Getting Rid Of Roaches from Your Home

Getting Rid Of RoachesJust the sight of one of these multi-legged, hard-shelled insect crawling across the floor is enough to make your toes curl, and your screams can hit high notes you didn’t realize were possible. But what are you dealing with?

Roaches are a large, disgusting insect, with six legs, and 18 knee joints. (We were sure you’d want to know that.) There are more than 5,000 species in the world, but the most common are the German cockroach, and the American cockroach.

Initially cockroaches may infest your home from the outside, finding cracks, gaps under doors, and other ways to enter the home, attracted by warmth, darkness, and spoiling food or standing water, in things like open garbage pails, unwashed dishes. As big as they may seem, a cockroach can insinuate itself through an opening as thin as a dime when young, or a quarter as an adult. They don’t like light, which is why many homeowners can’t believe it when the cat or dog presents them with the remains of their latest victim. But you can’t depend on your pets to control the population.

The first measure in getting rid of cockroaches is hygiene. If you have stored vegetables that are rotting, open containers of food in cupboards, or unsecured garbage pails, remove all refuse and replace containers with those that seal tightly. Check under appliances, in cupboards, basement corners, and other dark places for traces of a black gritty dirt that has an oily appearance. This is roach feces and a sign that you do have a problem.

Once your home is cleaned, your choices in removing them are to do it yourself, or to have the home professionally treated by a pest control company. Which you choose, may depend on the severity of the infestation. The primary means of destroying roaches are contact poisons/sprays, and residual sprays which leave time released ingredients in your cupboards and on the surfaces where sprayed, that will work over a period of 2-3 weeks.

There are also the infamous “roach motels” that can be placed in your cupboards. Sometimes it may take a combination of several methods, such as an immediate contact kill substance, and then roach motels in places where you have evidence of previous inhabitants. Once your immediate problem is eliminated, you can also take preventative measures, such as sprinkling powdered boric acid in between walls, and around foundations where they may have entered the house. This is generally a safe product, and will be carried on the roaches’ feet, to wherever they are hiding and breeding.

One note of caution: Pesticides can be highly toxic to humans and pets. Spray treatments should never be carried out without proper respiratory protection, and first removing of all food, pets and dishes or other items that your food may come in contact with.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

Kitchen Bread Makers

Bread MakersBread machines or bread makers are fast becoming a small and commonly used appliance almost as much as the microwave oven in many home kitchens. The smell and taste of freshly baked bread is hard to resist, let alone very nutritious for you.

These machines can be considered another of the few miracle kitchen appliances to make our cooking and baking lives more enjoyable. Finding bread machines online has never been much easier, except maybe which one to choose for your family’s needs. Here are some basic tips in finding the right one for you.

Most store bought bread these days comes in one and a half to two pound loafs, so the first tip is look for a bread machine with a two pound capacity. There really isn’t a good reason to make bread size less than a two pound loaf. Also it is nice to have a bread maker with at least 8 different settings. Some of your best choices for settings are: Basic, Whole Wheat, French, Sweet and Express bake.

A bread machine with a view window allows one to monitor the bread baking without raising the lid, saving energy and time. Make sure the loaf pan is non-stick coated for easy cleaning. Most bread makers today come with non-stick loaf pans but there are a few that still don’t. Another great feature to have is the additional ingredients beeper, which comes in handy for adding fruit and more throughout the bread cycle.

Whether it is for once a week bread making or even to everyday use, the bread machine has become a part of the modern kitchen. Make sure you compare different models online to find the perfect one for your family.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

Constructing an Energy Saving Building

Energy Saving BuildingFor new construction, builders can achieve substantial energy savings through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and ENERGY STAR Qualified Home standards.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED provides a complete framework for assessing building performance and meeting sustainability goals. Based on well-founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED recognizes achievements and promotes expertise in green building through a comprehensive system offering project certification, professional accreditation, training and practical resources.

Newly built homes that earn the ENERGY STAR must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes are should have more energy efficient at least 15 percent than homes built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). ENERGY STAR qualified homes can include a variety of energy-efficient features, such as effective insulation, high performance windows and doors, well-sealed and insulated duct systems, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances. These features contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort, and to lower energy demand and reduced air pollution.

In addition to offering a high quality product to consumers, builders of energy efficient homes are eligible for a $2,000 federal tax credit under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. A new energy efficient home must achieve 50 percent energy savings for heating and cooling over the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). At least one-fifth of the energy savings must come from building envelope improvements.

A bright future

As the demand for high quality, efficient homes gains momentum, more contractors and builders will look to building performance to add value to conventional homes, setting a new standard in the residential new construction and home improvement industries and empowering their customers to make better choices for themselves, the economy and the environment.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

The Successful Home Improvement Projects

Home Improvement ProjectsThere are several good reasons for wanting to redecorate or remodel your home. If your residence no longer reflects your changing tastes and lifestyle but you don’t want to leave a desirable neighborhood, maybe all you need to do is make one or two basic changes. Altering a color scheme, converting a bedroom into a home office, or upgrading the kitchen and bathroom are practical improvements that add esthetic appeal and financial value. If a move is in the future, you want home improvement projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it’s time to sell.

Whatever your motives for improving your home, you need to make a wish list with three categories:

Must have

Would like to have

Dreams can come true

When your list is complete, consider the amount of money you have available or are prepared to borrow. Unless you have unlimited funds, make a realistic estimate of what you can afford. Are you planning major renovations that will require the services of an architect or a contractor? Will you need an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a painter, or all four? How much work can you do yourself? All these factors must be taken into account as you pare down your list into affordable home improvement projects.

Choosing the key projects

The best projects for improving the value of your home are, happily, the most affordable and the easiest to do yourself, even if you are a super klutz. Ask any real estate agent for tips on how to prepare a home for resale and you will be told that the house and yard should be cleaned and all clutter removed. Creating suitable home storage facilities and cleaning and painting the interior and exterior of your house, therefore, are the jobs that top the list of desirable improvements. The premium projects that usually require professional help are kitchen remodeling first and bathroom remodeling second. These particular upgrades will provide the best return for your money, and the real estate industry has statistics to prove it.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon