Pest Control – Protect Your Property And Home

Pest Control – Protect Your Property And Home

prévia vicente e laura 1 ano-5
Source: Flickr


Perhaps man discovered agriculture and pest control methods nearly simultaneously, and since then, the fight is on.
Now, as if agricultural pests were not enough, there is a big menace of domestic pests, too. Of which termites, or white ants as they are generally called, are most dreaded as they feed on just about anything organic. Surprisingly enough, they can bore through six feet thick concrete and live for ages without food.

Pest Control Methods

Pest control methods largely differ for domestic and agriculture applications. Traditional methods of pest control in agriculture mainly included crop rotation, selective breeding and companion planting. Low flying airplanes are made use of in sprinkling chemical pesticides over large fields.

Chemical pest control methods are quite old and are said to be in practice since 4000 or 4500 years. But closer to date, pyrethrum and derris were introduced which were followed by better synthetic pesticides like DDT and other herbicides.

The Domestic Scenario

But domestic pest problem is almost entirely different. The major pests that bother us are termites, rodents, mosquitoes and bed bugs. You can almost call termites as terror-mites. These soft looking, unassuming ant like insects, belong to two types: subterranean and dry wood termites, belonging to over 2000 species. Both of them subsist on cellulose.

How Do You Know?

A thorough inspection of critical areas (without dismantling) by professionals reveals whether your home is infested by termites or is vulnerable for attacks. Inspection may require instruments sometimes.

Pest Control Agencies

Living beagles can sniff out the termites. Protimeter for mold detection, scanning and acoustic infrared sensors, resistographs and fractometers are other instruments generally used by the agencies.

What Do They Do

Fumigation, spot treatment and removal of infested wood are some immediate options. While fumigation exterminates dry wood termites, a certified applicator’s presence is necessary before during and after fumigating and aeration to allow occupancy. But dry wood termites need wood penetrating fumigants. For subterranean types, following manufacturer’s instructions is essential which include pouring pesticides into holes drilled at regular intervals around the infested area.

Flys, mosquitoes and bugs are controlled by chemicals prallethrin, and the normally available rat poisons. But don’t use them without expert advice.

Choosing an Expert

You need an expert when buying real estate at far off places or when pest controlling the entire home. Keep these points in your mind when choosing one.

1. Take neighbors’ recommendations based on their satisfaction level.

2. Taking hasty decisions won’t help as you need professional expertise; look for one by checking with their past clients.

3. Check their authenticity, whether they are registered by the local authorities or are they members of National Pest Management Association etc.

4.Check what the guarantees cover and get things in writing.

5. Check for legal restrictions on commercial applicators; call Environmental Protection Agency for confirmation.

6. Beware of those who offer huge discounts. After all you want value, not price.

Pole Barns: Eco-Friendly And Simplistic

Pole Barns: Eco-Friendly And Simplistic

Building a pole barn has become a much easier task today. With tons of available ready-to-use plans and blueprints, a handy homeowner can build not only a pole barn of two or even six horse stalls, but also add convenient sheds for tractors, feed storage or shelters. The plans can be used to build other kinds of pole buildings, including workshops, storage barns or garages. Simplicity, cost-cutting and durability are the main reasons why people still use poles, the oldest construction technique, to create simple buildings.

Poles have been used for centuries to raise huts and shelters all over the world. Poles rooted in earth forming a frame for the covering material, be it animal skin, wood or metal, provided enough warmth and protection, and could be built very quickly from whatever material was available. To build pole barns, people still use this technique, which hasn’t changed much over the years. The materials have changed though, and today pole barns are covered with aluminum, steel and other durable lightweight materials, with insulation and sometimes wooden or brick facades.

Pole barns are becoming more and more popular because they allow the building of reliable shelter for animals or storage without money-consuming earth excavation, concrete foundations and general site disruption.

The cheapest way to start building a pole barn is with a pole foundation. Pole foundation is actually a pole that doubles as a framing member. Posts or poles are inserted deep into ground so they can bear a lot of pressure, sometimes as deep as 10ft. But that’s almost all digging for the foundation that a pole barn builder can expect. The pressure is distributed evenly around the pole, and the construction becomes very stable and durable. The builder can dig the holes himself or using a power auger. The poles are secured by a small amount of concrete poured into the holes, saving money and labor, as full concrete foundations can be somewhat expensive.

