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DIY Cockroach Prevention

a dead cockroach on a kitchen floor

If you’ve had a roach problem, you may be looking for DIY cockroach prevention techniques that really work. Fortunately, there are several effective steps people can take to keep cockroaches away from their homes. These include things you can do inside your house along with things you should do in your yard. Together, these steps should help in the ongoing battle against roaches.

Just be aware that making your home less accessible and attractive to cockroaches is easier than eliminating roaches on your own. An established cockroach infestation is best dealt with by a pest control professional. Once your home is free of cockroaches, you can keep them away by following a few common-sense steps.

How to Make Your Home Less Accessible to Roaches

The first step in DIY cockroach prevention involves making your home less accessible to roaches. This means figuring out how they might get inside and then blocking them out.

To … Read Full Post »

Too Much Fertilizer Is Never a Good Thing

a lawn with yellow spots because too much fertilizer was used

Adding fertilizer to your lawn gives it an extra boost, helping it stay healthy so it can establish a good root system. A solid root system protects the lawn from foot traffic, mowing and weather extremes. All plants—including the grass that makes up your lawn—use a lot of energy to not only establish roots but also to grow naturally. Fertilizer can help your lawn in all of these processes.

As with anything else, you can use too much fertilizer, so you should take steps to ensure you are applying the correct type and amount for your lawn’s needs. Fertilizer can be made of a number of things, from synthetic compounds to a variety of composted manures. When shopping for the right type, check the bag. It will have three numbers on the label, listed as # – # – #. Each number on the packaging represents the fertilizer’s percentage of three … Read Full Post »

The Signs and Causes of a Broken AC Unit

a white kitchen

It’s a big inconvenience when you have a broken AC unit. It could even be a dangerous situation if your AC breaks when it’s very hot or cold outside. That’s why it’s so important to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible. Of course, that requires determining what the problem is, so that it can be properly addressed.

It’s important to note that sometimes, AC units have problems that don’t cause obvious symptoms. The main thing you might notice is a gradual increase in your monthly utility bills. This is because an AC with worn-out or broken components can’t run efficiently. It may keep limping along, using more and more electricity as it struggles to keep up with demands on the system until it finally breaks completely.

Some AC problems are simple enough to figure out and fix on your own. Others are more complex and need fixing by a professional. … Read Full Post »

How To Prevent Ants

a clean kitchen

Finding ants in your home can be shocking and gross. People find them most often in the kitchen, since that’s where most types of ants seek the food and water they need to survive indoors. But you might find them in other rooms, too. Ants are opportunistic. That means wherever they can get inside, they will. Learning how to prevent ants from infesting your home is an important part of controlling these pests. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep ants away from your home and property.

Ants are attracted to places where they can safely build a nest and reproduce. They also need to be able to find enough water and food to support their colony. Since they are so tiny—some types are less than an eighth of an inch long—they can get into our homes through very tiny cracks. That’s why preventing ants is a combination … Read Full Post »

What Is a HEPA Air Filter?

a homeowner changing out a hepa filter

Studies show that the air inside our homes is often much more polluted than the air outside. That is why many people have started turning to air purifiers to help make the air in their home healthier. However, not all air filtration systems are the same. Some offer a much higher level of protection.

HEPA air purifiers offer one of the highest levels of protection available to homeowners. HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air,” and it indicates the product uses a certain type of air filter. For a product to say it is a HEPA air purifier or HEPA air filter, it must meet the standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This means that anything labeled as a HEPA filter must remove at least 99.97% of particles from the air that are just 0.3 microns in diameter. A micron is a unit of measurement used to determine the size … Read Full Post »

Is Your Furnace Making Noises?

a home where the furnace is making noises

There are certain sounds your furnace should never make—at least if it’s well-functioning and in good condition. So when you hear your furnace making noise, it’s smart to pay attention. This is especially true if it’s making a strange noise you haven’t heard before.

When furnaces make strange noises, it’s a sign that something within the heating and cooling system is wearing out or broken. These strange noises might include humming, clicking, banging or rattling sounds. Let’s learn more about what it means when your furnace is making noises.

1. Making Banging Noises

If your furnace starts making banging noises, it’s time to contact a heating and cooling specialist to determine what’s going on. Depending on when the noise happens and for how long, it might signal several different problems with your furnace.

If the banging noise happens when you turn on the heat, it could mean the furnace won’t ignite like it’s supposed … Read Full Post »

How To Find a Water Leak

how to find water leaks

Water is essential in a home. We use it to drink, cook, bathe, wash our clothes and dishes and water our yards. Unfortunately, things go wrong sometimes: Pipes crack or break, and water leaks out where it shouldn’t. Sometimes water leaks are obvious, but not always. It’s important to know how to find water leaks because, occasionally, they stay hidden for days or even weeks at a time.

For some people, the first sign of a hidden water leak is when they receive an astronomically high water bill and wonder how it got so high. Water usage and bills often fluctuate month to month, especially in the summer. Most people use more water when it’s hot outside, both to bathe on sweaty days and to keep the yard green. But sometimes, it’s a shock when the utility bill arrives, and they find out they unknowingly used far more water than usual.

A … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioning Preventive Maintenance

an AC vent

Anyone living in central Texas knows the importance of having a good, working heating and cooling system. That goes for winter as well as summer. As blazingly hot as it can get outside in July and August, it can get just as bitterly cold during the winter months. But did you know that regular air conditioning preventative maintenance can keep your AC working efficiently for many years?

An efficient AC system uses less energy and fuel to run. That’s better for the environment, and also for your bank account. Regular checkups from an HVAC professional can save you money on your utility bills. Checkups also save you money over the long term by extending the life of your air conditioning system. If you have a home warranty, annual AC maintenance check-ups may even be a requirement for staying covered.

Furthermore, your family will be safer, healthier and more comfortable in your home … Read Full Post »

Cigarette Beetle Identification & Control Guide

a cigarette beetle on a piece of wood

It can feel shocking to discover tiny beetles infesting your pantry or your pet’s dried food. Even if you’re familiar with these small pests, when you find one, you might wonder: Is it a cigarette beetle, a drugstore beetle or something else? Cigarette beetles are extremely common pests in people’s homes across the United States. They are especially common in warmer areas. Knowing how to identify them is an important first step in learning how to control them.

Both cigarette beetles and drugstore beetles got their names from the dry goods stores of yesteryear. These pests infest all sorts of dried items. You may find these bugs in flour, beans, rice cereal, herbs and spices. They are also known to infest dry dog and cat food, and many other things people regularly bring home from the store.

Since all of these are such common items in so many homes, it’s easy to … Read Full Post »

Do I Have Hard Water?

a shower that has been turned on

Both seasoned and first-time homeowners have asked the pros, “Do I have hard water?” It’s hard to know if you have hard water if you don’t know the signs to look for. Homes on well water or city water can have hard water. The signs that you have hard water include everything from dry, itchy skin after a shower to spots on your dishes and silverware after running the dishwasher.

Many people don’t even know exactly what hard water is. Put simply, hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals. This specifically means minerals like calcium, limestone or magnesium. But, hard water can also have trace amounts of other minerals as well. These minerals are naturally occurring, and they are safe to drink. Their tiny particles dissolve into the water and typically aren’t visible to the naked eye.

As tiny as they are, though, they are abrasive. These particles become … Read Full Post »