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Posts Tagged ‘Good News Pest Solutions’

April is National Pest Management Month!

April is National Pest Management MonthFor most home and business owners, there’s only a couple times you think about pest control. Either when it’s time for your regularly scheduled checkup and treatment, or when you spot cockroaches, ants, mice, termites or other insects and vermin you don’t want inside – or in your yard, for that matter.

But as pest control professionals, we think about it all the time. And we don’t just focus on the best methods, or how to get in and out of your home quickly. A large part of our focus is on the consequences of a pest infestation.

For the past 30 years, The National Pest Management Association has celebrated April as National Pest Management Month. And they make a big deal out of it because there’s more to really good effective pest control than the average person thinks about.

You see the problem as the pests – the insects and rodents – and you want us to eliminate them.

But we think a little differently, especially here at Good News Pest Solutions. We see our mission as not just to eliminate the creepy crawlies from your home, but also how to keep you and your family safe from the potential health and property risks that come with those pests.

Some are obvious – cockroaches carry certain diseases with them, as do rats. Termites clearly are a threat to your home’s structure and your family’s safety.

But it also means we look at how the treatments we’re using affect you, your family, and your pets. And what are the long term advantages and disadvantages of certain applications of pest control solutions.

It was this concern for you and your family’s well-being that led Good News Pest Solutions to lead the industry in finding and using only 100% natural, organic, family-safe treatments. Even though they initially cost more, it was important to us to move to an entirely green approach to pest control – and why we use ‘Solutions’ as part of our name. We don’t just control the pests – we offer you solutions.

It’s why we selected TAP – the Thermal Acoustical Pest insulation that is safe for everyone, adds value to your home with better quality, recycled-use material that is soundproof and prevents insects and rodents from gaining entry into your home.

It’s why we offer our exclusive No Bite Zones technology that turns biting female mosquitoes and their offspring into vegans, allowing them to continue their God-ordained purpose of pollinating, so you stay safe and our ecosystem is protected.

It’s also why we offer Term Assure 365 – the only complete home protection for termites and other bugs that comes with a $1-million termite damage repair warranty at an affordable price. Termites are too big a risk to Florida homes to be unprotected – and your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it.

It’s not a marketing gimmick when we say we think of our clients as part of the Good News Pest Solutions family – we really do see you that way and we do our best to treat you like  family. In our extended ‘family’, we have brothers and sisters and cousins from Lakewood Ranch to Port Charlotte. And if you’re not one yet, we can get you started on the adoption process today! Just give us a call!

Ways to Go Green in Your Bedroom

Ways to Go Green in Your BedroomAs we continue our expedition to “going green” in our houses this year, today’s journey takes us into a room that you typically spend between 6 and 8 hours a day in, although you’re generally not awake for most of it. But fear not, you can even go green while you’re counting sheep.

In fact, getting a good night’s sleep is one way you can get more refreshed, energized and healthier, so maybe it’s best we spend a little more time… in your bedroom.

Don’t Sleep On It!

Speaking of getting a good night’s sleep, one great move to more green in your bedroom is to start with that bed you’re sleeping on. Mattresses typically last between 5 and 7 years, so chances are you’re due for a new one anyways, so why not invest in something that’s both more sustainable and comfortable?

Look for mattresses that are environmentally friendly and made with natural latex, bamboo and organic cotton without some of the harsher flame-retardant chemicals. If they’re made in America, that’s even better, because the carbon footprint is reduced by not having to incur long distance transport emissions.

And don’t forget to recycle your old mattress. As long as it’s in good condition and doesn’t have any tears, holes, structural damage or stains, there are several non-profits, like the Salvation Army that will sanitize or completely recondition an old mattress for resale. Otherwise, they’ll end up taking up a huge amount of space in a landfill, waiting decades to fully decompose.

If you want to go all the way and replace your whole bed, look for wooden frames certified to come from sustainably managed forests. Plain wood or a non-toxic varnish is all you need. Just avoid paints and polishes that release chemicals into the atmosphere. Another fun alternative is to look for stylish secondhand furniture. The right piece can make you feel like your sleeping in a mansion without the cost or the further damage to the environment.

On top of the bed, grab an eco-friendly memory foam mattress topper, or boxsprings topped with natural wool. The wool wicks away moisture from the bed and air, giving you a better, deeper night of sleep and can sustain a lot longer.

