Category Archives: Home Improvement

With Spring Coming, How Do I Store My Down Comforter?

Down bedding is nature’s best insulator and in the winter the cloud like feeling of a down comforter keeping you warm is dreamy. As winter ends and spring starts you should consider storing your heavyweight down comforter until the fall approaches. Storing your down comforter is not hard and will help keep your investment pristine and in heirloom condition for many more winters to come.

The first thing you will want to do is make sure your down comforter is clean. Generally machine washing is the best way to care for your down bedding unless the fabric contains silk or rayon. Usually a twin size or full/double size comforter can be washed in a home washing machine. Queen, king or cal king sizes are probably too big for your washing machine and drying machine so you should take them to a laundry mat with several dollars in quarters. Dry cleaning is an option but it is expensive and some dry cleaners use a chemical which care harm the down in your bedding. Generally a down comforter can be dry cleaned for between $20 and $60 depending on what part of the country you’re in and the availability of quality cleaners. So if you opt for the at home or laundry mat – please make sure to watch the videos on for the ‘how to’ part of comforter washing.

Once cleaned – you should fold your comforter usually at the width of two rows of boxes (whether sewn thru or baffle box). Then you can store the comforter in a special storage bag made for comforters (usually a fabric material with a drawstring – much like a sleeping bag holder). You can also take an old flat sheet and wrap the comforter and do a twist tie on the end to keep it secure. You will want to make sure your comforter stays dust free but can also breathe. Do not store the down comforter in an airtight plastic bag. Place the secure comforter in a cool dark environment as heat and light can discolor the fabric at the fold marks. Do not place dryer sheets, mothballs or other like items in the bag with the comforter.

When it gets cold again you can take out the comforter – toss it in the dryer for ½ hour and that should give it a good fluffing and eliminate any trapped moisture from inside the comforter. You can also give the comforter a good sunny airing – just make sure the clothesline or rail the comforter leans on is clean – the sun will help bleach the fabric and make it look brighter (this applies only to white comforters).

When in doubt you can always give your comforter a toss in the dryer to remove moisture and fluff the down. You never want to wash a comforter and not dry it properly – two cycles in the dryer is generally recommended. Airing a down comforter out in the sunlight is a good idea between washings to remove odor and give it a fresh update.

To learn more about storing your down comforter you can visit which is a site sponsored by DOWNLITE the country’s largest down bedding manufacturer.

Air Purifier Filters – Do You Want To Clean Or Replace?

Air purifier filters can have a huge impact on the choice of air purifier we choose to buy, as many of us do not wish to incur the time and expense involved with regular replacement of these air cleaning filters. As the effectiveness of your air cleaner is dependent on keeping it well maintained and running smoothly, it is wise to consider whether you want to deal with air purifier filters before you buy.

One of the most effective air cleaning technologies available today is that used in the HEPA air purification systems, said to remove 99.97% of particulates from the air. This type of air cleaner, however, employs special air purifier filters, which must be changed on a regular basis in order to maintain the system’s efficiency.

There are also air purifiers available which don’t need air purifier filters; electronic air purifiers do not require air cleaning filters to work. This system works by gathering particles from the air on collecting plates inside the cleaner, and while these do not require regular replacement, the filterless air purifier still needs some maintenance to remain at optimum efficiency – the collecting plates must be cleaned regularly.

The very job that air purifiers do – removing particles and dust from our air that we do not wish to breathe in – necessitates some maintenance, as these particles will gather within the cleaner and will need to be disposed of. But while both filterless systems and those that employ air purifier filters require some upkeep to remain effective, this is minimal in both cases. The job itself involves only the simple wiping down of collection plates, or quickly changing a filter – the problem is remembering to do it!

And once you establish the habit, this simple air purifier filter maintenance will become a part of your routine. So don’t allow the thought of changing air purifier filters determine your choice of air cleaner – choose the system that is best for your family, and remember that the small amount of maintenance that comes with any air purifier is worth the work. Better those particles on your air purifier filter than in your lungs!

You need to think about air purifier filters before you buy your air purifier.

