Discover Kitchen Remodeling Ideas That Add To Your Home

Kitchen Remodel Ideas that Have the Highest Impact on Resale Value

If you’ve been looking for design inspiration to remodel the kitchen on Pinterest, that’s great! You deserve to have a kitchen remodel that you can be proud of. But amidst all that, don’t forget to take things beyond the aesthetic. A functional kitchen is way more important than just a beautiful kitchen. Why not take your search up a notch up by narrowing down on the kitchen remodel ideas that are actually worth it?

And we don’t mean just aesthetically or in terms of the added convenience they offer — we also mean in terms of money. The idea is to create a kitchen you like working in, in a budget that you can afford, while also ensuring that you gain a return on your investments. It’s the details that count when it comes to remodeling. Just like everything else, not every investment has equal returns; so elements need to be picked carefully. The right changes in your remodel can boost up your ROI while the wrong ones will cause a staggering fall.

Compromising on quality by opting for cheaper options for a kitchen remodel will not do you any favors either. The items won’t last long, and it will only have a severe effect on your ROI. Besides, can you imagine the hassle of replacing those items in just a few months?

Painting Your Kitchen Walls During Your Remodel

Sometimes it’s best to take a step back from the nitty-gritty and look at the bigger picture. Your kitchen is an essential place in your home, as many family moments are created and cherished in the kitchen.

And for it to be that place, a lot goes into it too. There’s kitchen cabinets, countertop, appliances, and so on. But for these elements to stand out, your kitchen needs the right color scheme. Based on the wall paint, you can then choose the right color for kitchen cabinets and countertop too. In a way, your walls play an even more significant role in setting the kitchen design scheme that other things simply follow.

 

Things To Consider When Planning A Kitchen Remodel

We all know that life happens and change is inevitable. Even if you were completely in love with your kitchen when you first moved into your home, you may find it no longer suits your needs or style. In most cases, remodeling your kitchen is much more practical and cost-efficient than moving houses. But, at the same time, planning a kitchen remodel is no easy feat. Planning is paramount to ensure you get what you want and need without wasting time or money along the way

Life Stage

The stage of life that you and your family currently find yourselves in will have a big impact on the way you design your kitchen. The amount of traffic you expect your kitchen to see will affect not only the layout but the materials you choose as well. For example, if you’ve had kids since your previous , you may need to make it more child-friendly this time around. If you have a busy, active family, a design with good flow and an easy-to-navigate layout could be extremely beneficial for you. You may even want to consider materials that stand up to heavy use and are easy to clean. Whatever your needs are, incorporate them into your new design to help make your kitchen as efficient and easy to use as possible.

Timeline

There is no question that remodeling your kitchen will take time and cause upheaval in your family’s daily routine. This is something that is extremely helpful and important to plan for ahead of time. How will you shift and accommodate not having regular access to your kitchen? Will you eat out more? Do you have the space to organize a temporary, make-shift kitchen in another part of your home? If the weather is nice, maybe you will do a lot of outdoor grilling. Talk to your project manager about deadlines so that you will have an idea of how long you can expect to be without a kitchen. Being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel and knowing that your dream kitchen is waiting for you can often make the inconvenience a lot easier to endure.

Budget

Before you start your kitchen , it’s important to set a budget. Figure out what you can safely and comfortably afford and plan accordingly. Then, talk to your project manager and see which projects are the best to tackle first. If you know that you only have enough money set aside for a few projects, take some time to prioritize which ones are most important to you. At the end of the day, you may not be able to remodel your entire kitchen, but at least the elements that are most beneficial to you will be out of the way.

Functional Layout

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It can host many different activities such as food prep, , entertaining, and family time. Because of this, the layout of your kitchen is one of the most essential elements to consider when planning a remodel. You want your space to be functional. So, before you start, it’s important to know and understand what kind of space you have to work with.

 

Kitchens That’ll Make You Want to Redo Yours

The kitchen is probably the most used room in your house, so you want it to be a space you enjoy spending time in. And aside from functioning appliances, a kitchen design you’ll love for years to come is of utmost importance. So whether you’re renovating or simply looking for some inspiration, we found 90 kitchen design ideas that will help you optimize your own—and the best lessons to take from them. From country casual to sleek and modern—and literally everything in between–we’ve got all the kitchen remodel inspiration you could ever need. Gorgeous countertops, unique backsplashes, and statement lighting, we’re coming for you

Tile Your Hood

Cover your hood in the same material as your backsplash to make it look sleek and clean. Here, interior designer Heidi Caillier camouflaged a bulky appliance with zellige tiles.

Strike a Balance

This kitchen by Romanek Design Studio proves that balance is everything. The dark, moody tile walls, sleek backsplash, and stainless steel appliances assert an undeniably glam aesthetic while the wood and brass tones ground the space and give it that classic classic warmth. The bohemian runner also adds just enough color and fun.

Mirror Your Surfaces

If you love shiny stainless steel and edgy mirrored surfaces, take the metallic look to the next level with a gold mirrored island. In this kitchen designed by Dries Otten, the island brings some glamour to the playful elements throughout, like the single pendant light, swirls of pink marble, and cobalt blue loft railing above.

Choose an Adventurous Wallpaper

This swirly wallpaper proves that making adventurous design decisions can pay off. In this kitchen designed by Rita Konig, the wallpaper in question is Antoinette Poisson’s Jaipur. We love it even more paired with the rich purple-veined marble and painted cabinets. To protect it from water damage, Konig added an invisible glass over the wallpaper between the counter and cabinets.

 

What things do you need for kitchen renovation?

Design style and cabinetry

Explore kitchen designs that suit your personality, your lifestyle and the style of your home. There are no right or wrong conventions, but the style of kitchen you choose should blend perfectly with the rest of your interiors.

If you’re the proud owner of a period property you may be considering a traditional kitchen style. In a contemporary property you’ll have a mandate for much more minimalist and streamlined modern designs. That’s not to say modern kitchens can’t be embraced in older homes, so long as it blends with the rest of the home and is tastefully done

Flooring

The type of flooring you choose, along with its colour, can have a huge impact on the look of your kitchen. Limestone or marble tile floors are elegant bases for large traditional kitchen spaces

Worktops

As with flooring, worktops can make or break the overall look of the kitchen. Countertops are the workhorse of your kitchen, so durability should be factored into your choice. You’ll need to think about practicality of material for everyday use, the overall style and the color

Sinks and taps

There are plenty of style options and sizes when it comes to choosing a humble kitchen sink. There are also a wide variety of tap types to match. The kitchen sink is probably one of the most hardworking pieces of equipment in your kitchen, so it’s an important design aspect to get right.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE A KITCHEN REMODEL

Is a kitchen remodel on the horizon? If you’ve been catching yourself dreaming of an update the heart of your home (which may or may not be screaming late 90s/early 2000s), we’ve put together a list of things to consider before a kitchen remodel goes into play

We gathered our team to discuss common factors that we encourage our clients to consider before taking the renovation plunge. Not that we don’t think it’s a great idea (we’re in that business after all), but just that things will go a whole lot smoother once you have a clear direction in place.

BUDGET

This is by far the MOST important thing to consider. There are many factors that come to play here but at the end of the day your budget needs to be your budget. There are also underlying costs that are unforeseen that we won’t know about until we open up walls and demolition takes place, so we suggest to our clients to have a 10-12% contingency fund of the total cost of the project put aside for the ‘what ifs’. It’s best to be prepared and if you don’t need it – all the better!

LAYOUT

Speaking of budget, do you want to keep the existing layout? Or add/remove walls? That will significantly affect the cost (relocating plumbing, electrical and such can vastly change the budget). If the walls are load bearing, permits may be required depending on the structural work being done (which can make another hit to your budget). Something important to consider for condo owners–are strata approvals necessary?

DESIGN

If you’ve been dreaming of a kitchen remodel for a while, it’s probably safe to say that you have a specific look/style in mind. With the powers of Pinterest and Instagram, we have access to amazing inspiration. Interior design is best left to a professional, which is why we have an in-house designer at Novero. To ensure you get exactly what you wanted (and more), our Design Team works closely with our clients to decide on everything from plumbing fixtures and paint colours to cabinetry profiles, etc. We also start by asking our clients, how they want their kitchen to function, because functionality is important and often missed without the help of a professional designer to help you see the bigger picture.