Invest in organic cotton sheets and pillows. They are often even softer than the synthetic blends and less likely to melt if a fire happens. If your budget is a little tight, start with transitional cotton that hasn’t yet been fully organically certified, but still adheres to the organic growing practices.

And as we’ve suggested before, consider investing in a buckwheat pillow. Not only does the pillow not collapse under the weight of your head and neck, helping promote a more comfortable sleep, the buckwheat hulls also don’t hold onto heat – so both sides are the cool side!

Time to Come Out of the Closet!

Did you know that almost 40,000 gallons of water are spent each year just to replenish the clothing supply for one family in the United States? Yet how many of the items in our closets sit there for weeks, months, years, even decades without being worn. A lot of us hold onto things, just in case they come back into fashion.

Here’s the secret… It only comes back into fashion after you’ve finally given it away! So why not speed up the process, help a non-profit provide jobs and resources to people who are less fortunate and get a little more breathing room in that closet.

Pick out the several key items that are your typical go-to’s, along with a few specialty outfits. Let’s face it, you’re never going to wear that 90’s vintage bridesmaid dress you hated to wear in the first place. However, your Christmas party cocktail dress, or a classic tux – with or without top hat and tails – is something that you’ll likely use year after year, or at least every other.

Anything that isn’t key, start clearing out and donating. Keep enough that you don’t need to buy a bunch more to replace it. Of course, there are a few items you’ll always be buying new pairs of – like underwear and jeans that are not meant to last forever. But that blouse that is slightly different from the one you loved 2 years ago you never got around to wearing? You don’t need to buy it.

And hey, if bell bottoms do come back, you can always head down to the Goodwill and buy them back, for a fraction of the cost.

Catch Your Breath!

Instead of running the air conditioner all year long, consider opening the windows on cooler nights (yes, we have some in Florida!). Let the system rest and it will thank you by performing efficiently for longer.

Invest in an air purifier. You might have noticed, even with the AC on all the time, we accumulate a LOT of dust in our homes. Give your allergies some relief and clear the air of any toxic fumes that might have drifted in when the kids left the door hanging open.

Most of us here on the Gulf coast have plenty of humidity in the air, but if you find yourself having trouble breathing late at night, you might want to pick up a bedroom humidifier to moisten the air you sleep in.

Clean Up Your Act!

Whether you prefer wood floors or deep shag carpeting, there are safer, all-natural polishes and shampoos that will keep the floors looking bright and new without bringing more harmful toxins into your home.

If you get your clothes dry-cleaned, look for establishments that subscribe to all natural and/or organic dry cleaning practices. Save and return the hangers, or offer to provide your own, if they’ll let you. Instead of going through several of the single use plastic bags, invest in a reusable dry cleaning bag. A really nice one will work as a hamper for dirty clothes, make carrying and drop off at the cleaners easier, and of course, nicely carries the freshly pressed clothes home.

Like in the bathroom and the kitchen, there are plenty of organic, all-natural cleaning options for the bedroom that can do the job. Often the organic products smell, look and work better than their more traditional counterparts.

That’s something we’ve proved at Good News Pest Solutions for decades, with our 100% all-natural approach to insect and other pest control. And we’ve got customers all up and down the Gulf coast of Florida, from Bradenton to Port Charlotte that will attest to it. if you’re looking to keep your pest control as green as the rest of your house, give us a call!

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

The Ultimate Spring Cleaning ChecklistMany of us can probably recall that around this time of year, our parents would organize a whole day of “Spring Cleaning,” often culminating in a garage sale the following weekend. Sometimes, you’d even see several families on the same street or block, timing their cleaning and garage sales to take advantage of the momentum.

But for us, it seems like every year our lives get busier and it’s harder and harder to find time to take care of the little things. Of course, that often leads to a lot of things building up. And if you didn’t have time to take care of the small things before, where are you going to find the time to take care of the bulked up To-Do List, never mind Spring Cleaning?!

Good news! We have a solution for you.

A detailed plan that will get your home deep cleaned and ready for the rest of the year – in just EIGHT HOURS! And it works if you’re doing it solo or have everyone in the family help out!