The pole foundation gives the construction a lot of flexibility. A pole barn with pole foundation can be raised virtually anywhere, even in places where a traditional concrete foundation is not possible, for example, on a steep hillside or wooded area. Thanks to the pole foundation, a pole barn can be built very quickly without expensive ground excavation. Even coastal, earthquake and mountain areas are suitable for building pole barns and sheds. This way, pole barns leave the best land for raising crops, preserving the natural environment and are generally more environmentally friendly with their minimal construction techniques.

Another advantage to pole barns is that you don’t have to make them visually perfect and “manicured”. You can use cheap galvanized steel for the roof and wood sidings, making the whole project very affordable. The only thing that is not worth skimping on, according to experienced builders, are storm clips. These are a valuable investment considering storms and hurricanes are hitting more and more often. Trusses also need to be of good quality as these parts of pole building construction will carry significant weight.

Pole barns and other pole buildings will cost somewhere in the area of $3,000 and upwards, depending on the size and materials available in your particular area. With simple instructions and plans, these buildings can be raised in no time, even if you don’t have strong building experience.

Sealing a garage floor

Sealing a garage floor

The floor of your garage is exposed to intense corrosion
and deterioration due to road salt, oils and other auto fluids.
Sealing your garage floor reduces dust and makes
cleaning and sweeping easier. A clear acrylic concrete
sealer protects the concrete from damage and stains. Also
the same sealers can be used on concrete walks and
driveways or as a primer under acrylic or polyurethane
floor paints. You should take care when and where you
apply a sealer because they cannot be applied over paint or
other coatings.

In order to do the sealing yourself you need several
materials and tools: protective clothing, neoprene rubber
gloves, goggles, a stiff brush and a bucket, a paintbrush, a
cartridge-style respirator with organic-vapor and small-
particle filters, paint roller with extension handle and tray,
medium nap roller cover, a concrete degreaser and of
course some concrete sealer. Usually ½ gallon of sealer is
used for approximately 100 square feet.

Before sealing you have to clean the floor because it has to
be free of dirt, grease and oil. To do this you should use a
stiff scrub brush to apply the cleaner and concrete
degreaser according to the instructions. Allow the solution
to lay on the floor for 15 to 20 minutes more for stubborn
stains after scrubbing. After his you should rinse
thoroughly with clear water. You may need several
applications. Many concrete sealers contain hazardous
chemicals that may be harmful to skin and eyes and the
vapors are not safe to breathe but the vast majority are
acrylic. The best way to avoid damages to your skin, eyes
and lungs is to wear the protective equipment made of
neoprene rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator with both
organic-vapor and solid-particle filter cartridges. During
the process of sealing the floor you should continuously
ventilate the garage by opening all doors and windows and
also using a fan would be a great idea.

After cleaning and drying the concrete, the sealer has to be
applied. The sealer should be tested in an inconspicuous
area before applying. Some uneven density in the concrete
may result in light/dark appearance that may be
objectionable. By using the medium-nap paint roller with
extension handle is the easiest way to apply the sealer. Start
in a rear corner continuing to work your way out of the
garage. Before doing anything else you should allow the
sealer to dry as indicated on the sealer bottle, usually for a
few hours. For a driveway the procedure is essentially the
same but it would be quicker to use a garden sprayer to
apply the sealer to a large driveway. You should act with
caution not to over spray on other material due to the high
risk of staining.

