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Posts Tagged ‘Pest Control Lakewood Ranch’

Going Green in Your Laundry Room

Ways to Go Green in Your Laundry RoomThe average family does about 8-10 loads of laundry every week. That adds up to 11-15 hours a week – if you’re using the dryer. It can be longer for items you hang or spread out on a rack to dry. So it makes sense that the next place we’ll stop on our year long quest to Go Green is… the Laundry Room.

Wash N Go

While mechanical clothes washers have been around since the late 1700’s, the first automatic washing machine was introduced in 1937 with home models appearing shortly thereafter. However, they have become much more efficient and better designed just in the last 10-20 years. And not just the WiFi enabled ones.

The earliest washing machines used between 40 and 50 gallons per load. Thankfully, in recent years that has been reduced to less than 13 gallons per load. But if you really want to conserve water, invest in a front load, high efficiency washing machine. It’ll cost a little more up front, but they use on average 5 gallons less per load (that’s 2000 gallons a year saved), get more of the water out of the clothes, so drying time is reduced, and use less detergent while getting clothes considerably cleaner.

Limit your detergent. You’ll note on most laundry detergent bottles, two fill lines. Use the highest one only when you’re doing a full load. Anything less, use the lower line, and never overfill – it can actually cause buildup that may lead to bacteria. Whenever possible, always do a full load.

Another recommendation you hear often is to wear jeans two or three times before you wash them. With the humidity and heat on the gulf coast of Florida, you can bet your clothes are probably building up more than the usual liter of sweat, 10 grams of salt, 40 grams of grease and sebum, and 10 grams of skin cells and flakes that the usual person leaves in their clothes every day. But you can make up your own mind.

Running Hot and Cold

Did you know most clothes can be washed in the cold cycle? Yet, the average family washes 50% percent of their clothes in warm water, 35% in cold and 15% in hot.

80-85% of the energy attributed to washing machines comes from the need to get and keep the water hot or warm. Yet cold water works well for all clothes, even whites. Although, once a month you should probably wash all your whites with hot water and bleach or some hydrogen peroxide to keep them white. Peroxide also helps get out stubborn stains.

You can toss everything in together. Sure the first couple of times you wash a new pair of jeans, or bright colored socks, towels or blouse, you should wash them alone, but once they’ve gotten past that bleeding stage, you’re good to go. No more pink everything anymore.

One caveat, a lot of laundry experts will say to do your denim separate. There’s a couple reasons, but mostly because heavier fabrics take longer to dry and the longer certain fabrics are exposed to heat, the more they’ll break down. So turn your jeans inside out and wash them separately to keep everything lasting a little longer.

The Dries Have It

As you can probably guess, there’s one big suggestion for going green with your laundry that some will resist. Instead of throwing everything in the dryer, hang everything out on a clothesline. It was good enough for our parents, right?

In truth, dryers in homes are a recent development. Until the mid 1960’s, electric dryers were far too expensive for most people to own. Now that they cost around $350 apiece, we toss 90% of our washer loads into the dryer.

With energy efficient dryers, the savings is less than it used to be to hang items out on the clothesline, but that also has the benefit of a little exercise, fresh air and even stimulates your creativity! If you usually take advantage of dryer sheets, add a quarter cup of vinegar to your wash and you’ll get the same softness, and your washer will stay cleaner too.

Whenever you DO use the dryer, make sure that the lint trap is cleaned. You’d be surprised how often people forget to do this simple task each time. Also, you can turn off your dryer when you’re not using it – just like your TV, it still draws power, even when it’s not running.

A New Wrinkle

When ironing, turn the iron up to the highest temperature you need, but start ironing items needing a cooler temp right away, so you use the heat as it’s building up, cutting down on both the electricity and the energy needed to cool everything down.

If you use dry cleaning to get fresh pressed shirts and jackets, you can bring them into the bathroom while you shower and they’ll absorb the moisture and smooth out the wrinkles naturally.

If you choose to go the dry cleaning route, you should invest in reusable, environmentally safe dry cleaning bags. Ask if your dry cleaner utilizes a hanger recycling program and you can also self-recycle by bringing the hangers back to your dry cleaner.

Even if the label says dry clean only, many items can be hand washed. Just be careful with delicate fabrics. You also avoid using the various chemicals that can cause environmental and health risks.

As part of our commitment to our customers and stewarding planet earth, we stopped using harmful chemicals for our pest control services a while back. And we’ve discovered that they often cost the same and are more effective than what other companies offer.