For a website totally devoted to Air Purifiers visit Peter’s Website Air Purifiers Explained and find out about Home Air Cleaners as well as HEPA Air Purifiers and more, including Electronic Air Purifiers, Hepa Air Purifiers, Ozone Air Purifiers, Room Air Purifiers and Whole House Air Purifiers.

Green Pest Control in Your Food Services Establishment

Although insects have been eaten as food as far back as the bible, this is certainly not a food stuff or dish that your restaurant or food patrons which to eat or ingest. As well insects are not a good thing for your food services industry reputation in any manner.

The simple and straightforward task and issue are to keep those bugs out and far away. In all the kinds of establishments that work with or serve food- from food warehouses themselves , to airlines and hotels , and restaurants , cafes and cafeterias insects can be a problem , even a major problem , even under the most clean and sanitary conditions.

Historically the way that the problem and problems associated with insects has been dealt with the use of insecticides. Historically, and as a matter of course, since the decade of the 1950’s insecticides have been applied even to what could be termed “generously” to help rid food faculties of insects as well as other pests. However, no matter what, this serious as well as frustrating problem continues onwards causing serious and widespread losses and damage. The plague of insects has been among mankind’s greatest scourge for millennium. Those bugs are most determined and ever crafty, if not relentless. You may even ponder from time to time as to why you can find or hire staff as determined and persistent in nature as these very pests.

Indeed many facilities have begun to investigate other methods of insect pest control – both as a means of effectiveness and as well as a “greener” and more healthy approach – both for their customers and patrons as well as the earth itself.

To begin with what are the basic steps that can be taken to simply prevent and control these pests? After the entire first major step that can be taken to prevent most problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Anything else can be said to be foolish and wasted energies.

First of all pay attention to sealing any cracks and crevices, so that rodents or other pests can not enter in the first place. Outdoor vegetation near exterior walls should be removed as this vegetation may actually attract or even harbor some insects. You and your staff should increase, as well as be exceptionally thorough in cleaning and general sanitation. Particular attention should be paid to floor care and cleaning. Insects including flying and crawling insects can be captured or caught. “Sticky boards” can be most useful, handy and convenient for these purposes. Airflow in your facilities should be “positive’ that is blowing out air when doors are opened.

Interestingly enough insects can actually be attracted away from your facilities with what might be considered ‘decoys”. Especially in the case of outdoor evens, or facilities like spring or summer time patios it has been found that if fluorescent lights are placed at least 100 feet away from the building or facility the bugs will be automatically attracted to these lights – far away from your food service spots. Another option in terms of dealing with insects in outdoor venues or essential lighting at entrances and exits is to install sodium vapor lights, as opposed to fluorescent or standard incandescent lights. It seems that this type of lighting appears to be less attractive to insects.

Lastly of course are the standard steps of dealing with food and food leftovers. As much as quickly as possible dispose of food scraps in sealed containers and liners and keep counter tops as free of possible of food residues. Along with this have your staffs as well as you employ a standard, thorough and consistent procedure of checking any and all shipments arriving at your door or loading dock. All it takes is one solitary insect or other pest to begin to be the start and source of your problems.

It all comes down to simple and thorough attention to detail towards simple, yet effective “green “pest control in your food service.

Morris E. Brown

Winnipeg Off-Site Banquet Catering

St.Boniface HSC Hospitals Winnipeg Hotels Long Stay

Installing the Corner Bead

After you have hung the walls and ceilings you will need to install the corner bead. Make sure you put the sheetrock inside all the windows and the outlets are all cut out. Rasping the edges and corners off all the hung sheetrock will make installing easier.

Corner Bead

There are two types that come in various lengths:

1 – Bull Nose
2 – Standard Square

There are two types of material for the two types:

1 – plastic
2 – metal

There is no difference in how to install the plastic or metal.

Measure the corners and cut the piece to fit, using Tin Snips. If you have a corner that is longer than the piece you have and need to use more than one piece per corner, do not overlap them, “butt it up”. Put them as close together as possible and follow the instructions below.

Bull Nose: There are two ways to install this type.

1 – gluing: these are spray adhesives. The best one recommended is Corner Bead Spray Adhesive. Use according to manufacturer Instructions. Spray the adhesive on the entire inside of your cut piece. Put it on the corner and apply pressure in the middle, working upward with one hand and downward with the other. Making sure there are no bumps or bubbles on the edges. Allowing to dry over night gives that added assurance that when you are mudding you know your not going to get it under the sides and won’t have a fix-it project to do later because it lifted.

