3 Ways to Control Pharaoh Ants in the Home

Monomorium pharaonis, or Pharaoh ants, are thought to be natives of Egypt, but they have spread all over the world, including to North America. Measuring just 2 millimeters, these ants are brown or yellowish in color. Although originally a tropical species, Pharaoh ants are highly adaptive to climate and temperature variations. They can even survive in American homes in winter if the central heating is on. As a loving and caring parent, you’ll want to get rid of this all-season nuisance pest.

Pharaoh ants live in colonies and they follow the social order of polygyny. Often, there are several queens in a single colony, so their population multiplies rapidly. When a colony becomes overpopulated, it gets fragmented into bud colonies, thus increasing their presence inside a home. Colonies can be anywhere including electricity pipes and ducts, small holes, or even cracks in walls and floors. Pharaoh ants can also damage silk, rayon, and rubber products, as they feed on almost everything sweet with sufficient protein content.

What is the biggest threat from Pharaoh ants?

These ants do not pose any major threat themselves except for mild stings. However, Pharaoh ants can transmit many illnesses and diseases as they are transporters of several pathogens. These include Streptococcus, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Pharaoh ants must be eliminated from modern homes to keep the family healthy and happy. However, keeping your home ant-free is a big challenge.

Why is it difficult to eradicate Pharaoh ants?

There are two major challenges in ant control. First, ants are very tiny and agile, and can easily escape or hide inside holes and cracks if attacked. Second, Pharaoh ants also have the unique gift of sensing insecticides and will abandon colonies before any harm comes to them.

What then are some effective ways of controlling pharaoh ants? Here are three options.

Ant-baiting

These ants have a terrific sweet tooth, so the smartest way to destroy them is by preparing poisonous baits mixed with honey, crushed sugar, or any other sweet solvent. Boric acid and baking soda are two effective household bait ingredients. These baits should be placed strategically and particularly in and around cracks and openings so that the ants can easily access them. Quite often, ant workers carry food to their queens so this method is also effective in killing the queens and thus controlling the population.

Capping holes, openings, and cracks

These are the gateways for Pharaoh ants that facilitate their entry and exit in homes. By sealing them, you can restrict their movement successfully. The challenge here is to spot and seal all possible points of entry, as many of them may be out of reach or simply go unspotted.

Spraying pesticides

If the ant infestation remains unmanageable even after trying the previous methods, you can try spraying pesticides. This should be the last resort because the average homeowner might struggle choosing the right pesticide for the job, as well as finding one that was safe. Using the pesticide both correctly and effectively might also be a challenge to a layperson.

Pharaoh ants are both smart and elusive. Controlling them is an expert’s job, so the best way to do it is by involving professionals. When it comes to the health and safety of your family, you would not want to take chances, right?

4 Ways To Avoid Expensive Plumbing Problems In The Home

It can be very expensive if you have a problem with the plumbing in your home. Burst pipes and leaks cause a lot of damage, and then you have to deal with the cost of calling out a plumber to fix it. In some cases, you can’t really avoid it and you will just have to accept the cost. Maintenance is part of being a homeowner, after all. But a lot of those problems could be avoided if you look after your plumbing properly. These are some of the best ways to avoid expensive plumbing problems in your home. 

 

Get The Plumbing Checked Regularly 

If you are trying to avoid spending money, calling out a plumber might not seem like the best idea. But if you want to avoid expensive problems in the future, you should get a regular checkup on the plumbing once every year or two at least. If you have the plumbing checked, they will be able to pick up on small leaks and cracks in the pipes that are likely to develop into worse problems later on. It’s a lot cheaper to fix them now while the problem is still small, instead of waiting until that pipe bursts and you have to deal with that. 

It’s especially important that you check for any signs of problems with your boiler because if that breaks down, it’s very expensive to fix and it can cause a lot of issues with the rest of your plumbing. It can also be very dangerous because a broken boiler may leak carbon monoxide into your home. 

