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Tips For Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Ideas

do it yourself pest control

One of the worst things ever is to have bugs and pests crawling all over your counters and coming in from who knows where. There are some homemade and do-it-yourself ideas, that can be inexpensive and chemical-free.

Of course, you can hire an exterminator to come in and spray, but that costs more money than some preventative ideas and homemade remedies that are inexpensive and non-corrosive. Maybe it’s a good idea to try the inexpensive, and less caustic method first.

Start out by wiping down your countertops, table tops and other surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom with one part water to one part vinegar to help take away food particles and odors.

Rinse out juice jars, bottles, and other containers before placing them in the recycling bin. Use a trash can with a lid, to keep pesky critters from being attracted to it.

Search out and fix any leaky pipes and faucets, as insects are attracted to sources of moisture as one of their primary objectives, as they have to have water to survive.

Any dry goods that you have to store, transfer them to sealed containers and jars. Be sure that all of your drains are cleared out of food scraps and leftovers. Go ahead and pour 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda, mixed down the drain and then follow up with boiling water which will clear everything out.

These procedures practiced on a regular basis, will go a long way in preventing bugs and critters from even wanting to come and pay you a visit.

ants finding food“For ants, you can sprinkle some coffee grounds around your doors and windows, or mix one cup of sugar water with one cup of borax. Place the watery mixture into small jars and poke some holes in the lids. The ants will be drawn to the jar by the sweet smell.” points out.¬†Vancouver pest control expert Robert Reiter

You can repel roaches with saucers full of beer, and the dishes can be placed on the floor near their points of entry and under counters. Boric acid is an effective roach repellent as well.

silverfishWingless insects such as silverfish are warded off by sprinkling boric acid in moist areas in the kitchen and bathrooms. They don’t like it, and they will stay away from it.

If you have an overabundance of spiders, take equal parts of water and vinegar and place in a spray bottle. Vinegar is safe for humans, but it will repel spiders very effectively. You can sprinkle this mixture into cracks, entrances and other openings with this spray mixture.

Essential oils are a great deterrent to insects. For mosquitoes, you can use citronella, lemon eucalyptus, geranium, lemongrass and lavender to repel them.

Gnats are kept at bay with patchouli. Fleas and ticks simply do not like rosemary and peppermint will keep the ants and spiders out.

You can make a very effective all purpose spray by mixing two tablespoons of liquid peppermint castile soap to a gallon of water. You can then spray this liquid on baseboards, and countertops which are a very efficient way to keep the pests out, as this will repel them very well.

You can plant flowers and herbs out and around the perimeter of your house, which keeps away critters. Citronella, marigolds, and catnip help to keep many species of pests away from your home in the first place.

If you keep at it by keeping the interior of your house clean and free of food scraps, limit the water to the faucets, you can do a credible job of keeping the pests out of your house in the first place.

Tips For Removing Pet Stains From Your Carpets

 

remove pet stains from carpet

Pets are sweet and loving; that’s why so many people choose to adopt and look after them, despite the fact that they can turn a spotless house into a mess. They can be trained to use the litter box or to ask to go out whenever they have physiological needs. However, accidents happen, so most pet owners had to deal with stained and smelly carpets at least once in their lifetime. The biggest issue is that pets tend to urinate on the same spot if they feel the smell of urine. No matter how well you clean your carpet, there’s always going to be a faint odor you can’t detect but your animal senses, so you are going to get in trouble. Nonetheless, there are a few solutions to remove pet stains from your carpets, as you are going to see in this article, below.

Vinegar is one of the most useful substances you can use to remove the odor from the fabric. First of all, you have to clean your carpet with a particular detergent or with a steam cleaner. Once you are done, let is dry, and then apply a vinegar solution on the area where the stain was. Pat it gently into the carpet fiber. Avoid rubbing, as it may destroy the colors.

Baking soda is the other miracle ingredient that can help you clean your carpets and prevent pets from using them again. You can simply wet the stain with a cloth, apply a thin layer of baking soda, let is sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a soft piece of cloth. “Baking soda is very effective against germs and bacteria, thus working very well as an odor remover.” according to Frank Erhardt of Surrey Carpet Fresh.

baking soda for carpetThese remedies can be even more powerful when used together. You need to apply the baking soda on the stained area, and then pour a water and vinegar solution over it. The chemical reaction between the two substances is going to be violent. You’ll see small volcanoes all over the surface. This reaction has the effect of dismantling urine particles from the carpet fibers, thus removing the stain. The smell is also going to disappear, so there are fewer chances that your pet is going to urinate on your carpet again.