2 – nailing: the best to use is regular sheetrock nails at an inch and 1/8 to inch and 1/4 . Put your cut piece on the corner and put one nail in the center of the corner bead on each side. Working upward first then downward put a nail in at about 2 inches apart. Make sure the edges do not lift. If its does, put a nail in where it is lifted. You can start mudding immediately afterward.

Standard Square: There are three ways to install this type.

1 – gluing: same as above

2 – nailing: same as above

3 – crimping: Please note: you cannot crimp the plastic. Put your cut piece on the corner and put the crimper in the center first. Apply pressure to the crimper and hit it with the rubber mallet. This style pinches the corner bead to the corner by pinching both sides simultaneously. Work upward first then downward. Once it’s all crimped, check for any lifting. If there is lifting crimp down the part(s) that are lifted. You can start mudding immediately afterward.


  • Plastic or Metal Corner bead
  • Rasper
  • Crimper and Rubber Mattet
  • 1-1/4″ sheetrock nails
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Tool Belt
  • Measuring Tape
  • Tin Snips
  • Rags
  • Beer and Good Friends

See All Sheetrockers Secrets

Ask A Sheetrocker by Sheetrocker’s Secrets Do you need a quick Fix, Tool, Trick or Tip? Have what You need at Your Fingertips! Take Pride in Your Own Projects. Learn Secrets about Sheetrocking, Taping, Mudding and Texturing. Modify trouble spots making repairs easy. We Help You Turn Your Project into a Pleasure not a Pain. Sheetrocking is Our Specialty.

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How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets

Yellow jacket (or yellow-jacket) is the usual name in North America for predatory wasps of the genus Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these species are better-known simply as “wasps” in other English-speaking countries. Most of them are black and yellow; some are black and white (such as the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata), while others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black.

They can be identified by their characteristic markings, small size (similar to the size of a honey bee). They exist in colonies and have a characteristic rapid side-to-side flight pattern prior to landing. Yellow-jackets are often mistakenly called “bees. ” All their females are capable of stinging. Yellow jackets are important predators of pest insects, though they can be pests themselves as well.

II. Yellow Jackets as Pests

Eliminating yellow jackets can be time-consuming and excruciating. Yellow jacket (of the Vespula genus) are possibly the only wasp that can be considered pestiferous if you take its belligerent colony size and defensive nature into account.

This aggression on the part of the yellow jacket genus is most evident towards the end of the summer when the colony starts to crumble and workers find more sugars and sweets to nourish themselves and what’s left of their young. Not only does the yellow jacket wasp’s demeanor change toward the end of the warm season, but the size of a colony can also be imposingly astronomical if left unobstructed.

For the most part, wasps are predators and rarely scavengers, and this, by and large, applies to yellow jackets as well, but there are particular species within the Vespula genus that tend to salvage more aggressively than others.

Vespula Vulgaris, for example, is one of these scavenging species, and because of their scavenging behavior, they tend to come into contact with humans on a more regular basis than wasps that hunt live prey.

III. Basic Yellow Jacket Control

* Sometimes getting rid of yellow jackets or reducing yellow jacket populations is as easy as keeping your garbage cans properly sealed. Your garbage bins are a windfall not only for stray dogs, stray cats, and the occasional raccoon, but also for yellow jacket wasps, which will feed on the leftover proteins and sugars you tend to throw out with the trash.

Scraps of meat and fish are particularly pleasing to a yellow jacket’s appetite, as well as old bottles of pop, bottles of syrup, and fruit.

* One way to get rid of yellow jackets is to keep pet food and other sources of refined proteins indoors. Yellow jackets, like other wasps, really do enjoy protein, and nothing is packed with more accessible proteins than pet food floating around in a water dish.

Keep your dog or cat’s food bowl inside during the warmer months, or find a way to protect the pet food from foraging pests like yellow jackets and other scavenging wasps.

* Pop cans, humming bird feeders, and other sweets should not be left out, or should be sealed in such a way as to prevent yellow jackets from gaining access to the sugar. Studies done on yellow jackets show that populations with access to large amounts of refined sugars build incredibly large colonies much faster than colonies whose access to food is restricted to their natural diet of nectar and live prey.