How To Effectively Roll A Bat To Achieve Optimal Distance Results

How to Get Rid of Bats

If bats have taken up residence in your home, you may have a bigger problem on your hands than noise. Invading bats often cause structural damage and leave behind droppings that slowly corrode wood and other building materials. Exposure to bat guano can also pose a serious health risk to you and your family if ignored. Bats are protected species in many parts of the world, so your first step is to find out what you can legally do in your country

Verify that it’s bats you’re dealing with. The occasional rustling in the attic may just be an old water pipe or the sound of the house settling. Make sure you’ve excluded all other possibilities before you begin spending time and energy on a bat-removal project. The best way to tell that you have bats in your home is to see one with your own eyes or come across their tell-tale droppings

Be on the lookout for droppings. Bat excrement (commonly known as “guano”) most often takes the form of small, dark pellets. These are round in shape and give off an overpowering musky stench. Should you encounter bat guano in any part of your home, there’s a good chance that bats have recently been roosting there

Research the types of bats found in your area. There are many different varieties of bats. Find out when maternity season begins for your local bat population. If you drive off the mother after she’s given birth, her babies won’t be able to survive. This will leave you with an unbearable stench and an attic full of dead bats to dispose of

Inspect for places where bats might be getting in. Bats gravitate toward dark, enclosed spaces because they most closely resemble their natural cave habitats. Take a look around your attic, chimney flue, basement or crawlspace and see if you can turn up evidence that bats have been roosting there. Pay special attention to areas accessible through small cracks and apertures, as bats often use these as entry points

 

How to Get Rid of Bats

Forget mothballs, aerosols, and ultrasonic deterrents. They don’t work, particularly if you have an established colony of bats in your house. The easiest way to get rid of bats is through a process called exclusion.

Bats love old houses: All those crumbling chimneys, cracks and holes, and vents with missing screens are open doors for little mammals that can squeeze through a 3/8″ x 1″ crack, or into a hole smaller than a quarter.  A few bats during migration season may be a temporary situation and nothing to worry about. If there’s bat poop—guano—all over the place, you’ve got a problem

Bats are a critical part of the ecosystem, controlling the insect population. It’s impractical, inhumane, and probably illegal to kill them, so you have to go through a live exclusion. If the infestation is large or has been recurrent over years, call in a pro for both exclusion and cleanup. Every state has a wildlife or conservation department that can help you find a licensed wildlife removal specialist

Inspection

Where are the bats getting in? Do a sunny-day inspection to look for missing roof shingles, deteriorating eaves, holes in soffits, etc. Then watch the house (all sides) on a warm, clear summer evening, beginning just before dusk, noting any bat activity. Also, entry points may have “bat tracks,” or greasy brown marks, around them.

Exclusion

The process of exclusion involves using netting or tubes at entry points, which allow the bats to drop down and take flight but which confound re-entry. The excluders are left in place for a week, so that the bats give up. After they’re gone, the plugging and sealing and caulking can take place.

 

How to Get Rid of Bats

Bloodsuckers! Vampires! Dracula!

Those are some of the first thoughts people naturally tend to have when the subject of bats comes up. It’s understandable but entirely unnecessary. As it turns out, bats are some of the most harmless, inoffensive creatures on earth. Your cat or dog is more likely to bite you than a bat.

Bats aren’t related to rodents either, as many people suppose. The old trope of ‘flying rats’ is unwarranted. Nor are they blind during the day. They’re nocturnal, of course, but their eyes are perfectly normal and they can see just fine in daylight.

What Attracts Bats in the First Place?

The first step in getting rid of bats is to know what they’re attracted to and what kind of environment they prefer. Once you know that, you’ll know where to look for them and how to get rid of them if you have a bat problem.

Cave Dwellers

Bats in the wild are cave dwellers, hiding from the sun during the day. The rough surfaces of rocks give their clawed feet good purchase to cling to when they sleep upside-down during the day. A colony of bats in a cave are mostly females, taking care of their baby bats, called pups.

Food Sources

When the sun sets, bats quit roosting and fly out of their living space to go hunting. Incidentally, bats are the only mammals that can fly. So-called flying squirrels can’t fly.  They jump then glide on the outstretched membrane between their legs but they don’t actually fly.

 

Getting Rid of Bats From Your Home, Property

If you have a bat colony living in your home or find a lone bat in your yard, here’s what you need to know about these creatures before you evict them yourself, or call a wildlife removal professional that has exclusion devices.

Problems Caused by Bats

Bozone says bats can pose some serious health risks to people if you get a bat infestation in your home, sheds and other areas of your property.

If you compromise the droppings without precautions, you can cause histoplasmosis. It is an infection caused by breathing in spores of the fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. Professional bat poop cleaners use respirators.

Getting Rid of a Single Bat Inside Your Home

Turn on lights in the house to see the bat. They can see you. The myth was wrong. Bats can see and are not afraid of the light. Close doors to adjoining rooms and open exterior doors and windows in the room to allow the pest to fly out.

Don’t Touch a Bat

Handling the bat with bare hands is definitely a no-no. It could bite you to protect itself, just like any animal. If it does bite someone or transfer saliva to someone’s open wound, eyes, mouth or nose, go to the emergency room quickly. Save the bat, too, to be tested for rabies.

 

How To: Get Rid of Bats

The good news: Bats are not aggressive. The bad news: If there are bats in your house, it’s only a matter of time before their waste begins to pose a serious problem.

Health concerns aside—and there are indeed viable health concerns—bat droppings and urine can actually destroy wood and other building materials, gradually compromising the structural integrity of your home.

So even if you are not skittish and don’t mind the idea of bats dwelling under your roof, there are very good, rational reasons to act fast. Follow the steps outlined below about how to get rid of bats and prevent them from returning.

Research local laws

Familiarize yourself with local laws. In most states, bats are a protected species, which means that it’s illegal to kill them. One humane approach is to install a bat house on your property prior to evicting your unwanted guests. Chances are that once barred entry to your home, the bats would take up residence in the new accommodations you’ve prepared. From there, you could count on the bats to continue their beneficial service of eating the insects on your property.

Identify the bat type

When you’re trying to get rid of bats, it’s essential to figure out what type of bat you’re dealing with. So the first thing to do is learn what types of bats are common in your neck of the woods. Next, try to get a good look at the bats, if you haven’t already, so you can compare your observations to your research. Vampire aficionados could easily guess that your best chances of seeing a bat are at dusk and dawn.

Discover The Benefits Of Dermatologist Acne Treatments

Tips for Choosing the Best Dermatologist

Dermatologists are specially qualified to treat people of all ages for conditions related to your skin, hair, and nails. There’s no denying that finding the right dermatologist for your needs requires time and effort

Referrals, Reviews, & Satisfaction Surveys

Take time to get referrals from family, friends, or your primary care doctor. Ask them about their experience, the facility, and how pleased they were with results. Reading reviews can provide insight into how a dermatologist interacts with patients during the consultation phase, as well as before, during, and after the procedure. Satisfaction surveys can reveal former patients’ views on scheduling, wait times, and friendliness of the staff.

Board Certification

Board certification tells you whether a dermatologist has the specific required training and skills for their medical specialty.  It can also be used to see if the physician has a history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. This information can be found on most state websites. Dr. Amy Witt is a board-certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology with no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions

Experience & Specialization

Experience with your particular procedure or condition can contribute to better outcomes. Dermatologists can complete additional education and training for specialization. This is extremely valuable when it comes to treating certain conditions.

Research Facility Quality

Considering the facility where your procedure will take place is important for your dermatologic care if you need skin surgery. Patients at top-rated facilities may have fewer complications and better outcomes. At Derrow Dermatology, your procedure is done in our clean, state-of-the-art office.

 

American Academy of Dermatology

Don’t prescribe oral antifungal therapy for suspected nail fungus without confirmation of fungal infection.

Approximately half of nails with suspected fungus do not have a fungal infection. As other nail conditions, such as nail dystrophies, may look similar in appearance, it is important to ensure accurate diagnosis of nail disease before beginning treatment. By confirming a fungal infection, patients are not inappropriately at risk for the side effects of antifungal therapy, and nail disease is correctly treated.

Don’t perform sentinel lymph node biopsy or other diagnostic tests for the evaluation of early, thin melanoma because they do not improve survival.

Patients with early, thin melanoma, such as melanoma in situ, T1a melanoma or T1b melanoma ≤ 0.5mm, have a very low risk of the cancer spreading to the lymph nodes or other parts in the body. Further, patients with early, thin melanoma have a 97 percent five-year survival rate which also indicates a low risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body. As such, the performance of sentinel lymph node biopsy is unnecessary.