If you use vinegar, you should always mix it with water. Even so, there may be a little vinegar odor that won’t go away by itself. If this happens, you can get rid of this smell by using a steam cleaner. The steam generated by such devices is extremely hot, thus being one of the best remedies against residual odors. If you don’t have a steamer in your house, you should consider purchasing one, as they are quite affordable. If not, you can hire a professional cleaning company to come and help you clean your carpets. Whatever solution you choose, make sure to act fast, as the older the stain, the more difficult it’s going to be to get rid of it.

Regular Maintenance of a Furnace Can Hep Avoid Costly Repairs

furnace maintenance demonstration

If you live in a geographical area, where winters are severe, you will in all probability need a furnace that gives you constant and trouble free service. A well-functioning heating system that depends on a furnace makes for comfortable living. Furnaces are equipment used day and night, and this makes it necessary for regular maintenance. Neglecting this aspect can lead to costly furnace repairs, which can hurt your pocket and also leave you in a cold home when the furnace is down.

Heating equipment needs regular attention and maintenance, and if the right professionals do not do this, this can lead to parts of the furnace not functioning as they should. You will find many HVAC repair service providers who will offer you a regular maintenance plan. These programs can require you to pay some sums of money, but in the long run, they can help you to avoid breakdowns that may lead to furnace repairs that are far more costly.

fixing hvac equipmentDuring these maintenance procedures, a safety inspection of your furnace will be carried out to determine whether it is producing carbon monoxide in any way. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be life threatening if inhaled. The condition of all the mechanical and electrical components of the furnace will also be checked out. It must include pilot lights, thermostats, motors, blowers, fans and any other moving parts. According to John Flores, a furnace expert from a top company in Vancouver “Many furnace systems have ducts that carry the heated air to the living spaces, and these over time can collect debris from the air or unburnt fuel. If this is allowed to accumulate, it can not only affect the efficiency pf the furnace but also become a health hazard, especially if residents of the home have respiratory problems.”

Most furnaces will have filters that ensure the quality of the incoming and heated air. Over a period, dust does tend to accumulate in them and reduce their capacity to filter and send air. The load is transferred to the motors and blowers which have to work harder, and this strain can affect their working. During regular maintenance, it is essential that these filters are removed and cleaned of all the dirt. Filters can also at times get damaged or get very heavily clogged, and this may mean that they need to be replaced. Most maintenance contracts will include vacuuming and cleaning of all filters and their replacement at set intervals. It is a simple matter, but in the long run, can help you to keep energy costs down. The ducts must also be thoroughly cleaned along with the filters, and most of these companies will have specialized vacuum cleaners and scrubbers that allow them to do a proper job of cleaning ducts, without having to dismantle them.

Burners, grates, and heat exchangers are parts of a furnace that need to be cleaned at regular intervals and especially after the furnace has been idle and lying unused for a period, as in summers. All these parts must be checked for any defects and cracks and replaced or repaired where problems are noticed.

It can help if a regular check of running costs is kept. Significant variations can mean that your furnace is having some difficulty and will need the attention of professionals to test the system. Insist on maintenance attendance at regular intervals, and get inspections done, especially before the start of the cold season. Proper maintenance of a furnace carried out by professionals can go a long way in reducing the need for costly repairs and also will ensure that you live comfortably in a warm home.

Artificial Grass For Yards

artificial turf being laid down

There are a few things property owners will have to think about when it comes to their assets. One would be the type of grass they want in the yard and how to pay for it. You have to ensure the accurate assessment of pros and cons before making a decision. It is the logical thing to do, and that is what everyone is recommended to do in such situations.

Well, the question in this read would be revolving around the idea of artificial grass and if it is a good fit for property owners. Here are the pros and cons.

No Weeds

The thing most people will point to would be the lack of weeds and/or maintenance in general. You just don’t even have to look at it. Who doesn’t love the idea of being able to peek into their yard and know that it is still perfect? It is just the way it should be.

Now, you may not have a professional gardening service at your disposal, but you won’t even need one when you have this type of grass in place.

Weeds are something you will get tired of, and when that happens, you will not want to have the grass in place. Artificial grass is nice as you know what you are getting right away. It comes as is and you will be able to have it installed and ready for you in no time.

No Water Needed

synthetic lawn with playground“No watering is required either, and that is a plus point for those who are not only sick and tired of watering itself but the idea of paying the higher bills. If you want to be eco-friendly in essence, you will want to go with this option as well. Of course, the natural grass always feels better under the feet, but there is a lot more at play especially financially.” says Linda Moses of Vancouver Artificial Lawn.

You have to weigh the pros and cons in this regard to see what you want the most.

Is watering something you don’t want? Well, it is a no-brainer in that regard then.

No Damage To The ‘Grass.’