Home Pest Control

Home Pest Control

Barbican reflections
Source: Flickr

In addition to the fact that mosquitoes are both annoying and cause some level of discomfort when you’re unfortunate enough to be the entree on their daily menu, they also carry disease which can affect the animal, bird and human populations. In order to keep the possibility of such a fate to a minimum, you’ll need to initiate steps to control these pests in the home environment.
Water that accumulates in tires, buckets and other types of outdoor containers provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Your yard should be carefully inspected for any signs of pooled water that might attract these insects. It doesn’t take much to entice mosquitoes to hang around, once they’ve found a swampy area that they can call home.
Gutters should be checked on a regular basis, in order to avoid the accumulation of leaves and other objects that might form a blockage. When this happens, water can accumulate and offer the irresistible temptation for mosquitoes to breed. This is especially true in those climates which experience autumn, since fallen leaves are abundant and the foliage is often damp due to rain.
Children’s wading pools can be the equivalent of a spa for mosquitoes. Be sure to empty the pool at least once each week and refill it with fresh water, if the pool is in constant use. When it’s not being used, empty and dry it thoroughly and store it indoors – within a storage shed, basement, garage or other structure that can accommodate its dimensions.
Make it a point to fill holes or depressions in the ground around your home, as well as hollow stumps or holes within the trunks of trees. These, too, can gather water and lure mosquitoes to nest in the area. Be sure not to use foliage, grass or some other type of natural product that might serve to retain water and become akin to a comfy mattress on the mosquitoes’ bed.
Screens, doors, windows and other entryways that may contain holes or other violations of their integrity should be repaired in order to keep mosquitoes from entering the home. Of course, it goes without saying that doors and windows that don’t include screens should never be left ajar. This would be the equivalent of ringing the dinner bell for these pesky insects.
If you should happen to have an ornamental water garden on your property, be sure to keep the water stocked with mosquito-eating fish, such as goldfish, minnows or guppies. When mosquitoes hover over the water – which they’re inclined to do – the fish will eat them and help to reduce their population around your home.
Other precautions, such as covering trash cans, barrels and stored boats will also help your efforts at pest control, but don’t rely on bug zappers. These do very little to discourage mosquitoes from taking residence around your home. Your focus should, instead, be on ridding yourself of the excess water that may have accumulated in key points around your property.

Things to Check for Pest Control

Things to Check for Pest Control


As far as possible, this article will focus on pest control tips that would help keep away as much pests as you can.
Some of the advises given here will deal on specific pests but some may partly concentrate on the general guidelines.

Food storage

Disinfection of food items is required by the food authorities to limit the possibility of strayed insects thriving in goods like dog food, flour, and other grains. A good rule of thumb to prevent them from infecting your food in case they happened to be found on some is to completely seal them in air tight containers. This will not only lessen the exposure of food items but may also stop mice from contaminating them.

Moisture
It is a known fact that all living things need water to survive. This does not exclude rodents, spiders and all insects. For carpenter ants, they never live on extremely dry woods. They will look for materials that were currently damped or a site near to water pies where they may create their nests. Termites generally feed on hard dry wood but they need enough moisture and will most likely set their nests where sources of water are sufficient. Spiders feast on termites and other pests. Though they can practically wander and search for water as often as they want, they still have to live near the food source. And so they are most often sited near moist place where most insects thrive. With these, it is vital to inspect your home an fix it from any leaks. Repairs may be expensive but may prove worth the initial effort rather than expending on more thorough home repairs.

Entry Points
As already stressed out, inspecting your home is vital in pest control. It will not take big holes in order for pests to penetrate your home. Insects are rather small and they can easily gain entrance from tiny holes. Mice on the other are great escape artists and they would only require a quarter of an inch-sized hole to enter your house. Your house will have a host of entry holes and so you better check on them, inspect your cable lines, telephone lines, garage and especially the attic. Holes in these areas are often forgotten or taken for granted. This is now the best time to see them if you want to gain sufficient control over your notorious pests.

Lightning and Screening
Any house lights will attract insects and will commonly invite them into your own home. This in turn will lure spiders who will feed on them. Even though you have enough screening, chances are they may still penetrate your home. To get around with this problem, you may use yellow bulbs or any non-insect attracting lights and assure to it that your doors are always closed. All doors and windows and any large entry points must be provided with mesh screens. These should always be kept on their optimum state. If any holes are spotted, it is wise to repair them accordingly to prevent pests from entering your house.

Aside from these things, other issues must also be addressed in the quickest possible time for two reasons. One is to prevent insects from entering your home and two to keep them from multiplying right inside your own territory.

A Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Perfect Shed

A Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Perfect Shed

Imagine all your outdoor clutter compiled into one organized space. Storage sheds will give you that extra space, and at the same time allow you to start parking your cars in the garage again. The common idea when you think of a shed is a dull box-like structure, which sits in your backyard and never fits it’s surroundings. Thanks to the modern times, sheds have refurbished themselves into a more stylish and appealing look. Sheds are now made with many different types of material such as, cedar, vinyl, laminated polyethylene covers and they even can be made to look like little houses. Use your sheds for any purpose; organizing your lawn equipment, being a poolside cabana, protecting vehicles or boats or even a tucked away retreat in the backyard. If I have not convinced you already, here are some great tips to know, when looking for that “perfect” shed.

