A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Rid of Mice

Many feel tempted to delay taking action to eliminate a rodent problem, not realizing that “time is not on your side.” Mice populations can soar within only a few weeks and then they can do extensive damage.

Therefore, it is critical to contact a local pest control company with rodent control services as soon as possible after a mouse sighting.

If you wish to tackle them on your own, Here are five steps to ridding your home/business of mice:

1. Spotting/Detecting the Mice

Anywhere there is a source of food and a warm, sheltered nesting location, mice are liable to make themselves at home. Mice are quick, elusive nocturnal foragers, however, so you may not even spot one for some time. If you do, it will likely be at night.

Signs that mice (or rats) are living in your home, short of seeing one, include: squeaking, scratching noises, an unpleasant odor caused by mouse defecation, droppings and urine pillars, mouse tracks, damaged food products, and anxious pet behavior.

2. Contacting a Pest Control Company

Once you suspect a mouse is present on your property, waste no time in contacting a local pest control company that can render your building mouse-free within a matter of days.

You should be able to get a free estimate, a reasonable rate, and fast, effective service, so do some comparison shopping. Make sure the company has extensive training/experience in eradicating rodents, good references from past clients, and uses only safe, legal methods.

3. The Initial Inspection

The inspection will cover all rooms of the house where mice may routinely forage or where they may be entering the building. Once entry points, nesting sites, and “mouse paths” have been located, an effective strategy can be formed.

Mice can squeeze in through small cracks/holes as small as a quarter-inch wide, so all potential routes into the building must be sealed off. Inspectors will also look for grease marks where mouse hair rubbed against walls, fresh tracks, and for mouse nests, often hidden in wall cavities.

4. Treatment Methods

Various techniques will be used by your pest control company, including poisoned baits, snap traps, glue traps, live traps, physical repellents, and electronic repellents.

Traps should be set along mouse paths, but also in hidden/hard-to-reach areas since traps out in the open will catch fewer mice and be a danger to children/pets.

Captured/killed mice must be disposed of quickly to prevent decomposition and the spread of bacteria. All traps should be checked at least twice a day.

5. Results and Future Prevention

Your pest control company should do a follow-up inspection, but if there are no new droppings, tracks, scratching sounds, or sightings within a few days, all mice are likely eliminated.

To keep it that way, keep up high sanitation, seal foods in tight-lidded containers, and seal trash cans as well. With entry points blocked and no food readily available, mice are not likely to get in.

 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Brain_Kreston/2315180
If you want to tackle this problem yourself take a look at the Next Page.

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Keeping Bats Out of Your Home

Bats can be found in most parts of the world with the exception of extreme cold climate and severe desert. They are a very beneficial part of nature. Scientist consider bats one of natures own pest controls.

About 70% of the bat population consume insects as their main diet. The Virginia big-eared bat fore instance. will devour half its weight in bugs every night during warm weather months.

As beneficial as they can be for the natural remove of insects, having them inside of our homes is not a good thing. Bats can cause a lot of damage to your house when they try to make it their home also. These critters can spread a number of diseases.

Keeping bats out of your home is difficult thing to do because of their size and ability to cling to the side of a building. They will nest under siding shakes, in louvers, soffits, etc. Pretty much any where there is a small crevice for then to tuck themselves into.

 

Here is some great advice from WFmynews2 on keeping them out of your home.

 

Decide if Repairs Are Worth It

Decide if Repairs are Worth it

When you decide to sell your home, you need to ask yourself if certain repairs that need to be done around the house, that you just haven’t gotten to, are worth doing or having someone come in and do them.

Some buyers would pay more for a house that they can just move into and not have to do any repairs, while others would rather pay a little less and do some fixing.

It partly depends on if you want to sell fast or want the most you can get for it.

Here are some of the things for you to take into consideration when deciding if you should make those repairs.

Is it one of the first things potential buyers will see? First impressions are key, and that is never more true than in the real estate business! If you have a repair you are unsure about tackling, use this as a litmus test: Is it something the buyer will see as he or she approaches your house and walks through the front door? If so, fix it.

