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Ants – Ants follow the trails left by scout ants. If you find a trail of ants in your kitchen, clean the are with soapy water, household cleaner or a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. to avoid an infestation:
1. Keep sweets and food in tightly closed containers.
2. Plant spearmint around your house.
3. Place strips of cucumber, citrus peels or borax near any openings where you’ve seen ants.
Termites - While no home is safe from termites, it is possible to reduce the chances of an infestation.
1. Termite thrive on moisture. Survey your home’s foundation and look for water leaks.
2. Schedule a pest inspection. Termites are crafty critters that only make their presence known through the damage they cause. Schedule a pest inspection every couple of years to catch an infestation early and help you avoid making costly repairs.
Roaches – The easiest way to prevent roaches is to keep your kitchen spotless clean up crumbs, wipe down the sink and sweep the floor. But, if you’ve already seen them in your kitchen, here are other options:
1. Sprinkle catnip or bay leaves in areas where roaches lurk, such as behind the refrigerator, under the oven and under your sinks.
2. If you see a roach, spray it with soapy water. The soap will slowly suffocate it.
3. Set traps with baking soda and sugar. Roaches love sugar; however, the baking soda will dehydrate them.
Rodents – Rodents can wreak havoc on your home. While traps are effective once the rodents are in the home, here’s how to keep them out in the first place:
1. Keep your kitchen clean. Wipe down the counters, and sweep the floor before you go to bed.
2. Ants aren’t the only vermin that hate mint. Mint keeps rodents at bay as well.
3. Place steel wool in holes on the exterior of your home.
4. Put trays of used cat litter outside near where you think they could get in. Rodents will smell the cat and scurry in the other direction.
Fleas – Pets can give us a lot of things – love, attention and fleas. Although chemical pet treatments can get rid of the fleas on your pets, they often don’t get rid of them in the house. For that, try these suggestions:
1. Sprinkle salt, borax or baking soda on the carpet and upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours and vacuum afterwards.
2. Get a dehumidifier. Fleas love humidity. If you keep the humidity in the room under 50% you may be able to get rid of adults fleas and their larvae.
3. Clean your bedding and your pet’s bedding regularly.
4. Comb your pet’s coat with a special flea comb and clean it in a glass of soapy water.
This past Sunday I chatted with Mike Murillo on the air at WTOP about what creative things buyers can do if they find themselves priced out of the market or a specific neighborhood.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety by clicking on the WTOP logo at left.
If you want to make over your bathroom, but don’t want to undertake a full renovation, here are five things to do to make it look almost like new.
2. Lighting. See yourself in the most flattering light with new light fixtures. New lighting is an easy way to update and modernize a space without gutting it. Just be sure to hire a professional if your plans involve any rewiring.
3. Fixtures. As with lighting, new faucets add style to your space with minimal effort. Although silver-toned faucets are the finish of choice among homeowners, brushed nickel and polished chrome are also popular choices.
4. Window treatments. Tie the look of the room together with blinds, shades or curtains or a combinations of these options. Choose bold colors to add a pop of color to the room or keep it neutral. Whatever you choose, make sure that it complements the overall theme or style of the room.
5. Accessories. Add style and function with new accessories. If you’d like more storage, add a wall cabinet or storage tower, or repurpose an unused storage unit from around the home. Install a new mirror or towel rack to enhance the look of the room. Buy new rugs to complement the new color scheme, and add color or texture with vases, wall decor or similar items.
How many times have you been in your house and heard a noise that you can’t identify? Here are four of the most common household noises, and how to fix them.
Knocking in the wall
What it is:
The loud knocking you hear in the walls is often one of two things:
1. A water pipe that isn’t securely attached to the wood stud in the wall so that when the wood expands, the pipe rubs against it and makes a noise.
Both problems are common in older homes, and are easily remedied.
What to do: Call a professional to secure the pipe or install a sleeve over it.
Creaking floors and stairs
What it is:
Wooden floor planks can loosen over time. The creaking sound is either the wood rubbing against the nail or the boards rubbing against one another.
What to do.
Put oil between the boards or tighten the boards with nails or glue.
Gurgling or flushing toilet
What is it:
If your toilet mysteriously flushes or it sounds like it has indigestion, you could have a worn-out toilet valve or a backup in your sewer line.
What to do:
To check for a leak, put a drop of food coloring in the water tank and see if the water in the bowl changes color. If it does, check the seal of the flapper valve in the tank and replace it if necessary. However, if you suspect a sewer backup, it’s best to call a plumber to tackle the job.
Scratching in the ceiling or walls
What it is.
Just as you enjoy the warm and cozy comfort of your home in the winter, rodents do as well, If you hear loud scratching or the sound of scurrying little feet, you may have small furry visitors.
What to do:
Call a pest control specialist to evict your unwanted guests.
Mike Murillo and I had another fun on-air-interview at WTOP News this past Sunday. We discussed an online list he found published that talked about ways that buyers “annoy” sellers during the purchase process. Personally I did not find the list to be “annoying” but certainly understood how these actions could be “frustrating” for some. With a light hearted attitude we reflected on the topic. You can listen to the live interview in it’s entirety by clicking on the WTOP logo at left.
I had fun with Mike Murillo, news anchor, at WTOP while live on the air discussing a less serious topic than normal. This week we talked about information that is often not included in a listing that buyers crave. What can sellers add to the listing information to draw more buyers in? You can listen to the interview in it’s entirety by clicking on the WTOP log at left.