The Best Way to Keep Pests Out of Your Home

I work hard to keep a nice lawn. It not only looks good, but it helps maintain or increase the value of your home. But all of this can be quickly ruined by pests. Whether you have squirrels, rabbits, moles, skunks, or something bigger, these little guys can be a real pain in the neck.

So to protect my yard, and also to keep me from going insane, I set out to find the best way to keep these little buggers away from my house. There are a lot of different things you can do, but some are more effective than others.

Here are some of the best methods I found:

Build a fence

This is perhaps the most obvious thing to do when trying to control pests, but it isn’t always the first thing we think of.

If squirrels or rabbit are getting into your garden and eating your vegetables, simply surround the garden with a wire fence. This works best if you are using raised beds, as nothing will be able to dig underneath the fence.

But fences only work for smaller areas. When pests are getting into your lawn, you may not want to or be able to build a fence large enough to surround the whole area. Fences can be expensive to build, and if you don’t maintain them properly, you can end up with holes, making them virtually useless.

Set traps

This is usually the first thing we think of for controlling pests. Most of us have probably had a problem with mice in our houses at one time or another, and the best way to take care of this is to set traps.

These are good because they do the work for you. All you need to do is set it up somewhere near where you’ve seen evidence of the pest, put some bait and wait. The most effective bait is meat, such as chicken liver or canned fish, but other stuff works too. Peanut butter, nuts and also sweets like gum and candy work as well.

However, there are some downsides to traps. For example, few of them actually kill the pests. They simply trap them, and it is up to you to take them to another place and release them. Sometimes this works fine. But if the animal is particularly attached to that area because it sees it as a secure source of food, or if you don’t release it far enough away, it may find its way back into your yard.

Also, it doesn’t guarantee you get rid of all pests. If you have a serious problem, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to trap them faster than they can reproduce, especially if you are dealing animals known to multiply quickly, such as rabbits.

It’s also tougher to trap larger animals, such as skunks or opossums. And should you trap a skunk, you can imagine it won’t be happy when you find it. This can get messy quick.

Use an air rifle

I’m not really much of a gun guy, so I wouldn’t recommend you go out firing at these pests with a shotgun, but using an air rifle is a surprisingly effective way to control pest populations.

These guns are quieter and safer than regular firearms, but they still have enough firepower to kill smaller pests. While this may seem drastic, it is effective—it gets rid of the pests for good.

Since you will need to sit around and take aim at these critters, you’ll end up spending more time on pest control. But you can be sure you are removing these undesired guests from your home forever. Also, the noise these things give off, while not overbearing, is enough to scare animals away. A few days or weeks of pest control and you should be free of your problem for good.

Of course there are some other things to consider with using an air rifle. First, you may want to let your neighbors know what you’re up to so that they don’t get scared. But if you take the time to find a quality air rifle, you can get something that is effective without being too disruptive.

Also, since you need to be the one taking aim, you can really only do pest control when there is light. For some animals, such as squirrels and rabbits, this is no problem, but it will be tough to get nocturnal pests, such as skunks and opossums.

And you also need to practice a bit.  If you’re like me, you probably aren’t the most accurate shot, so this might seem like a lost cause at the beginning. Luckily, though, the pellets aren’t expensive, and most rifles come with a scope to help you aim.

Go get those pests

Don’t let these annoying little things get in the way of a healthy, beautiful lawn. We all work hard to maintain our gardens and yards, and it can be incredibly frustrating to have them ruined by pests.

Hopefully this information has helped you understand the best methods for pest control out there so that you can take care of this problem before it gets out of hand.

Happy Gardening!

 

3 Ways How (Not) To Break Into Your Own Home

This is a guest post from LocksmithsInSydney.com. These guys have saved my skin numerous times. They also have a good sense of humour.

I’ve seen some funny things during my time as a locksmith. People get locked out. You forget your keys.

Accidents happen

Imagine the scene: It’s the middle of the night. You are taking the garbage out, and a gust of wind slams the front door shut.

You just locked yourself out.

So there you are stuck in your pyjamas, on your front door step. Damn.

After 5 minutes of frustration, you do the standard checking of windows to see if you left anything open. Nope, your security-conscious-self did a great job. It is at this moment that you realise you are definitely locked out.

Now, most people tend to get some help at this point. Go over to a neighbours house? Call someone to let you in?

