Flying Insect Killer for your Yard

Walking through a cloud of gnats or hearing the high-pitched drone of a mosquito can quickly make your yard somewhere to avoid rather than enjoy. The elements that we value in our yard — grass, trees, flowers and water features — are the same things that attract flying insects. Taking back control of the space from these annoying intruders is feasible often quite simple. Chemicals, baits and other practices reduce or remove flying pests.

Flying Insect Pests

With over 90,000 pest species from the United States alone, distinguishing what is flying over your head can appear to be a intimidating task. On the other hand, the typical micro climate and food sources out there on your yard attract specific flying insects. While we often see bees, wasps, beetles and butterflies flying around the yard, the most annoying insects are usually the flies (Diptera). The group contains gnats, midges, black flies and mosquitoes.

Chemical Control

Commercially available aerosol foggers and sprays have been generalist insecticides targeting several species at the same time. Fogging or spraying the yard eliminates flying insects on contact but potentially harms individuals, pets and beneficial insects such as bees, ladybugs and lacewings. Products containing pyrethrin have minimal impact on mammals and are deemed safe for aquatic life when absorbed into the groundwater. Protect mammals in the toxic effects of this pesticide by applying it during the nighttime or early morning when bees are inactive. Less toxic options, such as insecticidal soap, kill insects but has to be sprayed directly onto the pest to work.

Bait Traps and Tapes

Draw pests away from your yard by putting baits or sticky insect tape around the outside of the property. Baits containing an attractant and insecticide put out of reach of children and pets in surrounding leaf will pull away bugs away from the middle of your yard. Sticky tape hung from tree branches can also be effective but can remove beneficial insects also.

Biological Control

Luring beneficial bug-eating predators to your yard will decrease flying pests. Providing a birdhouse for purple martins, or food such as suet for swifts and swallows will encourage these useful creatures to visit and feed excessive flying pests. Bats also eat a large amount of flying insects. Installing a bat home might help attract these creatures to your yard but ensure that it’s situated in an area where people won’t experience the bats or their droppings. A garden water feature with reeds and tall grasses can attract dragonflies, voracious feeders of flying insects.

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Maggots in the Yard

Maggot is a general term for the larvae of various insects at the Diptera order, which includes flies, gnats, mosquitoes and midges. Root maggots are the larvae of flies that lay their eggs in soil close to the base of a plant. These damaging insects feed on the roots of various plants, such as grass, fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants. Properly controlling them needs a combination of biological and cultural controls.

Chemical Control

There are no effective pesticides available for homeowners to dominate root maggots, notes Cornell University Department of Entomology. However, the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program advocates Diazinon or chlorpyrifos insecticides to control root maggots. Unfortunately, these pesticides might require a license before usage, so get in touch with your county agricultural commissioner to request about any permits required. Chemical control should be the last option after cultural and biological controls have been exhausted.

Biological Control

Biological control methods consist of organic ways to kill insects, such as viruses or bacteria. Beneficial nematodes in the Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae species naturally dominate maggots and are available at garden centres. The beneficial nematodes are generally mixed with water and applied as a soil or foliar spray. Parasitic wasps and also rove beetles are two predatory insects that feed on root maggots keeping their amounts in check. The bacterium insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis targets the larvae of specific insects — such as flies — and controls maggots.

Cultural Control

Root maggots thrive in soils having a high proportion of organic matter. By regularly removing plant debris, leaf litter and decaying plant matter, you will discourage adults from going to the area and laying their eggs. Furthermore, rotate susceptible crops each year with non-susceptible species. When planting plants, utilize transplants or pre-germinated seeds as they’re not as vulnerable to maggot damage. Avoid from over-fertilizing plants and lawns with high organic matter or manure because maggots tend to favor laying their eggs in rich soil.


The best defense against maggots will be to prevent the adult flies from laying eggs in the lawn. Missouri Botanical Garden suggests protecting vulnerable crops with an agricultural fleece barrier. Diatomaceous earth or wood ashes scattered around crops and lawns will help discourage root maggots. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring material made up of the fossils of microscopic aquatic organisms. It’s nontoxic to humans, mammals and many beneficial insects. It’s offered in a dust or powder form that you sprinkle over the yard or about plants. It causes soft-bodied insects that come in contact with it to dehydrate and die.

