Have a Mouse in Your House

You are more likely to see signs of a mouse in your home during the cold winter months. During this time the mice are looking for a warm place hang out with a food supply. Once the mice find their way in, they need to be controlled quickly. Once they are able to establish a home the become more difficult to get rid of.

Although most people consider mice less objectionable than rats, mice are more common and cause significantly more damage. Mice are prolific breeders, producing 6-10 litters continuously throughout the year. The greatest economic loss from mice is not due to how much they eat, but what must be thrown out because of damage or contamination. Food, clothing, furniture, books and many other household items are contaminated by their droppings and urine, or damaged by their gnawing. House mice gnaw through electrical wiring, causing fires and failure of freezers, clothes dryers and other appliances. Mice also can transmit diseases, most notably salmonellosis (bacterial food poisoning) when food is contaminated with infected rodent feces. 

Mouse Behavior

Mice are nocturnal creatures, and, therefore, are rarely seen by the homeowner. The most obvious indicators of their presence are droppings (1/8 – 1/2-inches long, dark and pointed at both ends), sounds of them running, gnawing or squeaking, or damage to stored food or materials used for nesting. 

Compared to rats, mice forage only short distances from their nest — usually not more than 10-25 feet. When food and shelter are adequate, their foraging range may be only a few feet. For this reason, traps and other control devices must be placed in areas where mouse activity is most apparent. Mice prefer to travel adjacent to walls and other edges– another critical point to remember when positioning control devices. Mice are very inquisitive and will investigate each new object placed in their foraging territory. If control devices are not initially successful, move them around to a different location. 

Mice feed on a wide variety of foods but prefer seeds and cereal grains. They also are fond of foods high in fat and protein such as nuts, bacon, butter and sweets (an important point to remember when choosing a bait for snap traps). Mice are “nibblers” and may make 20-30 visits to different food sites each night. 

Tactics for ControlMouse trap

To control mice, you must “think like a mouse,” keeping in mind the behavioral traits noted above. The best way to control mice is to prevent their entry. Mice are able to squeeze through extremely small openings narrower than the diameter of a dime. Cracks in the foundation 1/4 inch and larger should be sealed, as should gaps and openings under doors and where utility pipes enter the structure. 

Good sanitation and food storage practices are helpful in reducing problems with house mice. Since seeds are a preferred food, all adjacent to the building should likewise be eliminated. However, because mice are able to occupy such small nesting areas and survive on minute amounts of food, sanitation alone will not normally eliminate an existing infestation. 

Other than calling a pest control firm, homeowners have three control options available for ridding their premises of mice:

  • toxic baits, known as rodenticides,
  • traps, or
  • glue boards. 

Keeping food in sealed heavy duty storage containers will help deter them from getting in to it and contaminating it.

Click Here to see our Step by Step Guide on Getting Rid of Mice.

Thanks for this wonderful advise from the University of Kentucky

 

Discover How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Bathroom Fixtures

Removing hard water stains from a toilet, tub or sink is a tough task. They are nasty looking and make you bathroom look dingy and unkept.

Using a common household product, you can get rid of those unsightly stains without expensive harmful chemicals that destroy the finish on your fixtures.

Watch this video to see how easy removing hard water stain can be using a little vinegar.

It Also Works For Pots & Pans Too…

And great for wiping down counter tops and appliances without harsh chemicals.

You can have a clean toilet, pristine, sparkling pans and a stress free, worry free life in one easy step.

Crystal Clear Streak Free Windows

The key to crystal clear streak-free windows is having the correct tools. So many people try using window cleaner and paper towels or even newspaper. That way works but takes a long time and usually still streaks. The best way is to have the tools the pros use, anyone can acquire them from your local hardware store or home center.

Supplies you will need:

A large pail

Micro-fiber squeegee sponge

Rubber squeegee

Easy glide window cleaner. Helps the squeegee slide on the glass

Soft clean cloths or sponge

 

Put the Easy Slide solution in your pail, dip the Micro-fiber sponge in the solution, getting it completely wet. Wash the entire window with the solution.

Grab your squeegee while the window is still wet and starting at the top corner of the  window, pull the squeegee across the window to the other side without stopping. Moving down until you get to the bottom of the window, then wipe the edges of the window with the clean cloth and you’re done.

Nice Job!

Here is a quick video showing you how the pro’s wash windows

 

 

 

Getting Your Garage Organized!