There are defining moments in a guy’s life. At this moment, you could surrender to your circumstances and ask for help, or you could rise to the challenge and get in touch with your inner Jason Bourne.

Sadly, in these circumstances some people like to rise to the challenge and decided they would break into their own home.

Here are the three attempts I consistently see when I’m called to a lockout.

Attempt #1: Break Through The Door Window
I have a theory. The first question people must ask themselves when locked out is “If I were a robber how would I break into my own home?”.

The answer: Crack open a window and slip in.

Most people forget to lock their garage door. Bad for security, great if you need access to some tools.

Every secret agent has to have his gadgets right?

Their gadget of choice: a flat head screw driver.

How do I know? It’s pretty obvious when it is still jammed in the lock or window.

So here is the idea. They would insert the head of the screwdriver underneath the bottom of the window pane. Most think that they would be able to wiggle it and force the window upward. They would open the window and climb in.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so. Darkness and people’s obvious lack of hand-eye coordination results in a damaged window pane, and still no entry. I’ve even had people try to loosen the window by trying it from the sides.

Nope, just more damage. This is usually when people give up and call someone.

For those determined folks, it’s time for Plan B.

Attempt #2: Open The Door With A Plastic Card
You’ve seen this in movies, so it has to work right?

The idea behind this is to use a card to open the spring bolt on the lock.

Some people use an old piece of plastic lying around in the garage. Others usually use a plastic card from their wallet.

The plan is to wedge the card between the door and the frame. The spring bolt is often triangle shaped and found just above the handle of the door. The idea is to push the card in and bend it away from the door knob. When you feel the card slide the latch back, turn the handle and voila! you are in.

As it turns out, the result is most people are left jiggling the piece of plastic in the middle of the night trying to get their door to unlock. After 10 minutes, most people have had enough.

But for the true diehards, they go one step further.

Attempt #3: Climb Through The Roof
When I see the results of these attempts, a story of my childhood came to mind. When I was a teen I got locked out of the house and my parents weren’t home. We had a balcony on the second story that my parents often left unlocked. It was difficult to get to with a ladder because there was a thorny bush under the balcony.

However, I had the brilliant idea of using the ladder to get onto the roof. I would climb over the house and drop down onto the second story balcony below.

I grabbed the ladder, climbed up onto the roof and, as I was getting my footing, I could see my mum driving down the street. I knew my mum wouldn’t be impressed with my roof-top antics so I quickly ran over the roof and dropped onto the second story balcony below.

Thankfully they had left the back door unlocked. I could come up with a story to explain the ladder, no way could I explain locking myself out on the second story balcony.

Most people don’t have a second story balcony that they may have left unlocked, however, some have their own creative means of entry. Many people think that they can take off the tiles on their roof and let themselves in that way.

In short: You can’t. And in the dark, it is not a good idea.

The Final Solution
After these inner secret agents have had a battering, many people succumb and called up a professional.

Just image the scene. You rock up to the call out. The customer is there slightly flushed in the face (breaking in is hard work), the epitome of style in his fluffy slippers, flannelet pyjamas, and baby blue bedrobe asking you to let you in. The window is damaged, there is a card stuck in the door and a bunch of tiles are missing from the roof.

James Bond right there.

Most people can have a great sense of humour at this time, but save yourself the trouble and call a locksmith.

10 interesting things to make with a 3D Printer

09-20-2012form-1-on-desk00-1348689824I have always been on the side of skeptics when it comes to 3-D printing. I don’t know why but it could be something to do with the hype surrounding it, the hype that says 3-D printing is going to basically save the world!

I mean, what can you actually make with a 3-D printer? Anything useful?  Well, I thought I would dig into it a bit further and went hunting the internet, as I usually do and I have to say I was amazed at what I found!

A good 3-D printer will set you back around $450, which is not a great deal in the grand scheme of things, especially when you can make some pretty cool stuff.  I found the following 10 practical cool items on the internet that you could make using one of these printers. Ready?

An iPhone Case

IPhone’s are expensive things and a case is pretty much required if you want to protect your investment.  Store bought cases will cost you at least $30 but with a 3-D printer, you could have a new one every week!

Replacement Parts

Are you a fixer-upper type of person? Then you will love having a 3-D printer. Next time a plastic bit breaks off your washing machine you can just make a new one, instead of having to buy a whole new machine. Think how much money you can save just replacing a handle!