Does the faulty item give the impression the property has not been well cared for? Leaky faucets, cracked tiles, an overgrown lawn, broken appliances or anything else that doesn’t work as it should can immediately turn off buyers. At an open house, people often zip through quite quickly, and if they notice one or two things that send up red flags, they may not give your home another chance.

Can you find a less expensive fix? Let’s say you scoped out the comparable homes on the market in your neighborhood, and they all have updated kitchens, but yours hasn’t been touched since the ’80s. Rather than spend big on a full kitchen remodel, why not give your kitchen a less costly refresh? For instance, you could paint the cabinets, swap out cabinet hardware, change the light fixtures and upgrade the appliances to something current and functional but not top-of-the-line. You will put some money into it but not nearly as much as with a full remodel — well worth it if it gets your home in the running in a competitive market.

Great tips from  a Houzz Contributor.
Most small projects that will make that first impression are well worth the time and money to get them repaired.

 

 

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Thinking that your dishwasher is clean, can be fatal for your machine. During normal use, grease, lime  and calcium scale, and soap scum, will build up in your machine. This build up will start clogging spray arms, piping and drains and put extra wear and tear on the pumps and motors.

Before you need to call the repairman, add cleaning your dishwasher on your monthly to do list.

Use the following instructions on cleaning your dishwasher to help it last a long time.

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up the door to your dishwasher and look inside at the bottom where the water drains out and anything that may have been stuck to your dishes likes to go to hide.Keep your dishwasher clean and running smoothly by spending just a few minutes maintaining it each month!

If you do see anything, which you probably will, grab a paper towel and pick it up and remove it to the trash.Keep your dishwasher clean and running smoothly by spending just a few minutes maintaining it each month!

Next, take a look at the interior of your dishwasher’s door. This is an area that most of us never think to look at, but it has a lot of grooves that can collect soap scum, food particles, and just general grime. Really, you’re going to be so surprised! If you haven’t done this in a couple of months (or ever) it will probably be pretty filthy!

Keep your dishwasher clean and running smoothly by spending just a few minutes maintaining it each month!

Now for the fun (easy) part. Grab a bottle of Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner and let it do the rest for you! Finish® Dishwasher Cleaner has 5x Power Actions that help keep your machine clean and shiny, remove lime scale, clear grease, clean hidden parts that you can’t even see, and freshen the whole thing up! Plus is comes in a cool bottle. All you have to do is remove the little peel back tab on the top of the lid and place the bottle upside down in the bottom rack of your dishwasher.

See the great article with the full steps at creeklinehouse.com

Keeping all of your dishwasher and all of your appliances clean and well maintained will save you from having to make a call the serviceman as often or replacing your machines.

 

Cleaning a Gas Grill

cleaning a gas grll

With everything that goes on in life. remembering to clean your gas grill may not be on the top of your list. With summer time comes more time for grilling and parting, but if you let your grill go without a good cleaning for too long it can become a fire hazard.

Not  many people really like cleaning a grill, but it is one of those chores that needs to be done. Cleaning your gas grill can be a messy job, so be sure to have the right tools and cleaners on hand to do the job correctly.

As much of a project it can be, using harsh chemical cleaners, is the last thing you want to do when cleaning your grill. Beside the fact that they are harmful to you and the environment, they will also damage your grills part.

Grill and oven cleaning can also leave residues that will change the taste of your for and may be toxic.

I prefer to put down some old towels or a plastic tarp under my grill before I start to catch any mess that falls from the grill.

Check out the video on cleaning your grill.

Rival Electric Water Kettle Recall

Walmart Recalls Rival Electric Water Kettles Due to Burn and Shock Hazards

 

Name of product:

Rival brand Electric Water Kettles  Model #’s  WK8283CU and WK8283CUY

Hazard:

The heating element can fail and rupture, posing burn and shock hazards to the user.

