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Household Ideas & Life Hacks

Common household question:

How do I get rid of ants in my house fast?

So, how do you get rid of the ants boldly crawling along your baseboards or building hills in your flower bed? There are several methods that will get rid of any type of ant, or at the least discourage them from being where you don’t want them. Any hardware store or big-box retailer will sell you an ant poison. These methods are effective but toxic and can be dangerous to pets and young children, not to mention the environment. Most of us would prefer a method that both controls the ants and is safe to use

If you see ants, try using a solution of 50-50 vinegar and water, or straight vinegar. White vinegar kills ants and also repels them. If you have an ant problem, try using diluted vinegar to clean hard surfaces, including floors and counter-tops, throughout your home.

Household Remedy Tricks:

  • 1. Ground black or red (cayenne) pepper is a natural ant deterrent, as the insects appear to find the smell irritating. Sprinkle around baseboards and behind appliances.
  • 2. Peppermint or Tea Tree oil - mix 10 to 20 drops with 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle. Spray around baseboards, windows, and doors and allow to dry, and reapply as needed. Like most essential oils, keep it out of reach of pets.
  • 3. Coffee grounds - brewed coffee grounds have been found to detract ants. Try sprinkling the freshly brewed coffee grounds on disposable surfaces (such as newspaper) and leaving them in areas where ants congregate.
  • 4. Lemons - Squeeze out and use lemon juice to detract ants by removing pheromone trails on hard surfaces. You can also use the lemon rinds in your cupboards to mask the scent of food and prevent ants from taking up residence in your kitchen.
  • 5. White Vinegar will repel ants and also kill them. If you have an ant problem, try using diluted vinegar and water solution (50/50) to clean hard surfaces, including floors and counter-tops, throughout your home.

For more remedies, visit the following website: How to get rid of ants cheaply and safely

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April 4, 2022

Spring hasn't exactly sprung yet in Thunder Bay, but believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home.

Spring cleaning is important for everyone, particularly if you’re an allergy sufferer, and it’s even more important in the times of COVID-19. You owe it to yourself and your family to enjoy a clean that’s more than dirt-deep.

Enjoying a healthy home isn’t as hard as you may think. Just follow these top 10 spring cleaning tips and tricks for 2022:

  1. Make a list or schedule - regardless of where you start, having a plan of attack will help keep you on track; try starting in just one room, then go to the next. Sample checklist here: Spring Cleaning Checklist
  2. De-clutter - since we've been spending more time at home, or at in-home offices, clutter can happen quickly; just start with one closet, and you'll be surprised at how refreshed you'll feel afterward.
  3. Try a Hepa filter when vacuuming - you can remove more than just dust, they catch tiny airborne particles you can’t see but can stir up allergy symptoms, and trap things like pet dander, allergens, and other household particles.
  4. Think of using "Green" products - one of the best natural combinations for cleaning is white distilled vinegar, baking soda, and water. These ingredients are affordable, non-toxic, and have worked for ages when it comes to cleaning. Other homemade cleaner recipes can be found here: 8 Best Homemade Cleaners by Good Housekeeping
  5. Top to Bottom is key - start from the ceiling down, get those cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, fans and light fixtures first, this will force debris downward and keep you from having to re-clean; then dust your furniture and vacuum last.
  6. Walls and Windows - remember that not all dust settles on the floor; using a damp towel, cloth, or other wet/dry mops, without harsh cleaners, wipe down walls from top to bottom.
  7. Kitchen & Bathrooms - go through your pantry and fridge, wipe down and clean the appliances, change out the shower curtain, and make sure to dust and clean the exhaust fans.
  8. Replace/clean furnace, HVAC, & A/C unit filters and vents - is one of the most important and overlooked parts of your home! A/C and heating ducts build up dust during the winter months, by cleaning the filters, and floor/wall vents, you will catch unwanted particles from entering your space; try adding vent filters or an air purifier to allergy sufferers' bedroom to help prevent stuffy mornings.
  9. Don't forget to protect yourself - spring cleaning will more than likely unsettle all the winter dust on furniture and fixtures. If you suffer from allergies or are using heavy-duty cleaners, be sure to read the labels. For safe spring cleaning, wear protective clothing to help guard against skin irritations and allergic reactions.
  10. Let Spring Cleaning set a new tone - replacing items such as bedding, towels, table linens, carpets, and even window treatments (curtains) are all ways to transform your rooms for spring and warm weather ahead.

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