Be Careful What You Put Down The Sink 

Clogged drains can lead to a lot of problems with the plumbing, and they’re usually caused by you. It’s important that you are careful about what you put down the sink because if you keep putting things down there that you shouldn’t, you will cause yourself a lot of trouble. People often make the mistake of pouring cooking fat down the sink, but it will solidify once it cools and cause a big blockage. The same goes for any waste food that ends up in there when you rinse plates, so make sure to scrape them into the bin before washing them up. 

In the shower, you need to be careful about clogging the drain with hair. Get yourself a hair catcher over the plughole so you are not blocking up the pipes. If you let it all go down the drain, it will be tough to get it all out again. 

Even if you are careful, things can still clog the drains, so it’s best to clean them out regularly. You can buy drain cleaning fluid that you pour down there and leave to soak. It should break down anything that is blocking the sink so you can wash it away. If you want a more natural solution, try using baking soda and vinegar to break things up, and then pour some boiling water down there. 

Stay On Top Of Limescale 

Limescale buildup can cause a lot of damage to your kitchen appliances and the fixtures in your bathroom, so you need to stay on top of it. If you live in a hard water area, you will have noticed spots appearing and limescale building up around the showerhead and taps. Using a citric acid based cleaner is a great solution for hard water spots because it cuts through the deposits that are left behind but it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals. If you clean off those deposits regularly, you can stop any thick limescale building up and causing damage to your fixtures, so you don’t need to keep replacing them. If you are finding it difficult to manage limescale, you should consider installing a water softener to filter out the minerals that leave the deposit behind. 

Learn To Fix Things Yourself 

No matter what you do, problems with your plumbing are going to happen sometimes. But you shouldn’t be so quick to pick up the phone and call a plumber every time something happens because there are a lot of issues that you can fix on your own. You don’t need to pay somebody to fix small problems like a leaking faucet or a drain that is a bit clogged if you just spend a bit of time learning how to do those things on your own. Just be realistic about what you can and can’t do and know when it’s time to call a plumber. If you try to tackle jobs that you aren’t qualified for, you will end up doing more damage. 

If you follow these simple tips, you can avoid most of the big plumbing issues and save yourself a lot of money. 

The Difficult Health Decisions We All Have To Make

Taking charge of one’s own health is of central importance to the fully considered life. Only be really being sure of what you are going to do to manage your own health can you make sure that you are living fully. But this process of being in charge of your own health is something that many people find challenging. In particular, there are a number of difficult health-related decisions which we are all going to have to make at one point or another. How you approach this could affect your life profoundly in the future, so it’s something to be aware of.

Whether To Ask For A Second Opinion

Being diagnosed with a health condition, or even just being suspected of having one, is fraught with difficulties. Not least is the fact that you need to make absolutely sure that your doctor is correct in their judgement. There might be reason to suppose that your doctor is not absolutely certain or confident in what they are suggesting you have, in which case you might want to think about whether to ask for a second opinion. That is a difficult choice to make. If you are in any serious doubt, however, it is often best to seek a second opinion, just in case.

What To Allow If You Are Incapacitated

We don’t like to think too much about such worst-case scenarios, but it is nonetheless important to make sure that you know what you desire should you become somehow incapacitated in the future. Let’s say you end up in a coma and it becomes life-threatening: you need to have decided beforehand what kind of treatment you are happy with, and what you would rather do without. The only way to be sure you get your wish is to write out a legal document called a living will – see WillTemplates for an example of one.

When To Take Or Refuse Treatment

There are all sorts of reasons that an individual might want to refuse any particular treatment that a medical professional is offering or suggesting. It might be that they feel it is not good for them, for instance, such as those who have concerns about vaccines or psychiatric medicines. Or it might be that the individual has been recommended the same cycle of three or four drugs so often that they are just fed up with the rigmarole of it. While it would never be the advised thing to refuse treatment a doctor is strongly suggesting, there might be times when you find yourself unsure as to whether to take the medicine being offered. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

As you can see, there are plenty of tricky decisions that we all might need to make at some point or another, and when the time comes it is important to make sure that you know what you will choose. Thinking about this stuff now is, therefore, a wise move to make, and one which could put you in good stead for the future.

Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box: November – Bath Box

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post.  Affiliate links are contained herein. The opinions are my own.

Happy November! Today I have another great Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box unboxing for you!  This is a monthly subscription program for essential oil lovers, and it is such a great value! The theme for this month is BATH!  With the stress of the holiday season, plus cold weather AND cold & flu season, everyone takes a take a hot bath, so this is the perfect time for the theme.

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the Essential Oil Recipe Box, here are the details:

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

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Top 6 Kinds of Matching Living Room Sets

Furniture is often placed into specific categories for comparison. For instance, furniture is sorted by style, color, brand, or frame material. While those classifications are useful, it’s also fun to take a look at the most popular kinds of matching living room sets in a more general way. Here are six of the top choices in living room furniture.

1. Leather Living Room Sets

Leather furniture is in a class by itself. There’s no material that’s quite as classic, luxurious, and sophisticated. Yet, not all people who adore buttery leather sofas and loveseats buy this kind of furniture. Why? Usually, it’s because they don’t know it’s possible to get it at an affordable price. They think of leather and assume it’s out of their price range. However, at 1StopBedrooms online store, you can get discounts, coupons, and free delivery to lower the cost. You may be surprised to find that leather isn’t out of your reach at all.

2. Reclining and Power-Reclining Sets

Nothing’s more comfortable than easing back in a reclining sofa, loveseat, or chair. Now, you also have the option of choosing a power reclining set with an adjustable headrest and infinite position reclining mechanism. The matching set gives everyone in your living room a chance to put their feet up, lean back, and relax in any position they like.

3. Outdoor Living Room Sets

More and more, people are taking advantage of their outdoor spaces for entertaining and relaxing. To make a summer evening even more special, it’s great to have an outdoor sofa with matching loveseat and chair. Add some outdoor tables, set up your grill, and you’re all ready to get the party started!

4. Sets with Button-Tufted Sofas, Loveseats, and Chairs

Button-tufted furniture has always had a special appeal. It’s so elegant, but it’s also very comfortable. This kind of furniture never goes out of style. What’s more, high-quality button-tufted sets will hold up very well for many years.

5. Colorful Furniture Sets

The colors of living room furniture are always fascinating. In the neutral zone, you can choose among many shades of brown, beige, grey, black or white. But, these days, there are even more exciting colors. Check your online furniture store for colors like salsa, Pecos red, orange, and sky blue.

6. Cheap Furniture for Living Rooms

Now, we come to the kind of furniture anyone would love: the inexpensive kind. No matter what other categories of furniture you want, the bottom line is likely an important part of your final decision. The best way to get this kind of furniture is to go to a furniture website that has a wide variety of matched sets at discount prices.

Comparing furniture in different terms than usual is a fun exercise. If you want even more fun, browse through the selection of an online furniture company. Look at each of these kinds of furniture, or make up your own, entirely new, categories. And, if you like what you see, consider whether it’s time to go for it.

Looking To The Future And Keeping Your Finances In Good Shape

Fiscal responsibility requires a forward-thinking perspective. You have to think about the kind of financial situation you want in the future. This is difficult, of course. We all find ourselves preoccupied with present-day costs. You might be so focused on covering your current expenditures that you rarely give much thought to the potential state of your finances in 5, 10, or 20 years. However, whatever your age and whatever your current monetary situation, it’s always wise to think ahead. The pieces of advice in this post should help you to look to the future and keep your finances in good shape.

Start cutting back on unnecessary expenses.