“The final positive in this list would have to include is how the synthetic grass won’t be damaged. The grass is walked on all the time in the yard, and that is hard to avoid. So, if you can’t avoid it, why not just get something that is not going to get damaged instead?” points out Vic Cooper, a home renovations expert.

It will reduce a headache involving avoiding the grass, and you will know that it will last for as long as it should and/or was supposed to.

The strength of natural grass is the value in comparison to the natural variety.

Doesn’t Look Real

If there is a con that will be listed when it comes to artificial turf, it would have to do with the ‘synthetic’ bit. You are often not going to like the feeling of this grass under the feet, and that is a decision you have to make. Is it worthwhile to still go ahead with it or do you want the real deal?

There are some who are just not able to deal with artificial grass while others don’t mind one bit.

The pros and cons are there for one and all to see when it comes down to artificial grass. You will have to figure out what you want from the process and if that is the right thing to do in general. The grass should always be perfect in this regard from your point of view and will mean the most.

Will We See More Skinny Homes In The Future?

Increasing urbanization is a fact of life in the 21st century. More and more people are flocking to cities across the globe in search of better opportunities for themselves and their families. In some cities this migration is placing available housing stock under enormous pressure. Many architectural experts and civil planners are beginning to believe that the answer to this increased pressure might be a skinny homes.

A Primer on Skinny Homes

Roofline of a skinny home

Roofline of a skinny home


So what exactly are skinny homes and why might this style of architecture be the answer to urban overcrowding?

In a nutshell skinny homes solve the urban housing by using the space between existing buildings and ensuring that an apartment block can be built in this space – an apartment block which allows for the inhabitants to enjoy a high quality of life in terms of for instance available sunlight and easy access to the individual apartments.

One team that has championed this approach are Danish designers Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann. These designers have come up with an idea that they call ‘Live Between Buildings’ and they have designed these dwellings to suit high density urban environments such as New York, Tokyo, London and Amsterdam. Their concept uses transparent ‘window roofs’ to ensure an adequate amount of natural light in each of the apartments which, although narrow (some would be around 4m’s in width) are surprisingly spacious.

A Revolution Already Begun

This isn’t simply a concept. There are a number of skinny apartments in Japan and the United Kingdom which have proven extremely popular with buyers and renters who are looking for an apartment that is near to city center places of work but that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg.

The Japanese are without doubt the leaders in the design and construction of skinny homes – and their name for the buildings is extremely evocative – ‘Eels Beds’. The lack of space in Japanese cities has made buyers more than comfortable with the idea of narrower properties.

The guiding principle of these properties, according to the Japanese should be a quest to keep things uncluttered and improve the flow of the home by eliminating corridors and passages. In essence the Japanese architects have turned necessity into a virtue and a design and interior decorating ethos.

Wall-to-wall inside a skinny home.

Wall-to-wall inside a skinny home.


Population is Forcing It

The attractiveness of the skinny home is not only the use use of previously under-utilized space but also in the fact that the approach goes some way to decreasing urban sprawl and the associated environmentally unsustainable planning and building practices. These sorts of issues are beginning to bedevil suburban neighborhoods.

It has become increasingly clear that the movement of people from the countryside to increasingly densely populated urban areas is a trend that is only going to accelerate in the future. Without ingenious approaches like the movement towards the skinny home there seems little doubt that our cities will see an increasing number of dysfunctional housing options such as the establishment of urban slums. The cost in terms of human dignity and loss of quality of life will be extremely negative.

Thanks to B&W Homes for helping us with some background on skinny homes. Check out Baum and Whoolger homes for more information – http://baumwoolger.com/infill-blueprints/skinny-homes-narow-lot-plans/.

The Hottest Bathroom Remodeling Trends For 2016

bathroom remodelling trends

When it comes to remodeling projects, updating the bathroom consistently ranks as the best return on your investment. An updated bathroom adds more to the value of your home than any other single remodeling project. As it is with every type of interior design area, bathroom remodeling has its trends. The hot bathroom trends for 2016 are exciting! Compiled from several different sources, including trade associations, residential architects, remodeling companies, interior designers, retailers, and real estate agents, these 2016 top trends for bathroom remodeling represent the newest and best in bathroom features, products, and designs. Keep these trends in mind as you plan your bathroom remodeling project.

Trough Sinks

While the name may sound elegant, these sinks are actually quite beautiful. The sink is a long, often thought of as double, sink which is large enough to service two people at the same time. The trough sink is different than the double sinks which were popular in the 80s. Then, the sink would have two separate bowls. The trough sink is just one long bowl large enough to be used by two people at the same time. Trough sinks have been around for a long time, so you may be able to find a vintage model. The newest trough sinks are designed to blend with contemporary design themes and are very functional.