Don’t treat uncomplicated, nonmelanoma skin cancer less than 1 centimeter in size on the trunk and extremities with Mohs micrographic surgery.

In healthy individuals, the use of Mohs micrographic surgery for low-risk small (< 1cm), superficial or non-aggressive (based on appearance under a microscope) squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas is inappropriate for skin cancers on the trunk and extremities. In these areas of the body, the clinical benefits of this specialized surgical procedure do not exceed the potential risks. It is important to note that Mohs micrographic surgery may be considered for skin cancers appearing on the hands, feet, ankles, shins, nipples or genitals, as they have been shown to have a higher risk for recurrence or require additional surgical considerations

Don’t use oral antibiotics for treatment of atopic dermatitis unless there is clinical evidence of infection.

The presence of high numbers of the Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacteria on the skin of children and adults with atopic dermatitis (AD) is quite common. While it is widely believed that Staph bacteria may play a role in causing skin inflammation, the routine use of oral antibiotic therapy to decrease the amount of bacteria on the skin has not been definitively shown to reduce the signs, symptoms (e.g., redness, itch) or severity of atopic dermatitis. In addition, if oral antibiotics are used when there is not an infection, it may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance. The use of oral antibiotics also can cause side effects, including hypersensitivity reactions (exaggerated immune responses, such as allergic reactions). Although it can be difficult to determine the presence of a skin infection in atopic dermatitis patients, oral antibiotics should only be used to treat patients with evidence of bacterial infection in conjunction with other standard and appropriate treatments for atopic dermatitis

Don’t routinely use topical antibiotics on a surgical wound.

Any possible reduction in the rate of infection from the use of topical antibiotics on clean surgical wounds compared to the use of non-antibiotic ointment or no ointment is quite small. Risk reduction may be overshadowed by the risks of wound irritation or contact dermatitis. When topical antibiotics are used in this setting, there is a significant risk of developing contact dermatitis, a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore or inflamed after direct contact with a substance, along with the potential for developing antibiotic resistance. Only wounds that show symptoms of infection should receive appropriate antibiotic treatment.

 

A melanoma survivor’s tips for finding a dermatologist

As a melanoma survivor, I know how important it is to find the right dermatologist. After all, I’ve spent my fair share of time doing just that. My husband is in the Army, and we move often. Each time, I have to find a new dermatologist. It is one of the most stressful parts of moving around for me. It takes a while to build mutual trust

Are they listening to me?

Like really listening. I spotted the abnormal mole that led to my original melanoma diagnosis. It was just a gut feeling. No, I’m not a doctor, but I do know my body and expect my dermatologist to at least listen and acknowledge my questions and concerns. In the same breath, however, I need my dermatologist to hear me when I say I’m anxious. I would have them remove all of my skin if that were a possibility! So, I also need my dermatologist to rein me in and help me determine what really needs to be examined or removed

Are they using their eyes and hands to examine my skin?

This was a tip I learned from my oncologist at MD Anderson. Good dermatologists cover every inch of your skin with not only their eyes, but with their hands as well. Skin cancers can present as tiny flesh colored bumps under the skin that can only be discovered by touch.

Look for a dermatologist focused on skin cancer or melanoma.

It probably goes without saying that I look for a dermatologist with a skin cancer specialty or extensive experience with melanoma, not a cosmetic dermatologist.

What is the dermatologist’s style as a physician?

Is the dermatologist conservative when it comes to taking off abnormal moles? Aggressive? Is he or she going to take everything off, or just wait and see? Personally, I like a healthy balance of the two styles. It just depends on what’s best for you and where you’re at in your skin cancer journey.

 

How to Know When You Need a Dermatologist

For a variety of reasons, many people seek professional help as a last resort to their problems. As a general rule, treating budding health conditions early leads to a quicker recovery and better overall health. This concept might be a bit better-accepted when it comes to your primary care provider and your dentist, but what about your dermatologist? The following examines the reasons why you should consider seeing a dermatologist, along with some tips on choosing the right care provider for your needs.

When should I see a dermatologist?

If you only recently began developing a mild case of adult acne, you should first try making some changes to your everyday routine. Refer to our publications on some of the top causes of acne and secrets for preventing acne to get a better idea of how you can change your lifestyle to foster clearer, healthier skin.

If your acne persists, or even gets worse, see a dermatologist immediately, rather than panicking and overloading your skin with different products and treatments. Keep in mind that wait times are often greater for specialist care providers like dermatologists.

How do I choose the right dermatologist?

This first thing you’ll want to do is review your health insurance plan and determine which dermatologists are covered under your plan. There are a number of rating sites online, such as Zocdoc and Healthgrades, that feature ratings, reviews, and other helpful information about the specialists you’re considering. You can also do some preliminary research on the official website of each practitioner.

 

When to Have Cosmetic Dermatology and How to Choose a Provider

If one needs a cosmetic dermatologist, it is not always easy to know if that is where one should go, or if the visit should be to another type of medical provider. The short list of issues that can be treated by an expert in cosmetic dermatology would number in the thousands. In fact, a dermatologist is able to “diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different conditions in patients of all ages, from birth to old age. These include, amongst many others, acne, eczema, skin cancer and psoriasis.” They also address issues with the nails and hair.

And a cosmetic dermatologist is also trained in the use of esthetic treatments, which means they can address everything from scars and age spots to lines, wrinkles and more. They can remove a mole, help with pigmentation, and other issues.

Yet, they are also going to be able to understand such complex matters as the structure of the face, and its layers of fat, bone, muscle and skin. They will be able to look at one’s skin and its condition and know how all of the underlying tissue is causing any problems or concerns. They will then know how to use any number of fillers, treatments, and other remedies to improve the appearance, as well as the overall health, of the skin.

Use the Internet– The Internet offers a vast amount of information andit is incredibly helpful when seeking a medical expert, including a provider of cosmetic dermatology. First and foremost, a basic search can reveal all of the local options. Take the time to click around and read the biographies of the various practitioners. One wants to see that a cosmetic dermatologist truly specializes in that field. Skip the general practitioner or other specialist offering skin treatments in addition to their actual area of specialization. Look at reviews and feedback and narrow it down only to those who really focus on cosmetic dermatology.

Look for diversity– The world of cosmetic dermatology is full of solutions and treatments, and they change all of the time. While a person definitely wants to see things like Botox on a doctor’s list of available treatments, it’s also important to see that they are getting themselves trained in the latest innovations, too. Look to see what sort of fillers and injectables they make available. Are they skilled with desirable treatments like CoolSculpting and Ultherapy (these are non-invasive devices that are used for body sculpting, including the chin and neck areas)? One wants to see that the dermatologist is taking steps to remain up to date and well versed in the latest technologies.

Checklist For The Hen Party Planner

HOW TO CHOOSE A PARTY PLANNER SCHOOL

Have you always been an outgoing, organized person with an eye for detail? Do you love to have fun and encourage others around you to enjoy themselves? If so, an event planning career could be the perfect fit for you. Once you’ve made the decision to pursue this career path, it’s time to become properly trained and certified. After all, you want to offer your clients the very best planning services, and you can’t do so without the right knowledge and skills under your belt.

Because the right training can make or break your event planning career, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why we’re here to help you choose the right party planner school for your interests and career goals. Read on and take notes!

What to watch out for

Instead of diving into what a party planning school should offer you, we’re going to start with a list of poor practices you should be mindful of (a hall of shame, if you will). Not all party planner schools are created equal, which is actually positive! You have a number of options when choosing the right training, but you need a trained eye to know what to look for. Here are some very common practices common amongst subpar party planning schools

No hands-on training

Many career-focused schools will provide students with piles of course textbooks, knowing that the student will gain the skills they need by studying. If you’ve got your sights set on party planning, however, your education will look very different. Event planning is one of the most hands-on, practical careers out there, and you’ll only learn through doing. This is why it’s vital for your party planner school to have a lengthy list of practical assignments that cover topics ranging from sourcing decorations online to coming up with a theme for a baby shower. You’ll need to be able to think on your feet in this industry and to consider all possibilities when planning an event.

Inexperienced tutors

As a student in any course, you need to be mentored and nurtured by your instructor. Specifically, as an aspiring party planner, you need to be shown the ropes in a variety of different ways. Critical thinking skills will ensure you provide your clients with the best possible service, while an ability to budget and see the big picture will allow you to plan the best events possible. The instructor of your party planning courses, therefore, needs to have some serious industry experience under their belt and has to be willing to share their expertise and insider tips with you as the student. Otherwise, how will you possibly learn?