 

If you have purchased on of these Rival Water Kettles from Walmart contact them for a full refund.

Walmart at 800-925-6278 between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT Saturday, or noon and 6 p.m. Sunday; or visit the company’s website at www.Walmart.com and click “Product Recalls.”

Better Maintenance, Longer Lasting

When we buy stuff, and it is brand new, it looks and works great, as we use it, it loses some of that luster and my not perform the way it should.

We all know things like changing the oil in our vehicle, keeping the gutters clean, or adding a fresh coat of paint before it is needed, will help prolong the life of these things. But sometimes we neglect simple things we can do to keep our tools and equipment in good condition.

Here are some great tips from family handyman to keep stuff in good condition.

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

On carpet, dirt acts like thousands of little blades. Walking across a dirty carpet grinds sharp dirt particles against the yarn, making tiny nicks in the fibers. That dulls the sheen, which is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, grinding dirt will actually wear away the fibers themselves.

Bottom line: The less dirt in your carpet, the longer it will last. A good rule of thumb is to vacuum your carpet once a week. High-traffic areas will require more frequent vacuuming.

 

Keep Batteries Charged

Keep Batteries Charged

Batteries can deteriorate and die if they go a long time without being charged. Charge the batteries for your boat, motorcycle or riding lawn mower at least once a month in the off-season. Another option is to hook them up to a battery maintainer. A battery maintainer won’t damage your battery like a trickle charger would. A maintainer has smart monitoring circuitry that charges the battery only when it needs it. Remove the battery and store it indoors if you live in an area with severely cold winters.

MYTH: Don’t store batteries on a concrete surface.

FACT: According to the folks at Interstate Battery, “Tremendous technological improvements have been made in the seals around the battery posts and vent systems, which have virtually eliminated electrolyte seepage and migration. So, it’s OK to set or store your battery on concrete.”

 

 

Lubricate Bits and Blades

Lubricate Bits and Blades

Use Boelube to make drill bits last longer. Whenever you drill multiple holes in metal, stick the bit into the lube before starting each one. It also works on metal-cutting reciprocating and band saw blades. It reduces friction, which makes the cutting edge last longer. The product number is 70200-13, and it is available from multiple online retailers.

 

 

Rinse Your Spreader

Rinse Your Spreader

Chemicals from fertilizers speed up corrosion of the metal parts of your spreader, so rinse it out every time you use it. After it dries, coat all the moving parts with a light lubricant spray like WD-40.

Keep the Roof Clean

Keep the Roof Clean

Leaves and moss can trap water and cause your roof to deteriorate prematurely. You can blow the leaves off a low-pitched roof with a leaf blower. On steeper roofs, you can pull them off with a broom on an extension pole. And it’s wise to trim back all branches that are close to or touching the shingles.

Chemically treat mold, then sweep it off with a soft broom. A diluted bleach solution will kill mold but could also kill the plants on the ground below, so be careful to spray just enough to soak the mold itself. Specific roof cleaners containing fungicide are also available. Installing zinc strips at the peak of the roof can help keep mold at bay.

 

Refrigerator

 

      Vacuum Your Refrigerator Coils 

       Your refrigerator has a set of coils either on the back or underneath the unit, these coils put out a lot of heat when cooling the fridge, over time the coils collect dust and hair from the air and get clogged. This causes the coils to over heat and the appliance to operate poorly. You can save up to $100 a year by cleaning your coils, and it’s not at all a difficult task.

 

Gas water heater

Check and Flush Water Heater

Your water heater can get loaded with sediment and minerals that are in the water and cause corrosion in side your water heater causing to run inefficiently. For more on water heater maintenance, see our article http://www.homediyfixes.com/getting-to-know-your-water-heater/

 

Dishwasher

Cleaning your Dishwasher

Thinking that your dishwasher is clean can be a fatal mistake for your machine. During normal use, grease, lime  and calcium scale, and soap scum, will build up in your machine, clogging, spray arms, piping and drains, put extra wear and tear on the pumps and motors. For instructions on cleaning your dishwasher to help it last a long time. Visit http://www.homediyfixes.com/cleaning-your-dishwasher/

 

Keeping all the things around your home clean takes a little time, but will save you a bunch of money in the long run.

