Monthly Archives: September 2015

Got to love Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix_AZ

Top Five Things to Do in Phoenix

The greatest part about traveling is finding hidden gems and visiting awesome places you have not been seen before. Phoenix, AZ is a beautiful city with a lovely desert climate, over 330 days of sunshine a year, and is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert. There are thousands of activities that you can do in Phoenix, whether you want to go to a beautiful park, visit a museum, or explore some amazing cuisine, you will definitely find something that suits you.

Here is a list of five things you will love doing in Phoenix.

  1. Visit some museums. Phoenix has some amazing museums to explore. These museums are the top rated that you should definitely incorporate into your visit.
    1. Musical Instrument Museum- This is the largest musical museum in the world. While strolling through the museum you will see over 15,000 musical instruments from countries around the word. If you have children they will love The Experience Gallery located on the ground floor where they can touch and play with many instruments from across different cultures. If you get hungry while visiting the museum they have a lovely cafe called Cafe Allegro. This is definitely a museum you do not want to miss.
    2. Heard Museum-The Heard Museum is dedicated to showcasing the living history of Native people so they have many current pieces. If you are in town the Heard hosts several festivals throughout the year. The annual el Mercado de Las Artes normally happens in November, full of strolling mariachis and exhibiting art work of Hispanic Artists.
    3. Phoenix Art Museum– The Phoenix Art Museum is the largest museum for visual art in the southwestern United states. It boasts over 18,000 works. The exhibit rooms are very spacious, there is a lovely gift shop, and a very nice in house cafe.
  2. Get in touch with nature. Phoenix has an abundant resource of nature park. The desert setting will be a huge change of scenery for many visitors. Here’s a list of the best parks and nature centers you should not miss.
    1. Desert Botanical Garden-Located only minutes from downtown you will see tons of flora an fauna. There butterfly tent is definitely something you do not want to miss. For those who do not live around cacti they will be absolutely stunned at the huge collection. There is a nice restaurant on site as well as an adorable gift shop.
    2. Camelback Mountain-If you enjoy hiking and rock climbing this is a place you do not want to miss. The views from the mountain are so incredible. There is a climb called the praying monk in which you can repel down. The hikes are challenging so make sure you bring plenty of water, especially in the hot summers.
    3. South Mountain Park- Only a 15 minute drive from downtown Phoenix this is a beautiful park features multiple trails that interconnect. The trails will offer you amazing views of the city, but the further down the trails you go you find yourself in a peaceful area.
  3. Try a new outdoor activity. Phoenix offers a vast array of outdoor activities, from golfing to balloon rides there is something for everyone. Here are the top outdoor activities to try while visiting Phoenix.
    1. Western Destinations Canyon Creek Ranch- Here you can ride the trails and pay some cowboy games. You will receive an educated guide who is highly professional and will take excellent care of you. This excursion is great for family, corporations, or just an individual wanting some Rest and Adventure!
    2. Rainbow Ryders, Inc. Hot Air Balloon Company- This is an opportunity to take a huge adventure. You can take a hot air balloon into the sunrise or into the sunset. Considering that Arizona has some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world it is definitely worth a try. With such a nice view of the North Phoenix Valley you’re definitely going to want to bring a camera.
    3. Arzona Outdoor Fun- There are so many activities you can try with Arizona Outdoor Fun the adventure is endless. You could take an ATV tour, do a shooting adventure, rent jet skis, or even paddle boats. This company offers adventures for everyone. The staff is excellent and the adventures are definitely worth every penny.
  4. Visit some amazing landmarks. There are multiple sights and landmarks to see throughout Phoenix. Whether you want to see a point of interest, a historic or religious site, or even a castle you can do that. Here are a few sites that are definitely worth checking out.
    1. Mary’s Basilica- One of the most beautiful churches in Phoenix you will be amazed at it’s old mission style design and it’s exquisite stained glass windows. It is in downtown Phoenix and definitely not a sight you want to miss.
    2. Mystery Castle- If you love eclectic this is definitely a stop for you. It is full of recycled redesigns and definitely unique that was built by a father for his daughter. You should definitely stop by to see what this amazing place inspires in you.
    3. Orpheum Theater- If you do not go here to see a show make sure you stop by to see the lovely architecture. You will be absolutely stunned at the amazing stonework. However, they do have amazing shows here. It is full of charm and beautiful decor. Definitely don’t miss a stop here.
    4. Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights- While tours must be made in advanced the architecture is something to be amazed of. It appears to be the shape of a wedding cake. Many who book the tour state the family history is very neat. So if you want to book a tour make sure you do so far in advance.
  5. Try out some unique drink and dining tours. Phoenix has much to offer in fine dining and drink. There are several tours available to make sure you experience the best of dining and drinking Phoenix has to offer.
    1. Taste it tours- You will try a variety of food while see the sights along the way. This is an excellent way to try to the fare offered in Phoenix
    2. Road Dog’s Phoenix Brewery Tours- You will definitely have a blast on this tour. The tour guide’s with Road Dog’s are some of the best around. They are very informative and can tell you more about Phoenix than just great beer.