Are you ready? Grab some all-purpose, paint-safe cleaner, some microfiber cloths (save the rags for the garage) and the vacuum cleaner. We’re starting in…

The Bathroom! 9-10am

  • Hook the brush attachment to the vacuum cleaner and run it all over the walls. Then wipe them down with the all-purpose cleaner. Now grab any throw rugs and the floor mat, and toss them in the washing machine.
  • Wash down the inside of the windows and all the mirrors.
  • Spray and Soak – you can use the all-purpose cleaner for this if you’re in a bind, but if you can get a good strong spray-on cleaning agent, preferably with some bleach, spray down the shower, the sink and the toilet. Let everything sit for 15-20 minutes while you grab some coffee and get the rugs, etc., into the dryer or hung out.
  • Now rinse everything from the top down. Start with the showerhead and do the whole shower and tub. Then wipe down the toilet, again, top to bottom – tank, rim, bowl & base. Set those cloths aside – you won’t be using them again until you’ve thoroughly laundered them in hot water and bleach. Spray some cleaner on the floor. Let it soak, then mop it up on your way out.

Of course, if you have multiple bathrooms, just have your spouse and kids do the other ones – and double check their work before you move on to…

The Bedrooms! 10am-12:30pm

  • We’re going to need the vacuum with the brush attachment again. Vacuum and wipe down all the walls, like you did in the bedroom (stagger the start of each bedroom by about 5 minutes, depending on their size). Take special care to clean switch plates, the outside edges of doors, and any type of edging or crown molding that holds onto dust.
  • Open all the windows (unless it’s raining), open the curtains wide, and pull the linens off the bed – sheets, pillowcases, quilts, duvet covers, mattress pads, dust ruffles, shams – the whole kit and caboodle.
  • Let the room breathe for 30-45 minutes while you take the linens to the washing machine. If you need to, wait for the linens from all the rooms, because you’ll want to wash everything in the order it goes back on the bed. It’s okay if it takes a few loads. And, of course, if you like to go old school and hang stuff out instead of running it in the dryer, you’ll shift the time accordingly so you’re making the beds after the living room and before the take-out or delivery arrives.
  • Window treatments can be vacuumed (upholstery attachment), dry-cleaned or given a quick fluff in the dryer. No need to wash everything, but you’ll want to clear off any accumulated dust.
  • Wash any mirrors and the inside of the windows.
  • Finally, shampoo – or better steam – clean the carpets and large area rugs. If you have the space and extra funds, invest in a prosumer steam cleaner, or just rent one from Publix or WalMart.

And now it’s time to head to…

The Kitchen! 12:30-2pm

  • First things first. Grab your cooler and empty out everything from the refrigerator and freezer. Unplug it and let everything warm up to room temperature – you don’t want to put hot washcloths on a cold glass shelf and have it crack or shatter. Move on to the stove and you’ll come back to the fridge.
  • Remove all stove grates and trays – anything that’s removable. Scrub them clean with soapy steel wool pads – you can add some ammonium to get the really stuck on stuff off.
  • Spray down the stovetop and let it soak while you get down and inside the oven, wiping down all of the excess food crumbs and blackened bits. Grab a microwave safe bowl and put in a couple cups of water and some lemon juice and run it for 2-½ or 3 minutes. Wipe down the stove top, making sure you get in the cracks. Then run a clean cloth in the inside of the microwave. The steamy lemon water should have softened up anything stuck on. Avoid using more traditional cleaners in the microwave, as they can damage the radiation protection.
  • Now back to the fridge – mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a quart of hot water and use it to wipe everything down. Rinse with clean water and dry. Use a little dish soap and water to wipe the door seals making sure to clear the cracks of any debris. Don’t forget to wipe down the doors and sides too. And don’t dump that out quite yet! Let the seals thoroughly dry so they adhere. Plug the fridge back in and remember to put the food back in after you finish the living rooms.
  • Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.
  • The water and dish liquid from the fridge will work great on the surface and tops of counters, cabinets and any other surface that may have captured some stray grease or grime. Wipe out shelves and drawers – especially the utensil drawers. Spray some anti-bacterial cleaner inside the under-sink cabinets, especially if you use one of them for the trash can.
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop floors.