 

Hosting a teenage party

It’s possible to host a fun and memorable party for your child that their friends and their parents will be comfortable with.

Planning a safe party

The Safe party planner is helpful when you’re deciding with your child how their party will be organised and run on the night, and makes sure everyone is on the same page. This includes how alcohol, smoking, and other drugs are going to be managed.

Planning the details

Discussing the following can help make sure everyone’s got the same expectations about the party and has a good time.

Guest list: Talk about how many people you feel comfortable with, the ages of guests, and whether known ‘trouble-makers’ will be invited

Start and finish time: Agree on the start and finish time, including specifics of when the music will be turned off and drinks stopped. A pre-determined time will make it easier to pull the plug

 

HOW TO PLAN A PARTY + FREE PARTY PLANNING CHECKLIST

planning a party can be a stressful business! There’s so much to organise and if you leave it until the last-minute, it’s easy to forget about important party essentials.

Choose your party theme

This one’s a biggie because you can’t really plan anything until you’ve chosen your party theme. But there are so many themes to choose from that you can feel a bit spoilt for choice!

Define your budget

Next up, decide how much you want to spend. This is really important because the cost can really add up when you impulse buy. The best way to avoid over-spending is to set a budget and stick to it.

Set a date, choose your venue and prepare the guest list

These are the nitty gritty details that are best sorted out early on. Throwing your party at home and limiting the guest list to a reasonable number is one of the best ways to throw a party on a budget, but if you can afford to be a bit more extravagant why not hire a venue?

Send your invites

There’s no point planning a party if you don’t give people enough notice to save the date. We’d recommend sending your invites about three weeks before the party to avoid people making conflicting plans. Personalised invitations can be a nice little touch if you’re celebrating a really special occasion like en engagement or a baby shower.

 

EVENT PLANNING

We’ve talked a lot about event planning details. We’ve gone over how to hire entertainment for your event, what to ask when choosing vendors, and how to choose a venue. But if you are a first-time event planner, then even these tasks can seem overwhelming and foreign. No amount of training or reading can truly prepare you for planning an event for the first time. Whether it’s a corporate event, wedding, or conference, the tasks related to planning such an event can seem never-ending and unmanageable to someone who’s new to event planning.

But while things can seem overwhelming, they can also have a high reward and can be a great opportunity to learn how to negotiate, schedule, and network. These skills are valuable outside of the realm of event planning, so it’s a nice opportunity to take what you’ve learned and apply it elsewhere

EVENT PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Set a goal. As with any task, it’s impossible to track progress or measure success if you don’t have clear goals in mind. What do you want to accomplish with your event? How will you know if it was successful? Before you ever call a vendor or venue, be sure you know exactly what it is you want to get out of your event.

Put a team together. Though you may be tasked with putting on your event, it should not be a one-person show. Event planning requires a lot of heavy lifting – both in reality and metaphorically – and one person cannot do everything on their own. Just because you need a team, however, does not mean you have to assemble it all on your own. Putting together a team could simply mean hiring third party event vendors, such as AV providers and caterers, to help you with execution. Whoever you choose to put on your team, just make sure you have people you can depend upon that are in your corner.

Set a date and choose a venue. These should come immediately after you’ve identified your team members. The venue is typically the most difficult piece of the puzzle to lock in, so be sure you choose your date early and contact venues you like as soon as you have the date set. Waste no time in securing your venue space.

 

How to start a party and event planning business

Are you organised, creative and client-focused? Learn how to become an event planner or party planner and start an events business with our guide

It may sound niche, but party and events planning is actually a multi-billion-pound industry with plenty of demand across the UK. After all, who doesn’t love a good knees-up?

What’s better still is that you don’t necessarily need a history in events planning to start your own business. However, one of the risks involved with working in events is that the popularity of this fun and creative industry does mean it’s a saturated market.

Define your event planning business idea

When it comes to starting an events company, you’ll first need to decide on the type of events services you want to offer

Researching the competition online

Often a simple Google search will show you who the events businesses in your local area are, but the ONS, the FSB and the British Chambers of Commerce also hold more specific, publicly accessible information about different businesses.

Ideas For Wedding Dj

Should You Have a Band or DJ for Your Wedding Reception Music?

Can’t decide who should play your wedding tunes? Here’s everything you need to know to find the right music maker for your day.

A band has its pros and cons.

There’s nothing like a live wedding band to get a crowd excited and create a sense of sophistication. A good bandleader will play the master of ceremonies at your reception, interacting with folks on the dance floor, paying attention to the “feel” of the room and selecting music accordingly.

  • Pros: Live music is, well, live. You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a performance. Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious horn section interlude to a moving solo.
  • Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they can’t have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand. And if you want to hear a song the exact way the original artist performed it, you may not get what you want.

And so does a DJ.

Today’s DJs are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. The songs played will sound exactly as you want them to, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they could take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

  • Pros: If there are a dozen songs you’re dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won’t be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.
  • Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to request the “Chicken Dance.”

 

PICK ONE: DJ OR IPOD

My team and I see equal amounts of both self- and pro-DJed weddings, and what I generally tell our clients if they’re trying to decide between the two is:

  • If one of your top three priorities for your wedding is “completely killer dance party” then go out and get yourselves a really good DJ. Or if you want music, but don’t care to put the time or energy into it? DJ!
  • If you’d like people who want to dance to be able to, and you’d like to dance, but it’s not one of your top priorities? Or if you have VERY strong opinions about music? Start building your playlist.

DJs have one giant advantage over iPods, which is that they have a huge selection of music at their fingertips and can adjust to the mood of the crowd immediately. A good DJ’s job is to read the crowd and keep them dancing—they have experience doing exactly this, and are able to switch gears seamlessly when it turns out your crowd is more Katy Perry than Rolling Stones (or vice versa). They can also troubleshoot technical issues seamlessly and adjust volume levels between speakers, music, and microphones (for ceremony, toasts, etc.) easily. They can also give you tips on dance floor set up, volume for different phases of the night, and the music flow for a party. They’re there to make the party happen, and the best ones are very, very good at it.

 

How many hours do I need when hiring a wedding DJ?

We get this question a lot. Ultimately it depends on if you need the DJ for just your reception or for both your ceremony and reception. Typically for a reception it’s about 5 hours but some will only do 4 hours to shave costs. If adding a ceremony then an average amount of time is 6 hours for both your ceremony and reception however we also have seen 5 hours for both to help shave costs.

If you include the ceremony then this is what’s typical of the DJ:

  1. Prelude music 30 minutes to start of ceremony as guests are arriving and being seated waiting for the ceremony to start.
  2. Processional song for the wedding party
  3. Processional song for the bride
  4. Possible music in middle of ceremony for unity sand or other similar event
  5. Recessional music for bride, groom and wedding party after being introduced as husband and wife.

As you can see there are a lot of different things to consider. Wedding ceremonies usually only need one hour for everything from the prelude music all the way to the recessional song at the end. Receptions typically require 2 hours of background music for cocktails and dinner and then 3 hours of dancing and everything in between.

 

Is it OK if Guests Miss the “Cake Cutting”?

A DJ is really more than a DJ. A good DJ often doesn’t get the respect they deserve, to be honest. A good DJ puts a lot of time and effort into choosing music that fits a particular crowd and the personalities of the people getting married.

A good DJ does research and asks questions to find out where the couple is from, what their backgrounds are… to see if some special culturally-significant pieces of music can be played at some point in the night. And they are also… the master of ceremonies, also known as a “wedding host.” Which means they tell us all what to do!

A DJ makes the important announcements throughout the evening to inform guests of what’s going on and to make sure there aren’t lulls. I have to say that I don’t LOVE that this has become a necessity for the modern wedding, and I still don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, but I understand it. What I mean is that I wish that as wedding guests (and couples), we were all MUCH more relaxed in our expectations of weddings and wedding announcements. I wish we didn’t feel like we had to follow these strict minute-by-minute timelines (and you don’t… but you’ll feel like you do) but because this is the modern expectation. SIGH, SORRY that was long-winded.

Basically, your wedding DJ will tell your guests when the speeches are happening, when to eat, sit down, when to gather for certain traditions (parent dances, first dance, cake cutting, garter and bouquet tosses), etc. If these things are important to you, it’s worth it to hire a professional DJ.

 

What You’ll Need to DIY DJ Your Wedding

Obviously, you’ll need a reliable digital player such as an iPod capable of holding enough music. We recommend that you have a playlist that is an hour or two longer than the length of your reception, which will allow you to start the music before guests arrive and have backup songs. You’ll also need a good speaker system, a mixing console, a microphone (either wireless or with a long enough cable), and a cable to connect the Mp3 player – most likely a mini-stereo to dual RCA (male) cord, depending on your mixing console.