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How to Landscape a Full Sun Slope

Think about an unusable or boring slope as a creative opportunity and transform it into a vibrant garden which adds interest to your outdoor space. Although landscaping slopes can be hard, a slope also presents an perfect chance to create a low-maintenance garden get the most out of open space which may otherwise go unused. Successfully landscaping a slope is dependent upon plant selection and placing the right plants in the right locations.

Evaluate the slope’s dirt to find out the soil type. Sandy soil does not retain nutrients or water; while clay soil compacts easily and tends to drain poorly. Although the general recommendation for poor soil is to include a few inches of organic substances to the ground, this may not be a practical solution to a steep slope since tilling the soil may increase soil erosion. Colorado State University Extension recommends selecting plants which are tolerant of these states, spacing plants farther apart than standard so that there is less competition for soil resources, and planting little transplants which may adapt to inadequate soil simpler than growing plants from seed or planting massive transplants.

Stabilize a gentle or moderately sloped area using plants. The website recommends selecting plants with deep, big, strong root systems. Trees and shrubs for example ceanothus, better known as California lilac, help hold soil in place and combat soil erosion. Trees and shrubs also usually need less maintenance than flowering perennials. The University of California’s Sonoma County Master Gardener recommends planting trees, big plants and shrubs on a slope rather than allowing them to reach from the slope at precisely the same angle. indicates building berms, ridges which are just 1 or two inches high, on the side of the plant which faces downhill. This catches rainwater, preventing runoff.

Build a terrace or even many terraces on a steep slope, as ascertained by the rise and run of the wave. Terraces create mini-gardens, make planting areas more accessible and decrease soil erosion by shortening the length of the wave. Gardeners can create terraces by digging trenches to form the front and side of each terrace, leveling the trench and installing a retaining wall to stabilize the slope. Although stone and brick may be used to create the retaining walls which encourage each terrace, landscape timbers would be the most cost-effective substance. advocates reviewing your plans using a structural engineer prior to getting started.

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The way to Ground a Chandelier

Despite their outwardly verdant outside, a chandelier is little more than a typical light fixture in an elegant package. A chandelier requires a hot lead, a neutral and a ground wire connected to the light switch to be able to operate. The bottom on a chandelier is linked to a copper cable within the junction box that connects back into the grounded bus pub within a breaker panel. You can ground a chandelier to the bottom wire in the junction box in a couple of minutes using some hand tools.

Turn off the main circuit breaker into the home. Remove the switch cover at the wall switch with a screwdriver, and also hold a non-contact electrical tester to the wires around the side of the chandelier’s wall switch. If the light on the tester illuminates, the circuit still has power.

Remove the cover to the electric breaker panel and locate the circuit for the chandelier. Follow the black wire from the breaker into the perimeter of the breaker panel to discover the electrical cable from which this black cable is separated. Follow the bare copper cable of this cable into the bus bar, and verify the grounding wire is securely attached to one of the screw terminals in the bus bar. Alter the breaker panel cover.

Loosen the mounting screws and pull the switch into the chandelier. Check to see that the bare wire from the breaker panel and the bare wire from the chandelier are linked, so the green grounding screw to the body of this switch is also tied into this link. Alter the switch and switch cover.

Place a stepladder beneath the chandelier. Loosen the canopy nut and slide the canopy down the chandelier’s chain. Locate the green grounding screw to the chandelier’s mounting flange (attached to the junction box). Verify that the green wire from the chandelier and the bare copper cable from the switch are linked to this green grounding screw. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver if needed, then slide the canopy into position and tighten the canopy nut.

Turn on the main circuit breaker and test the chandelier.

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The way to Fix a Pedestal Fan

Usually, the more reliable components of a pedestal fan would be the base, fan and motor. Conversely, the more unreliable components are the height and angle-adjustment mechanics on the tube of a pedestal fan. A busted fan-blade assembly is easily replaced with a new one. If the motor is noisy or does not work, you ought to choose the lover to a repair store. Fixing a wobbly tube or worn adjustment mechanisms which don’t stay tight isn’t difficult. In a brief while, your lover will be circulating the air for your liking.