Check out the rest of the tips at familyhandyman.com

 

 

 

 

Help Stop a Burglary

Statistics show that 65% of home burglars gain access thru the front door or garage entrance door. There a numerous things you can do to stop a burglary from happening, one quick thing you can do is to install a proper deadbolt on all your exterior doors. If you have an existing deadbolt, you should check to see that it is installed with the proper hardware, as many of them, especially older ones, used smaller crews that need to be up graded.

 

 

Check all exterior doors

A secure entry starts with a solid door and a Grade 1 or Grade 2 deadbolt with a solid 1-in. long throw bolt (see “Buying a Deadbolt”). Any exterior door that only has a lock in the doorknob isn’t secure. A sturdy screwdriver or small pry bar can quickly bow the doorjamb enough to release the latch.Check your existing deadbolt. First, make sure the screws are tight. Open the door and extend the throw bolt. If it extends less than 1 in., or if it’s wobbly, a new deadbolt will be more secure.

Next, check the doorjamb and both strike plates. Remove the screws from the deadbolt and lockset strike plates on the door frame. If the screws aren’t 3 in. long, replace them, and also upgrade both plates. (Note:Use shorter screws if sidelight windows are less than 3 in. from the doorjamb.) These longer screws will reinforce the doorjamb, which is a vulnerable spot.

Install a heavy-duty strike plate to strengthen the doorjamb. We didn’t use the strike plate that came with the deadbolt. We opted for a more secure strike box plate that features four screws instead of two. (Two screws are installed inside the strike box to add strength; see Photo 6.) Mark the center of the old deadbolt strike plate (Photo 1), then temporarily install the new faceplate and deeply score around it to mark its position.

Next, remove the plate, then chisel and drill out space for both the new plate and the strike box. If the strike box is larger than the existing hole, use a 1-in. spade bit to bore two holes, spaced apart the width and the depth of the box.

Now remove the wood with a wood chisel to fit both the strike box plate and the faceplate (Photo 4). Be sure to use the wood chisel with the bevel side against the wood to keep from gouging too deep.

Finally, mount the plate and box and attach them with four 3-in. screws (Photo 5). Predrill pilot holes into the wall studs to make the screws easier to drive. Set the screws snug to the plate; overdriving might bow the jamb.

Exterior door

Instructions from Family Handy Man

 

Keeping burglars out is the first step to your safety.

 

 

 

Keeping Your Stuff Longer

When we purchase things that are brand new, they look and work great. Then as we use them, it loses some of that luster and my not preform as well as when we first got them.

We all know things like changing the oil in our vehicle, keeping the gutters clean, or adding a fresh coat of paint before it needs it, will help prolong the life of these things. But sometimes we neglect simple things we can do to keep our tools and equipment in good condition.

Here are some great tips to keep your stuff in good working condition and keep them working for years to come.

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

Vacuum Your Carpet Often

On carpet, dirt acts like thousands of little blades. Walking across a dirty carpet grinds sharp dirt particles against the yarn, making tiny nicks in the fibers. That dulls the sheen, which is why high-traffic areas appear duller than the rest of the carpet. Over time, grinding dirt will actually wear away the fibers themselves.

Bottom line: The less dirt in your carpet, the longer it will last. A good rule of thumb is to vacuum your carpet once a week. High-traffic areas will require more frequent vacuuming.

Keep Batteries Charged

Keep Batteries Charged

Batteries can deteriorate and die if they go a long time without being charged. Charge the batteries for your boat, motorcycle or riding lawn mower at least once a month in the off-season. Another option is to hook them up to a battery maintainer. A battery maintainer won’t damage your battery like a trickle charger would. A maintainer has smart monitoring circuitry that charges the battery only when it needs it. Remove the battery and store it indoors if you live in an area with severely cold winters.

