6 Simple Pest Control Tips for Homeowners

With home prices now averaging around $287,000, that’s an asset that you want to keep in pristine shape. A big part of that is keeping a pest free home. After all, insects and rodents can damage everything from insulations to wiring to the very support structure of your home.

Yet, many homeowners struggle every year to avoid or clear out common household pests. If you’re one of these homeowners, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

Minimizing or getting rid of pests is possible. Keep reading and we’ll give you six solid pest control tips to help you win the battle.

1. Mind the Cracks and Gaps

Like it or not, your home settles as it gets older. The can cause cracks and gaps around windows, doors, your foundation, and even between your walls and roof. These are entry points for pests of all kinds. Invest in some silicone caulk and expanding foam to seal those up.

2. A Clean Kitchen

Kitchens become a major source of attraction for pests of all stripes. If you leave dirty dishes in the sink or leave out food on counters, it becomes a food source for pests. Even crumbs can attract insects and rodents.

Stay on top of your dishes. Wipe down your counters and stove regularly.

3. Trash Disposal

When disposing of your trash, especially in an outdoor bin, you must keep the top firmly closed. Otherwise, it acts as an invitation for insects, rodents, and larger animals like raccoons. The firmly closed trash can is a key residential pest control method.

4. Repair Screens

The screens over your windows do an excellent job of keeping insects out, as long as they remain in good repair. If they have even a small hole, bugs will find that hole. Fix any damaged screens as soon as you find the problem.

5. Declutter

Clutter accumulates in every home, but it also provides lots of convenient hiding spots for pests to live and reproduce. Decluttering your home from time to time deprives pests of that convenient cover. Plus, it also makes cleaning easier for you.

6. Pest Control Services

If you’ve already tried everything you can think of without success, it’s time for some assistance from professional pest control services. They can target specific pests and provide preventative measures to keep the pests away. You can head over here to check out some more info about pest control services.

Pest Control Tips and You

As you may have noticed, most of these pest control tips are activities you can carry out. At the same time, adults lead busy lives. You can’t fix every problem in an afternoon.

Focus your efforts where you see the most problems. If you routinely leave food out, make putting food away a priority. If there are a lot of cracks and gaps around your home, take a couple of weekends to seal them. Work your way through the tips over time.

Looking for more home improvement ideas? Check out the posts in our DIY section.

4 Fun Things to Do in Key West

Florida is a unique travel destination in the United States because it offers sunny beach vibes year-round. That makes it one of the best options for vacations, no matter what time of year you’re planning a holiday. 

One of the best places to visit while down in Florida is Key West. Key West is a stunning part of the state that offers numerous activities and fun things to do. 

1. Visit Ernest Hemingway’s House

If you love literature, then you won’t want to miss out on a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s house. This is one of the more unique Key West activities that you can participate in and offers the chance to learn more about this beloved author and how he lived. 

Interestingly enough, what this site is famous for isn’t the author that lived in it, but the six and seven-toed cats that roam the area. Enjoy learning about history and hanging out with these feline friends while in the area!

2. Learn How to Make Rum

One of the many Key West things to do you can enjoy while in the area is to visit a rum distillery. On a tour of one of the distilleries, you’ll learn all about how to make rum.

Plus, you’ll get to sample some unique rums that have been crafted by local distillers. And, you’ll learn all about the history of this tasty beverage at the same time!

3. Relax on Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Key West, and for good reason. Not only can you take in stunning views of the ocean, but there are plenty of activities that the whole family can enjoy. 

If you really love the beach, you can take your visit to the next level by renting one of the many vacation rentals that line the shores. It’s the perfect way to spend the whole day relaxing on the sand without having to worry about navigating back to a faraway hotel. 

4. Check Out the Butterfly Garden

Nature lovers will adore the chance to visit the butterfly garden. At this interactive museum, you’ll be able to walk through gardens while butterflies land on your arms, shoulders, and head. 

This is a great experience to post on the gram, so be sure to bring your camera! You won’t want to miss out on the unique snaps of yourself strolling through lush greenery with hoards of colorful butterflies surrounding you.

Plan the Perfect Visit to Key West

Are you ready to book your vacation to Key West and enjoy the plethora of things to do in the area? With this guide, you’ll be able to plan a vacation that the whole family will love. 

And, if you want more vacation advice, be sure to check out some of our other blogs. We’ve got plenty of resources to help make your travel plans to any destination a success. 

Private vs. Public School: Which Is Best For My Child?

The decision on where to school your children is an extremely important one. At the end of the day, you can only control so much about your children’s education, but the school environment can certainly set the stage for what’s to come. 