* Make sure awnings and siding is properly sealed to get rid of yellow jackets. Preventing yellow jackets from gaining entrance to the voids in the siding and roofing of your home is highly recommended because hidden wasp nests are particularly difficult to get rid of and may require the services of a pest control professional.

If you can’t stand having wasps living behind your walls, having a professional remove them for you is going to be like having a root canal on your wallet. If you’re patient, cold weather will eventually kill the colony, and then you can seal the entrance without driving wasps into your home.

* Mechanical, non-toxic traps are a good way to get rid of yellow jackets – or at least reduce the local population to a less noticeable level. There are a couple of theories surrounding the right timing of yellow jacket and wasp traps, but most experts agree that traps should be put out during the earlier months of the warm season.

If traps are set before yellow jacket queens begin their search for proper nesting grounds, it’s possible to spare your community one more yellow jacket colony by killing that one queen. Otherwise, traps set during the first few weeks of summer should keep yellow jacket populations at a manageable level during the peak season.

IV. Natural and Organic Yellow Jacket Control

The do-it-yourself wasp trap is perhaps one of the most effective traps your money doesn’t need to buy. All you’ll need is an empty 2-liter bottle, scissors, and some sugar water or fruit juice.

* Cut the cone off about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the bottle, flip it over, and staple it into place so that it looks like a minnow trap. Then, fill the bottle with fruit juice concentrate or sugar water with a little soap, and hang it from an awning or in your garden if you prefer.

* Pouring boiling water or just soapy water into the entrance of a yellow jacket nest is one way of killing yellow jackets and rendering their nest uninhabitable. Of course, this particular tactic should be done during the late evening, and measures should be taken to cover the skin in case the colony is feeling particularly bloodthirsty that evening.

*If you’re going to use soap water, why not do it with some organic dish soap like the kind Seventh Generation makes? Sure, you’ll still be the Tamerlane of the wasp world, but at least you’ll be remembered as the environmentally-friendly murderer of wasps.

Want to know more? You can read more tips on How to get rid of Yellow Jackets
, plus information to get rid of practically anything else that ails you – from bad breath to telemarketers to cellulite – at

A Sneak Peak at 2011 Hardwood Flooring Trends

As 2010 winds down, homeowners are allocating budget for home decorating in the upcoming calendar year, and that means expects are already giving their two cents on trends to look out for.

Many experts in home d cor say that paint will play a big role in home decorating, with the biggest change happening in how we define a “neutral” color palette. Previously, light browns and beige hues were thought to be the only neutral colors on the color wheel. Now decorators say that colors like mint green, light lavender, light yellow, and even peach are making their way into the “neutral zone. ”

You can find the mint greens and light lavenders anywhere from kitchen walls to living room furniture. The key is to pair these light colors with a darker, more traditional hardwood floor.

Oak hardwood floors will continue to be all the rage because they are seen as timeless and can be molded to work with a variety of design schemes. Homeowners can install an oak hardwood floor and five years down the road, redecorate their homes without needed to touch the wood.

As for the color of floors, stick to a color like Bruce Hardwood’s Saddle Summit or Bruce’s Vintage Brown Liberty. For dark oak flooring, go for Mullican’s Oak Dark Chocolate, which works exceptionally well with not just light colors, but also bright coral or red-colored walls.

Bright colors are another trend for 2011. With the economy still suffering, people are relying on youthful, bright colors to cheer up their homes, and their moods. Experts say intense turquoise and vivid greens can play up a dull and dreary looking room. The key is to keep it simple and use neutral colors to balance these bright hues out. White furniture and curtains would certainly do the trick.

When it comes to the hardwood finishes of the season, let the design of the room dictate the direction you’re going in. If you are thinking modern, then a satiny finish will be perfect. If you want to go classic or vintage, then you should look into handscraped.

Interested in learning more about OakFlooring and Oak Hardwood Floors
? Hardwood Installer is your #1 online source for information on Oak Hardwood Flooring

The Different Roofing Materials Used for Flatroofs, Their Advantages

The roof has had many different innovations in regards to the materials used to make them. Different designs through the years have made it a necessity to find newer, lightweight and more durable roofing materials. Add this up to other elements such as location, weather and natural elements and you have the requirement for different types of roofing materials.