Unplug the power cord for the fan from the electrical outlet.

Tighten the screws which fasten the circular flange in the lower end of the tube to the top of the base, using a screwdriver. If the lower end of the tube fits into the base, tighten the massive locknut at the bottom of the tube with adjustable pliers.

Loosen the height-adjustment knob in the tube and allow the fan to lower to the lowest setting. Completely loosen the knob and pull the knob and then attached threaded stem out of the bracket in the tube.

Slide a lock washer on the end of the threaded stem and also contrary to the base of the knob. Insert the stem into the bracket and then cease if the end of the stem is in the gap between the inner edges of the bracket. Fit a lock washer on the end of the stem in the gap. Screw the stem fully into the bracket using the knob. Raise the fan to the desired height and tighten the knob.

Ask an assistant to hold the fan stable to repair the angle-adjustment for the fan. Loosen the adjustment knob and pull the knob and then attached threaded stem out of the adjustment bracket. Repeat the previous step to set up two lock washers around the stem, and then tighten the knob.

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How to Plant a Blue Potato

A blue potato is more than a garden novelty — its vivid blue-purple coloring adds nutrients into the starchy tuber. The blue coloring of the spuds doesn’t alter their taste, but it will not add anthocyanin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties accountable for purple, blue and red hues in fruits and vegetables. These specialty potatoes are available in cultivars which have blue to purple skin and white or yellowish flesh, blue all the way through or with blue skin and a marbled blue and white interior. The planting procedure is no different than for regular potatoes: simply keep in mind that blue potato varieties often produce fewer tubers than traditional white potatoes.

Remove weeds and stone from an area of the garden in full sun with loose soil and good drainage in early spring or late summer. All these are a cool-season crop and you can work in a second crop where there is not any frost for 70 to 120 days after planting, depending on whether the blue potatoes you plant are early, mid-season or late maturing. Clear enough room to allow 6 to 10 inches between plants and 3 feet between rows.

Spread a two- to 3-inch layer of compost across each planting row and sprinkle 10-10-5 fertilizer across the ground at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of planting row. The numbers indicate the proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the item.

Dig the fluid and compost into the ground at least 6 inches deep, loosening the ground and breaking up any clumps as you go.

Dig a 3-inch-deep trench down the center of each row.

Cut blue seed potatoes into pieces which each have at least one eye — the small bud-like indentation where shoots grow — and are at least 1 inch round. Let the pieces sit uncovered for one to two days before the cuts dry slightly. This prevents decay when the bits are from the ground.

Set the bits 6 to 10 inches apart from the bottom of the furrow and cover them with 3 inches of soil.

Water once or twice weekly if there is no rain to maintain the soil consistently moist, but not soggy, since the shallow-rooted plants grow.

Draw any weeds and hill 3 inches of soil above any new increase in four to six weeks so the seed pieces are buried 6 inches deep. Potato tubers develop above the seed bits.

Water plants, enough to moisten soil 8 to 10 inches deep, once the plants are 6 to 10 weeks old and tubers are growing.

Hill up more soil in between the rows above and about the developing plants with a hoe at about the 10-week mark. After this moment “hilling up” only ensure any tubers near the top of the mound are covered with soil or mulch.

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Do-It-Yourself Brick Fire Pit Designs

Installing a brick fire pit is a do-it-yourself endeavor that provides a landscaping feature and social place to your home. Bricks and stones can be found in various sizes, colours, shapes and prices. Choose the brick option and fire pit design which goes best with your landscape and style.

Stone Pavers

Stone paver bricks are ideal as the main construction for the fire pit due to their size. These bricks have a small curve which will create a round fire pit design. Stone pavers are large so less manual and bricks work is required to construct a fire hole. Set the first ring of pavers about 12 inches below the ground to place the structure set up. Stagger the pavers in a “brick function” style; each layer ought to be set so that the borders don’t line up to increase the strength of their fireplace wall. Use a masonry glue between the individual scoop and each layer to hold the bricks in place so there is not any risk of them sliding or falling over.