That’s a decision you have a measure of control over. There’s a lot to consider in the process as well because there are pros and cons to both public and private schools. 

The school itself, the teachers employed there, and the philosophy behind the school are all things to take into consideration. We’re going to address the private vs public school debate today, giving you some insight on things to consider. 

Hopefully, the information below can make the process a little easier for you as you make a decision. 

Benefits of Private Schooling

There’s an obvious prestige associated with private schools. When we think of “private,” we tend to conjure up ideas of exclusivity, excellence, and distinction. 

There is something to be said about those things, even if they’re only myths. The impression that private schools give when listed on resumes and applications is significant. So, the first benefit of private schooling is the fact that there is a positive impression that goes along with them. 

This is particularly true for college and job applications. The next benefit to speak of is the fact that private schools are allowed to tailor their own curriculums in different ways. 

They’re not tied to the county or state restrictions in the same way that public schools are, so there are opportunities for your child to learn in the value set that you agree with. 

Religious private schools are a perfect example of this. If your family has deep Catholic values, your child can be educated in an environment that supports those values if you want them to. On the other hand, you might seek out a private school that emphasizes alternative values and free-thinking more than a public school would. 

Your personal values and beliefs will help to determine the right elementary school, public or private. 

Benefits in the Classroom

Another factor associated with most private schools is the fact that they have smaller classroom sizes. Your child will be granted more attention by the staff when there are fewer children to work with and teach. 

What’s more, is that particular private schools might set higher educational standards for the teachers they higher. In other words, it could be harder to get a job at a private school than it would be at a public school. 

This is a difficult thing to quantify, though, because the quality of education that a teacher is capable of providing doesn’t always have much to do with their credentials. Some individuals with sub-par resumes might be the greatest educators in the world. 

Further, the curriculum of public schools tends to be a little more challenging than those of public schools. Your child might be on an advanced track and get a lot more out of school than they would at a public school.

That fact tends to be reinforced by the fact that private schools have funds to offer their students more extracurricular resources, alternative methods of teaching, and other costly things that might improve the academic experience. 

Benefits of Public Schooling

On the other side of things, we have public schools. 

Public schools are typically very cheap, if not free. There might be some costs associated with supplies, sports teams, or other extracurriculars, but those are nothing compared to private schools. 

This fact opens children of public schools to all of the benefits of learning in a diverse environment. Private schools include some diversity, but there’s exclusivity in terms of income that is inherent in the reality of private schools. 

As it’s evident that income doesn’t impact a person’s level of intelligence, the public school learning environment can be just as intellectual and challenging as that of a private school. In some ways, the learning environment might be enriched by the fact that there’s a better chance of diverse opinions in the classroom. 

Learning with people of different backgrounds gives your child the opportunity to experience different walks of life and generate a strong sense of empathy and compassion. They can make friends with individuals of all kinds, learn from those friends, and take that understanding into the world and make it a better place to be. 

A Variety of Resources and Activities

One downfall of private schooling is that it doesn’t offer the same breadth of options for extracurricular activities and resources. 

Private schools tend to be small with a narrow focus on particular values. This is great if your values align with those of the school. The result, though, is that a child with divergent interests might not be able to find a place that stimulates them. 

Public schools tend to have a breadth of opportunities as diverse as the children who go there. This opens your child up to the ability to explore their interests, trying new things, and moving in directions that you might not have moved as you were being raised. 

Another thing to note is that public schools often have more competitive teams and groups. There tend to be more children who attend public schools, so the ability to get onto particular teams is a little more difficult than it would be at a less-attended private school. 

This is stimulating as it requires the individual to work a little harder to hone their skills and stand out to make teams. When they’re on the team, the network or league of opposing teams might prove to be more competitive as well. 

Want to Learn More about Private vs Public School Options?

The private vs public debate is one that is different for every family. There are numerous personal and educational factors to consider, and there’s not always a clear answer. 

The more information you have on the schools in your area, though, the more likely you are to choose the best schooling and education options. We’re here to help you with more information on educational subjects, lifestyle ideas, and more. 

The Benefits of Taking a Prenatal Vitamin

Are you getting ready to welcome a new baby into the world? Having a biological child is exciting and you have so much to do before the baby arrives!

Are you already taking a prenatal vitamin? 

Some doctors recommend that anyone who is capable of getting pregnant takes a prenatal vitamin just in case a pregnancy occurs. That said, many people choose not to do this due to the cost of vitamins and the resistance to taking something that they don’t need.