I f you either of 4 or 5 above, try a Party Bus for transport, grab a group of you and have a fun night out, we did and it was amazing, we found a great party bus company.

 If you are visiting Phoenix soon these are some incredible things to try out. However, don’t  forget to ask the locals about hidden gems. Have a great trip!

And here is a bed bug story

Bed bugs on thumb

Four years ago my husband and I started dating. We lived 800 miles apart from each other at the time. We didn’t get many chances to see each other because I owned a business that took up all of my time. Eventually, I trained someone to handle the company while I went to visit him. He lived in a nice home that was very clean, very organized, and didn’t seem anything like a bachelor pad. He rented his spare bedroom to a man who went to a local church and played the guitar. During the visit I began to find these red welts all over my arms, my neck, and my back. I was miserable, they itched worse than any mosquito bite. I asked my then boyfriend if he had bedbugs and he assured me that he didn’t pulling up his sleeve to prove so. I went through the visit miserable, but convinced there were no bedbugs because no one else, including his son, did not have bite marks.

As I drove 800 miles the itching was relentless. There were times I cried, times I stopped on the side of the road to search the internet for what was wrong with me. That’s when I found the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” bites of bedbugs. I looked at my welts, all in triangles, all in the same format of a bedbug bite. I ran to my trunk opened my suitcase and sure enough, there were those most terrifying bugs I’ve ever seen. Bedbugs aren’t terrifying because they are these massively large bugs, in fact they are quiet small and do not appear to be a threat at all. Bedbugs are terrifying because of the itching and how hard they are to rid yourself of.

I decided to turn my car around so I could help my boyfriend figure out how to get rid of these things because we were planning to move in with each other in four months. When I got back to his house the first place I went was the room that was being rented. Sure enough, even in the daylight the bugs were crawling all inside the seems of the man’s mattress, in his pillowcase, and who knows where else. I cannot tell you how upset we both were to see this mess. We decided the best call was to hire a professional. So that’s what we did.

The “professional” came out with his fancy equipment and did his inspection. He announced that yes we did have bedbugs. He estimated it would take a few weeks to rid ourselves of them and a cost of $1,400. We decided to go that route. We went through the process of vacuuming, heating the room, sprays, and wrapping furniture. The first week it seemed like everything had worked fine. My welts were going away and I wasn’t getting more so I felt comfortable that we no longer had bedbugs. Then in the second week I woke up in the middle of the night, breakfast, lunch, and dinner welts again.

At this point, after spending $1,400 dollars on a fancy treatment I decided to treat bedbugs myself. This is how I rid the house of bedbugs. I took every piece of clothing to the laundry mat and washed them. I placed everyone’s laundry in brand new Tupperware tubs and then brought them home. I kept these tubs on our kitchen floor that was laminate. I vacuumed the floors three times a day. I cleaned every surface including picture frames, light fixtures, and wall sockets every day. I vacuumed every bed and pillow everyday. I woke up at 3 a.m. Each day and literally vacuumed every little bedbug crawling around on the beds. I did this over a period of a month. Slowly the numbers began to dwindle. At first I would get two or three bites a night, then just one, and then none. This was the most intensive process I’ve ever went through in my life.

bed-bug-bite

After two months we were completely bed bug free. We didn’t have to burn our house down, although I thought about it several times. We didn’t have to get all new furniture and clothes. We just had to be diligent in everything. The professional treatment may work for you, but for us it didn’t. I want to believe that it didn’t because the renter probably kept bringing them in. However, once we were totally rid of the bugs, he still lived there and we had no further issues. The important thing to remember if you have bed bugs is to never give up. Everything seems miserable, it’s completely embarrassing, and everything is a uphill climb, but with diligence you can beat bed bugs.

