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  • Top 15 Pest Control Methods that are Natural and Effective

    For some time now, many people have sent me messages through email and Facebook asking how to stay pest free during summer. So I decided it was high time that I gave those people some answers.

    First off, a simple way to keep pests away is not to invite them to your living space. Most of these annoying pests need food and water for survival. So, maintain a clean kitchen, clear out the garbage frequently, and store food and drinks in airtight containers. These are a few tips on how to keep out troublesome insects and pests. Another way to avoid bug problems is by draining stagnated water and sealing off small cracks and holes. Also, NYCity Pest Control has a guide that has many homemade remedies to stay pest free.

    If the pests find their way in even after keeping the area clean, here are 15 natural remedies that you can follow to destroy the pests that trouble you.

     

    1. Ants

    Ants

    The pest that I’ve had the most trouble dealing with was ANTS! For such tiny creatures……boy they cause a lot of problems! Here are some tips that will help you to keep them away from your home as well as from picnic spots.

     

    • CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

    The kitchen counters must be free of crumbs and sticky spots at all time. Always close the sugar and honey jar after using it. Wiping the surfaces will save your home from pest attacks.

     

    • Cucumber

    Place cucumber slices around the kitchen or at the ant’s entry points. Many ants dislike the smell of cucumber.

     

    • Mint

    Mint Leaves

    Place a few mint tea bags in the areas where the ants are active.

     

    • Stop their entry

    Completely search the area and find out where these ants are coming. Cayenne pepper, citrus oil (it can also be soaked in a string piece), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds– place any one of the items in a small line near the entry points so that ants cannot cross.

     

    It is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton which is in talc-like format. If you sprinkle this powder on the ants, it will absorb the lipids from their exoskeleton (outer layer) and cause severe dehydration.

     

    1. Mosquitoes

    Mozzy

    • Block them

    Early morning and evening are the time when mosquitoes are the most active. They seek areas of still air as they are held back by the breeze. So always close the windows and doors that are opposite to the breeze.

     

    • Eliminate water

    By removing the standing water around your home, you can cut the breeding sources of the mosquitoes. Make sure to change birdbaths, wading pools and pet’s bowls twice a week. Clean the gutters in your house and keep them well-drained.

     

    • Candle

    Candle

    By mixing essential oils and melted wax you can make your candle to repel flies. Always remember to use ½-1 ounce of essential oils for 1 pound of wax. You can make the candles with any one of the following mixes.

     

    Mix 1-(Spicy)

    5 parts Citronella

    5 parts Lavender

    5 parts Clove

     

    Mix 2-(Bright)

    5 parts Citronella

    5 parts Lavender

    5 parts Peppermint

     

    Mix3-(Green)

    10 parts Citronella

    10 parts Cedarwood

    5 parts Eucalyptus

    5 parts Rosemary

     

    1. Flies

    Fly

    Make small sachets out of cheesecloth and fill them with crushed mint, bay leaf, clove or eucalyptus. Place these sachets around the house to repel flies.

     

    • Basil

    Plant basil in containers and keep them near doorways. Flies will stay far away from the area. While going for picnics, you can take a bunch of these leaves with you. You can also keep away mosquitoes by using these leaves.

     

    • Eucalyptus oil

    Oil

     

    To make a fly-free zone, dip some eucalyptus oil in a small cloth or rag and place it in the areas that are plagued by flies.

     

    1. Spiders
    • Peppermint

    Peppermint Plant

    Add a few drops of peppermint oil and a squirt of liquid nitrogen into a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture around doors, windows, lawns, cobwebs and in any other place where spiders lurk around. Peppermint gives a pleasant aroma, and it is not harmful to children and pets.

     

    In addition to peppermint oil, they don’t like the taste of citrus oil that contains lemon, lime, tangerine and wild orange in it. This oil will not kill the spiders, but they will avoid the places that taste of citrus. Purchase real essential oils and not the synthetic version.

     

    • Eliminate hiding places

    Spiders are mostly seen in dark and messy places. So keep away debris, wood piles, and lush plants away from the sides of the house. They can be repelled if they have fewer places to hide.

     

    An all-purpose homemade bug spray

    • 8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka
    • 45 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
    • 15 drops Lemon or Wild Orange Essential Oil

    Mix all these ingredients in a spray bottle and apply it generously. It will last 2-3 months if it is stored in the fridge.

     

    What are the pest control practices that you follow?

     

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  • Random Acts of Nature

    On May 1 one of them (code name: weasel) immobilized CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest atom smasher. Another (code name: bird scat) shut down a New York nuclear reactor for three days. A third (code name: crow) caused a fire and knocked out power to the entire community of Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, on May 6. In April they attacked 22 sites in 11 states and six countries. They are all around us, unnoticed, unseen. They are our neighbors. They are ... the animal kingdom.

    Random Acts of Nature

    "Squirrels are the biggest offenders," Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Eliot Brenner told the Associated Press.

    Though we spends a lot of time talking about major disasters, random acts of nature like animals, wind, and lightning can create similar problems. Here are a few ways to prepare for these troublemakers.

    Tree Down - Standard Examiner Random Acts of Nature Photo courtesy of Standard Examiner

    First, have insurance. Hopefully a homeowner in Kaysville, Utah, carried insurance when local hurricane-force wind gusts sent a tree into their home May 1. Wind also knocked out power to 39,000 people in the area.