You should start by cutting back on unnecessary expenses. This refers to more than just luxury expenditures. You should take a look at your basic costs. For instance, you might spend more money than necessary on your monthly utility bills. Perhaps you could insulate your walls, windows, and doors to trap heat more effectively and reduce the need to turn up your thermostat so high. You could also start using discount codes and other online deals to save money on your shopping. Buying the same goods for less money is an obvious route to take. You might want to check out this old navy coupon. If you’re going to buy clothes anyway, then it makes sense to get a discount. That should be your mentality when shopping. If you’re going to buy a particular product or service, then it makes sense to find the best possible price or deal online.

Look into options for automatic savings.

You might want to look into options for automatic savings if you want to look to the future and keep your finances in good shape. If you struggle to set aside money for later life, then this might be a great way to safeguard your financial future. If a fixed amount of your earnings are transferred from your bank account to your savings account on a monthly basis, then you’ll save money without having to think about it. You should set the monthly transferral date as your payday so you don’t spend your income before you have a chance to save it.

Invest, invest, and invest.

You don’t need to be a financial expert who trades on the stock market in order to become an investor. And investing doesn’t have to be a risky financial venture, either. The misconceptions surrounding investments are often deterrents for people who want to protect their finances, but investing is actually a way to protect your finances. Rather than letting your money sit in your bank account and gradually accumulate interest, you could invest portions of it in different areas and massively increase your wealth.

You just need to choose the right investment opportunities. You don’t need to jump in at the deep end. Many first-time investors look into the real estate market, for example. It’s a marketplace that makes sense to people. Properties are assets that are always valuable because people always need homes. Anybody with the right mindset can become a property developer, too. If you learn how to choose reasonably-priced properties in good areas, renovate them cheaply, and sell them at an increased value, then you could make a decent ROI per property. Do your research, get some help from estate agencies or other property developers, and start looking into good property investments that you could make.

Maintain Generator For Best Performance

Too often, we are guilty of buying a fancy gadget and not worry about its maintenance until the first problem occurs. Although a standby generator may seem like a simple machine that runs on sources of mechanical energy- it really isn’t. In fact, it’s a clever complex piece of equipment that needs as much care as your regular car would need. Like a car, a standby generator has a list of parts, wiring and other materials that are critical in its seamless functioning. This is the primary reason why it is important to regularly run checks on your generator to ensure it will be available at the time of need.

Reasons To Maintain Your Generator

A poorly or never maintained generator is as much bad news as an unpredictable loss itself. Here are a few reasons as a generator owner to ensure regular maintenance:

Parts, parts and the bigger picture: Like any equipment, generators also have plenty of parts that require regular checks. Each part within the generator adds up to make the generator work. Comprehensive maintenance of your residential generator plan should include checking of oil, oil filter, spark plugs, adjust and tighten any valves, check gas pressure, clear air filters, cross-check voltage, hertz, RPM outputs, perform a transfer test, last but not the least, the battery itself. Just like you would take your car for maintenance or call a professional to service your air conditioner, a standby generator requires a complete check-up at frequent intervals.

Maintain to remain: A standby generator is definitely a long term buy. Whether it is a short term outage or a power cut off that extends for a month- a standby generator should be available to run until normal power returns. A well-maintained generator can run from 10,000 hours to 30,000 hours. 10,000 hours translates to about 20 years of usage! Not only do you have a buy that’s long term but can attend to all your emergency needs.

Be risk smart: Your family and life are more important than anything else. Whilst you cannot mitigate every unforeseen event, investing in maintaining your generator can save you lots of trouble. When you don’t maintain it regularly, you are definitely putting yourself and your loved ones up for the risk. Imagine a blackout during terrible weather such a rainstorm, with no power, therefore no heating? It’s at these times that you need a fully functional generator to provide you with a seamless supply of power to have access to basic necessities like heating, information, and communication. Don’t risk instead, be smart, invest in the maintenance rather.

How to Maintain your Generator?

