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What Do Mosquito Larvae Eat?

mosquito larvae eating bacteria in standing water

If you have a mosquito problem in your home or yard, one of the best ways to control these pests is to target their larvae. While adult mosquitoes are the ones that bug most people with their itchy and painful bites, it is sometimes easier to get rid of these pests if you catch them earlier in their lives.

Female mosquitoes can lay eggs as often as every three days. They typically lay these eggs on top of any area of stagnant water that is protected from the wind. This might include areas like tree holes, abandoned tires, kiddie pools and water sitting in an ornamental pond. Mosquitoes can even lay eggs in as little water as the rain that can gather in an overturned bottlecap.

In the right conditions, the larvae typically hatch from the eggs about 24 to 48 hours after a mosquito lays them. However, if environmental conditions are … Read Full Post »

My Thermostat Is Not Working: What’s Going On?

a thermostat not reaching the set temperature

Imagine that your air conditioning unit stops working just after your family has arrived for a visit in the middle of summer. Or, that your heater breaks down right at the coldest point of winter. Few things are more frustrating than you and your family having to deal with these extreme temperatures. Plus, it is stressful not knowing what might be the problem or how to fix it.

If you are noticing heating or cooling issues, this might mean that your thermostat is not working. One sign that might point to an issue with your thermostat is if your air conditioning unit is not reaching the set temperature. Similarly, if the unit keeps shutting off early or it is running all the time, then your thermostat might be the problem. Another common sign is if the display on the thermostat is blank.

Sometimes, homeowners can fix these kinds of problems by doing … Read Full Post »

What Is Compost and How Do I Use It?

A shovel of compost used to fertilize a garden.

You have probably heard of compost, but you might not know exactly what it is or what its benefits are. You are not alone. Many homeowners know very little about compost and the ways this material can be useful around their yard. 

Basically, compost is organic material that has decomposed. It is typically made from plant-based kitchen scraps and waste from your lawn. People sometimes also include materials like shredded newspaper, fireplace ashes from natural wood, sawdust or cardboard in their compost pile. Some of the most common items that people use to make compost include:

  • coffee grounds,
  • tea bags,
  • fruit peels,
  • vegetable skins,
  • eggshells,
  • leafy tops from carrots,
  • nut shells,
  • uneaten vegetables,
  • grass clippings,
  • twigs,
  • houseplants,
  • untreated wood chips,
  • hay,
  • trimmings from bushes and
  • dead leaves.

Many people question the difference between topsoil and compost. Mature compost looks like crumbly, dark soil and it smells earthy. When you compost, it should only benefit you and your yard—not create further problems. Compost should not be made from … Read Full Post »

Gnat Versus Mosquito: What’s That Bug?

a tiny black bug that makes a homeowner question if its a gnat or mosquito

Do you have tiny, flying bugs invading your home or yard? Not only are these pests annoying but some of them can carry diseases and cause discomfort for you and your family members. That said, there are many kinds of flying pests, including gnats and mosquitoes. Before getting started with treatment, it’s important to know what kind of bug you’re dealing with.

How To Identify Gnats

Many people use the term “gnat” to refer to any kind of small flying bug, including fungus gnats, black gnats, buffalo gnats or even fruit flies. Any number of things could attract these pests to your home, depending on the species. For example, some types of gnats might be attracted to decaying food. This could be anything from overripe fruit on your counter to leftover food in your trash to scraps in your garbage disposal.

Other gnats are attracted to excess moisture in areas like the soil … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Dryer Not Heating?

a white dryer that is not heating

Have you started running your clothes through the dryer multiple times? Does it seem like your dryer isn’t even heating at all? If your dryer isn’t drying clothes as well as it used to, there are a number of things that could be causing this problem.

For one, your problem might not have anything to do with the dryer. If your washer isn’t working as it should, then it might not strain enough water out of your clothes before you transfer them to the dryer. When this happens, the dryer might need to run longer to dry out these sopping wet clothes.

Fortunately, there might be some easy fixes you can try on your own to get your dryer working again.

