What’s Trending? Spiders, Ants, Millipedes and More Are Invading Our Homes

bugs are invadingSpring is here, rains are frequent, and bugs are active… a little too active for many of us!  We have been hearing from many of you that crawling bugs, such as spiders, ants, millipedes, waterbugs, etc. are being found all over the house.  They are frequently in the ground floor and basements, but their presence can be a real nuisance at this time of the year.  So what can you do to treat for them?  We talk briefly about a few different techniques in this article.

Apply a bug barrier around your home.  We sell a lot of Ortho’s Home Defense as well as the Raid Max Bug Barrier, both of these products are designed to create up to a 12 month barrier to kill and prevent creepy crawling bugs from entering our homes.  They are simply applied around the foundation of your home and/or around all entry ways, windows, baseboards.  When applied to hard surfaces, the residue barrier will last up to 12 months and keeps killing bugs as they walk across.  Once applied around your home, you will see a huge difference in the amount of bugs found in the home.  I use this product once a year in the spring on my old home that has lots of cracks and crevices for bugs to enter.  It is amazing the results!  Also, once it is dry, it is safe for kids and pets to play in the treated areas.

Apply diatomaceous earth powder in trouble areas.  Diatomaceous earth is an organic bug killer that is only available in a powder form.  When bugs walk across the powder, it sticks to them and dries the bugs out.  There is no attractant in this product, so you want to apply it as a barrier treatment and want to use it in the rooms that you are seeing bugs.  Often applied to windowsills, around baseboards, behind appliances, entryways and more.

Strongly consider ant baits if ants are the nuisance.  Ant baits work to kill the whole colony, which makes them the best solution to stopping ants.  They take about a week before the full effects are noticed, but you will go from seeing ants to not seeing any at all.  That is when you know that you got rid of the colony!  Simply place them where ants are seen and away from kids and pets.

Household pest glue boards catch bugs as they walk over.  If you have a known problem area, such as a poor sealed window, unused bathtub, or something along those lines, the glue boards could be a simple, chemical-free option to catch bugs as they enter.  Just set them out in corners, or on windowsills and near entries where bugs enter.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Derek Satterfield

What’s Trending? Miele Vacuums are Top in Customer Satisfaction

Miele has always been know to make some of the best vacuums on the market.  In our opinion, they are the best money can buy!  Recent reviews on a popular review focused website as well as well-known publications, have Miele canister and upright vacuums bringing home awards.

If you are a fan of canister vacuums, then Miele is your ticket.  In fact, Miele loves canisters so much that they make over 15 models.  All of Miele’s canister vacuums are easy to use, lightweight, ultra quiet and offer complete suction control for all types of surfaces.  Plus the canisters with the larger 13″ wide adjustable power heads help you get the job done faster with a wider path and a beater bar that is adjustable depending on the height of the carpeting.  The Kona is a master when it comes to whole house cleaning on all surfaces and even the toughest of pet hair situations.  For this reason and many more, the Kona was rated as the #1 canister vacuum on a popular review focused website.

If you prefer the convenience of upright vacuums, Miele has you covered as well!  Miele uprights are more similar than you might think and all feature an adjustable suction motor, on-board accessories, a swivel head floor tool for easy maneuvering, and ultra-quiet operation.  On the same popular review-focused website, the Miele U1 Cat and Dog upright was the top rated upright vacuum this year.  The addition of the charcoal in the air filter traps smells being pushed back into the air and the added value of a small power tool for carpeted steps and upholstery is a nice value.

Even though we focused on two models that have been highly ranked by customer reviews, all of the Miele vacuums are built around quality and therefore has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal for 2016.  There are no lemons in this line-up!  If you are in the market for a new vacuum, we encourage you to stop by and give one of our display models a test drive.

miele vacuums

What’s New? Merrick Backcountry Dog Foods – Raw Infused Nutrition

merrick backcountryNew from Merrick are the Backcountry ancestral canine diets.  These dry dog food recipes combine a protein-rich kibble with freeze-dried real meat pieces.  The combination delivers the nutritional benefits of a raw diet in a convenient recipe that is safe and easy to use.

All Merrick Backcountry grain-free recipes have many great benefits:

  • Deboned meat as the #1 ingredient
  • Balanced diet that your dog would have discovered in the wild
  • Formulas rich in Omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
  • Delicious aroma, texture and taste that your dog will love
  • Safely cooked in the USA in their very own kitchens

The addition of freeze-dried foods are becoming more and more popular as of late and they are a great way for sneaking in more healthy elements to your pets diet.  We have a few freeze-dried options from other companies that are encouraged to be used as treats and/or meal mixers, but Merrick is the first one that is offering dried meats as part of their protein-rich kibble!  We are currently stocking all of the Merrick Backcountry dry canine recipes: Great Plains Red , Game Bird, Big Game, Pacific Catch, and Puppy.