Have a Backup Plan and a Backup Backup Plan

Along with your main digital player and its power cable, it’s a good idea to bring a second digital player or a laptop – all loaded with your music. You’ll also want to have on hand the name of an equipment rental company who does last-minute deliveries. In case no one is dancing and you need to switch directions, you’ll want that extra hour or two of music mentioned above. Odds are, you won’t need any of your backups, but the cliché of “it’s better to be safe than sorry” is especially true in this case.

Read About Selecting Long Distance Moving Companies

Helpful Tips That Can Help You Plan Your Next Long Distance Move

Many moving companies suggest that you plan ahead before you make a long distance move to a new home. This is good advice to follow because if can help you avoid many of the hassles and nightmares that may accompany a cross-country move.

Here are some moving tips that can help you plan your long distance move.

1) Be sure to make a list of your belongings before you hire a moving company.

It’s important to make an accurate list of your belongings in advance because it can help you resolve logistics problems that might occur during a long distance move. This is the case because moving companies use these lists to help them determine the number of movers and vehicles needed to complete your project.

2) Be sure to locate specially designed containers for your breakable items.

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding your prized china in thousands of pieces after you’ve moved to a new home. An easy way to solve this problem is to use specially designed containers that can protect your breakable items. Most local moving companies sell these containers at an affordable price. As a result, be sure to ask your local moving company for more information about these containers if you’re planning on transporting breakable items.

3) Be sure to make a plan for your automobile for its long distance move.

Many long distance moving companies report that some people forget to prepare their vehicles for a long distance move. This lack of preparation can be disastrous because you could seriously damage your vehicle during the moving process without some sort of preparation.

 

How to Plan a Long-distance Move

Planning a Long Distance Move

If you haven’t cleaned your closets in a decade, don’t panic. Perspective is everything. Think of those stacked and crammed artifacts as archaeological finds that will help reveal, and sometimes exorcise, your past. It probably isn’t the labor that’s making you apprehensive anyway, it’s the time crunch. Start laying the groundwork today to make the actual moving part of your relocation go smoothly. These tips will help:

  • Know where you’re going – If you’re moving to a loft in the city, that extra bedroom set will just get in your way, and you can probably lose the cross-country skis, too. Taking your new digs into account will give you important information about what’s sensible to take with you and what isn’t. The available space, your new lifestyle and the weather will give you clues, too. If you have pets, you’ll want to find out about state and city ordinances regarding inoculations, leash laws, and limits on the number or types of pets you can keep. Start gathering important details about schools, vehicle laws, the vagaries of insurance and even the bylaws for your housing complex.
  • Develop a system – You’ll likely have items you want to keep, items you want to sell, stuff you want to give away and junk you want to trash. As you go through your belongings, organize them into these four categories. If you’re packing your belongings yourself, you should also consider taking a hint from the professionals who pack for a living. They pack items a room at a time. That way, the unpacking will go easier on the other end. If you’re looking for a frying pan when you get to your destination, at least you’ll know it’s in one of the kitchen boxes.
  • Apply the one-year rule – If you haven’t used an item in a year, consider donating it to someone who will use it. Carting around those skinny jeans and the apple corer your aunt gave you last Christmas might seem like a good idea, but the truth is that you may never revisit either of those items, and paying to transport and store them is just wasteful.
  • Get help – You might have to mount a big move on your own, but getting professional help is the best way to go by far. Professional movers know how to pack and transport a houseful of belongings with a minimum of breakage and fuss. Make sure you understand the details, though. Knowing when your new residence will be available and getting your belongings there at the right time is important. Misjudging the delivery date could be an expensive mistake if you have to ask a mover to hold your items for a few days. Insist on written agreements with your new landlord and your mover; ask lots of questions, and read the fine print. Moving is full of small details, and getting them right will make your life easier.
  • Have a schedule – Time can get away from you when you’re in the middle of a move, so put together a moving calendar or organizer to make sure you stay on target. Where moving is concerned, some chores are time sensitive and others, like packing the Christmas ornaments, can be done well in advance. Decide which is which, and make yourself a handy cheat sheet.

 

Label all your moving boxes

Some tips for planning a long distance move may not seem that important to you, but trust us – they are. A classic example is the act of labeling your moving boxes after you’ve filled them up.

  • DO NOT underestimate the importance of labeling your boxes. If you do, you will lose precious time locating and identifying all unmarked boxes after the move.
  • LABEL each box on at least two of its sides as soon as you’re done packing it. Write down its contents, destination room, and special handling instructions, if any.
  • DESIGNATE a different color for each destination room, either through the use of color markers or multicolor labels

 

MOVING DAY

Have Water Bottles On-Hand

Moving is a strenuous and exhausting process. The last thing you want is for anyone to become dehydrated on moving day. To prevent this from happening, be sure to have plenty of water bottles on-hand for your friends and movers.

Take Inventory

Take inventory of all belongings. This way you can keep track of what you have and what the movers are transporting. Check your driver’s inventory sheet as well. If anything is missing or damaged make a note of this beforehand. It may also be a good idea to take photos of fragile items such as appliances or lamps for liability coverage and insurance purposes.

Do a Final Sweep of the House

To avoid leaving anything behind, be sure to do one final sweep of your home before you move out. Don’t forget to look in your bathtubs, washers, dryers, kitchen cabinets and any other easy-to-miss spots.

Hand Over the Keys

Unless you’re planning to come back after the move to tie up loose ends, go ahead and hand over the keys to your landlord or new owners.

 

Save money where you can 

If you’re in between jobs, you might be trying to save as much money as possible during your long-distance move. If that’s the case, the best long distance moving tip for you is to try to do-it-yourself as much as you can. Whether it’s packing, cleaning, and organizing with only the help of your friends, or getting rid of as much as possible in order to save money on your moving company, you can get creative in this process. The downside is that this method takes more time. However, if you ask your friends for help, you might actually enjoy DIY-ing parts of your move.

Sewer Inspection Saves the Pocket

HELPFUL TIPS ON CHOOSING THE BEST PLUMBING AND SEWER EXCAVATION COMPANY

A septic system can last up to 25 years, though this depends on how well it’s maintained as well as its design. Even so, there are times when major issues happen leaving one with no choice but to call plumbing experts. Some of these problems are so serious that it becomes necessary to inspect sewer pipe lining underground.

WATER LINE EXCAVATION

Water and sewer lines get damaged whenever soil expands and consequently causes pipes to shift. Tree and plant roots are yet another cause of trouble that makes water line excavations necessary. After a while, the roots invade main water pipes and cause breaks and cracks in the process. The pipes in your home then start draining slower, and this tells you that it’s time to seek professional help. Ignoring will only make the problem worse and you might end up paying a fortune.

CERTIFICATION

Truth be told, excavation work isn’t for every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and that’s why you need to check for certification. Serious players in this line of work will always have their documentation in order. With proper certification, you can be sure that you are dealing with people trained to handle jobs like water line excavation.

EXPERIENCE

A lot could go wrong when going about tasks such as water line excavation. The slightest mistake could set in motion other issues that could be pricey to fix. However, an experienced company knows all the dos and don’ts to ensure the job is done correctly from the beginning to the end.

REPUTATION

Professional service providers always have their clients’ interests at heart. Plumbing and sewer excavation companies are no exception and you should only consider those with a good reputation. With excellent reputation comes great reliability that ensures the job gets completed in good time. Avoid companies whose reputation is questionable.

 

Tips on choosing a Sewer Inspection Camera

Sewer inspection cameras are widely used by plumbers, contractors, engineers, home inspectors, municipal workers and other professionals for inspecting areas that are typically difficult to see, that is pipeline interiors, spaces behind walls, inside a drain and other hard-to-reach places. So, if you are thinking of purchasing a sewer inspection camera, first, you need to consider what it is you are going to use it for. Should it be water- and chemicals-proof? How much light will you need? How long should the insertion probe be? etc.

Insertion probe:

Length. It should be long enough to go from one manhole to another. The length of the probes varies from 20 to 120 meters (65.6′ – 394′). In case you need a more extended probe, you may need a reel with a stand to roll the probe, for additional comfort.

Camera:

Illumination. Since you are planning to inspect hard-to-see areas, you will need enough light to explore it. The brighter the light source, the better is the image. Search for sewer inspection cameras with adjustable, bright LED lights.