    With all insurance plans, check what they cover. Homeowner’s insurance will typically pay to repair or rebuild a home if it’s damaged by disasters like fire, hurricane, hail or lightning, according to the Insurance Information Institute. It also may cover personal items and liability for damage by family members or pets.  It won’t pay for damage caused by a flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear. Supplemental flood and earthquake insurance is available in places like floodsmart.gov.

    Almost every state requires drivers to carry auto liability insurance. Many car loan agreements also require comprehensive and collision insurance as well. Hopefully, the owner of a pickup in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, had comprehensive insurance on May 1. That day, when a crow touched something it shouldn’t have at the Summerside Electric Utility power plant on May 1, it knocked out power to the town. It also triggered an electric arc that shot into a pile of firewood in the driveway of the home across the street. That fire caused minor damage to a pickup. Comprehensive insurance would cover the cost of repairs from the act of crow. Liability insurance would not.

    Second, have an alternate power source. Most of the time, outages caused by random acts of nature are short-duration. The Summerside crow outage, for example, lasted only 45 minutes. However, people dependent on powered medical devices should make a power outage plan, according to ready.gov. The plan can include extra batteries or a generator. A person whose equipment has steady power needs should also register with the power company so it can provide outage updates and prioritize power restoration.

    Third, know the neighbors. On May 6, a squirrel blew a fuse in a transformer that brought power to a shopping plaza in O’Fallon, Ill. Some businesses lost power; others didn’t. Localized effects are common with these random acts of nature. Neighbors can help each other with power, supplies, and cleanup.

    Fourth, know basic safety rules. A fallen, live power line (caused by a goose) burned a Pennsylvania middle schooler when he went to move it at the request of his school bus driver. Never, never touch fallen power lines. If at all possible, stay inside during heavy storms.

    Ready.gov has a good list of safety tips for storms and other disasters. This information, and supplies like those sold here at beprepared.com, can help anyone be ready when life – or a squirrel – happens.

    Disaster_Blog_Banner Random Acts of Nature

  • In Case of a House Fire...Plan Ahead

    House FireOn the night of March 30, a fire ripped through a block of apartment buildings in Brooklyn, N.Y. Though no one lost their lives, at least 35 families were displaced. Three buildings burned and two others were damaged.

    The New York Times described the struggles of the next few days for several families.

    “How the days, even weeks, after a fire play out for someone it has displaced are largely determined by what that person can grab in the seconds before escaping,” wrote Times reporter Michael Wilson.

    The American Red Cross helps at about 70,000 house fires every year in the United States, an average of one every eight minutes, said Rich Woodruff Red Cross Communications Director for the Utah Region of the American Red Cross.

    When they’re thinking about preparing for a fire, many people remember 72-hour kits or go bags. Some even remember to gather extras like diapers and prescription medication. Here are a few things Woodruff said people tend to forget when they’re planning for rapid evacuation.

    First, have an evacuation plan and rehearse it. Map two exit routes and arrange meeting places in case household members get separated from each other. Also arrange meeting places and phone contacts out of town in case of a widespread emergency. Ready.gov has templates to make planning easier.

    “Let’s say at 3 a.m., the smoke alarm goes off, and you can’t see well. Instead of panicking, you have a predetermined route,” Woodruff said.

    Second, plan for pets. Pets are often overlooked in peoples’ emergency plans, Woodruff said.

    When packing a grab-and-go kit for household members, pack one for pets. Pack things like food and a water bowl. Make sure each pet has identification, like a collar or microchip. The Red Cross has a pet first aid app and other pet preparedness information.

    For a few days after the Brooklyn apartment fire, according to the New York Times story, one resident, Luke Moffitt, worried about his cats. He’d opened a window on the way out so they could escape, but he hadn’t seen them. He was lucky. When firefighters allowed him to enter his apartment, he found them inside. A building superintendent who raised pigeons on the roof of another building lost all of them.

    hard drive connected to the computer with vital documents House Fire

    Third, keep digital copies of important papers either in the cloud or in a place like a safe-deposit box. These include papers like wills, vital records, financial and legal information and ownership records. One of the greatest struggles for people displaced in the Brooklyn fire was finding and recreating vital records, the New York Times story reported.

    For example, the Red Cross gave out preloaded debit cards to fire victims, but adult family members had to have identification to receive them. The Rondon family had five adults and an infant living in their apartment. Only one adult, away during the fire, escaped with his ID. Two others found ID copies by calling an employer.

    The Quinones family needed their son’s birth certificate and proof of residence to get into temporary housing. They got a letter from their son’s pediatrician since they didn’t have a birth certificate. They had to get a form signed by their landlord and notarized since they had no lease on hand. A few days later, demolition workers recovered their battered file cabinet that contained birth certificates and other important papers.

    On average, people have two minutes to escape from a burning house, Woodruff said. When the Brooklyn blaze began, one man was on his way to the shower. He escaped shirtless and shoeless, no phone, no wallet. Emergencies aren’t convenient. But preparing for them can make the aftermath a little more bearable.

    The Red Cross has emergency preparedness apps like first aid, emergency alerts and preparedness for kids.

     

    Disaster_Blog_Banner house fire

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