If yours is an industry like farming, you will understand the importance of having seamless and quality electricity at all times. In fact, In the farming world, Brett Patterson from AbleSales.com.au says that poor electrical quality is a common problem, making a reliable generator a must. Maintenance is the way to ensure your existing generator is a reliable one. While you may feel overwhelmed just looking at your generator equipment with all the wires and protective covering it may have, it’s actually quite straightforward on how to maintain it. Here are a few tips:

Create a comprehensive generator maintenance plan

This is probably the most important and the first thing to do right after you purchase a standby generator. A one-time schedule, it must include a routine maintenance check to ensure all aspects are covered along with timelines. If you decide to hire an outside contractor or a professional to carry out maintenance, it may be worth discussing your plan with them to gather their inputs.

Purchase a warranty

Investing in a warranty is one of the best backup plans you can have. Most generators don’t come cheap, ensure to understand the coverages- whether full or partial.

Invest in a cover

It may be worth investing in a cover or building an enclosure to protect your generator. The slightest bit of rainfall can damage parts that can prove to be costly.

Test your generator every 3 months

Most manufacturers recommend powering up your generator every 3 months for at least 30 minutes to charge the battery. Testing and maintaining your generator frequently improves the performance. The last thing you want is to get is a nasty surprise of your electric starter not working at a moment of need.

Check the outsides

Do a regular check outside of the radiator core and the intercooler of the water tank. There should be absolutely no foreign objects blocking the way.

Check the oil levels

If your generator runs on diesel, it’s important to check the oil level is between maximum and minimum levels of the dipstick scale.

Leaks

Inspect for any leaks from the equipment. If there are, investigate the source and clean up any residue.

Air filter blockage

Check if there is an air filter blockage. If the indicator shows red or is pointing towards the red zone, do not delay to replace the filter. The filter must be replaced after the unit is shut down. Remember not to reuse the air filter that was replaced.

Electrical connections to control systems

The last thing you want is to discover electrical connections to control systems are loose or faulty during an emergency. Run checks to ensure all portals are connected and fully working.

Use soft water

Check the cooling water level in the water tank. If it needs filling, make sure to use pure distilled water or soft water to ensure there is no corrosion.

Buying a generator may be simple. But ensuring it’s long life involves regular and complete maintenance. A standby generator has proven to be extremely useful at times

of need, especially life-altering emergencies that rely on medical equipment. Mitigate the risk of not having power by taking care of your generator. If you are unable to find the time or lack the ability to ensure regular checks, it may be worth hiring a professional to overlook the maintenance for you.

Is Mental Illness Preventing a Sweet Home?

Many people focus on finding happiness through material gains: buying a new toy, getting some new recipes, making their home a ‘better’ place by filling it with new belongings. However, all of this materialistic purchasing begets a bigger question: why aren’t you happy in the first place?

This simple question could be the answer to a lot of people’s unhappiness. Many people struggle with some sort of unidentified mental health issues, like anxiety or depression. Rather than acknowledge and cope with these problems, they prefer to look to external sources in hopes of ‘covering up’ the problem.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – most times people aren’t even aware that they struggle with a mental illness. However, the sad reality is that in our society, a huge number of us are. One of the best things that you could do to improve the quality of life is not to buy new things, but to consider checking in with your mental health.

Self-Help Blogs and Mental Wellness Blogs There are tons of mental health and self-help blogs (for example: E-counseling.com) that are directed towards people in a similar situation. It’s becoming quite common knowledge that having more (material) wealth doesn’t equate to being happier, but unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what the alternatives are.

The alternatives generally involve a great deal of honesty and self-care, which means checking in with yourself to determine whether or not your mental health is really as good as you think it is. It is also equally as important to understand mental illness, as many people simply hear buzz words these days but don’t understand any of it. Make sure to read up about mental health. Read up on Google News. Research any questions you may have on mental health through resources like Mental Health America and NAMI.

Mental Health – Is It Really That Important?