And finally,

The Family Room/Rec Room/Great Room 2-5pm

  • Shut off your ceiling fans and dust them. Please. So much dust accumulates that we never see up there. If you haven’t already, switch the fans from circulating the air up to blowing cool air down (usually switching from up to down on the side) to save money on your AC bill. You can also coordinate the switch with the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time.
  • Vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings.
  • Rent an upholstery cleaning machine from your local hardware store and deep clean the couch and chairs – at the very least use the vacuum attachment to suck them clean. If you have leather furniture, vacuum out the crumbs and inside liner, then wipe down with the furniture store’s recommended leather cleaner (they either gave you samples or a sheet with the details).
  • Wipe your lightbulbs – dust accumulates everywhere in Florida and dirty bulbs gives less light. Also consider replacing your bulbs with longer lasting LED bulbs.
  • Clean window treatments and wash the insides of windows.
  • Use compressed air to spray out all the crevices and cracks where dust and hair settle on your electronics. Then wipe them top to bottom with microfiber cloths. Don’t forget to wipe underneath the TV, speakers, sound system, DVD/DVR/Streaming boxes, and in between stereo components, if you’re old school. Be sure to wipe from back towards you so the dirt and dust come out.
  • If you have a fireplace – yes, some of us do in Florida – sweep it out and stow unused logs and kindling.
  • Vacuum and/or steam clean the carpets.
  • Now, either order pizza for dinner or send your spouse to grab takeout. Put the food back in the fridge, double checking use by dates, then relax on the clean couch and catch up on your favorite Netflix show. You’ve earned it! Whew! 😌

If you’d like a handy printable checklist to go through, you can download one from Oprah here!

And One More Thing…

Now that you’ve gotten everything clean, spring is a great time to start our exclusive Go Green Plus 3 system that keeps your whole house free of pesky insects and is safe for the whole family. If you’d like your home to feel as fresh and critter free as our clients in Lakewood Ranch and North Port, just give us a call!

Mosquito’s Gut: Key to Preventing Dengue and Zika!

Mosquito Gut The Key to Preventing Dengue and Zika  Since the first sign that the Zika virus had reappeared in areas largely populated by humans in 2013, there have been countless ideas and theories and attempts to limit the spread of the virus, largely through its mosquito carriers.

Scientists and laymen alike have proposed heavier spraying of insecticides, sterilization efforts, even our own No Bite Zones technology that turns mosquitoes into vegans.

The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are also carriers responsible for the spread of the Dengue virus. The infection route runs as follows: an infected mammal is bitten by a mosquito. The infected blood enters the mosquito’s system, but they are unaffected. Then the mosquito bites another mammal that becomes newly infected with the virus.

A recent study from Purdue University took a more in-depth look at this process, identifying what happens to the mosquito and the virus between bites. What they discovered may provide a radical new approach to preventing and even eliminating the spread of the viruses.

A Deep Dive

Zika virus, Dengue fever, encephalitis and some forms of influenza are all examples of what is known as an arbovirus. That is, the virus is a parasite that travels and is transmitted via an insect, spider or crustacean, but most often in mosquitoes and ticks.

Arboviruses don’t rely on what we might think of as normal infection methods, but by existing within the insect that spreads the virus, sometimes working in symbiosis, but just as often in conflict with the parasite carrier.

This can sound all very confusing, but the key is that the virus is a separate life form riding with the mosquito or tick in hopes of infecting a new host.

When the researchers at Purdue started digging into what happens when a mosquito first picks up one of those viruses, they learned something interesting. The biochemical makeup of the mosquito’s guts are changed by the presence of the virus – their metabolism increases and certain chemicals are released.

In a way, it’s very much like what our bodies do when they fight an infection. The difference is, the changes the virus causes in the mosquitoes allows the virus to replicate and grow – leading to further infections.

They are still unsure how the mosquito is ultimately affected, but it may very well impact their ability to fulfill their God-given purpose as the number two most effective pollinator after bees.

A Solution Is Still Pending

While scientists try to investigate further and determine how the virus impacts the mosquito, a solution has already been born in their minds. If researchers can find a way to inhibit the virus from switching on the change in the mosquitoes’ bodies, the virus would become stagnant. Instead of replicating and using the mosquitoes’ bodies as a way to get themselves into more mammals – like us – the virus would just sit inside the mosquito. The mosquito could then continue going about its normal day and when it dies, the virus dies with it.

They are working now to discover the easiest and most effective way to enact that change in mosquitoes, allowing everyone to live a little easier.