Leaving your car out in the elements can be costly, damage to the paint from the suns rays, tree sap, hail or other things mother nature may throw at it, yet it’s estimated that 70 percent of us don’t park our cars in our garage. The number one reason for this, we have too much other stuff in there. Getting your garage organized can be a big project. With help from this guide you may find it easier than you would have thought.

 

The Big Clean-Out: Getting Started

• Set aside at least a full day, or even a full weekend or two, to get the job done.
• Make decluttering a family project and invite over a few friends to pitch in, and it’ll go a lot faster.
• Go through absolutely everything, including boxes you didn’t unpack when you moved in—you never know where that family heirloom might be lurking.
• Sort all items into three piles: keep, donate or sell, and toss. Lay them on dedicated tarps or mark off areas of your driveway with chalk and place them there. What should get the boot: outgrown toys, items that are broken beyond repair, expired household chemicals (which may need special disposal), and anything you haven’t used in two years or more. If you have a hard time letting go of things that have sentimental value, snap pictures as keepsakes.
• Sort the keepers into broad categories (for example, sports equipment, hand tools), and place them in well-marked cardboard boxes or, better yet, stackable clear-plastic bins you can use later. Put the keepers back in the garage for now.
• As soon as possible, donate giveaways and schedule a yard sale to get rid of castoffs.

Draft a Floor Planorganize-garage 2

Most manufacturers of garage-organizing systems offer free space planning, so use their services as you research how to store all your gear. Before buying anything, take down your garage’s dimensions and note the size and location of windows, doors, switches, and receptacles, as well as how much space your car takes up. Then use the following rules of thumb as you assign things a home.
1. Items you use together, such as gardening tools and lawn chemicals, should be stored close to one another.
2. Put bulky equipment, like lawn mowers, in corners, where they won’t get bumped or knocked over by your car.
3. Place frequently used items, like bikes, close to the garage door.
4. Stash seasonal or rarely used items in the hardest-to-reach spots.
Read the complete guide at Thisoldhouse.com

Home Safety Tips – Safety Checklist

Safe Family

The safety of your home and your loved ones is more important than any material possession. It’s imperative that you look after their wellbeing, and by going through the following checklist you can be well prepared for any emergency situation. As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”…

Make a home safety list of all the rooms in your home, and work your way through them ensuring that you’ve eliminated potential accidents, and that you’ve prepared emergency procedures and ready for any eventuality.

1. Test Your Equipment

It’s no good having a smoke alarm that doesn’t trigger during a fire, or a panic button that does nothing more than click due to flat batteries in a time of dire need. Make the effort to double check that your best warnings against emergency situations are in tiptop working order.

Your alarm systems should have system check instructions either printed on it or in the manual. If you can’t find any details, try phoning your home security company and asking for more information on your model.

2. Electricity

Fuse boxes, overloaded power points and appliances in bathrooms are just a few of the possible hazards that you’ll need to look out for on your home safety checklist.
Baby proofing plugs and cables is an obvious decision if you have small children, but an also a great idea if you have pets.

Be sure to have any electrical faults in your home, such as faulty light or plugs, seen to by a professional as bad wiring poses massive fire risks – thatch roof home owners; be extra cautious.

3. Make a Neighbour a Friend

If you have any friends in your street or neighbourhood that you can trust, give them a copy of your key and put their phone number on your list of emergency numbers.
If you already have a neighbour looking after a spare key, it’s also a good idea to ask them double check that your key is safe and in place.

4. Teach Your Children

Spend some time showing your children how to use the telephone and where to locate the list of emergency numbers. Explain each emergency number to them and make sure that they know the best procedure for any crisis situation.
Children are can be easily misled by strangers. Allocate a “trust word” and give this word to an adult as a form of a password to let the children know that you gave them permission to trust the stranger in an emergency.

5. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit can be used for treating a grazed knee, or mean the difference between life and death. It’s fundamentally important that your household, workplace and car have a first aid kit on hand.

Make sure that your first aid kit includes the following:

o Antiseptic liquid

o Cotton swabs

o Cotton wool

o Gauze

o Scissors

o Safety pins

o Bandages

o Latex gloves

o CPR mouth piece

o Plasters

o Tweezers

o Thermometer

o Antihistamine Cream

Your first aid kit should also include information on CPR, the Heimlich Manoeuvre and emergency telephone numbers.