Accessories for the Smartphone

Smartphone accessories are pretty pricey these days but with a decent 3-D printer, you can make your own. You can print off things like stands, sound amplifiers and nifty little camera attachments.

TriK-Tripod-Adapter-3d-printed-1Camera stuff

Photography is not a cheap hobby and professional photographers spend a fortune on the right gear.  With a 3-D printer, you can save yourself a pocketful of cash by printing off lens cap holders and tripod mounts, little things that can make your life easier.

Accessories for a Bicycle

Cyclists like to spend time getting their bikes ready for the next big race and, with a 3-D printer, they can print off things like carrying handles, frame clips, even a brand new pedal if they want!

Scientific stuff

If you are a bit of a science buff, you can use your printer to knock up a tray to wash your slides on, make a new lens mount or even an anemometer! This is great idea for science students who are on a tight budget.

A Wallet or a Purse

I know it doesn’t sound nice, having a purse or a wallet made out of plastic but you might be surprised at the designs you can come up with. Be completely unique and make something no one else has got!

IMG_1124Clocks

Buy yourself a cheap clock movement and use your printer to knock up a smart looking little clock.

Containers

Everyone needs containers and buying them can work out pricey in the long run. No need, if you have a 3-D printer, just knock up a purpose built one whenever you need it.

Lego

Lego fans will be in their element here. You can print out any shape you can think of and use it in your Lego building.

These ideas will only work for the desktop printer, not for mass production. If that is what you are after you would need to look elsewhere. Will I buy buying one of these now? Oh yes and I intend to have a lot of fun with it too!

 

 

10 Crazy Sandwiches from Around the World

It is amazing what you can find on a rainy afternoon, surfing the net.  Sandwiches are normally a safe option for a quick lunch but these concoctions are about to change the way we think about sandwiches forever:

ff0715081. The Luther Burger

Sweet and savory together are not normally an accepted mix for sandwiches but this one pushes the boundaries. It is a burger, with all the toppings, squeezed in between a glazed doughnut….

2. The Lasandwich

Lasagna is a dish best served hot with a loaf of garlic bread. This one is cold and squashed between two slices of doughy white bread.  Apparently, Tesco has followed this up with another one – the Strawberries and Cream sandwich. I will leave you to make up your own mind about that…

3. The McDonald Sandwich

This one is only for those that have deep pockets and am indulgent bank manager – or more money than sense!  Created by a chef called Scott McDonald, it is a combination of Wagyu beef, black truffle mayonnaise, fresh lobe foie gras, rocket, brie de meaux, English plum tomatoes and a red pepper and mustard confit. The price? Only £85.

KFC_Double_Down_'Sandwich'4. The Double Down

Love sandwiches? Hate bread? No problem Try the KFC Special. It is made from fried chicken fillets, between which you will find bacon, sauce and 2 cheeses. No bread in sight!

5. The Big Sandwich

Bread adds to the fat content of a sandwich in quite a big way, and this one just takes the biscuit.  It has burgers, sausages, pepperoni, bacon, cheese, chicken nuggets, crisps and, oh just so many ingredients to mention that all total around 50,000 calories!

6. The TastyKake Sandwich

TastyKakes in a sandwich?  These sweet peanut butter tasting sponge cakes covered in chocolate were surely never meant to be sandwiched into a cheeseburger.  Apparently, they were and were served as a dish at a restaurant in Philadelphia.

7. The Melo

Sandwiches should always be filled with a generous amount of filling but this one from a Deli in New York is bit too big. It is full of salami, pastrami and bacon and was named after Carmelo Anthony, a player for the Knicks.

8. The Candwich

The sandwich in a can is as bad as it sounds. It has a long shelf life, does not need to go in the refrigerator and contains an odd mélange of fillings, including pepperoni pizza and BBQ chicken.

insanewiches9. The Rubik’s Cubewich

This has to be the oddest sandwich on the list. It is built, as the name suggests, like a Rubik’s Cube and is made of cubes of cold meat and cheese. Quite difficult to eat, one would imagine…

10. The Fried Brain Sandwich

Yes, you read it right; this sandwich is made from sliced calf brain, fried in batter. It is apparently a meal that is commonly served in mid-western eateries and they are very welcome to it!