There are two kinds of design for the roof. There is the Sloping or pitched and then there is the flatroof. Many architects and builders recommend the pitched or sloped because they are easier to maintain and install. Usually, flatroofs are used when pitched roofs cannot be. What must be watched out for is water infiltration when it is not regularly maintained and routinely repaired for damages.

For an effective flat roof, it should provide a waterproof casing for the building. Usually, Flatroofing materials form one or two layers of water resistant materials. These materials should be long lasting and cost-effective. Flatroofs should be perfectly aligned so as to redirect the water to the gutters, drains and downspouts to avoid buildup. Below are some of the roofing materials used for flat roofs, each will consist of their upside and downside, also the lifespan of the flatroof roofing materials.

One of the newest flatroof roofing materials available in the market that has been getting high praises is the Thermoplastic Polyolefin Roofing Membranes or the TPO. The TPO is regarded as the new-generation of single-ply roofing materials. Even though its single ply, it consists of three components or layers that make up its entirety. It has a structural deck or the outer skin; in the middle you will find the thermal insulation barrier, then a waterproofing skin is what adheres to the roof. Its materials are very efficient in the task at hand, they can be reusable if installed properly or applied with water or pebbles. TPO is very durable and has low toxicity. TPO though is not recyclable since it has petrochemical in it. Since TPO has been around for only ten years, life span cannot be calculated yet.

Another flatroof roofing material is the Elastomeric membranes or EPDM. They are usually used for industrial, institutional and commercial buildings. EPDM is also a singly ply roofing material made from ethylene propylene rubber. EPDM can be installed by either ballasting, mechanical fastening or full adherence. If ballasted or mechanically applied, EPDM can be reusable; they are also durable with an average lifespan of 20 plus years. One problem with EPDM is that they have been known to shrink in some circumstances.

Polyvinyl chloride or PVC roof membranes have the distinction of having the longest track record of usage among any thermo plastic roofing membranes. They have been in use since the start of the 1960’s. Even with the emergence of other flatroof roofing materials, PVC is still employed by many. PVC’s offer many inherent features such as, can be produced in different colors, it has high resistance to perforation and impact, and resistant also to fire exposure. It has great flexibility and tolerance to extreme temperatures. The problem with PVC is that they are not reusable and unrecyclable. The average span of PVC flatroof roofing material is twenty-five years and some.

One of the most durable flatroof roofing material and has been use for a long time is the mastic asphalt. Mastic asphalt is the most durable waterproofing membrane on the market. It is very durable and flexible as well. Mastic asphalt is recyclable, non-toxic, and odorless and can withstand extreme temperatures. They can also last for over 60 years.

Depending on the location, use and budget of your structure, each and everyone of these flatroof roofing material can benefit you. Talk it over with your designer, engineer, architect and builders and find out which one would best suit your structure.

Online entrepreneur Sara Jenkins, is dedicated to helping others and their needs to succeed in life by offering free payroll tips everyday. To learn more about her free roofing tips, and to sign up for her FREE Roofing articles and FREE bonus how-to books and resources, visit

Home Mosquito Control Turning Your Yard Into Hostile Territory For Mo

The No-Fly zone: Turning your yard into hostile territory for mosquitoes

Ready to get rid of those mosquitoes around the house? Great. But there’s one thing you should know about home mosquito control right up front.

There’s no silver bullet to mosquito prevention, no one product or tactic guaranteed to clear them out of your yard. And you will never be able to get them all; it’s just not possible. The best you do is thin out their numbers and lessen the odds of getting bitten when you go out of the house.

To accomplish this, you’ll have to use a combination of approaches. That includes ferreting out the possible mosquito breeding sites around your house, making the yard as inhospitable as you can, and attacking the adult swarms with everything from mosquito traps to mosquito spray.

It will take some time, and yes, cost you some money, as well, but when you’re done, you will be able to relax outside your home, confident that you’re as safe from the marauding bloodsuckers as you possibly can be.

Effective mosquito control starts with a thorough inspection of the potential battlefield, so let’s head outside for a look around.