Mental health is one of the most important things for anyone to take care of – just as important as physical health. The problem is, while many of us are educated about physical health, not nearly as many of us are educated about mental health.

Mental health is important for many reasons.

· Mental health follows you everywhere, just like your physical health. A good state of mental health will improve your work, your relationships, and your overall quality of life. On the other hand, if you have mental health problems, you will likely struggle in these same areas.

· If mental health problems are left unaddressed, they can manifest as physical illnesses. Chronic stress, for example, can lead people to develop heart disease or immune problems.

What to Do About Mental Health

Even though many people are aware of what mental health problems can do to their lives, they may not know what to do next.

One of the best things that you could do is to see a therapist. Therapists are fantastic human beings who have dedicated their lives to learning how to help people improve theirs. They can teach you skills and provide you with knowledge to help you get the most out of your life.

If you think that you could improve your mental health in any way (and most of us certainly can), don’t hesitate to seek the counsel of a therapist.

Tips To Help Perfect A Work-Life Balance

Having the perfect work-life balance is hard to achieve, but once you have something close to it, you can enjoy life but still have the ability to achieve those goals and aspirations you have for your career. There are a few things that can stand in the way of achieving this balance, but with these tips, you too can perfect a work-life balance.

Learn How To Switch Off

Being able to switch off from work is easier said than done. Particularly when you have a job that demands a lot, or you’re in a role where you need access to work emails and files from home. However, you cannot let your work life consume your every waking hour, and therefore, you need to learn how to switch off from your work. This starts by leaving your work devices away from your lounging space. When you’re not working, leave these devices in another room but set on loud volume just in case anyone calls or emails you with urgent responses needed. This means that you don’t carry around the device and have a constant opportunity of looking at your phone all the time. If you’re able to switch off your device completely or have a point in the evening where you know you can shut these devices off until you need them again the next day. It’s difficult to get yourself out of a habit that you’ve been in for a while, but it’s not impossible.

Take The Opportunity To Look After Your Body

Your body is important because you only get one of them, and if you’re constantly putting your body through stress, then this opens up the opportunity for you to get sick more often and to catch more illnesses. If you’re working too much, then you have the risk of losing your focus, and a lack of sleep could mean an accident and having to get skilled injury lawyers who can handle your case. You want to avoid getting to that point where work has started affecting your health, so look after yourself more. When your body is tired, listen to it, instead of ignoring it. Get a good night’s sleep each night and treat your body to a brief workout each day to get the blood pumping around your body.

Try To Unplug Once You Get Home

Make it a rule that once you get home, your home life begins, and your work life ends. That’s the best of getting yourself into the mindset and to have a more enjoyable evening and days whenever you’re not in the office. Try not to talk about work at home because that’s just going to affect your home life more.

Set Boundaries Between Work And Social Life

Having boundaries is always going to be helpful, and that can be the same when it comes to your work and social life. Sometimes you may need to work overtime for your job, but that’s something that should be optional and not necessary. It should be rewarded as time off if you need to do it, and you should have the ability to say no to things that you don’t want to do. Learning to say no in life is definitely a skill worth having. We’ll all have things in our life that we do out of not wanting to disappoint people, but then if that’s sacrificing your own happiness, that’s not right. Set these boundaries from the beginning, and if you find them slipping at any point, look at what it is that you’re not currently doing and fix it.

Remember To Spend Time With Loved Ones

Your loved ones and those you value most in your life are important, and all too often, work gets in the way of spending more time with them. Yes, you can be passionate about your work, but the last thing you want to do is let work stop the opportunities that come by to spend time with people and to create memories. If you’re putting your work above that, then you are going to be unhappy with the lack of social connection. Not only that, but you do put your relationships in jeopardy by prioritizing your work life. Remember to make time for those who matter and that you want to make as many memories as you physically can do.

A work-life balance can be hard to achieve, but it’s definitely something you should be doing in order to live a happier life and a healthier one too.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 501

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