Let us give you some pregnancy advice: the best time to start taking a prenatal vitamin was before you got pregnant. The second best time is now.

Keep reading to learn all about why expecting mothers should take prenatal vitamins. 

They Support Your Baby’s Nervous System

The most significant reason that people who are pregnant should take prenatal vitamins is that they’re crucial for your baby’s development in the womb.

The key ingredient of prenatal vitamins (that’s not as common in standard multivitamins) is folic acid. Folic acid is what facilitates the growth and development of your baby’s brain and spinal cord.

If you don’t get enough folic acid in your diet, your baby may end up with a neural tube defect, like spina bifida. Spina bifida can cause lifelong physical and mental disabilities. 

Spina bifida can develop within the first month of pregnancy. This is why it’s important for anyone who is trying to become pregnant to take folic acid in prenatal vitamins.

They May Help Alleviate Nausea

Every pregnant person knows about morning sickness. It isn’t entirely avoidable, but prenatal vitamins might help. 

The vitamin B6 that’s present in prenatal vitamins may help to reduce the effects of the amino acids that cause nausea during early pregnancy. Because morning sickness starts right away, it’s better if you start taking the vitamins before you know that you’re pregnant for the best results. 

They’ll Support Your Own Health

Your health and your baby’s health are intertwined. While prenatal pills are for the baby, they can also help your own health and wellness.

Taking prenatal vitamins (alongside a healthy diet and gentle exercise schedule) can help you avoid the struggles of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. These vitamins will also support your immune system so you can avoid the yearly colds and flu while you’re trying to grow a healthy baby. 

They can help you avoid anemia and keep you feeling more energetic (within reason) during your pregnancy. 

When you’re healthy, your baby has a better chance of being healthy.

Tak Our Pregnancy Advice (And Take Prenatal Vitamins)

Pregnant women (or pregnant people of any gender) should take prenatal vitamins if they want to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. This may be the best pregnancy advice that you get in your first trimester. 

Talk to your doctor about their recommended prenatal vitamins today.

For more helpful articles about parenting and more, visit the rest of our site.

Diamond Jewelry Cleaning: A Complete Guide

For some people, their engagement ring is, by far, their most expensive piece of jewelry. It’s something they cherish and want to keep in the best possible condition.

And the best way to do this is to use the best diamond jewelry cleaning methods. Then, you can be sure that your prized tennis bracelet or family heirloom will stay in tip-top shape for a long, long time.  

You don’t even need to hire a professional cleaner; you can do it yourself at home. Here is the only jewelry cleaning guide you need for your diamond jewelry.

Option 1: Use Dish Soap

If this is your first foray into cleaning diamond jewelry, don’t pull out the big guns on your first try. And when you are cleaning jewelry that has a high sentimental value or is an antique piece, you need to be gentle.

First, fill a bowl with warm water. It’s better to do this in a bowl and not in a sink so you do not drop the jewelry down the plughole by accident. Add a generous dollop of dish soap and use your hand to lather the water.

Submerge your jewelry for around 20 to 30 minutes. Then, take it out and brush away the loose grime with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

You can either leave the jewelry to air dry or you can pat off the excess with a soft towel. But it is better to leave it to air dry regardless so the hidden particles of water don’t get trapped in your jewelry box. Water can tarnish some precious metals. 

Option 2: Use Baking Soda

When you follow jewelry cleaning tips for diamond jewelry cleaning, you need to take into account the other materials in the piece too. When cleaning sterling silver diamond pieces, you need to consider that this material tarnishes often.

So, you will likely need to use a stronger cleaning agent when washing diamond sterling silver jewelry. Follow the same steps as the previous method but add a teaspoon of baking soda instead of dish soap.

You might need to leave it for over two hours but you should check on it at regular intervals to ensure there is no adverse reaction. Rinse the jewelry under a warm tap before you pat dry.

Option 3: Degreasing Solution

Does this jewelry cleaning advice with at-home ingredients leave you feeling uneasy? You can use professional cleaning solutions instead.

Rub a jewelry cleaner or a degreasing solution onto your diamond pieces and leave them for 30 minutes. Then, brush them with a wet, soft-bristled toothbrush to lift the loose dirt. Wash the jewelry under a tap and pat dry like the other methods.

Diamond Jewelry Cleaning Made Easy

Cleaning pieces of jewelry with high monetary or sentimental value at home might seem daunting at first. But now you know the best diamond jewelry cleaning methods, you can keep your bling looking sparkly without spending a lot.

Want to learn more about caring for your high-quality accessories and jewelry with other precious gemstones? Browse our website for tons of helpful guides and useful tips and tricks!