Is your yard a breeding ground for mosquitoes?

On your way out, check all the doors and windows in the house. Every window that opens should have a screen that fits tightly into place – no gaps around the edges – and is in good repair, without cuts or holes.

Same for entrances. You need a good screen door for each. When closed, the screen door should be snug against the door frame, and the screen should not have any damage that would allow mosquitoes to get inside.

Of course, they don’t do any good if you raise the window screens along with the windows, or leave the screen door propped wide when the house door is open. Mosquitoes can and will come into the house any chance they get, so make sure to always keep the screens in place.

Outside, you need to look for standing water, in both the obvious places and the not-so-obvious. The folks at the Alameda County (Cal. ) Mosquito Control District put it best on their website:

“The main rule when it comes to breeding grounds for mosquitoes is that they need stagnant water in order to lay their eggs. What most people don’t realize is the surprising number of areas around their own house where mosquitoes can find the stagnant water they need. The main rule: If it can hold water for more than a few days, it can breed mosquitoes. “

Female mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as an inch of water. So look for these likely places where mosquitoes can breed:

  • Tree holes – Some mosquitoes favor laying their eggs in hollowed-out places in trees where rainwater collects. Dealing with these can be tricky because insecticide might harm the tree, as could removing part of it. You may want to consult a landscaping expert or tree service for help.

  • Yard equipment – An upright wheelbarrow, an empty flowerpot, or even an abandoned shovel can hold water long enough to develop mosquito larvae. Store equipment inside, or turn it over so that rain will run off. Drill holes in the bottoms of containers that must remain outside, so they can drain.

  • Tarps – Any kind of plastic or nylon cover, whether it is draped over a stack of firewood or a boat, will eventually begin to sag and develop pockets where water can collect. Tighten them where you can and check them frequently.

  • Toys – Rain will fill toy trucks, teacup sets, or Frisbees left lying in the grass. The same for old-fashioned tire swings, which collect stagnating rainwater, or any old tire left laying in the yard. Make sure the kids pick up after themselves, and get rid of the tires.

  • Puddles – You may have low spots in the yard where water gathers and is slow to drain. If the water stands for more than a week at a time, you’ll get mosquitoes during the warm months. Fill in the spots, install drainage pipes, or change the landscaping to keep the water away.

  • Rain gutters – When the gutters on your house get clogged with debris, water can back up and become stagnant. Check the gutters regularly, especially if you have heavy leaf fall. Also, keep the yard raked. Overturned leaves hold water, and mosquitoes like to breed in them.

  • Birdbaths and wading pools – Take a hose to the birdbath at least once a week during warm weather to keep the water from stagnating. Turn the kids’ pool over and stand it up against a wall when they aren’t using it. If you have a swimming pool, make sure you clean and service it regularly.

OK, you’ve taken care of the standing water in the yard. Now, since mosquitoes like to rest in warm, moist vegetation during the day, make sure you keep the grass cut and the bushes trimmed, and clear all the weeds out of the flower beds regularly. Water the grass and plants enough to keep them healthy, but avoid doing it so much everything stays wet.

Natural mosquito control around the home

Next, you may want to make a few additions to the yard that can help control mosquitoes organically.

You’ve probably heard of the citrosa, called the “mosquito plant, ” that’s supposed to miraculously repel mosquitoes just by its presence. Unfortunately, that’s not completely true. Mosquito control studies have shown that an undisturbed citrosa has very little effect on the pesky bloodsuckers.

However, the citrosa leaves do contain citronella oil, which is a mosquito repellent. And there are other plants with oils and fragrances believed to irritate mosquitoes, including citronella grass, lemon thyme, catnip and rosemary.

The trick is that you have to crush the leaves in order to release the mosquito repellents. Not terribly effective as an active measure, but it might be worth planting some around your favorite spots, so you can rub the leaves on your skin when you’re outside, to help keep the mosquitoes away.

This is also a good time to think about a small decorative pond to aid in mosquito control.

If you have one already, it’s a good bet mosquitoes breed in it, unless it gets a constant flow of fresh water. A natural way to treat the pond for mosquitoes is to stock it with gambusia, also known as the mosquito eating fish.