Modest Brick

Standard clay brick is another option for the fire hole structure. This brick style is smaller and requires more bricks and labor to construct the outside wall of the pit. Small bricks can be found in a rectangle or with a small curve shape, so you can construct either a square, rectangle or curved fireplace. Set this brick wall 6 to 12 inches beneath the floor and secure them in position with brick mortar, instead of masonry adhesive. Laying bricks is not a easy job and might require that you hire a masonry expert to construct the outside wall of the fireplace. The finished layout with these bricks is similar to a brick wall.

Natural Stone

Organic stone or flagstone is best to cap off the cover of the fire pit design. These stones and rock are often flat and large, which produces a ledge across the top of the fireplace. Organic stone works well with the broad paver brick construction, but could also accent a small brick layout. Secure the stone in position with masonry glue between the brick and stone layers. Add another layout element into the flame pit by installing these flat organic stones at the ground across the bottom of the hole.

Internal Construction

Placing a metal ring inside the brick fire pit protects the brick from the burning place. Build the fire pit across the exterior of the metallic ring so there’s a 2- to 3-inch gap between the ring and the brick construction. Fill the gap with pea gravel to provide support and insulation between the hot metallic ring and decorative brick wall. You can also put in a 3- to 4-inch layer of pea gravel into the bottom of the fire pit to help prevent water build up inside the construction.

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The way to Remodel Solid Slab Cabinet Doors

Solid-slab doors are just what the name suggests. They’re a single flat piece of wood, typically with very little or no adornment. They may be laminated hardwood, or even a single bit of medium-density-hardboard or plywood. They’ve a nice, tidy look, but after a few years might have become dull. There are several methods to spice them up with basic tools.

Route a Design

One very common way to remodel a door is to track a design in the front. All you need is a routing jig and hand router. This jig opens and closes on the face of the doorway to steer the router. Stretch it open, drop it above the doorway and tighten it. You may then install block or curvy shaped corners into the jig. Pick a type of fluted cutting bit, and install it in just about any hand router. Set the depth to cut about 3/16 inch heavy, and also run the router around the inside perimeter of the doorway, using the guide to get it direct and consistent. This remodel project ends in a pattern cut into the face of the doorway.

Trim the Edges

Some slab doors have an angle cut on them. Use a table saw to trim the edges of the door off square. Insert a profiled edge by choosing a profiled router bit with a bearing at the bottom. By deciding on a router bit with a posture, you do not need a guide because the little bit employs the posture to stabilize it. However, if you choose a bit without a posture, you may add a small guide to the router base to achieve the identical thing. Run the bit around the doorway by means of a hand router. This type of remodel will bring about a carved or curved edge that’s attractive and shows more craftsmanship than a straight, square edge along with a beveled edge.


Another very simple way to dress up a door is to add an overlay molding. Consider having a 3/8-by-1/2 inch bullnose molding on the front. This type of decorative molding includes a flat bottom, but is curved on top. Miter four bits to form a rectangle, 2 inches from the outside perimeter of the doorway. After you get all the mitered corners to fit how you like with tight corners, glue each bit and pin nail it to the front of the doorway to produce a raised-molding look to the slab door. This layout is used frequently to provide slab doors a more complicated look that’s aesthetically pleasing.


One of the more prevalent slab door layouts is made up of nothing more than saw cuts into the face of the doorway. This layout was extremely popular during the ’60s and still looks great today. To accomplish this, specify a saw blade to cut just 1/8 inch heavy. Pass the doorway above the blade in regular intervals at approximately 1 1/2 inches apart across the front of the doorway. This normal kerf mark gives the door a grid layout that’s tough to miss. Keep the grid pattern down the drawer fronts to provide the doors a regal look. The stain will then sink into the kerfs and emphasize the doorway even more.

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The Rights of Landlords to Refuse Rental Agreements

As a landlord, you will need to be fully versed in your rights to deny an applicant according to his background check, credit references and history. Compliance with federal and state law should be your top priority. Federal and state law prohibit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, faith and medial conditions. As long as you apply fair standards throughout the board, then you can deny a lease agreement to any applicant who does not satisfy your criteria.