How to know if you have a bedbug infestation:

  • Spots of blood stains on your sheets and pillowcases
  • Bedbug excrement on you sheets, mattresses, and bed clothes. The excrement is rust colored.
  • Bedbug egg shells or skins
  • A musty odor

Here are a few tips on how to beat bedbugs cheaply and effectively:

  • Clean all linens. Bedding, curtains, and clothes.
  • Wash these in hot water and dry on high. If you have items that can not be washed then put them in a dryer and run them on high for 30 minutes. For our instance we were in the middle of a heatwave. I bagged stuffed animals and shoes and placed them in an outdoor building for a week.
  • Use a stiff brush in the seam of your mattresses. This removes the bed bugs eggs before you vacuum.
  • Vacuum your bed and carpets twice daily. Immediacy through the vacuum bag or empty it in an outdoor trash can.
  • Invest in a mattress cover. This will ensure that any bedbugs that have survived will be unable to feed. A bedbug can live an entire year without feeding.
  • Clutter free your home. If you have clutter it will be harder to keep the bed bugs at bay.
  • Clean up all your clutter
  • Clean all outlets, your bed frame thoroughly. Bedbugs love tight spaces.

Do not let an infestation get you down. You can beat bedbugs. You just have to be persistent and dedicated to getting rid of them. We have used these guys before to help, when we were in Encinitas.

Bed bugs on legs

I have Ants and what do I do?

Small-Ants 2

Help

OMG I have a lot of Ants, what do I do?

Well I took the analytical approach and Googled it and here are my findings. And the question remains, do we get rid of the little pesky critters or do we get the boys in?

Identifying the Ant

The first and may be the most important step in killing ant is to identify the species of the ant in question. When you do this, you have a better understanding of the ant you are dealing with. More so, you have better information about the nesting habits of the ants and also have a good knowledge of its habitat. Don’t be surprised, that ant might just be nesting outside your doors! You can also obtain additional information about the ant by taking a close picture of the ant and e-mailing it to the university extension service in your locality. The extension service will give you comprehensive information about the species of the ants you are dealing with; you will also be advised on the best way to get rid of the ant.

Keeping the home  Clean

Keeping your house clean at all times is an indisputable defense against ants. Don’t allow food crumbs to litter your house, sweep up any food crumbs, wipe up any spills,  take out the trash can and no dirty dishes should be left in the house. You can also mix water with vinegar and spray it around the bowels of your pet food to keep ants from feasting on them. Doing all this will take away available food sources of the ants.

Erasing ants trails

Ants are social insects hence they move in groups, so when you see one ant, it is most likely that you will see others. Ants also leave a scented trail behind them. This allows other ants to follow. This scented trail cannot be eliminated just by sweeping and mopping alone, to eliminate this tail, mix three parts of water with one parts vinegar in a spray bottle, you then spray all the previous places you have seen ants in the house. This action will prevent the ants nesting outdoors from entering the house to search for food. (Ants don’t necessarily come into the house to establish a nest). However, you must know that vinegar and water cannot stop the ants already nesting indoors, in order to kill them, you need ant bait (please see the next step)

Ant_Leadership and fruit

Wiping Out ants Colonies

Killing ants as you come in contact with them is good, but don’t always follow your impulse to kill that singular ant, because for every ant you see, there are hundreds more hiding in your house, you only get to see the scouts in search of food to take back to the colony.  You don’t have to kill the scouts, rather make use of them to wipe out the entire colony. Set baits for the ants in areas where they are commonly seen in the house. Ants tastes changes with the seasons, they prefer protein foods in the spring and during the summer sweets or fatty foods is their prefer choice.

Once you have a good understanding of the foods that ants like, buy and set the bait that is in line with their taste. When buying your baits, look out for words like “controls for sweet eating and grease eating ants” on the bait package. At the initial stage when you set your baits, you are likely to see more ants. It is actually a good thing because more ants will be taking the toxic baits back to the nest where they will share with other ants including the queen, and once the toxic bait is spread death of the colony will ensue. For many off the sweet loving ants, liquid baits work best though other ants still prefer solid baits. If after two weeks you still have ants, change the bait containers and if that doesn’t work, then it is time to hunt down the nest.