Monitor hub:

Screen. The screen should give you a clear picture of the area you are inspecting. Than wider screen and higher resolution than better. Pro models are equipped with a Daylight Readable Monitor

General characteristics:

Weight and handle. The sewer inspection camera should be lightweight and have a comfortable grip, especially if you are planning to use it for long periods.

 

CHOOSING THE BEST SEWER CAMERAS FOR A SUCCESSFUL PLUMBING BUSINESS

Every plumber or drain cleaning professional needs to have three essential tools to get the job done right: a portable water jetter, a cable machine, and most importantly, a sewer camera. Why the emphasis on the sewer camera? That’s because this equipment is essential to the accurate detection and diagnosis of piping and draining problems. Consequently, you need to equip yourself with the best sewer cameras for responding to an emergency plumbing call.

High-Tech Features

Every sewer inspection tool you use should be up to date so you can take advantage of the most advanced features. One particular quality you should look for in a sewer camera is versatility. It should be able to do any type of job without difficulty, whether you’re using it in a city’s main line or in residential sewers. Today’s most high-tech sewer cameras offer a variety of features like HD-quality pictures, lamp lights, thick cables for larger lines and battery operation capabilities. If these features sound good to you, you’re probably looking for a high-grade push camera inspection system. This handy tool may not look like much, but it can easily fit into even the smallest pipes, and allow you to save recorded footages in portable media.

Find a Reliable Supplier

Not every sewer camera in the market offers the same level of quality and set of features. Inspect each choice up close, therefore, before you decide to buy. These tools, after all, are valuable assets for your business. Find a reliable supplier who can provide you with a wide range of choices and follow-up service when you need it.

Ask for a Demonstration

No smart businessman will put down money for something he can’t try out first. Always ask your supplier for a demonstration of the equipment that interests you. This way, you will get an idea of how the equipment works and if it suits your needs.

Having quality sewer inspection equipment can go a long way toward the success of your plumbing business. Suppliers like Haaker Equipment Company can provide you with the best tools and products that you need.

 

What Your Need to Know About Sewer & Drain Inspections

Sewers and drain lines are an integral part of your home’s plumbing system, providing you with the ability to safely remove waste from the home. This may be human waste, such as from the toilet, or it may be waste water from bathing, washing hands, cooking and other related activities. This waste water washes down through the drains and into the sewer line as it leaves your property. You may not realize it but your drains as well as your sewer line need to be inspected periodically for the well-being of your property.

Why Sewers and Drains Need to Be Inspected

Sewers and drains can both become clogged or damaged, and an inspection can help you to determine the true condition of your pipes. These pipes are critical to your home’s condition, and damaged pipes can interfere with your ability to use the sewer line. Damage can also cause property damage to your home. For example, some clogged drains or damaged sewer lines can result in sewage waste spilling back into the home. This can cause an unhealthy, stinky mess as well as the potential for water damage and more. Inspecting the lines periodically is a great way to learn about potential issues that are developing before they become problematic.

Different Drain and Sewer Inspection Techniques

There are different techniques that are commonly used today to inspect drains and sewer lines. Some plumbing companies, for example, will push a snake-like device through the pipe to ensure that it is clean, and some will clean the pipes during this process. This will check for signs of a clog, but it will not be able to determine if there is a crack or leak in the pipe. Cracks and leaks are common in the pipes outside of the home, such as with the main sewer line. This is because the pipe can settle when the ground settles, or tree roots can impact it.

The Best Sewer and Drain Inspection Method

The better method to use when inspecting a drain or sewer line is a video inspection method. With this method, a camera will be inserted into the drain line and through the sewer line. The plumber will be able to view the pipe from the interior, and this includes the entire length of the pipe. Many areas of the pipe may be hidden in walls, a concrete foundation or underground, so the ability to see inside the pipe is a true benefit. If damage is found, it can easily be pinpointed so that repair work can be completed quickly

When to Schedule a Sewer and Drain Inspection

The best time to contact a plumber to schedule a sewer and drain inspection is once per year. This will help you to keep your home in the best possible condition and will alert you to any possible signs of damage that require repair work before they turn into major issues for you. However, it is important to schedule an inspection if you believe that there may be something wrong with your system. For example, your toilets and drains may all be sluggish, and you may worry that you have a clog in the main sewer line. An inspection can tell you what you need to know.

 

Why a Sewer Inspection Is Critical Before Buying a House

Most home buyers today wouldn’t think about closing their purchase without getting a general house inspection. That’s particularly so with older homes, but many also elect to have new buildings examined by an independent third party. Inspections are excellent insurance for discovering existing and potential problems. Unfortunately, most home inspectors fail to examine the sewer lines, which can turn out to be a critical and costly mistake.

Why Inspectors Overlook Sewer Systems

Inspectors might overlook the sewer system for two reasons. One is that the vast majority of a sewer system is underground. It’s out of sight and out of mind. The second reason is that most home inspectors don’t have the specialized equipment or knowledge necessary to do a proper sewer line inspection

This isn’t a slam against house inspectors. Far from it. Many inspectors are extremely competent and have a vast amount of general building knowledge. It’s tough to be an overall expert when you consider just how many pieces there are in a home’s systems. Just the plumbing system alone is extensive, and good inspectors know what plumbing features to check before buying a home.

Sewer Repairs Can Be Extremely Expensive

You might wonder, “Do I need a sewer line inspection before buying a house?” The answer is yes. A sewer inspection should be a mandatory part of your house inspection checklist. When considering what inspections to get when buying a house, do not overlook the sewer line. In fact, getting a sewer inspection is one of the most important home inspection tips for first-time buyers. Sewer line inspections are cheap, but sewer repairs can be extremely expensive. Why spend the money on a repair when you could have avoided with a simple inspection?

The Worst-Case Sewer Line Scenario

Consider this worst-case scenario. After months of shopping, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It’s a heritage home and at the top end of your budget, but appears to be a good deal. You’ve done your due diligence and hired a home inspector. The report came back with a clean bill of health, and you happily move in. But, three months later, you have a problem.

Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Naturally For A Pest Free Home

HOW DO BED BUGS REPRODUCE AND HOW OFTEN?

Stopping the spread of bed bugs can be a difficult task, although new studies on bed bug reproduction are exploring how to reduce the frequency of mating. To understand how bed bugs spread, it is helpful to understand their mating habits.

HOW DO BED BUGS REPRODUCE?

On average, female bed bugs lay about one to seven eggs per day after a blood feeding has taken place. However, the mating process can sometimes be difficult for the female bed bug. Frequent mating can cause injury. As a result, female bed bugs do not necessarily produce more eggs with increased mating sessions. Instead, a female bed bug is more likely to travel away from her original location to an area where she can guarantee a food source and a lack of mates. With lack of disruption and access to food, a female bed bug can lay many eggs.

HOW MANY EGGS CAN A FEMALE BED BUG LAY?

On average, a female bed bug with access to regular meals will lay anywhere from 200 to 250 eggs during her lifetime. Because mating causes scarring, a female that has mated multiple times during a short period will lay fewer eggs than a female who has had time to recover from the reproduction process. The need for females to protect themselves from future mating sessions has helped to increase the spread of bed bugs.

Pregnant female bed bugs are more likely to travel in an attempt to avoid being mated with again. A single pregnant female can cause an infestation of more than 5,000 bed bugs within a six-month period.

THE BED BUG REPRODUCTION CYCLE

Bed bug eggs take approximately six to 17 days to hatch. Hatched eggs are called nymphs. A nymph is not able to reproduce until it has fully matured. The length of time it takes for a nymph to mature depends on temperature. Eggs can hatch and become mature bed begs in as little as 21 days in warmer temperatures. It can take more than four months for the same process to occur in cooler temperatures. Nymphs can begin blood feeding as soon as they hatch. A single female bed bug can mate with any of her offspring after a nymph has fully matured.

REDUCING THE BED BUG REPRODUCTION CYCLE

A 2010 study conducted by Vincent Harraca from Lund University in Sweden revealed an alarm pheromone released by nymphs, and male bed bugs when approached, to prevent prowling males from attempting to mate. Mature males will attempt to mate with any bed bug that has recently fed. The fact that male mating is non-productive in propagating the bed bug population has inspired scientific research, which resulted in the discovery that immature nymphs and male bed bugs release a fear pheromone to prevent a mating attack. In the future, scientists hope to use this pheromone to reduce mating overall and lessen infestations.

 

Bad news: Bed bugs like the smell of your dirty laundry

Bed bugs are upsetting for a multitude of reasons. For one, they are tiny, flightless creatures that live only in crevices and holes, but that have somehow managed to spread across almost the entire planet. For another, well…we’ll get there. Let’s start with the colonization.