Right of Refusal

As a private citizen running a business, you have the right to deny tenancy to any applicant who fails to meet your requirements based on income, credit, background checks and references. The only standard you must abide by is to apply your tenancy requirements equally across the board. As an example, you cannot set forth income or financial standards for married renters and different standards for two renters living collectively in the unit. Keep your acceptance policies uniform across the board and you’ll be able to deny unqualified candidates depending on your tenant standards.

Adverse Action Notice

Landlords often utilize tenant screening solutions to assess backgrounds of potential tenants. If you deny an applicant based on information employed at a tenant screening report, credit report, or reference-checking service, you must send the applicant an Adverse Action Notice under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Adverse Action Notice must state the reason for the denial, in addition to the credit reporting bureau used and its contact info.


Failure to issue the Adverse Action Notice places you at risk. The denied applicant could file a lawsuit in federal court based on your non-compliance with the FCRA. The applicant could potentially receive compensation, court costs and reasonable legal fees. If the applicant can prove you intentionally failed to comply with the FCRA, he also could seek punitive damages from the court.

Unlawful Discrimination

You cannot discriminate against a tenant applicant dependent on the colour of the skin, the contour of the face, faith, sexual orientation, marital status, source of income or medical impairment. A full listing of illustrations is supplied under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), code section 12900 et seq.. The FEHA prohibits unlawful discrimination and gives legal remedies for the wronged party to pursue in court.

Record a Complaint

A denied applicant can file a complaint under the FEHA together with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). The DFEH uses an administrative procedure to research the applicant’s complaint. If a settlement cannot be reached, the DFEH takes you to appear before an administrative hearing or civil trial to find out if a violation of the FEHA happened. The denied applicant alternatively can file a lawsuit and take you to court for unlawful discrimination.

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Tips for Redecorating Using Tin on Walls

Tin provides an ideal wall covering for a modern, eclectic or glowing room or a converted industrial loft. The low-toxicity metal corrodes slowly and comes in conventional corrugated sheets as well as embossed tin tiles, materials made for ceilings and barn siding, not interior wall decor. The surprising use of tin on your walls, in the few selected objects to panels of artisan-worked tin, may change the nature of a space.

Wall Cover

Secure embossed tin ceiling tiles on the other side of the bed to make a one-of-a-kind headboard of shiny brand new tile or weathered and distressed old tile. In a dining room or kitchen, cover an accent wall with metal barn siding made of corrugated tin. Wrap the lower half of the toilet walls in corrugated tin, like wainscoting. Fasten corrugated tin to rec room walls behind the bar or pool table. Paint another walls in an intense hue — a bottle green or cinnabar red — and also hang reproduction antique tin signs over the painted walls.

Rustic Backsplash

Do not place the pressed tin tiles on the ground, use them as a backsplash in your kitchen behind the stove or under the cabinets. A tin backsplash between the stove top and also the range hood is simple to wipe down and complements a reproduction period or stainless stove. Used as a countertop backsplash, tin tiles include interest and unexpected pastoral appeal — because tin is typically a ceiling cap, its use on walls is eye-catching. Seal the tin to preserve its shine if new or prevent additional deterioration if it is aged and beginning to rust. Leave it uncoated for organic dulling — tin is water-resistant and also corrodes and rusts quite gradually. (see reference 1)

Punched Tin

Punched tin panels, framed to stand out from the wall, become ambient lighting when you stretch strings of holiday lights back and forth behind the tin so the illumination shines through the holes. Panels of punched tin create old-fashioned decorative inserts in kitchen cabinets or within shutter frames opened back against the walls as kitchen decor. Punched tin is a folk art form and glazed panels, old lanterns, antique tin graters and colanders might be hung in classes on a wall, just as you’d display a collection of paintings or framed photographs.

The Artwork of Salvage

Treat salvaged pressed tin tiles like found art. Collect a number of distressed tin tiles from architectural salvage depots — cracked painted tiles, rusted tiles, different patterns and paint colors. Hang four to six of them in a symmetrical grid to a dining area wall or stagger them, 1 tile at a time, up a stairwell. Do not frame the pressed tin — which appear is too valuable. Utilize the natural border of the tile as its frame; a square will be a self centered wall hanging once you glue a picture hanger or hook on the back with industrial-strength glue. (see reference 1)

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