First, take a long look at your backyard and try to picture what kind of style your shed should be. Also, consider the size too, because that will play a major part in your decision. Today, sheds come in many different designs from barn look-a-likes to country cottages. Keep in mind it is all about the detail, so find out what kind of options are out there for add-on accessories. Shutters, flower boxes, shelves, functional windows, lofts, and double doors are just a few additions you can think about to customize your shed. In addition to detail, another thing would be to figure out the purpose for the shed. Finding out the function before you start looking, will help you eliminate most of the sales questions and get you in the category of sheds where you need to be. For instance, if you wanted a shed for your lawn equipment, you would probably be looking at sheds with double doors, shelves, and maybe a few functional windows for ventilation purposes. All together style, options and even function should be recognized when purchasing a shed.

Once the over all style has been selected, you must look into the materials that are being used. Technology has allowed us to use many different types of commodities to create long lasting sheds. However, cedar is the most popular, because it is known for its warm wood characteristics, beauty, durability and outstanding weather resistance. Vinyl is another good choice and it is weather and rust proof, fire resistant, and does not fade. If you need to store large items like motor homes or boats, laminated polyethylene covers are great source for protection from the outdoor elements. Always make sure that wooden sheds are evaluated, so it can minimize the wood deterioration along the base.

It is easy to love a shed that is already assembled at the store, but the real test is when you bring it home. Assembly is the factor that will make or break a sale; so make sure you ask about how to construct the shed first. The best choice is to find a shed that is built by panels and uses simple hardware. By using the panels, there is no dangerous, wasteful, or time consuming cutting required. Windows are already attached to the wall and the shingles are attached to the roof panels making it a stress free process.

This is just a simple guide to help you start searching for the shed you have been waiting for. By laying out the basics in style, function, materials and assembly, you should be able to create an idea of what you may want in a shed. Think of it this way, a shed can help organize, organization minimizes the workload, less work equals more fun.

Carport Design

Carport Design


Summary: From wooden overhangs to brute steel designs to posh aluminum, carports have designs specifically made to provide every situation

From those simple overhangs that the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his Usonian Homes, Carports have gained an extensive variety of uses. And surprisingly the name ‘Carport’ still holds.

Carports are still used as car shelters these days. In fact, most now use carports in place of garage; maximizing otherwise wasted space to a smaller and more multipurpose car shelter.

Yes, multipurpose. From tea and coffee breaks to casual reading area, carports have been utilized to afford lounging in open areas. Built to function much like a gazebo, carports are used by modern households to accommodate simple fancies hassle free. Of course a gazebo is still more pleasing aesthetically but the maintenance free afforded only by carports makes it a rather hefty competition to gazebos and gardens.

With these in this effect, canopy carports have gained popularity over functions such as these. Though they are still used as actual car parks since they can be erected fairly easily and quickly, it is not uncommon to see hastily erected canopy carports to accommodate barbeques looming around the corner.

Canopy carports design uses canopy as shelter. The attractive benefit of this carport design is it is readily assembled and disassembled.

Steel carports designs are more of a barn like structure to withstand elements. Since the majority of steel carport users are located in rural areas, naturally steel carport manufacturers supply carport designs that coincide to the needs of their most profitable market. Prairies, farms and ranches with a natural high wind velocity and fickle weather often use steel carports with enclosure on two sides. If not for the legislatives that revolve around carport enclosures, carports within these areas have long ago shifted to totally enclosed sheds.

Aluminum carport designs are popular with modern houses, especially in cities and urban areas. The posh, elegant and slick looks of aluminum carports do compliment the glass and dull concrete of an office or a modern house. Since aluminum is more malleable metal compared to steel, technically speaking, designs are more possible. One aluminum carport design, the Alumawood is an aluminum carport made to simulate the aesthetic look and feel of wooden carports but retains the durability properties with metal carports.

The wooden carport design is the most expensive. It also needs a lot of maintenance, just like the rest of the house. Some houses, especially the Usonian Houses made by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sport the wooden carport design, though Frank Lloyd’s carport was more of a house extension than a separate house accessory.

