Browsed by
Category: Home

5 Common Household Pests and How To Get Rid of Them

5 Common Household Pests and How To Get Rid of Them

Pests are an annoyance and along with the diseases that it brings, the presence of pests will also reduce the value of your house. Here, we have narrowed down the 5 most common household pests and identified the most effective way of getting rid of them. Read on for great tips and tricks!

roaches

Roaches

Roaches are everyone’s worst nightmare. They are unsightly and usually rise in numbers in the warmer months. Roach infestations are dangerous as they carry with them diseases. They are known to run all over your cutleries and food leaving behind a trail of bacteria and poisonous droppings. Unfortunately, killing the one-off roach that you see will do nothing. There is usually a whole colony of them hiding in dark corners of the house. The best way to get rid of roaches is to set up cockroach baits. When one cockroach eats the bait, it does not die immediately. It will bring back some of the bait to the others and other cockroaches which eventually eats the bait will die as well.

ants-eating-honeyAnts

Ants are very much like roaches in the sense that they exist in large numbers. Killing an individual ant will not eliminate the ant problem in your home. What you have to do is to use ant bait. Squeeze out some gel bait in areas where you commonly see ants. Remember to apply the gel far away from the reach of your children and pets. The ants will eat the bait and bring it back to the ant nest to feed the other ants. If you are lucky, the queen ant herself will eat some of the gel poison and this will destroy the entire colony. To prevent an ant infestation, do also remember to seal up any cracks you see in the walls or windows.

Fleas

Fleas are a common problem for households with pets. Whenever you bring your dog or cat to a park, it is highly likely for it to contract fleas from other pets at the park. This can also happen at the groomers where your dogs or cats mix freely with other pets.

The best way to get rid of fleas is to spray your whole house down with flea spray and wear a flea collar on your pet. The chemical in the collar will slowly seep into your pet’s blood where the fleas sucking on them will get poisoned. Remember to vacuum your house and throw out the dust bag as soon as you’re done. Wash and boil all bedding, carpet and rugs to kill off any remaining fleas and their eggs. If all else fails, call the pest control professionals.

Crickets

Crickets usually hide in dark corners of the house and will only start chirping in the still of the night. It is very annoying when there is a cricket in your bedroom as the chirp is very loud and will definitely affect your sleep. To get rid of crickets, spray insecticide in the corner of cabinets and hard to reach areas. The residue from the spray can last up to 3 months and new crickets will not come back to that area.

Spiders

Spiders gravitate to dark places and usually make their webs in corners of the ceiling and inside cabinets. They make these webs to trap other insects which are their source of food. So all you have to do to get rid of spiders is to get rid of other insects in your house. You can start by clearing up clutter and removing existing old webs. Wiping down the inner corners of your cabinet will also usually do the trick when it comes to eliminating spiders.

3 Steps For Fresh Smelling Pillows Every Time

3 Steps For Fresh Smelling Pillows Every Time

Imagine this scenario, it’s a Saturday night, and you’re ready to head out with your crew to pain the town red. You’re dressed super fly, you smell great, and everything is, as they say nowadays “on point”. You reach your favorite bar or club, and the immediately you feel awesome as you can  feel that the vibe and energy is great, and even this early on you can see that the place is  filled with attractive members of the opposite sex. As you walk into the place, some of them even give you ‘the look’ and, full of confidence and swagger (or ‘swag’ as they say) you go up to talk to some of them, after a few glasses of delicious liquid courage of course.

Hours pass, and you and your maybe potential spouse have had interesting conversations, but more importantly, the chemistry has been simply electric. The venue closes, and without so much as a direct word, you both head back toward your place. Things get hot and heavy, you’re both on your bed, and then…… BOOM! As soon as her head comes within 6 inches of your pillow, you can see the expression of disgust involuntarily flash across her face. The moment is ruined, and so is your self-esteem.

A little dramatic? Perhaps so, but let’s face it, isn’t it just simply gross to have a dirty pillow. You may not notice it (it is your ‘smell’ after all), but believe me, other people certainly would. And smell aside, there is nothing visually appealing about yellow, sweat-stained pillow. So to help our readers everywhere who are suffering from this problem, we present to you 3 easy steps in washing your pillow for that clean and fresh smell and look, always.

air-drying-pillows

Step 1: Air That Pillow Out

As part of your daily routine, you should ‘fluff’ your pillows in order to get rid of dust and to maintain their shape. On a monthly basis, you air them outside for a few hours on a clothesline; ideal weather conditions would bright and breezy, with the temperature being warm or chilly. If for whatever reason that is not an option that is available to you, put them in your dryer on a no-heat cycle (IMPORTANT).

Step 2: Give It a Gentle Washing

An obviously essential step; pillows are full of dead skin cells, dust mites, and dust. You don’t need to overdo it; an occasional washing is enough as too frequent washing will cause them to lose their shape. We recommend you wash your pillows twice yearly, perhaps up to 3 or 4 times yearly if you are a really filthy person.

The type of washing you do is dependent on the type of pillow. If your pillow is synthetic, such as polyester or foam, they can probably be machine-washed however we advise you always check the instructions that come with the packaging. For example, specialty pillows such as side sleeper pillows may have specific washing instructions. For those who don’t yet know, side sleeper pillows are for people who well.. sleep on their sides, as opposed to say their backs or stomach. Yes, there also are specific pillows for people with those weird sleeping positions. Anyway, use the gentle cycle with lukewarm water and a good laundry detergent. Here’s a neat trick: if you have a large enough washer, wash two pillows at a time to balance the load and allow more effective circulation of water and detergent. We also recommend front loading machines as opposed to top loaders as the agitators can be too tough on pillows.

If your pillow is filled with down or feather, unfortunately you have no choice but to hand wash them. To do this, use a basin filled with warm water and detergent (equivalent to a small load for your washing machine). The pillow is to be completely submerged and kneaded gently like dough. After that, drain it and press down on the pillow to expel most of the water. Then roll it in a dry towel to get rid of even more water. Finally, place it in your washer (no detergent or water, spin only) on the slowest spin cycle.

Step 3: Dry It Completely

Complete drying is important to ensure no mildew develops, as that will cause your pillow to smell funky again. Don’t use the automatic settings on your dryer as the sensors will not be able to detect the internal moisture and will result with a still damp pillow. We suggest one hour on moderate heat; add a couple dry towels to speed it up as well as two new tennis balls. Yes, you did indeed read that correctly; the tennis balls prevent the filling from clumping up as they bounce around in the dryer. Of course, depending on your weather, you can also simply hang your pillows out to dry. Whichever method you choose, make sure you really check the inside of the pillow for any remaining moisture.

a-soft-fluffy-pillow

We hope this article encourages you to wash that filthy pillow of yours. As for your pillow cover and pillow case? Wash them weekly together with your sheets.

Secrets To Home Improvement That The Experts Don’t Tell You

Secrets To Home Improvement That The Experts Don’t Tell You

There are a few highly guarded secrets in the home improvement fraternity that they don’t tell you about. These simple tricks are sometimes all that it takes to transform your home from drab to fab. We have broken the magician’s code and are proud to present to you these secrets. You can thank us later!

Go Green

Most people are drawn to houses with beautiful trees and plants surrounding them. Landscaping is so important but is often overlooked. When deciding on landscaping, go for the long term. Select shrubs and trees that will mature over time. Buying these shrubs and trees when they are young and small saves you money. When they fully mature, they will look ten times more expensive.

If possible, plant shady trees around your house. When the trees mature, they will have a cooling effect and will reduce your energy costs by up to 30%. Mature trees also instantly increase the value of your home as it gives an air of elegance and old world charm.

When selecting your plants, do also remember to choose native plants. If possible, choose those that are drought-tolerant as well. These will save you tons of money when it comes to upkeep and maintenance as they require less watering and sprucing.

Invest in a water filtration system

Are you one of those that only drink bottled water? You don’t have to do this if you invest in a water filtration system. The initial cost may be high; however you will save tons of cash in the long run by foregoing bottled water. A water filtration system is an extra luxury that many homeowners love. You won’t regret getting one, we promise.

carpet-designSwap your carpets for hard-surfaced floors

Gone are the days where the entire home is carpeted. When carpets are new, they are luxurious and wonderful to step on. However, they all eventually end up flattened, moldy and stained. Consider replacing your carpets with tiles or wooden flooring. These are environmentally friendly and will improve the air quality in your home. There are a multitude of designs to choose from nowadays and you will be spoilt for choice.

Tiles and wooden flooring also gives your home a more modern look and will appeal to more people. Hard surfaced floors are easier to upkeep and clean. They don’t smell as they don’t hold odors. Carpets on the other hand are usually host to germs, allergens and odor. The situation is made even worse if you have pets or small children running around. Fur, pet droppings and spilled food can turn into a horrendous nightmare in a house where the floors are fully carpeted.

popcorn-ceilingRemove the popcorn ceiling

Most modern houses nowadays have flat surfaced ceilings. There is no worse way to date your house than by having popcorn ceilings. Popcorn ceilings were made popular in the 1950s. It is now the 2000s and no one wants popcorn ceilings anymore. Popcorn ceilings are used to hide uneven seams and watermarks leading to home buyers suspecting that there may be structural issues with your house.

Thankfully, it is quite simple to remove popcorn ceilings and it is a task that you can do yourself. Simply spray a solution on the ceiling to soften the texture and scrape it away. This solution can be found in most hardware stores and is inexpensive.  Remember to wear a mask when doing this as there will definitely be debris and find dust floating in the air which can be dangerous to inhale. Do also protect your floor and furniture with a suitable cover to save you the hassle of cleaning up after the ceiling scraping work is done.