6. Inside and Out

The garden and surrounding areas of your home are possibly riddled with hazards. In your garage or garden shed, make sure that all flammable liquids and gasses are properly sealed and stored away. Oil spills or leaky canisters can have disastrous effects with the smallest of spark or flame.
If you’ve got children or pets, both a pool cover and a fence around the perimeter are a good idea to secure loved ones.

Home safety is an essential part of life as we know it. The old adage is true – it really is better top be safe than sorry.

ADT Security is South Africa’s leading security company. We believe that every single person has the right to a safe and secure home and that this goal is attainable if we all work together. Our home safety tips will help you become the master of your own wellbeing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Damian_Burke/107081

 

[Video] How to Change a Deadbolt Lock

Like most things in life your deadbolt lock on your entry doors will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. So before you get locked out of your home do a little maintenance on your lock.

If you notice the lock starting to stick or be hard to turn, you will want to first lubricate the lock and spin the key a few times to work it in. If there are still issues, consider replacing the lock.

Types of lubricants

  • White lithium grease is a thicker grease that repels water, which can cause rust and corrosion. It clings to the places where you use it and holds up to harsh conditions, such as rain and snow. It is designed to work on metal parts, such as hinges and latches.
  • WD-40 is a lubricant used for many household items as well as car parts. It is designed for light-duty lubrication or to unstick areas. It can help remove rust on car hinges and latches.
  • Silicone spray is gentler and lubricates areas that contain non-metal parts. It is safe for use on nylon, plastic and other materials. Use it for light lubrication.
  • Graphite lubricant is the choice for locks because it doesn’t attract dust and dirt, which can damage the locking mechanism.Great advice from yourmechanic.com

Changing a deadbolt lock is a simple DIY project, the only tool you should need a couple of house hold tools.

Head over to the Next Page to see how to  change a deadbolt lock.

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Your Dryer Can Be a Fire Hazard!

Most people use the appliances in their homes without realizing how dangerous they can be if they are not maintained on a regular basis. Your dryer can be a fire hazard because the lint from your clothes. Although there is a lint filter that you clean out each time you do a load of laundry, not all of the lint gets caught in the filter. The lint that slips through or past the filter will get into the dryer casing, the dryer vent piping or even your walls. That lint will dry out and build up until it stops the air flow and can catch fire.

I found this great video from www.askmediy.com to show you how to clean out your dryer to prevent a fire hazard.

 

Five Important Forms Of Maintenance That No Homeowner Should Ever Overlook

Home Maintenance

As a homeowner, there are a lot of things that you can do to control your ownership costs. Foremost among these is to practice diligent maintenance. Good property maintenance can prevent minor issues from spiraling out of control. It also give you the chance to spot potential problems and prevent them from ever occurring at all. The following are five things that every property owner should do to protect his or her investment.

Schedule a whole house plumbing inspection at least once per year. During these visits, plumbers walk through the entire house and search for signs of leaks that are hidden or slow. These might be hiding behind your appliances or your drywall. If they aren’t identified and resolved early on, they can cause a considerable amount of property damage.

In addition to preventing water damage, these inspections can also stave off problems with mold. Having unchecked moisture behind your walls can result in the proliferation of mold, mildew and other harmful organisms. Not only will these devalue critical building materials and structures, but they can also wreak havoc on the indoor air quality, which will be problematic for those with chronic respiratory issues.Image result for laundry room

Have major household appliances serviced. Slow and hidden leaks are most commonly caused by faulty appliance connections. A quick look at the related hoses and other attachments is a great way to protect your flooring and baseboards from preventable floods. Having your water pressure checked can also extend the lifetime of these investments by limiting the amount of wear and tear that they’re subjected to.

Invest in a home warranty that pays for various forms of maintenance assistance. Making sure that you have a feasible plan for taking care of essential upkeep is critical, especially if you are already overwhelmed by the costs of owning a home. These service agreements can be structured to pay for one to two routine visits from plumbers, electricians and appliance technicians among other contractors.

Have a professional landscaper check your backyard for fast-growing tree roots or weeds that could compromise your plumbing system. These can permeate clay pipes at the property exterior and cause whole-house back-ups. You can divert piping systems away from tree roots ad invasive weeds or you can switch dated, clay pipes out with more advanced materials.

Schedule a roofing inspection and annually and have your gutters and downspouts thoroughly cleaned at least twice per year. These efforts will keep your roofing substrate from being constantly subjected to standing pools of water during the wettest months of the year. Anything that you can do to keep water moving efficiently off of this surface will invariably improve its lifespan.