No one really knows how bed bugs travel. Much like the Black Death, they seem to crop up everywhere without any obvious signs of direct transmission. But this is not the Middle Ages. We are living in a post-germ theory world. So a group of intrepid entomologists at the University of Sheffield embarked on a quest to discover where these critters are hiding in an effort to stop them from infiltrating your mattress. They published their findings in Scientific Reports this week.

As is the case with most journeys, their quest began with clean clothes and ended with dirty ones. See, these scientists had a theory: it’s not just humans that bed bugs are attracted to, it’s the smell of a human. Bed bugs, along with mosquitoes and ticks and plenty of other blood-sucking creatures, find animals to feed on by detecting the carbon dioxide they exhale. Researchers who study these bugs can actually collect wild specimens by leaving a chunk of dry ice (which is just frozen carbon dioxide) out in the woods for an hour or two. When they return, it’s surrounded by vampiric critters. The gas indicates that some living, breathing thing is around packing a fresh supply of blood.

 

The Clan of the Common Bedbug

Comparison of DNA from Cimex lectularius varieties demonstrates that even though they are all of the same species, their lineages have diverged substantially. Booth and Balvín found 14 different lineages (haplotypes) of Cimex lectularius among their bat-biting subjects and 7 different lineages among the human-biters. That all ancestral bedbugs in the species started out their parasitic lifestyle on bats is suggested by the marked biodiversity of the bat-bugs, compared to the very limited diversity among the human-biters. Thus, once the varieties diverged, they apparently followed very different paths.

The DNA from human-biting bedbugs suggests a lot of inbreeding. Such a “founder effect” occurs when a population descends from a small group of isolated individuals. Genetic diversity is minimized. This “founder effect” is what we would expect if a few ancestral bat-biters sampled available humans where their paths crossed—perhaps in caves—and then reproduced exclusively in the new niches people provided.

 

MEDICAL IMPACT

After identification of bedbug bites, skin and infectious transmissible diseases are the 2 main medical concerns of human contact with the bedbugs .

Hosts are usually bitten at night. Because bedbug saliva contains anesthetic compounds, bites are painless and usually not felt until several hours later. Other compounds are also injected: anticoagulant factors (eg, factor-X inhibitor), vasodilatory compounds (such as nitric oxide), and proteolytic enzymes (eg, apyrase), which are all substances that participate in the ensuing local hypersensitivity reactions .

The typical skin lesion is a pruritic erythematous maculopapule, 5 mm to 2 cm in diameter, with a central hemorrhagic crust or vesicle at the bite site, similar to arthropod bites. Atypical forms vary from asymptomatic or pauci-symptomatic to purpuric, vesicular, and bullous lesions. The bedbug-bite distribution frequently follows a line or curve Lesion numbers range from several to many, depending on habitat-infestation intensity, and are preferentially located in unclothed zones. Sometimes, the eruption mimics urticaria Exceptional anemia  or anaphylactic reactions have been reported. Lesions resolve spontaneously within 2–6 weeks, but permanent postinflammatory hyperpigmentation may ensue .

 

A GOOD GUESS.

At normal room temperatures (72°F) and with ample feeding opportunity, bed bug nymphs require about a week for development of each instar between molts. Each molt leaves behind exuviae, the “shed skin.” In small infestations, these exuviae can be used to estimate a timeline. This method is limited, but can be useful under the right circumstances. For example, if a fourth instar bug is found alone in a mattress tuft along with some fecal spotting and three graduated exuviae, a reasonable guess would be that it has been using that harborage for at least two to three weeks.

Eggs take about 10 days to hatch at 72°F, so if you find hatched eggs attached to furniture, they’ve been there for at least that long. Newer eggs can be collected, and upon hatching provide an estimation of when they were laid.

Often a great indicator of how long an infestation has been around is the number of adult bed bugs present. Generally it takes at least seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult, so there should be no new adults from eggs during that period. Therefore, if many adult bugs are present one can reasonably assume that the infestation has been there for more than seven weeks. The assumption here is that the infestation started from only a few bugs and there have not been additional introductions during that time.

Led Electrical Lighting Efficiency And The End Of The Incandescent Bulb

things to consider before buying LED bulbs

The reasons why are compelling — they last much longer than incandescent bulbs, provide interesting features and can save you money on your electricity bill. Besides, many incandescent bulbs — like the 100-watt incandescent — are being phased out, so eventually you’ll need to make the switch anyway.

Forget what you know about incandescents — your watts are no good here.

When shopping for bulbs, you’re probably accustomed to looking for watts, an indication of how bright the bulb will be. The brightness of LEDs, however, is determined a little differently.

Contrary to common belief, wattage isn’t an indication of brightness, but a measurement of how much energy the bulb draws. For incandescents, there is an accepted correlation between the watts drawn and the brightness, but for LEDs, watts aren’t a great predictor of how bright the bulb will be. (The point, after all, is that they draw less energy.)

Choosing the right color LED

You can always count on incandescents providing a warm, yellowish hue. But LEDs come in a wide range of colors.

As shown off by the Philips Hue, LED bulbs are capable of displaying an impressive color range, from purple to red, to a spectrum of whites and yellows. For the home, however, you’re likely looking for something similar to the light that incandescents produce.

 

How to Choose the Best LED Light Bulb for Any Room in Your Home

Every room in your home is different.

You likely have heard that sunlight gives us energy, but did you know that light bulbs work in a similar way? Bulbs that emit blue light waves produce serotonin, which makes us focused, awake, and alert. Bulbs that don’t emit blue light waves allow for our brain to produce melatonin, which makes us relaxed, drowsy, and ready for a good nights sleep.

Lower temperature bulbs produce warm-whites, similar to a fire, while medium temperature bulbs produce neutral-whites, and higher temperature bulbs produce cool-whites or mimic daylight.

it is also a common misconception that the brightness of a light bulb is measured in Watts. Watts actually measure energy usage, while Lumens measure brightness.

LED Lighting for Bedroom Use

In our bedrooms, most of us want the atmosphere to be relaxed, calm, and peaceful. Avoiding blue light waves in the bedroom will keep your circadian rhythm from confusing the light in your bedroom with the natural light outside. This allows your brain to produce the melatonin needed for a comfortable sleep. Are you a nighttime reader? If you have a bedside reading lamp or plan on buying one, soft blue or neutral tones are better for reading specific fixtures, since the cool-white color creates a high contrast with the page

LED Lighting for Home Office Use

When lighting a home office, we want to make sure that the lights are maximizing our ability to be productive in the space provided. Putting cool-white lights in the office that mimic daylight will increase serotonin production keeping you focused, alert, and energized. Make sure to choose a place that won’t create unwanted glares on your computer screen. You may also want to consider LED Desk Lamps which offer great task lighting and the ability to switch color temperature on demand.

 

Things You Need to Know Before Switching to LEDs

We all know that LEDs are way better for the environment than their incandescent forefathers. But that doesn’t mean you’ve been convinced to make the switch. If you’re still teetering on the fence between LED and incandescent

Making the Switch to LEDs Is Easier Than You Think

To get the benefits of LED without replacing all your existing fixtures, all you need to do is replace all your incandescent screw-in lightbulbs with screw-in LED bulbs. Just make sure that you replace your incandescent bulb with a comparable LED that will match the performance of the previous bulb.

LED Lights Last And That Will Save You Money

At first, it might not seem like LEDs are going to be a lucrative switch. They are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but the prices are dropping. And the way you should really think about it is that LEDs are more of a long term investment. So, while the upfront cost might be a little higher, the payback time is worth it. For example, if you spent $15 on a 60-Watt equivalent LED bulb, the payback will be within a couple of years.

At the end of the day, the technology behind LEDs–the diodes themselves, heat sinking and so on–allows them to extensively outlast incandescent bulbs. Some LEDs can last two decades (or even longer) with average use before they begin to dim, as opposed to an approximate two year life for incandescents. LEDs also experience more of a gradual decline than the sudden burnout experienced with incandescents.

LEDs Use Up A Lot Less Energy

The big picture: LED lighting converts 95% of energy consumed into light, unlike incandescent bulbs, which convert only 10% of energy for light. The 90% of energy remaining is wasted as heat.

 

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO LED LIGHTING IN RESIDENTIAL APPLICATION

LED lighting solutions are on the rise. There are more LED products and alternatives available on the market already than there ever have been for traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL), energy efficient bulbs.