What’s New? Herbaceous Scentz Multi Surface Cleaners

herbaceous scentzThese brand new multi surface cleaners from Herbaceous Scentz smell so good that you will want to clean more.  Not only do they smell great, they clean without toxins.  In fact, they are 100% natural!

Herbaceous Scentz is a company founded right here in Pittsburgh, and we are excited to be one of the first few stores to carry their product.  Use this cleaner on all hard surfaces (except mirrors).  It’s an all natural cleaner, de-greaser, and disinfectant.  For typical hard surface clean-up, just spritz and wipe.  To disinfect and de-grease tough stains it is best to let sit for a few minutes as the cleaner goes to work.  Safe to use on most kitchen and bath surfaces, even sealed granite, stainless steel, porcelain, laminate, quartz and other sealed hard surfaces.

The addition of essential oils to the spray cleaner makes it a “treat” to clean.  Essential oils have been known to provide many benefits, but in the case of these cleaners the aromatherapy will have you cleaning all over the house.  There is even a warning on the label that reads… Warning: You may find yourself cleaning the toilets and counters… just because.  :)

Stop by our Housewares Department to see our display, or visit Herbaceous Scentz facebook page here.

Spend a Little – Save a Lot: TrashRac – Waste Storage Solution

trashracA little know solution in our housewares department is the TrashRac trash storage bins.  Maybe that is because they are by nature nondescript since they like to hide out inside cabinet doors?  Maybe this is because they provide function without all the glamour of a tall stainless steel trash bin?  Who am I kidding, the TrashRac doesn’t have the ability to campaign for itself!  It is just as it’s name suggest, a rack to hold your trash.

For years, we have sold cabinet storage solutions through our E-commerce store and I consistently hear the same positive feedback from customers, some of these benefits are highlighted here:

Out of Sight – Gone is the waste can that sits on the kitchen floor and is too often not close enough to the sink.  With the TrashRac, our customers love how the trash can is right under the sink and is always on demand.  Simply flip open the cabinet to clean off plates and to throw out kitchen waste.  The TrashRac is designed to be small and convenient.

Traps Odors- The TrashRac includes a lid that helps to trap in odors from smelly kitchen waste.  The bags are small too, so they encourage us to replace them often and the result is a better smelling, waste storage solution that will not encourage flies and other bugs to nest since it is being replaced frequently.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Many of us accumulate plastic grocery bags and we don’t know how to reuse them.  Conveniently, both sizes of the TrashRac can hold your typical grocery bags!  The handles help to hold the bags in place and the drip tray at the bottom will prevent small holes in the bags from making a mess inside the cabinet.

Stop by our Housewares Department if you are interested in finding out more about this waste storage solution!

Thanks for reading,

Derek Satterfield

 

 

What’s New? Weber Summit Charcoal Grill

The newest grill to the Weber lineup is the Summit Charcoal.  This grill is being termed “the grill of a lifetime” and its for good reason!  The Summit Charcoal will never go out of style, it is made of only the highest quality materials, and provides tremendous flexibility for cooking at any temperature.  This barbecue can grill, sear, bake, and even smoke all with the delicious flavor that you would expect with a charcoal grill.

weber summit charcoal

Some of the unique features of the Weber Summit Charcoal grill:

  • Large 24.5″ round stainless steel cooking grate
  • Snap-Jet gas ignition system (heats charcoal with the convenience of propane)
  • Air insulated, double walled bowl and lid (hold heat in for efficient cooking)
  • Rapidfire damper lid allows for precise temperature changes
  • Adjustable diffuser plate allows for direct or indirect cooking
  • One-Touch cleaning system rakes ash into bucket for easy disposal

This grill offers much of the same cooking experience that the widely popular Big Green Egg does, but with the convenience that one can expect with a name like Weber.  The charcoal is easy to ignite and all of the adjustments needed to control temperature are included with the purchase of this grill.  Plus, after you register with Weber, you will be sent the Summit Charcoal cookbook that is filled with hundreds of recipes and instructions on making incredibly delicious meals on your new grill!

The Summit Charcoal has introduced this month to the nation and it is only available at select retailers nationwide.  We invite you to stop by to see this brand new grill – on display now in our barbecue section!