Until then, of course, take the usual precautions if you’re going to be out where you expect to encounter mosquitoes – wear long sleeves, use insect repellant – including these all natural solutions to DEET – and try to stay indoors. And in your own home and yard, we highly recommend our aforementioned exclusive No Bite Zones technology.

Our customers from Punta Gorda to Bradenton Beach have benefited from turning biting momma mosquitoes and their offspring into nice vegan insects who dine on plants, not them or their pets, and enjoyed a much happier rainy season. If you’d like to take back your yard, give us a call today!

Ways to Go Green in Your Bathroom

Ways to Go Green in Your bathroomThe next stop on our eco-friendly tour of the house may seem surprising! However, as a whole, the average family spends somewhere between  a third and half of their time at home in this particular living space.

So we thought it would be a really good idea to look at where you can go green… In the Bathroom!

Drop by Drop…

Studies show that if every American used one gallon of water less per day, we would save more than 100 billion gallons per year. That’s more water than most third world countries use in FIVE years.

We know leaky faucets can drive up the water bill, not to mention the incessant drip, drip, drip. But it may surprise you to know that 17 GALLONS of water are wasted every day in the United States due to improper fixtures, old plumbing, and loose toilets. Double check all of the connections, washers, etc. on your sinks, and you’ll be saving the planet and a few dollars.

As of 1995, all toilets sold in the US must use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. If your home and bathroom are older than that, consider upgrading on your own dime. It will reduce a ton of water waste (older toilets use between 4 and 6 gallons per flush), and isn’t that expensive, plus it will reduce your water bill.  Or spring for a little higher priced toilet with a dual flush mechanism, which uses less water for liquid waste deposits.

A low-flow showerhead is a great investment as well. According to the EPA, a properly installed low-flow showerhead can reduce water use by 20-30% without sacrificing the water pressure. Of course, you can also take shorter showers. And if you are willing to spend a little more to keep the planet clean, you can have a grey-water-diverter installed. It takes the used water from your bathtub or shower drain and saves it for gardening and lawn use.

And while we in Florida don’t generally lack for heated water, making sure your water heater thermostat is set to 120 degrees and is properly insulated will cut down some of your energy use for your morning shower.

How About an Extreme Makeover?

If you really want to go all out, or you’d been planning to remodel your bathroom anyways, take it to the next level. Definitely invest in the water saving gadgets we mentioned earlier, but don’t stop there. Look for flooring, countertops, even porcelain made from recycled materials. There are plenty of options these days. There’s no reason you have to sacrifice beauty to make a little planet-saving effort in your bathroom decor.

How Exhaust-ed is your Fan? Another pricey-er upgrade to consider is replacing the old exhaust fan in your bathroom. They’re there to help reduce moisture and humidity in the bathroom, especially after a hot shower, but we all know they don’t always work as we’d like, especially in Florida. There have been a lot of upgrades recently to the technology and if you can invest in a fan that really does the job, you’ll reduce the chance of mold and mildew, while making your air conditioning work less, saving energy and money.

Go Au Natural

Just like in the kitchen, there are plenty of cleaning chemicals in and around your bathroom that can be potentially dangerous. You don’t have to discard them right away, but slowly phase them out and replace them with all natural, organic substitutions. People tend to think these alternative cleaners are more expensive, but that’s not always the case. For example, the next time you have a clogged drain, instead of spending $7-10 on the industrial strength drain cleaner, just grab a box of baking soda, 3 cups of boiling water and a cup of vinegar. Your pipes will be flowing freely in no time.

Consider swapping out your linens with organic cotton. Organic cotton towels are just as soft and they require less energy and pesticides to produce than standard cotton. You can reduce the PVC in your home also by replacing your vinyl shower curtain with a heavy cotton duck curtain.

Going the all-natural route also works for your skin care regimen. Look for facial washes, hydrating creams and makeup that are 100% natural and organic. There are plenty of options out there, including vegan approaches. If you really want to go all-in, you can even buy candles, soaps, shampoos, deodorant and toothpaste that are more natural and safer for the planet too. You get peace of mind, and you may find they’re even more effective than the alternatives you were used to.

We discovered the same thing about pest control. For nearly 30 years, your neighbors from Bradenton to Punta Gorda have witnessed the high quality and effectiveness of our 100% organic, all-natural pest solutions. And like so many of the other tips, we’ve shared, they also save you money in the long run. Just give us a call to find out for yourself!

Click here for more tips on Going Green around your home!

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