Hunting  Down Ants  Nest

Hunting down the nest and getting rid of it sometimes may be the best solution. Most especially if you are dealing with ants that can cause structural damage to your house such as carpenter’s ants. Then it is critical that you wipe them out. The sooner you do this the better. Finding the nest may not be an easy task and it may take some detective work out of you. Generally, ants prefer damp places you may therefore start your search in such areas soft or spongy flooring from plumbing or roof leak, bathrooms, attics and exterior walls are good suspects. You may cut small holes in water damaged-walls in order to track down ant nests. (This shouldn’t be a big problem, in any case you still have to repair your water damaged -walls)

Spray the nest with an insecticide when you find it, use insecticide that contains delmathrin, permethrin or bifenthrin (check the labels) ensure that you fixed the water leak and change the damage wood. If you are too busy or cannot track the nest down on your own, then hire a pest control service. Although the professionals can be quite expensive, they can be very efficient.

carpenter ants

Spraying Entry Points

After get rid of ants from the house, then, take steps to ensure they don’t come back.  This can be achieved by Filling and sealing off holes, spraying insecticide around doors and windows. When spraying, use an insecticide that contains permethrinbifenthrin, or deltamethrin. Spray wide band along entry points, ensuring that the surface gets wet. Once it is dry, the spray leaves an invisible foam that repels ants so they won’t be able enter the house. Also, each spring, spray the insecticide to guard against ants invasion. But remember that this only works to keep ants out, the ants already inside cannot be harmed by this, in fact, it can interfere with the use of ant baits.

Spraying a Barrier

If after spraying the interior entry points you’re still getting ants in your house, then, endeavor to spray a 12-in.-wide band of insecticide on the foundation and siding of your house. Make sure that   you make use of an insecticide especially the outdoor ones that has “barrier treatment” written on the label.

Destroying Exterior Nests

If you often see ants in the same area on the siding, it is possible there is a nest in there. Look for openings in the siding where ants may be crawling in and out. These openings are usually located between bricks where mortar might have fallen off. Once you are able to locate the nest, or the immediate surroundings of the nest, spray the whole area with insecticides containing bifenthrin as earlier advised.

Killing Ants in the Yard

An anthill in the yard is certainly an eyesore; more so, ants can ruin the opportunity to have a perfect outside dining. If ants are present only in some areas, probably   along your sidewalk, you can spot-treat the area with an outdoor insecticide. Liquid or granules will work just fine. For bigger ant problems, use a lawn and garden insecticides that contains bifenthrin as the base active ingredient. The spray can also kill other insects (you may read the label for a list).

The First thing to do is to mow the grass; you then spray the insecticide on the entire lawn. Spraying is best done early in the morning or late afternoon, at this periods,  the ants are most active. If after six weeks the ants are still building mounds, you may have to treat the lawn again (the insecticide is active and works for up to six weeks). You may not be able to kill every ant in your yard (you probably wouldn’t want to!), but by spraying them, you will eliminate most of them and put a stop the annoying anthills

 Killing Fire Ants with Bait

Fire ants are very commonly in the South eastern United States and Southern California.  Normal insecticides are much less potent at killing them. You therefore need a specially made product that is designed just for these kinds of insects. Look for products that specifically mentioned fire ants. When spraying, apply the granules with a broadcast spreader. Fire ants will carry the granules which is the toxic bait , back to their mounds. The ants will share the bait and die. Some poisons are long-lasting and will continue killing the fire ants for up to a year. Just as it is common to all the baits, you may have to wait for a few weeks before you see full results.

Ant diagram

Eliminating Ants Safe Havens

Finally, after you kill the ants in your house and yard, you must take the right steps to guarantee they don’t come back. Trim the bushes, shrubs, and trees that lean against your siding or roof and provide the ants a conduit to reach your house. Keep a 3-inches  to 6-inches  clearance space between the soil around the foundation and the bottom row of siding to prevent ants from nesting in the siding (and make sure the soil slopes away from the house). Don’t stack firewood next to the house. Firewood is   a   perfect haven for ants. Also you can discourage the ants from nesting in your house by maintaining a healthy lawn.

So having written all that, we get the important part of the story and that is to call a pest controller.

Welcome to my blog

Hey welcome people to my blog, I will be writing loads of things about me and my life, so some very very interesting and some not so much, but stay with it, you may pick up the odd gem or maybe not…

Anyway take care out there in the world and peace…