Tag Archives: housekeeping

Getting Rid of Household Insects and Pests this Spring

Spring is the season of home maintenance and spring cleaning. It is also when most people begin to spot insects and pests in their homes. While a common annoyance, it’s important to address before it can get worse. Though they are tiny, invasive pests have had a serious economic, social, and environmental impact on our way of life. In order to combat these pests, it is useful to gain a better understanding of the options you have.

Assess the Situation

First and foremost, you want to spend a little time learning about what kind of pests you are dealing with. Ants and termites may look similar from above, but there are drastically different ways of dealing with them.

If you are not entirely sure what kind of species you are battling, then you might want to look towards professional help. Some pests can be treated without the help of professionals, but you always want to contact the experts when you have trouble finding the exact cause of an infestation. To get rid of pests for good, you are going to want to speak with someone in the industry and have experienced technicians check out your space.

Call in the Professionals

When an infestation is caught early enough, you might think you can take care of eliminating the threat without assistance. While this might seem like a simple task, you never know how intense the issue is until you start digging around for the source. By leaving it up to the experts, you are more likely to find the source and destroy it once and for all.

Getting rid of invasive species in your home is not going to be easy. In order for you to see the threat completely eliminated, you have to act fast. As soon as you notice there might be invasive pests in your home, contact the professionals who can come and take a look. The sooner you respond to the problem at hand, the easier it will be to get your home back to normal.

4 Home Maintenance Tasks for Spring

It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air! While you may have a spring cleaning checklist, there are some areas of maintenance that you may be forgetting. It’s time to dust off your air conditioner, your washer and dryer, and even the top of your house. Use these maintenance tips to keep your home in tip-top shape throughout spring, summer, and beyond.

Windows and Doors

When spring cleaning your windows and doors, it isn’t enough to simply wipe them down with some glass cleaner. This is also a good time to perform maintenance. Check the tops, sides, and bottoms of your windows to feel for any drafts and visually determine if any of the seals are coming loose. If you detect issues, repairing them now could help you save money on your utility bills. This is also a good time to double-check that doorknobs and window locks aren’t loose or working improperly.

Roof and Gutters

Grab a ladder and some gloves and get up on the roof. Winter weather likely left twigs, leaves, and other debris all over your roof and in your gutters. Clogged gutters mean spring rains can’t trickle off the top of your house and into the yard, which could cause water to sit and even cause leaks. Remove any debris from the gutters and your roof, double-checking for missing shingles or cracks in the gutters as you go along. If you are unsure about getting on your roof yourself, call a professional to help you.

Washer and Dryer

Even if your friends and family don’t see them, it’s important to spring clean your washer and dryer. Doing so can add years to their lives. Remove the detergent and fabric softener dispensers from the washer to clean them. While you’re doing this, let a cup of bleach and a full tub of hot water soak in the machine and then run the long cleaning cycle. Rerun the cycle with hot water and vinegar. Finish with one more cycle of just hot water. If you have a front-loading machine, you should also clean the door seal with a bleach solution and a small toothbrush to prevent debris buildup.

When it comes to your dryer, it is important to remove lint buildup. Remove your lint filter and use your vacuum’s nozzle attachment to suck any lost lint out of the body of the dryer. Ensure there are no holes in your filter before putting it back into the machine. Wipe down the inside of the dryer with a rag and a mild detergent. If your dryer is automatic, you should clean the moisture sensor nodes as well. Don’t forget to remove the vent from the back of the dryer to remove any lint buildup.


Your HVAC unit is an essential part of your spring maintenance checklist. The quickest and easiest thing to do is to replace your unit’s filter. It is also important to turn your unit on and off, listening for any strange noises. Don’t forget to check the outside unit, either. If you notice anything that seems amiss, call someone to provide a professional inspection. If your HVAC unit hasn’t received an inspection in the past year, call a professional regardless.

By providing maintenance on the often forgotten parts of your home, you help to ensure their safety and longevity. A few hours on a Saturday afternoon can make a big difference to your wallet.

All Natural Home Cleaner Recipes for the Greenest Clean

This is a sponsored post, but all ideas are my own.

Deep cleaning your home for spring doesn’t have to mean using harsh chemicals. In fact, some of the items in your pantry are just as effective cleaners. Not to mention, they are cheap and easy to find. Using all natural home cleaners can improve indoor air quality, and they are safer if you have small kids or pets. Here are some all natural home cleaner recipes you can feel good about using in your home.

Glass Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (or a high proof vodka)
  • 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients and pour them into a glass spray bottle. Use as needed to clean windows and mirrors. Spray on the glass and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. You can also use an old t-shirt or newspapers, but avoid paper towels, as they tend to leave lint behind. For a streak-free finish, don’t clean the windows on a hot, sunny day. The solution will dry too quickly and leave streaks.

This cleaner has a vinegar smell that completely dissipates once it dries. The essential oil will cut the vinegar smell.

All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

An all-purpose cleaner has a myriad of uses. It’s right there in the name. You can use it in the kitchen and bathroom, on cupboards, on some appliances, inside the refrigerator and freezer, and even for carpet mishaps. We have two different all-purpose surface cleaner recipes, depending on the type of surfaces you have to clean.

Vinegar All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

Do not use on marble, granite, or stone.

What you’ll need:

Combine ingredients and pour them into a glass spray bottle. Gently shake and use as needed. Spray on the surface and then wipe with a microfiber cloth. This cleaner will need to be stored in the refrigerator between uses due to the fresh lemon juice.

Castile Soap All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

May be used on sealed marble or granite.

What you’ll need:

Pour the water into a glass spray bottle, then add the castile soap and essential oil. Gently shake to combine. Spray on the surface and then wipe with a damp cloth. For a soapier cleaner, add more castile soap, up to 1/4 cup. Store at room temperature.

Furniture Polish

What you’ll need:

Combine ingredients and pour them into a glass spray bottle. Shake well. Spray onto a microfiber cloth and then rub onto wood furniture to restore luster and remove superficial water rings. Be sure to go with the grain of the wood and evenly distribute the polish. Rub again with a clean microfiber cloth.

Dry Carpet Cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon borax, a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

Measure and add the ingredients to a blender. Pulse on low until it has an even consistency. Pour into a sprinkle-top container and sprinkle generously over the carpet. Let sit for at least two hours or overnight, and then vacuum.

Baking soda helps freshen your carpet and break down dirt buildup. Borax gives it a little more cleaning power, but if you don’t have any on-hand or don’t like using borax, you can leave it out. Bay leaves and cloves offer antibacterial cleaning power while leaving a natural, fresh scent behind.

If you haven’t had your carpets deep cleaned for at least a year, you might want to call in the professionals. Professional carpet and area rug cleaning can be green, too. A green cleaning service will use eco-friendly cleaners that are pH-balanced and 100% natural, non-toxic, and made from biodegradable materials.

No-Bleach Bleach Rival

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap
  • 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide

Combine ingredients and apply the mixture to surfaces with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with a second clean, damp cloth. If you have lived by the rule, “When in doubt, douse it in bleach,” this natural alternative will pleasantly surprise you.