Simple Fixes

You can run into issues if you’re trying to dry different types of items at the same time. For example, towels and clothes. Most clothing items dry quicker than towels. If … Read Full Post »

How to Power Wash Siding

a dirty home that has led the homeowner to wonder how to power wash siding

Many types of siding can withstand the pressure of power washing and benefit from this kind of cleaning. For example, fiber cement, vinyl and modern wood clapboard siding are typically strong enough for pressure washing. However, it’s best to avoid using a pressure washer on any surface with lead paint or on homes with aluminum or shingle siding, as these materials could dent or break loose.

Even for siding that can withstand this kind of pressure, it’s wise to use caution with any power washing job. If you use a machine that’s too powerful, use a pressure setting that’s too high or stand too close to your house, then you might end up damaging your siding or even the structure of your home. Plus, you could injure yourself.

That’s why it’s easiest to hire a professional instead of trying to handle pressure washing on your own. These pros have the skills and … Read Full Post »

Your Guide To Trimming Fruit Trees

a lemon tree bearing lots of fruit

When fruit trees are well cared for, they can make a gorgeous addition to your yard. Fruit trees also bring pleasure year after year as they bear flowers followed by delicious fruits. If they aren’t cared for in the right ways and at the right times, however, they can have trouble growing fruit. They might even wind up looking scraggly and stunted after a few short years. Fortunately, trimming fruit trees is easy enough to do yourself, as long as you have the time, tools and knowledge needed to do it right.

Trimming fruit trees increases both sunlight and air flow among the tree’s strongest and healthiest branches. This extra sunlight and air flow stimulates their growth. If you’ve planted a young fruit tree, expect to trim pretty aggressively for several years to stimulate growth. Don’t expect the tree to bear fruit for the first few years. Just concentrate on trimming … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Fleas on Your Mattress

dogs laying on a bed which led to fleas on the mattress

Waking up in the morning with itchy bites on your skin is no fun. Not only are you uncomfortable from all the itching, but you’re also now aware that you have a pest problem to deal with. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to get rid of fleas on your mattress so you can sleep comfortably once again.

First, of course, it’s a good idea to determine whether you’re dealing with fleas or some other type of pest. After all, there are other types of pests that can cause itchy bites, like mosquitoes or bed bugs. Both flea bites and mosquito bites might happen at any time of day or night, and both leave itchy red welts that soon fade and get less itchy for most people. Bed bugs, on the other hand, typically venture out only in darkness to bite people while they sleep. Also, most people find bed … Read Full Post »

Types of Mosquitoes in Oklahoma

a group of mosquitoes in oklahoma

It might surprise you to learn there are sixty different types of mosquitoes active in Oklahoma. Fortunately, most people won’t have to deal with all or even most of them. But, the bad news is, there are several types of mosquitoes in Oklahoma that most people will have to deal with at some point.

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying, though they are definitely that. Their itchy bites can ruin a fun backyard get-together, and if you’re one of those people who are especially sensitive to mosquito bites, you could be scratching and miserable for days. Worse yet, these pests are capable of transmitting serious illnesses to us and our furry friends.

Also, you can’t always get a break from mosquitoes by going inside. They can slip through an open door with you when you head back into the house to escape them. If you have plants growing in planters inside your home or … Read Full Post »

Yellow Garden Spider: Harmful or Helpful?

yellow garden spider on a web

If you’re out in the yard and you come across a big, black-and-yellow spider, chances are good that it’s a yellow garden spider. This is a very common species of arachnid that’s found across the country. But, their large size and striking appearance can make almost anyone’s heart rate speed up a little. As soon as you see one, your first question might be, is a yellow garden spider harmful or helpful?

The good news is, this spider rarely comes indoors. And, as long as you don’t pick it up and handle it, it’s very unlikely that it will bite you. Even if you are bitten by a yellow garden spider, its venom isn’t harmful to humans—but it is to other pests, including flies and mosquitoes. Since spiders help keep pest populations down, all this puts the yellow garden spider in the “helpful” category. Still, many people aren’t big spider fans—especially … Read Full Post »