As we get closer to the rainy summer months, mosquitoes are soon going to be an issue across the Gulf Coast. Our customers from Punta Gorda to Lakewood Ranch have found that our exclusive No Bite Zones effectively stop mosquito bites by turning the Momma mosquitoes into vegans! If you’d like to see how it would work for your yard, give us a call!

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!

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!

2018 Termite Awareness Week!

2018 Termite Awareness WeekHere at Good News Pest Solutions, we have a saying that you might have heard us mention before: “There are two types of homes in Florida – those with termites and those that don’t have them YET.

Termite infestations cost home and business owners more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States every year, and a higher than average percentage of that is here in Florida. What brings termites to Florida? Probably the same thing that brought you – our stellar year round weather.

For the rest of the country, termites are on the down-low, literally, until Spring. That’s why National Termite Awareness Week is the third week of March every year, the 11-17th for us this year. But here in Florida, where the temperatures don’t drop too far for long, termites are already active. Not only that, but in addition to the infestations other folks potentially face, we have our very own species of termites!

West Indian Drywood Termite

All common lumbers used in building fall prey to the West Indian Drywood Termite, and not just here in Florida. These termites love small furniture, like cabinets, headboards, picture frames, and table legs. They are easily transported, but stick to mostly southern, warmer climates.

The Subterranean Termites:

Eastern Subterranean Termite

The most common termite across the Unites States is the Eastern subterranean termite. It generally can be found on the east coast, but because they tend to infest building timbers, they get spread liberally across the continental US. They feed on the internal sections of the wood, causing severe damage.

Formosan Subterranean Termite

By far the most aggressive termites you’ll encounter are the Formosan subterranean termites. These are also the ones we’re normally talking about when we say the termites are swarming (which they are right now). The Formosan termites develop colonies several millions thick and can target utility poles and docks as well as building lumber. Despite their name, the easiest way to locate them is by spotting their mud carton nests aboveground.

Asian Subterranean Termite

Another major destructive force, the Asian subterranean termite, also builds mud carton nests, but this species in the US is largely found in southern Florida. They don’t swarm as large as their Formosan kin, but they still cause millions of dollars in property damage.

The Florida Termites:

Florida Dampwood Termite

We all love this semi-tropical paradise we’ve found on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Unfortunately, so does the aptly named Florida dampwood termites. While our heavy rains might deter some of the termite species out there, that’s not the case for these termites who are often found around sources of free water. That includes leaky roofs and fences and siding that get regular rain or sprinkler exposure.

Conehead Termite

But it could be worse – the Ft. Lauderdale-Miami side of the state has their own dedicated termite species.  Conehead termites are almost entirely found in and around Broward County, Florida.  This particular critter builds its mud-tube nests fully above the ground – you may even be able to follow the structure from the source of their hunger all the way back to the nest.

Signs of a Termite Infestation:

  • Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  • Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  • Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust or coffee grounds near a termite nest.
  • Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, possibly indicating the presence of swarmers, which are often mistaken for flying ants.

Tiny Termite House

In case you still have doubts about the destructive capabilities of termites, The Professional Pest Management Alliance built a scale model of a 2-story house, complete with a cement slab, insulation, plumbing, electricity and a fully manicured lawn. They installed dozens of cameras around the hardwood floors, beautiful kitchen, and balcony overlooking the in-ground swimming pool. And then they released half a million Formosan termites into the structure to see exactly how they spread and demolish their food source. You can check out the latest here.

Of course, with so much at stake, it’s not enough to just keep an eye out for the signs of a termite infestation listed above. By the time you’ve found evidence, its likely going to cost you a pretty penny to eradicate the termites and rebuild the damage they’ve caused. And your homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover it!

The only way to be sure that your home is protected is to have a professional check and treat it on a regular basis. Not to toot our own horn, but our customers from Bradenton to North Port love our Term Assure 365. It’s the best termite protection we’ve found and it’s 100% organic and safe for the whole family. Plus, it comes with a 1-million dollar repair warranty, should your home get any damage from subterranean termites.

Term Assure 365 also includes our exclusive Go Green Plus 3 program that protects your home and yard from all the other crawling insects that might want to come stay for a while – and it’s also all natural and safe.

Buying a house? We do Pre-Sale WDO Inspections. Building a new one? Check out our pre-construction treatment.

Termites are no joke. Don’t wait to see signs of termite damage. Let us protect you and provide total peace of mind. Call for more details today!

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