The warmer months mean backyard barbeques, outdoor fun, and long days to spend in the sun. It’s wonderful to get swept up in relaxation and recreation, but you also still need to be mindful of the little dangers and discomforts that the new season brings. In this article, we will give you the Top-Ten items you need to make your home safe, simple, and comfortable all summer!
Spending time in your backyard is one of the real joys of summertime, especially if you’ve put long hours into a beautiful garden. However, those hours can turn into delicious meals for the neighborhood wildlife, such as moles, deer, and rabbits. Make sure not to let that time go to waste by putting repellents around. Be careful in your purchasing, as many repellents can be harmful to the land you’ve cultivated. Try a sonic mole chaser such as the Super Sonic Mole Chaser, which is made from aluminum and runs on D cell batteries, or the Sol Mate Mole and Gopher Chaser, a solar powered repellent that stores energy up to five days. If you still prefer the granules, go with something environmentally safe, such as the Mole Scram, Deer Scram, or Rabbit Scram Granular Repellents. They made with Castor Oil, Citronella Oil, Garlic Oil, and Peanut Hulls to keep the pests out while not affecting the health of the earth.
An important part of having a great backyard garden is making sure your plants get the right amount of water. Too little, and all your hard work will by dry and shriveled. Too much, and you have nothing but pools of sad mud. Get a rain gauge to monitor the amount of water your garden receives from Mother Earth. You can get decorative gauges for your garden or more high tech gauges for indoors. The Honeywell Wireless Rain Gauge is one of the coolest on the market. It give you a seven-day read out, so even if you’ve been out of town – or just forgot to pay attention – then you can see exactly how much rain your plants got throughout the week. Plus, it has a handy indoor temperature read out.
Once you have a safe, beautiful garden, you want to be able to enjoy it. But when you’re getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, it’s difficult to relax! There are plenty of bug spraysand topical solutions out there that go directly on your skin, but for a backyard garden you may want to consider purchasing a mosquito trap. There are a lot of propane traps on the market, but perhaps one of the most effective, and environmentally safe, ways to keep mosquitoes away is with the Electric Mosquito Trap Champion by Kooltron Half Acre. There is less harmful energy output than its gas-powered counterparts, while still being incredibly effective and easy to clean. It’s also completely quiet – no humming or zapping. Just make sure you get your trap going early. They are designed to attract females to keep the insects from multiplying.
You may have your Kooltron Mosquito Trap in your backyard garden, but that won’t help if you leave the sanctity of your own property. Mosquito bites are preventable, but unfortunately they still occur. Make sure to have itch soother around the house at all times to take care of those hot spots. One of our favorites is the Itch Smoother Mosquito Bite Remedy. It uses localized heat to zap irritated areas. It is more effective than the average topical antihistamine, and it doesn’t leave pink blotches all over your skin!
Keeping your food safe is vital to your home’s health. If you have fresh fruits and vegetables around – and I hope you do! – fruit flies and other small insects will treat them as their own. Setting fruit fly and moth pantry traps around is the easiest way to get rid of them. One of our favorites is the Contech Fruit Fly Trap. It is non-toxic and 100% pesticide free, which is a good thing to have for something you’re putting near your food. Remember, even if you get rid of all the bugs in your kitchen, you still want to thoroughly wash produce before eating it, especially if it is commercially grown. You never know what kind of chemicals or viruses are left over from previous handlers.
Your kitchen and pantry aren’t the only places insects lurk. Check all your nooks, crannies, corners, and drapes for hidden homes and clusters of larvae. Get rid of them, or the problem will never be fixed! While you can use sprays to kill bugs if you desire, we prefer chemical-free alternatives. Check out the Lentek Bug Vacuum. It’s a rechargeable vacuum built specifically for taking care of the bugs in your home. Also, the Lentek Electronic Racket Zapper is your flyswatter 2.0. It has a charged racket head that kills insects on contact. No more Karate Kid precision needed to swat those flying insects!
Another way to keep bugs and bacteria out of your home during the summer is by controlling the level of humidity in your home. When moisture in the air builds up, mold and mildew thrives on it. Installing dehumidifiers around your house will help to decrease this harmful build up. The best part? You can cut down on the energy output by your air conditioning with strategically placed dehumidifiers. This means less waste and less money spent. These days, there isn’t enough of either around. They come in all sizes, so for smaller rooms dry the Eva-Dry Mini-Dehumidifier.
So how do you know if your home is too humid? Well, most molds and bacteria prosper at relative humidity levels of 65% and over. Consider placing mold alert systems in areas of concern, such as kitchens, pantries, and basements. The Mold Alert Digital Thermo-Hygrometer is as high tech as its name. It monitors room temperature, relative humidity, and dew point. Once the relative humidity exceeds 65%, an alert sounds to let you know it’s time to crank up your dehumidifier.
The change in season can also make it difficult to keep track of how much water your houseplants need. How do you strike a balance? Grab yourself a water meter to prevent over watering. A favorite is the Dr. Frog Electronic Plant Moisture Meter. Not only is it adorable, but also it lets you know when your plants need watering. So even the plants you always forget about in the guest room won’t be neglected.
No matter the season, it is important to have working smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Most people with any sense have working smoke alarms in their homes. However, radon adn carbon monoxide are silent hazards, particularly in older homes. Many older homes have gas dryers with a three inch exhaust, instead of the now-mandatory four-inch ones. This may contribute to a lethal dose of carbon monoxide in the home, particularly for small children or elderly adults. Install alarms, such as the CoStar 9 Volt Carbon Monoxide Alarm on each floor of your home.