While some LED products might just look like any other light bulb or fluorescent tube, the variety of products, new terminology introduced by the lighting industry and the fact that LED’s are a different technology from what we have been used to for decades can make the switch to LED lighting quite challenging.

Why make the change to LED?

Besides being much more energy efficient than incandescent and CFL options, thus able to provide significant energy savings, they last much longer, don’t contain Mercury like CFL’s and provide a lot more options for brightness and light appearance (warm vs. cool).

Terminology

When buying traditional incandescent light bulbs, all we needed to pay attention to was the bulb shape, wattage which indicated the brightness of the bulb and the screw base size to make sure it fits into the lamp

Brightness:

First off, we have to let go of the misconception that wattage equals brightness. While for incandescent bulbs wattage and brightness had a direct correlation, this is not true for LED products and since LED’s consume much less power (Watts), it’s impossible to compare brightness of an incandescent and an LED bulb based on wattage.

 

How do I choose a quality LED lighting manufacturer?

Now a days selecting right LED Lighting manufacturer is getting increasingly complex because of ever increasing vendor base. I have been working as LED Light sourcing consultant for last 5 years and I would like to share few of the pointers out of my experience when you shortlist vendors

Manufacturing setup – This is the most basic criteria to evaluate. You can check for his set up in terms In-house component Mounting equipment, Aging equipment, Photometery and Electrical testing equipment, Packing and Printing equipment, Assembly line, Automation etc. Capacity, quality and maintenance of equipment is critical factor

Processes – Do they have documented and auditable processes for product development, manufacturing, testing, trouble shooting etc?

Manpower quality – What is the strength and quality of manpower in Design, Quality, Production, Administration ?

Sourcing – Do they source components from reputed and established vendors? Process of vendor selection etc

Top Reasons And Ways To Get Rid Of Rodents

Easy Tips For Preventing Mouse & Rat Infestation

Remove current rodent occupants

There are two methods for getting rid of mice and rats: trapping and baiting. For trapping, use snap-style traps, which are designed to kills rodents quickly. For baiting, be sure to use tamper-resistant bait stations that hold the baits in place and keep children and pets out. Place both traps or bait along common pathways where you find droppings and gnaw marks. Ledges, fence rails, and foundations are typical paths.

Seal up your home

Close up all holes along your exterior using recommended rodent-proofing materials. Pay particular attention to doors, windows, and vents.

Eliminate outdoor access

Trim back overhanging trees that enable rodents to hop onto your roof. Also, keeping your trees properly pruned gives rodents one less place to hide from predators.

Clean up that yard

Remove piles of debris, clutter, and garbage from around your yard. Plant shrubs and bushes at least 3 feet from buildings. These spaces provide safe habitats for rodents

Remove outdoor food sources

Gardens and fruit trees can be a real draw for rodents. If you have fruit trees, regularly remove dropped fruit from the ground. Keep the tree pruned to prevent hiding spots for rodents. Apply a rat guard to your trees by securing a piece of sheet metal 2 feet high around your tree’s trunk. In the garden, keep it free of rotting food and hiding places. Plant members of the mint family in and around your garden to deter. You can also spray predator urine (such as fox) around the perimeter of your garden as a deterrent. Typically, you can find this at your local garden store in both powder and liquid form

 

How to Get Rid of Mice

Find Their Patterns

Mice are active mostly between dusk and dawn, but you can spot evidence of their activity anytime. That lovely sight of mouse poop is often your first sign—each mouse drops up to 75 of the little black pellets a day!

Choose the Best Mouse Traps

The classic snap traps and modern electronic traps capture mice and make sure they’re gone for good. Snap traps are the least expensive, and they’re reusable or disposable, your choice. With an electronic mouse trap, you don’t have to see any mice or continuously check traps—an indicator light lets you know when one has been caught. If you’d prefer to get them out of your house unharmed, you can use live mouse traps that let you release them far from your home. After the pests are gone, set up PestChaser® rodent repellers that emit ultrasound waves you and your non-rodent pets can’t hear, but that drive mice away.

Pick Bait Wisely

Mice are strongly attracted to high-calorie foods, such as peanut butter, hazelnut spread, and chocolate. In winter, mice build nests with materials like cotton balls, dental floss, yarn, and twine, so they work as bait too. The food that mice have been feeding on in your house, whether that’s pet kibble, birdseed, or candy, may be the best mouse trap bait.

Place Traps in the Best Places

As the rodents primarily travel along walls, you want to set your mouse traps at right angles to walls, with the bait and trigger side closest to the wall. Set a trap every 2 to 3 feet along the walls where you’ve noticed evidence of mice activity. Wear protective gloves when handling mouse traps and bait to keep mice off your scent. (If they sniff out your presence, they may avoid the trap.)

Check and Reset

Look in on your mouse traps the first morning after you set them, and every morning after. Studies show you are likely to catch more mice on the first night you set out traps than on any subsequent night. Be sure to set a lot of mouse traps from the start, so you can capture as many as possible quickly.

 

Rat-Trapping Tips

Rats are one of the most unwelcome yet pervasive creatures that coexist with humanity. Even though no one wants rats around, they gravitate naturally to human dwellings

Considering the toll rats have taken on human populations for centuries, rat traps have long been a necessity, whether in an urban, suburban or rural setting. If the battle between man and rat is being fought on your property, it is crucial to learn the most effective trapping tools — as well as the best bait for a rat trap — in order to win this war. With the following 15 tips, you will have all the facts you need to catch a rat in any situation.

Place Rat Traps in the Right Places

Rats instinctively use walls and fences as guides. Therefore, they are unlikely to roam into the center of a room or yard. As such, traps are usually most effective when placed along a wall and in a low-light setting. Traps are most effective when hidden along paths where rats are most likely to travel.

Bait Traps According to a Rat’s Diet

The best bait for a rat trap could all depend on the species of rat you’re trying to catch. Different species eat different types of food. For instance, black rats are herbivorous creatures, but brown rats are omnivorous by nature. Black rats, which scale trees and enter homes through coin-sized holes in attics, find peanut butter irresistible. Brown rats, which typically rummage through garbage and snake their way inside homes via tiny cracks, can be tempted with a smelly cheese.

Teach Rats to Trust Traps

Even though rats have tiny heads, they are not as naive as people often assume. A rat will be suspicious of new objects in its environment. This applies to rat traps, which could fail to lure prey if placed cold turkey out in the open.

 

TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING RATS AND MICE OUT OF YOUR PROPERTY

HAVE YOU HEARD AN UNEXPLAINED SCRABBLING IN YOUR LOFT, SEEN NIBBLED BITS OF PACKAGING AROUND THE HOUSE, OR FOUND DROPPINGS IN YOUR LARDER?

The long nights are upon us, Christmas is just around the corner, and we are all turning the heating up a little bit higher. This is the time of year you will find you are sharing your home with rodents.

Avid readers of my blog will remember a couple of years ago I received a call from my partner telling me a mouse was in our Christmas tree. Nobody’s house is immune to these pesky little rodents but there are some things you can do to deter a mouse or rat infestation.

Keep food in sealed containers. Rodents love a free and easy meal. This will often be the thing that first encourages them into your property. If you keep your food sealed and hidden, they won’t be encouraged.

Look after your rubbish. Good rubbish management is vital. What we think its inedible, a rodent will think is a banquet. Make sure you employ good bin management, with all foodstuffs being placed in bags in durable bins with lids.

 

How to Get Rid of Mice with Natural Ingredients

Don’t be deceived by Ratatouille, house mice aren’t as friendly (or as clean and sanitary) as Remy. They live in dirty places such as sewers, and that’s how they carry germs and disease into the house

Use coffee powder to match the strong smell of mice

This one material is almost in every house. But why does it have to be coffee powder?  It turns out that mice have a sharp sense of smell, to trace the tracks it leaves behind. Similarly, black coffee powder has a sharp aroma disliked by mice. Hence, it will avoid areas that smell like coffee powder.

Repel mice with Noni Fruit

Another way to repel mice is to use noni fruit, also known as Indian mulberry, among other English names. Apart from its health benefits, this fruit can also repel mice.

Don’t get dumped! Sprinkle your eggshells in rat-infested corners

When making scrambled eggs or omelets in the morning, eggshells are immediately thrown away. But now, you can use it as a rodent repellent at home. When you have an ample amount of eggshells

Rodents hate garlic, just like vampires

Vampires aren’t the only creatures that can not stand garlic. Mice run from it, too. Besides preparing garlic, you will also need to prepare gauze to make a garlic wrapper