Gambusia feed on mosquito larvae, primarily wigglers at the surface. They grow to about two inches and require no care. About 35 to 100 are enough to keep a small ornamental pond relatively free of mosquitoes, according to Rutgers University entomologists.

Many local mosquito control districts will provide them for free as long as they are kept somewhere that does not connect to other water environments. Gambusia are predatory fish and have been known to feed on the young of other native species.

Meanwhile, if you don’t have a pond, it could be a good idea to get one installed. Designed correctly, a small decorative pond can attract dragonflies, sometimes known as “mosquito hawks” because they feed on both mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes.

The British Dragonfly Society recommends the pond be at least 130 square feet, but obviously, you can go much smaller. Put it somewhere protected from wind, but where it can receive direct sunlight to keep the dragonflies warm.

The pond needs to be deep at one end, at least two feet, and shallow at the other, so dragonfly larvae, called “nymphs, ” can dive when threatened by predators and eventually crawl out of the water once they’ve grown.

Stock the pond with native aquatic plants that rise above the surface, giving the larvae a place to rest and hide in the roots, and the young adults a place to rest out of the water. Also plant shrubs close by to encourage the adults to stick around.

Surround the pond with flat, light-colored rocks. Some dragonflies like to land on flat rocks to sun themselves.

One quick note: You may have heard that bats and purple martins also are handy to have arou
nd because they eat mosquitoes. But researchers say those are fallacies. Bats prefer other insects, with mosquitoes making up less than one percent of their diet. Purple martins are partial to dragonflies.

Mosquito spraying and other forms of attack

Now that you’ve turned your yard downright unfriendly toward mosquitoes, it’s time to take a little more aggressive action. Again, you’ll need to use a combination of tactics.

One of those involves insecticide.

You can kill mosquito larvae in standing water with a product like Mosquito Bits, which contains the Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis bacteria, the most effective larvacide, or you can apply a larvacidal oil to the water’s surface to keep the larvae from breathing.

Adults are susceptible to foggers and mosquito spray.

Foggers heat insecticide and release it into the yard in low volumes, killing mosquitoes on contact, but the fog, and its effectiveness, wear off within a few hours. A mosquito spray, such as permethrin or bifenthrin, lasts a little longer and can be used to coat areas where mosquitoes like to rest.

Spray the grass, trees, bushes, wooden fences and walls of the house, then let it dry. The poison, a synthetic version of the insecticide produced by the chrysanthemum plant, kills mosquitoes on contact by attacking their nervous systems.

You can find larvacides, foggers and sprays in most hardware and home improvement stores.

Believe it or not, you are still going to have mosquitoes, even after all of this. Different tricks work with different species, and there could be tens of thousands of mosquitoes from a dozen or more species flying around your neighborhood.

To add the next layer of protection, replace the regular lights bulbs in your outside lights with yellow bulbs, which attract significantly fewer insects. Then, put a mosquito trap in your yard, away from the deck, patio or anywhere you normally spend time.

Mosquito traps mimic the attractants that draw female mosquitoes to feed on human bodies. They release carbon dioxide and Octenol, found in exhaled breath and sweat, and they emit heat and light in ranges designed to stimulate the mosquitoes.

The traps can lure mosquitoes from more than 100 feet away, then sweep them through a fan into a container where they die. While you sit comfortably, the mosquitoes are tricked away from you to another corner of the yard and quietly disposed of by your trap.

Within about two months of running the trap, you can expect to see significant reductions in the local mosquito population, as female after female is drawn in and dies without laying more eggs.

And that’s it. You have implemented a thorough, comprehensive program of home mosquito control. Now put on a little mosquito repellent with DEET – you can’t be too careful – and go enjoy a nice summer evening outdoors.

Want to know more about mosquito control and getting rid of mosquitoes using mosquito traps ? You can read more at –

Storage Shed Building Tips – Build Your Shed Right the First Time

The following storage shed building tips will help you easily build the perfect shed.

Building Codes and Ordinances – One of the best ways to ensure a smooth construction process is to check with your local building code and zoning ordinance department. They will give you all of the information you need to build your storage shed. Ask about special restrictions and permits required. Don’t overlook this step! You don’t want to have to tear down your newly built shed because you didn’t take a few minutes to make this crucial phone call.