The Guide That Makes Choosing the Best Wedding Photographer Simple

Did you know that wedding photography prices vary from $1000 to $10,000 in this country? That’s a significant investment and the stakes are high to record that very special one-in-a-lifetime day. That’s why it’s important to choose an expert photographer for your wedding. 

Are you looking for a wedding photographer? Not all wedding photographers are created equal. Here’s the brief guide that makes choosing the best wedding photographer simple.

Get Referrals 

Wedding photography is a serious business since it will record one of the most momentous days of your life. That’s why it’s critical to get good referrals from friends, family, or co-workers who have had a positive experience with a particular photographer. 

Choose the Best Wedding Photographer in Your Area

When looking for a professional photographer, it is recommended to choose someone in your area so that you can meet in person ahead of time and have them see your venue in advance. If you are having a destination wedding or non-traditional wedding venue then you may want to choose someone in that location, if possible. But if you have someone special in mind, then it could be worth paying them extra travel fees so that they can go to your destination wedding. 

Read Online Reviews

While online reviews can be subjective, they can also provide you with a valuable picture of the person behind the camera. While the quality of the photography itself is important, you want to make sure that the photographer is pleasant to work with. Online reviews can sometimes go beyond and give you a sense of how that photographer is to work with. 

Consider Second Shooters

Depending upon the size and type of wedding you are having, you may want to book a photographer that has a second shooter. If you’re not familiar with that term, it is a second photographer (or a photographer’s assistant) that provides more coverage and shoots different areas or moments than the primary photographer. This can be beneficial if you have a particularly large wedding and realize the photographer can’t be in multiple locations at the same time. 

Look at Portfolios

It may sound obvious, but it’s important to check out samples of the photographer’s work before booking them. Ask to see shots from previous weddings, and make sure that the quality is there and that their style is a match for you. You can do this in advance by going online and looking at companies like Weelopednashville.com for examples. 

Ready To Find a Wedding Photographer?

Now that you’ve learned the top tips to find the best wedding photographer you can make a decision with confidence. Take the time to do your research which includes reading reviews online, getting referrals, and looking at potential candidates’ portfolios. And unless you have someone special in mind, it’s often better to get a local photographer that is in your area. 

Did you find this useful? Then check out some of the other content on this site for more helpful tips and tricks. 

How Much Radiation is Lethal?

Most Americans receive an annual radiation dose of about 0.62 rem, just by going about their lives. Despite what Hollywood might tell you, radiation is a ubiquitous and — in small enough doses — pretty harmless fact of life for the vast majority of us.

But still, if that small annual dose we all get doesn’t hurt, how much radiation is lethal? How much radiation can humans be exposed to before things get dicey? Is it possible for radiation in cell phones and every day radiation to build up enough to do damage?

You’ve come to the right place. For the answers to all these questions and more, just keep reading!

What Are the Different Sources of Radiation?

Radiation is all around us. While the term itself might conjure images of mushroom clouds and nuclear disasters, the truth is you could probably reach out and touch a radiation source right this second.

For example, the gadgets you use every day all emit some low level of radiation. Cell phones, clocks, watches, lamps, and smoke detectors (which actually work because they contain a radioactive element) all kick out some harmless level of radiation. A good portion of that 0.62 rem we mentioned up top can be traced back to these kinds of gadgets.

But that’s not all. Even your tap water contains traces of radiation. That’s because it’s sourced from lakes and rivers that flow across endless layers of rocks and soil. Rocks and soil are another source of, you guessed it, radiation. It seeps out of the soil, into the water, and out of your taps!

If you were so inclined, you could buy trifield meter tools and go hunting for these benign sources of radiation yourself!

So How Much Radiation is Lethal and How Do I Avoid It?

Put simply, a dose of 400 to 450 rem received over a very short time will be enough to kill about 50% of people. When you consider that your average annual dose of radiation is 0.62 rem, you’ll start to realize how catastrophically unlucky you’d have to be to receive a lethal dose.

Still, in the unlikely event you need to worry about how radiation doses, remember three things: time, distance, and shielding. By spreading your exposure over a long period of time, increasing your distance from the source, and putting shielding between you and the radioactive material, you will reduce your risk of lethal exposure by a lot.

Chance of Superpowers: Low

So there you have it, now you know how much radiation is lethal and how to protect yourself against it. Whether you’re a worker in a radiation-heavy industry or a curious onlooker, we hope you’ve learned some key facts that will serve you well down the road.

But don’t go throwing your mobile phone away because someone said it’s a source of radiation!

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