MYTH: Don’t store batteries on a concrete surface.

FACT: According to the folks at Interstate Battery, “Tremendous technological improvements have been made in the seals around the battery posts and vent systems, which have virtually eliminated electrolyte seepage and migration. So, it’s OK to set or store your battery on concrete.”

 

Lubricate Bits and Blades

Lubricate Bits and Blades

Use Boelube to make drill bits last longer. Whenever you drill multiple holes in metal, stick the bit into the lube before starting each one. It also works on metal-cutting reciprocating and band saw blades. It reduces friction, which makes the cutting edge last longer. The product number is 70200-13, and it is available from multiple online retailers.

 

Rinse Your Spreader

Rinse Your Spreader

Chemicals from fertilizers speed up corrosion of the metal parts of your spreader, so rinse it out every time you use it. After it dries, coat all the moving parts with a light lubricant spray like WD-40.

Keep the Roof Clean

Keep the Roof Clean

Leaves and moss can trap water and cause your roof to deteriorate prematurely. You can blow the leaves off a low-pitched roof with a leaf blower. On steeper roofs, you can pull them off with a broom on an extension pole. And it’s wise to trim back all branches that are close to or touching the shingles.

Chemically treat mold, then sweep it off with a soft broom. A diluted bleach solution will kill mold but could also kill the plants on the ground below, so be careful to spray just enough to soak the mold itself. Specific roof cleaners containing fungicide are also available. Installing zinc strips at the peak of the roof can help keep mold at bay.

Some great advice from from familyhandyman.com

 

Keeping all the tings around your home clean takes a little time, but will save you a bunch of money in the long run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing Vines on Your House

Having climbing vines on your house such as ivy or other climbing vines, while it looks awesome and can add distinction to the building, it can be very destructive. While vines growing on a brick or concrete building will not be as damaging, it can still reek havoc in many ways.

On wood or vinyl sided homes the vines can work their way under the siding and separate it from the building causing areas for water, insects and even rodents to enter.

The root system from the climbing plants can also find their way into your foundation causing to to be weakened and allow the elements to enter.

Though ivy’s will provide shade to help keep you house cooler in the warmer months it also helps hold moisture which is damaging to the siding.

Surfaces and materials to keep ivy away from include:

  • Weakened Brick: Crumbling mortar, cracks, and loose bricks can be invaded by ivy roots, which can widen existing cracks and allow moisture to penetrate.
 
  • Dry-Stacked Walls: Mortarless stone walls naturally have plenty of cracks and crevices for ivy to take hold, and if you pull off the ivy, you run the risk of pulling down stones or even destroying the wall.

 
  • Old Brick Homes: The quality of mortar has improved over the years, so the older the home, the greater the risk of weakened mortar. Homes built before 1930 need particular caution, as older, lime-based mortar is softer than modern, cement-based mortar.
 
  • Wooden Walls and Fences: Ivy can easily work its way between boards, opening the joints and damaging the structure. The roots can also penetrate small weaknesses and cracks in the wood grain, increasing the risk of rot. And, if that’s not enough, ivy can harbor wood destroying insects and other pests.
 
  • Siding: Any siding or shakes with seams are vulnerable to penetration by ivy roots, which can cause damage both as the ivy’s growing and when it’s pulled off.
 
  • Stucco: The main problem with stucco comes when the ivy is pulled off, because it can pull off paint or even chunks of stucco, and the tiny roots can permanently discolor the surface.
 
  • Painted Surfaces: As with stucco, the ivy roots may damage your paint when pulled off.
 
  • Unsound Structures: Ivy is very heavy, and it can pull down weakened or improperly-built structures.

Thanks to todayshomeowner.com

If you have climbing vines on your home and you want to keep them, you need to keep a close eye on where the tendrils head to and keep them trimmed.

Ivy_growing_on_a_house