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Does Bleach Kill Roaches?

Many of us have been through this scenario: You walk into the kitchen or bathroom after dark and flip on the light only to see a roach skitter across the wall or countertop. After a shudder or two, you make an action plan, trying to figure out how to rid your home of these seemingly indestructible insects.

A quick online search turns up a ton of “surefire” solutions, from hosing your home down in chemicals to using pantry items like vinegar to do the job. The problem with chemicals is the lingering fumes and the danger they and the chemicals themselves pose to people and pets. And, distilled vinegar and other household items just don’t work.

One common liquid that gets a lot of online attention in the battle with roaches is bleach. So, can bleach kill roaches? Technically, it COULD. But the methods to do that are pretty inefficient and time-consuming.

Bleach’s … Read Full Post »

Tree Trimming Tips

a homeowner trimming their trees

Trimming trees adds to the beauty and esthetic value of any property. When it’s done incorrectly though, it can reduce both the appeal and value of the surrounding landscaping and property. In fact, the general rule of thumb is that no trimming is better than bad trimming.

Trimming or pruning, is the process of removing parts of a tree or plant, typically with the goal of improving the plant’s health, beauty or value. Tree trimming is not particularly complicated, but common sense and a handful of basic rules will go a long way. Here are a few things to keep in mind to trim these large trees:

  • “Training” the plant to grow in a specific shape or direction
  • Improving plant health by focusing nutrition on preferred areas
  • Encourage higher-quality growth of fruits or foliage
  • Restricting growth to maintain a preferred height or circumference

Basics of Tree Trimming

Trimming, or pruning, achieves its best results when cuts are … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Ticks in Florida

a tick on a leaf

Ticks are a common pest in Florida, especially during the warm summer months. There are several varieties of these unwanted visitors. Some types of ticks thrive in Florida more than others, and it’s important to know the differences so you can get rid of an infestation right away.

Certain types of ticks, like American dog ticks, prefer to feed off of animals, while others love humans. Some only survive outdoors while others thrive inside your home. Knowing the appearance and habits of ticks will help you identify them before you have a full-blown infestation.

There are several precautions you can take to avoid ticks, like wearing appropriate clothing and patching up cracks in your doors. When you see ticks on your property, in your home or on your pets, you need to remove them immediately, especially because most homeowners don’t know how long ticks can live in a house.

Most ticks carry harmful … Read Full Post »

Low Maintenance Flower Bed Ideas

a low maintenance flower bed

Any yard or garden will need at least some upkeep over time. But there are lots of great low-maintenance flower bed ideas that can maximize the beauty of your outdoor space while keeping maintenance needs low. Less time doing yard work means more time to enjoy your yard. Let’s look at some tips for planting a garden that is both beautiful and easy to maintain.

Getting Started

  1. Take care of weeds first, before planting flowers. If you want a low-maintenance flower bed, keep in mind that doing a bit more work up front will save you lots of labor later on. This is especially true when it comes to weeds. When planting a new flower bed, it can take significant time and labor to dig up all the grass, weeds and other vegetation, but it’s worth the effort in the long run. Also, don’t forget the weed-blocking power of mulch! Mulch … Read Full Post »

Half of My Christmas Lights Aren’t Working

a string of Christmas lights

Decking the halls for the Christmas season fills many people with excitement for the coming celebrations. A huge part of the decorating ritual every year includes festive lights on the exterior of your home. Sometimes when you flip the switch, the twinkle looks a little unbalanced. Or when you pull last year’s spools of shining glory out of storage, half of the lights aren’t ready to shine.

What’s next? The first step is to always plug in your lights and check for issues before you hang them for decorating. You don’t want to hang your lights only to find they need to come right off! If you do have issues, your choices are to try to fix the lights yourself or contact a professional who can bring new LED lights for you and hang them up. Let’s troubleshoot some potential causes for the outage.

Troubleshooting Your Christmas Lights

First off, one of the … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Drywood Termites

drywood termites eating through a baseboard

As their name implies, drywood termites build their nests in dry wood. In comparison, dampwood termites and subterranean termites need extremely moist environments. Drywood termites commonly nest in wood beams, wall framing and even wooden furniture. Drywood termites typically don’t even need a reliable water source as they can derive enough moisture from the wood pulp that they eat.

Homeowners who suspect they may have a drywood termite infestation should contact a professional. Even a moderate size colony can inflict serious and widespread structural damage and massive expense in a short amount of time.

In fact, termites cause more than five billion dollars worth of damage annually, just in the United States. Unfortunately, most of which is not covered by conventional homeowners’ insurance.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the common signs of a drywood termite infestation, how to identify the various types of drywood termites, their lifecycle, and (most importantly) … Read Full Post »

Why Am I Getting No Power to My Thermostat?

a blank thermostat

Your AC is a complex system made up of many interconnected parts. If any one part fails, the system can’t work at peak efficiency. But if the thermostat isn’t working, the whole air-conditioning system is down. The thermostat is the little box on your wall that controls the AC. No power to thermostat means you can’t turn your AC on or off, or set it to the right temperature.

Simple Fixes

When your thermostat loses power, there are a few simple things to check first. The very first thing to do is to make sure it’s actually turned on. This is especially something to check with older thermostats. As long as they are receiving power, newer digital thermostats will still show something on their displays, even when they are off. If your thermostat is digital and its display screen is completely blank, that likely means it has lost power.

If your home has … Read Full Post »

What Do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

a person holding fertilizer

Figuring out fertilization on your own without the support of a lawn care specialist can be challenging for homeowners. Fertilizers at a home and garden store include a list of numbers that homeowners may be unfamiliar with.

If all this feels a bit too overwhelming, consider reaching out to a lawn care expert. A specialist knows how to fertilize your lawn best and can put in place a lawn care schedule.

What is the N-P-K Ratio, and What Do The Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

Many homes in the United States do not have soil that is healthy enough to sustain the perfect lawn or garden. For this reason, homeowners usually need to add nutrients to their yards.

Using natural or synthetic (chemical) fertilizer increases the nutrient count of your yard. Fertilizer works with bacteria and fungi in the soil to create an ideal environment for your plants to grow. Natural fertilizers are more effective … Read Full Post »

My AC Is Not Turning On: What’s Wrong

An AC vent that won't turn on

For a homeowner, there are few things as distressing as turning on your air conditioner and nothing happening. This holds especially true when the temperatures start climbing to triple digits. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can check yourself to get that cool air flowing again.

Some Easier Fixes

Let’s start with the basics. Your air conditioner might not be getting any juice. Take a look at your breaker box and see if there is a tripped fuse or a breaker has blown. Those are easy fixes that might get your system up and running.

Ductwork Issues

On the system’s outside unit, you have a condenser that takes the warmer air from your home, cools it and sends it back through your home’s air ducts. It is possible that rodents have chewed through the cord that links your outdoor unit to your home’s electrical system. If rodents are your problem, you may … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Wasps in Oklahoma

a paper wasp which is a type of wasp in oklahoma

If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you know how painful it can be. Regardless of whether they have been stung before, most people go out of their way to avoid wasps. There are several different types of wasps in Oklahoma. Many build nests near human activity, which can make it hard to stay out of their way. This is why it’s good to know which types of wasps are aggressive toward humans, and which are less likely to bother you. It’s also helpful to know how to keep wasps away from your property.

Although some types of wasps look a lot like bees, they have many characteristics that set them apart. One is that, unlike bees, many types of wasps are solitary insects. Also, whereas bees can only sting once, wasps can sting multiple times. And, you can usually tell the difference between a bee hive and a wasp … Read Full Post »