Though there are minimal restrictions in building a carport, carport designs are strictly regulated. Article 9.35.2.1 defines a garage as a roofed enclosure for parking cars which has more than 60% of its perimeter enclosed by walls, doors or windows. Most carports have no walls, some only have two of the sides enclosed, not reaching the 60% mark of garages. In addition, Article 9.10.14.14 deals with the construction requirements for the exposing building face of detached garages but makes no reference to carports. Both articles clearly point out that there are minimal restrictions in building a carport.

Garage Doors

Garage Doors


When designing your new house you will need to decide what type of garage door will be suitable.
The garage door will have to follow in the style of the whole house and this can also determine the materials that your door will be constructed with.

There are various types of garage doors than can be constructed from wood, aluminium, steel, glass and other materials.

The materials can also determine what type of door you will be buying.

There are overhead doors, bi-folding doors and doors that roll back against empty wall space.
Obviously the roll back doors will take up quite a lot of room in the garage where you won’t be able to use the wall space.

If space is limited then an overhead door might be a better alternative.

If you are living in a particularly wet climate, then the overhead door can create problems as the water runs off the door when it rests up against the ceiling of your garage.

A roller door doesn’t create quite so much of a problem as the water is limited to the area of the roll at the entrance of the garage.

Overhead doors generally need to be constructed with lighter weight materials although there are many overhead wooden doors due to the advanced track and roller construction that has been designed in modern doors.

Garage doors can cost a lot of money but they can also make or break the whole visual effect of your finished house so cost alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor when buying your door.

There are several excellent websites on the internet that offer information and price comparisons for garage doors but you will probably need a door professional to give you specialist advice at your property to ensure you make the right decision.

Buying the right garage door can add thousands of dollars to the value of your house.

Choosing Hurricane Window Protection

Choosing Hurricane Window Protection

Hurricane window protection helps safeguard the most vulnerable part of your house in the event of a storm. High winds can send projectiles flying through your windows. The high pressure that results from the glass break can either blow out the windows on the other side or take off your roof. Proper protection is essential to prevent this from happening to you.

Choosing Hurricane Window

Here are some things to consider when choosing window protection for your home:

o How easy is the product to install? Can you do it yourself, or will you need to hire a professional?

o Consider the cost of the product. If you can DIY, the cost will be less.

o How easy will it be to prepare the home for an impending storm? Are the shutters fixed to the home, or will you need to hang them?

o Consider the areas you need protected. Take into consideration windows and doors. Don’t forget the garage door, which may need additional support.

Shutters for Hurricane Window Protection

Accordion Shutters

Accordion shutters come in either one or two pieces. They are permanently attached to the sides of the window, so you won’t need to take them on and off the house. They unfold to cover the window, like an accordion. They are easy to close for one person and lock with a key.

Bahama Shutters

Bahama Shutters attach above the windows and are propped open when not in use. This has an additional benefit of providing shade from the sun. When needed, lower the shutters and secure to the wall. This job is easily done by one person.

Colonial Shutters

Colonial style hurricane shutters come in two pieces and have a louvered design. They are attached to both sides of the window and are easily closed when needed. Most use a storm rod to lock them in place. These are good for decoration as well as protection.

Roll Down Shutters

Roll down shutters are attached to the wall above the windows. The shutters are stored in a closed box. When needed, push a button to lower them and lock them in place. These are more expensive, but offer excellent protection. Look for a system that has a battery back up. This will allow you to open them in the event of a power failure.

Storm Panels

Storm panels are made of either aluminium or steel. They attach to the window on tracks. Each piece overlaps for increased strength. You will need to install these prior to a storm. The panels slide into the tracks and are bolted. This can be cumbersome and you may need help in putting them up.

Special Glass for Hurricane Windows

Impact resistant glass is a fairly new product. This is becoming very popular in new home construction for homes in hurricane prone areas. They are available for both windows and sliding glass doors. Since the window is always there, you don’t need to do anything to prepare for bad weather.

These can be added to existing homes, but can be very expensive. This is not a do it yourself job. You will need a professional installer to do the job right. If not properly installed, your home will not be protected. The glass in these windows meets current codes in Florida for home protection.