leisure time to the cold winter months? With a gas fireplace, you can enjoy the cozy ambiance of a real fireplace during any season. A gas fireplace can be installed during a home remodel and does not require your home to have any special equipment. Because a gas fireplace is self-contained, it can be installed in virtually any room of the house.

Gas fireplaces are fire-safe boxes that contain a gas burner and imitation logs. They can be turned on and off by flipping a switch. Gas fireplaces don’t burn wood, so they don’t result in a mound of ashes. Although the logs don’t need to be replaced, a gas tank must be connected to the fireplace for it to operate. Gas fireplaces are more eco-friendly than their wood-burning counterparts because … Read Full Post »

Do I Have Hard Water?

Have you ever turned on your shower and watched as the water barely trickled out of the shower head? Maybe you’ve noticed those hot relaxing showers don’t seem to last as long before you are bombarded by cold water. More often than not, this is due to hard water. High amounts of dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, are what classify hard water. If not treated, your hard water can cause calcium and magnesium buildup in pipes, your dishwasher interior, heating elements, sink tap and hot water cylinders.

So how do you know if you have hard water? Looking for build up in your faucets, shower heads and dishwasher can get you on the right track. You can also keep an eye on the dishes coming out of your dishwasher as hard water causes spotting. Soap has a hard time lathering well and hard water can cause your laundry to look … Read Full Post »

Got Opossum Problems? Don’t Wait to Take Action

It can be hard to believe that a harmless creature like the Opossum can be the cause of major household damage. But Opossums introduce a unique problem to homeowners and neighborhoods. In urban, suburban and rural environments, Opossums can cause major damage to your home, resulting in expensive repairs.

Opossums make their homes out of hollow trees and shrub thickets, but ultimately dwell anywhere that is dry, sheltered and safe. The comfort and protection provided by these elements are easily replicated by your home’s attic or garage. These unwanted guests collect materials for the purpose of building a nest, which means the destruction of your home’s insulation and air ducts are likely if an Opossum is living in your home.

Opossums do not store food for energy and require food sources that are stable as the seasons come and go. Its diet consists of insects, earthworms, small mammals, fruits, grains, plants, and … Read Full Post »

Garbage Disposal Maintenance: Do’s and Don’ts

Garbage disposals can simplify life by reducing overall household waste. However, if they are not properly maintained, garbage disposals can easily malfunction, leading to drain blockages as well as a host of other plumbing nightmares.

Results of improperly maintained garbage disposals include clogged pipes, damaged wires and loose blades. Installing and repairing a garbage disposal is not the best choice for a DIY project as many things can, and often do, go wrong. The experts at ABC Home & Commercial Services, your San Antonio plumbing specialists, can solve all of your drain dilemmas.

By following these simple steps, you can prolong the life of your garbage disposal and save hundreds of dollars on replacement costs.

Do’s of Disposal Maintenance:

  • Keep your disposal clean by flushing it out with a small amount of dish soap and cold running water after you wash dishes.
  • Every week, fill the disposal with ice cubes and run cold water for … Read Full Post »

Simple Ways to Avoid Needing Appliance Repair in San Antonio?

When something’s not broke, why fix it – right? In the case of your appliance, repair can be avoided with just a little tender loving care. Simple maintenance can prolong the life of your dishwasher long after its sticker date.

According to DIYlife.com, here are a few easy tips for keeping your dishwasher in top shape:

Keep your hot water heater set to the recommended temperature
Your dishwasher’s manufacturer has determined the optimal degrees, which you can locate in your user manual. Forgotten where you stashed that old manual? Try searching Google for the model number of your appliance; many manufacturers post manuals online.

Run a monthly cleanse-cycle on your dishwasher
Simply empty a packet of sugar-free lemonade where you normally place detergent and run the dishwasher through a normal cycle.

Check the interior racks of your dishwasher
If the paint is wearing off, consider investing in a dishwasher repair kit to prevent scratches on your pots … Read Full Post »

Spring Plumbing Tips

Hanging a picture frame is one thing, but trying to do it yourself on any of your home plumbing can not only be expensive and dangerous, but could also drop you into some legal hot water! Most people are happy doing minor fixes like a leaky faucet, but when it comes to just about anything else involving water, it’s best to leave it to a professional master plumber. If you don’t know what you’re doing, messing with a plumbing system can result in not only serious damage and expensive repair bills, but potential health hazards.

There are still some Spring maintenance tips you can follow to protect your home against plumbing problems. Consider the following list:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
  • Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl … Read Full Post »