 

Now’s the Time to: Plant Grass Seed & Repair Lawn

seeding bare spotsTemperatures are looking up and the thoughts are that we are out of the coldest spring weather!  Daily high temperatures are above 55 degrees for the foreseeable future, and lows are not expected to be below freezing.  Now seems like the perfect time to repair your lawn by removing dead patches and reseeding the bare spots.

What we recommend… Walk around your lawn, rake out dead patches and mow, if needed.  After these steps, you will have a good idea whether you need to seed or not.  If spots are over a couple of inches in diameter, you will want to loosen up the soil in that area before you sprinkle down the grass seed.  If the soil is poor, you will want to consider putting down some fresh top soil (or lawn soil) on the top layer before seeding.  It is important to have seed-to-soil contact, so be sure to remove dead grass and thatch from those areas so that the seedlings have a good nutritious soil to get started in!

If the lawn is thin… We recommend overseeding with a grass seed recommended for the sunlight conditions that your grass receives in that area.  Overseeding is when you broadcast seed lightly over large areas and the seed helps to feel in the gaps.  Lots of grass varieties don’t naturally thicken quickly, so the addition of more grass seeds is often the quickest way to thicken your turf.  We also would recommend coinciding overseeding with an application of new seeding (starter) fertilizer to promote quick germination and fast root development.

For more specific steps on seeding, please view our prior Blog post, seen here.

Spend a Little – Save a Lot: Wet and Forget Keeps Outdoor Surfaces Clean Year Round

If you constantly battle with mold and mildew in shaded areas or other areas that do not dry out well, then we have the product for you!  Most mold and mildew cleaners will clean the surface quickly, but they will not do anything for its regrowth.  This is where Wet and Forget comes in!  Not only will Wet and Forget outdoor stain remover clean mold and mildew stains but it will keep them from reforming for up to 1 whole year.

Simply mix and apply through a garden pump sprayer.  Apply liberally, so that the surfaces are saturated.  Apply to any hard surface outdoors, including storage sheds, roofs, siding, decks, concrete, sidewalks, driveways, and more. Take a look at the video below for some shocking before and after shots of Wet and Forget usage on Mackinaw Island in Michigan!

Just a couple other quick notes regarding Wet and Forget. 1) It will kill moss, mold, and mildew but it does so slower. This is not the product to use if you want results in a day or two, but it is the product to use if you can wait 2-4 weeks for great results and like the thought of no scrubbing or rinsing. 2) Wet and Forget will keep regrowth from forming for up to a year, so it is ideal for problem areas that are a constant or yearly battle.

 

 

Now’s the Time to: Apply Spring Fertilizer and Repair Lawn

lawn in need of repairSpring flowers are out.  Our forsythia plants, magnolia trees, and pear trees are all in full bloom, which means that it is time for us to redirect our attention to our lawns.  For many of us with lawns in need of repair, it is crucial to get an early start on our lawns so that they can be rejuvenated (at least somewhat) before the tough summer conditions advance.

Now is the best time to apply a spring fertilizer.  This can be many different products depending on what your preferences are, but options include a fertilizer with crabgrass preventer, a starter fertilizer (used with seeding), organic lawn foods that are safe for kids and pets, pelletized calcium fertilizer (limestone) and more.  Stop in to our lawn and garden department this April for the expert advice to get your lawn off to a great start this spring!

Spend a Little – Save a Lot: Ant Baits Kill the Entire Colony

terro ant baitIt never fails, each year I will encounter ants foraging for food inside my home to take back to their nest.  Sometimes their presence is noticed during the summer, sometimes it happens in the spring.  The timing is never for sure, but it seems to be a yearly occurrence for so many of us.  In talking to customers, we typically hear that they are seen in kitchens or bathrooms, and this make lots of sense.  Ants are attracted to the soapy residues in the bathroom or the remnants of food in the kitchen.  Before you know it the word gets out and you have hungry ants coming for food non-stop!

Sprays and stinky traps can capture and kill the foraging ants but they will not do anything for the queen(s) and all of the other worker ants that are sharing and spreading food.  The best way to kill these ants and get rid of the entire colony is with ant baits.

We have lots of ant baits to choose from and they all work in the same manner; the bait is taken back to the nest where it is shared with the whole colony.  Simply place the baits in areas that you have seen activity. If you make it easy for the ants to find the traps then you should have quick results.  In about 7-10 days, you will see activity stop. At this point, you can safely remove the traps and dispose of them.  It couldn’t be easier!

So, the next time you are in a battle with a mess of ants, stop then quickly with highly effective ant baits!