Your Homeowner’s Association – Ask your homeowner’s association (if you have one) for storage shed building tips, including any restrictions in regards to setback, dimensions, and design. Submit your storage shed plans to your homeowner’s association and get their approval in writing. That way you have proof of your approval should an issue ever arise.

What Will You Use Your Shed For? – One of the most important first decisions you should make before building a storage shed is to define the purpose of your shed. Make sure your shed will meet your needs and that the dimensions of your shed are large enough to accommodate your purpose.

What “Look” Do You Want? – Would you rather build a shed that matches your home or do you want a shed that stands out? Do you like the look of a barn shed or a shed that looks like a miniature house?

Get Construction Education – Before you start construction, get educated on storage shed building tips and construction terminology, especially when building from scratch using shed plans. “Know” what you are doing before you do it. Never guess!

Make Sure You Have the Proper Tools – Storage shed plans and instructions usually give you a list of tools needed, including a level, chalk line, rafter square, power miter saw, jig saw, hammer, handsaw, tape measure, drill, reciprocating saw, and more. Always use the recommended tools when building a storage shed.

Safety is Important – Many people get excited to start construction on their storage shed and neglect to think about safety, but following safety procedures is vital. Storage shed building tips for safety include following the safety recommendations of the manufacturers, providing proper supports when using power tools and saws, pulling back your hair if it is long, avoiding wearing jewelry and loose clothing, and wearing eye protection during the entire construction process.

Low Cost Building Materials – You can find cheap or even free building materials if you are flexible about what you are willing to use to build your shed. Look at the clearance and returns area of your nearest home improvement store or lumberyard. Head for the customer service counter and ask if there are any unadvertised bargains. For free building materials, look at what people are throwing out on garbage pickup days. You would be surprised and some of the good things people put out for pick up. Many times, you will find doors, windows, and hardware that people have thrown out, sometimes just needing a little paint or repair. However, keep the above storage shed building tip in mind and make sure your materials are safe. Don’t use unsafe building materials just because they are inexpensive or free.

Want more storage shed building tips? Check out the free resources available at

Keep Raccoons Out of Your Trash – Get Rid of Raccoons

Waking up in the morning to once again having to pick up all the trash may have you wanting to find a way in preventing raccoons from getting into your trash. While there are many different products on the market it is important to choose one that best fits your situation. Including the fact that you have pets and children running around in your yard on a daily basis will be a big factor in the product that you choose. You have many choices when it comes to repelling a raccoon from your trash can include an electronic fence that is battery operated.

When you are looking at your choices you want to make sure that the product you choose will be safe as well as effective. When looking at a fence to keep the raccoons away there are some things you will need to consider. Having pets and children frequently in your yard may be a determining factor on whether or not you choose this option. Secluding the area where the trash cans are may be a way that you can choose this effective repelling method.

Choosing a deterring solution may be easier for you when you see that there is a product that is activated by sensor to deter the animal. There is a water repellent sprinkler type option that may interest you. This option is sensor activated and it will repel raccoons from hitting up your trash can every night in a safe and effective method. Also, choosing this method has no clean up involved and works to deter other animals as well. You can use this product wherever you need to deter unwanted animals from your property including the trash can.

Other methods that may be the solution you are looking for to protect your trash can, may include a spray or granules for your solution. When choosing a product to deter raccoons you may want to choose products that organic and completely safe to use. When you choose these products they will be safe fro humans, other animals and plants. Choosing a spray to create a perimeter that deters the raccoon may be the best solution for you if you are protecting a small space. Deterring animals by taste and smell these sprays are quite effective in keeping unwanted animal out of your garbage as well as other areas.

Granular products are also very effective in keeping raccoons away. With most of these products being organic they are a safe choice. Also some of these products do not require frequent applications. So you will be able to keep the raccoons out of the garbage with a safe and cost effective product.

Unwanted animals on your property can now be deterred easily with these and other repellent products. You will be able to choose one that fits your needs and is safe for you and your family. Preventing raccoons from getting into your trash can be easier than you thought when you select from one of the products on the market today.

Michael Scott Brown

To learn more about animal repellent and deterrent you’ll want to check out the following sites.
Animal Repellent

Raccoon Repellent