If you have any water features on your property, double check any safety measures that you’re using to ensure continued efficiency. If you don’t have pool fencing installed, make sure to get this critical barricade up to limit liability and check small children. Should one of these structures already exist, have it inspected by a licensed professional to identify any shortcomings or needed repairs.

For the most current info about the Absolut Custom Glass System, pay a visit to our web pages here today. Additional details are available at http://www.absolut.net.au/ now.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Diana_L_Spencer/1476913

 

Properly Watering Your Lawn!

Front Lawn

Properly watering your lawn is crucial in assuring the water is getting where it is needed and not being wasted. Water used for lawn and garden irrigation can easily be wasted if it is misdirected at areas where it will just run off. Being aware of when and how much to water will save you a lot of money and save our precious water supply system.

Here are some helpful tips on watering your lawn from the US EPA!

Add Sprinkler Spruce-Up to Your Spring Cleaning List

Experts estimate that as much as half of the water we use outdoors is lost due to evaporation, wind or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. Before you add water to your newly planted garden this spring, do a little “sprinkler spruce-up” to clean up on water savings outdoors. It just takes four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select.

  • Inspect your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads.
  • Connect points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes and hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large soggy areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct sprinklers away from your driveway, house or sidewalk in order to apply water only to your landscape.   

    lawn sprinkler
    Misdirected sprinkler
  • Select a seasonally appropriate watering schedule that meets your landscape’s minimum needs. Better yet, select a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller—which uses local weather data so your system waters only when necessary—to replace a traditional clock-timer scheduling system.

Source: US EPA

Spring Maintenance, Remember Your Lawn.

Your Lawn

Now that the weather has turned nice and temperatures are rising, it is time to get outdoors and spruce up your home with a little spring maintenance. There are many projects to accomplish, but don’t forget to take care of the lawn so it turns thick and green for everyone to enjoy all summer long.

Even though you cleaned up all the leaves and debris in the fall, there’s still work to be done now that spring is here. Before you break out the rake to clean up the leaves, old clippings, evergreen needles, and whatever else has accumulated over the winter, be sure the soil is well dried.  Foot traffic and heavy raking a lawn that is still soggy can compact the soil and damage tender, new grass shoots.

Now that you have your lawn cleaned and raked, there are more things to do to help your grass grow and thrive. Here are some great tips from todayshomeowner.com

Seeding and Planting
In the spring, gardeners have to choose between weed control and lawn seeding. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent grass seed from sprouting too, so you can’t do both – the herbicide will be active for up to 12 weeks, which means you’ll miss the spring planting season.

If your focus this spring is on filling in bare spots or establishing a new lawn, time your activities according to the type of grass:

Cool-season grasses can be planted as soon as the air temperatures get into the 60’s and soil temperatures are in the 50’s. Plant as soon as temperatures allow to give the seedlings a chance to get established before hot weather hits. Fall is a better time to plant cool-season grasses, so use spring planting for patching bare spots, and be prepared to keep your lawn well-watered during the summer.
Warm-season grasses can be planted when air temperatures are in the 70’s, soil temperatures are in the 60’s, and all danger of frost has passed. Late spring is the best time to plant warm-season grasses.

Controlling Weeds
Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using pre-emergent weed control, which works by preventing weed seeds from germinating. Your first application of a pre-emergent herbicide should occur just as the forsythia bushes finish blooming in spring – that should stop crabgrass and other weeds before they have a chance to grow.

Both cool-season and warm-season lawns benefit from weed prevention in the spring. Pre-emergent herbicides work for about three months, so plan on a second application during the summer.

Fertilizing
The type of grass you have also influences when and how you should fertilize your lawn:

Cool-season grasses: Resist the urge to heavily fertilize your lawn in the spring. Spring feeding encourages rapid tender growth that will struggle to survive the heat of summer, particularly in drought-prone areas. If your lawn is in bad shape, fertilize lightly in spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Save the heavier feedings for fall, when cool-season grasses are at their peak growing season.
Warm-season grasses: Fertilize in late spring as soon as the lawn “greens up” and begins actively growing. This is usually in April or May, after the last frost.

Article Source: todayshomeowner.com

If you notice large brown patches in your lawn you may have an insect problem that will need to be dealt with fairly quickly to keep them from destroying the whole yard.