Shower Seats

Traditionally, showers have been used while people are standing upright. The newest trend is shower seating. These seats are especially useful if someone is very tired, yet must still take a shower. You can rest and wash at the same time. These shower seats are also very helpful for those who are older.

Grab Bars

Shower grab bars are another trend for 2016. These bars are being installed in both showers and tubs and are very helpful, especially if you are older or have a disability which makes it hard to move around.

Accessible Showers

One of the newest bathroom design trends is removing tripping hazards in showers and bathtubs to make for more accessible showers. It used to be that the shower head was installed above the tub. Today, many are opting for curbless or walk-in showers instead where the entrance is level with the floor.

Square Shaped Showerheads And Fixtures

square shaped fixtures for bathroomsThe hottest trend in bathroom design is square. Square showerheads, almost square faucets, and angular shaped handles are all very popular looks. Square shapes and blocky looks are appearing everywhere. These are very versatile shapes which work beautifully in a modern bathroom. Many master baths are sporting geometric fixtures and faucets and angles are everywhere, from bathtubs to soap dishes.

Freestanding Tubs

Built-in tubs used to be the height of style, but they are rapidly declining in popularity. Some bathroom updates are not even including bath tubs, opting for walk-in showers instead. For those who still want the option to soak and relax, free-standing tubs are the 2016 choice. Using a free-standing tub provides a lot of flexibility in placement, so will most likely remain a very popular choice.

Open Shelving

One of the newest trends is to roll up luxurious bath towels and use them as part of the bathroom decor. They are displayed on open shelves or baskets and can add a pop of color or continue a color theme.

Open Shelving Bathroom Vanities

Another new trend for 2016 is open shelving in the bathroom vanities. While this is a very popular, you should carefully consider before going with it in your bathroom upgrade. After all, there are many reasons why you might want to hide certain items from prying eyes in the bathroom. It may be better to have a mix of both closed and open shelving. That way, the toilet paper and cleaning products can be stored away and out of sight.

Water Efficient Appliances and Fixtures

If you are going to remodel or update your bathroom, you may want to consider upgrading your appliances and fixtures to be more water efficient. Low flow toilets, water saving faucets, and water efficient showerheads all help reduce your impact on the environment.

Heated Floors

There is something quite sumptuous about stepping out of the shower and onto heated tile floors. Electrically heated floors are not only comfortable but are also helpful in the bathroom. They dry out the humidity and moisture which helps prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

As you think about your 2016 bathroom remodeling project, keep these trends in mind. Create a beautiful, updated bathroom as your own personal space.

Top 7 Biggest Mistakes That You Can Make During Home Renovations

Home-Renovation1

Today, home renovations have become a big business because most people want to increase the value of their home for future sale or make it comfortable for living. However, you might make some mistakes when it comes to renovation. Here are top 7 biggest mistakes that you can make during home renovations.

 

  1. Purchasing cheap materials

When it comes to home renovations, buying cheap materials is one of the biggest mistakes that most people make. The bottom line here is that what you pay for is what you get. If you are going to purchase cheap materials, it means that the renovation will also be cheap. It is advisable to wait if you know you cannot afford to do it.

  1. Not using green materials

In many cases, people will often make the mistake of not going green with their home projects due to various reasons such as they think it is costly, or they do not know how to go about it. Making your home renovations using green materials can make you go ahead of the market. Moreover, going green is a very smart investment.

  1. Using the wrong tools

Using the wrong tools can lead to three problems. These problems include wrecking the tool, project you are working on, and even yourself. However, it is important to use the right tools to avoid the occurrence of these problems.

  1. Inaccurate measurements

Measurements play a significant role during home renovations. An inch or half an inch can make a big difference if the measurement is done inaccurately. For instance, if your dimensions are off and not equal or symmetrical, there is a high chance of not getting a full impact and effect that you want. However, it is important to call somebody to assist you with the measurement if you are not sure about it, or you cannot follow the directions correctly.

  1. Skipping the prep work

Sometimes prep work is a horrible and tedious process. Most people do not like prep work, and they end up skipping it. However, it is good to take your time and do the prep work right from the beginning without avoiding it. Besides, it can save so much time later on down the way leading to also money saving.

  1. Gutting everything

Before starting the renovation, it is advisable to have a well-set plan because you would not want to go in there and simply clear everything out when you might be able to work in some areas. Some people start the process without having a well-set plan thinking that they will pull a piece of wallpaper off once the renovation is over, but they end up getting themselves into a deep dark hole that is tough to get out. However, make sure you have a well-set plan before if you do not want to go in there.

  1. Excessive use of duct tape

Notably, duct tape is not a permanent solution, and you should save it for purposes of decoration only. In fact, duct tape is merely a temporary fix even if the tape is cheap, easy, and quick. Most people overuse it, and it is important not to leave it up for more than a couple hours.