Connect with us


Unless you are moving in with penguins, it is time to think about termites



Close up termite worker on dried leaf

There’s only one place on earth that no one ever has to worry about termites: Antarctica.

Termites don’t like the frozen frontiers, and really they don’t like cold at all, but they manage to make do anyway.

In North America, every single state and province can have termites, though the risk is lower the farther north you go and greater in the south. Of the three major types of North American termites, only one, the subterranean termite, has not been found in Alaska.

Wherever there is wood, there can be termites. That includes homes with brick foundations, manufactured homes, and even the woodpile outside.

Inside the home, the pest can hide its evil work until the damage is severe.

Three common types of termites leave different clues:

Drywood termites prefer warm and moist tropical areas. They leave piles of powder or pellets where they burrow. They can also cause wood to take on a bubbled appearance by tunneling close to the surface. From Florida to California, along all coastal areas, drywood termites can structurally weaken a home. You might notice swarms of winged insects in wooded areas. After these adult termites have mated, they shed their wings. You might notice discarded wings near windows or caught in spider webs.

Subterranean termites are the most destructive termite. Homeowners might notice swarms in spring when groups of termites go off to start new colonies. Once established, they live underground in enormous colonies, building mud tubes, tunnels they use to reach food sources like your joists. They can literally collapse a home entirely, according to In 2018, the National Pest Management Association built a tiny model home, exactly to specifications of a real home. Then it put a colony of subterranean termites in the group around the model home. In 50 days, the house was collapsed. In the U.S., termites cause $5 billion in damage every year.

Dampwood termites need very specialized warm, moist environments, according to the University of Florida. They are found in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These pets especially need sources of water and are attracted to wood exposed to rainfall or even sprinkler irrigation — qualities also desired by the subterranean termite. These termites can even infest living trees.

What you can do to protect against termites

Termite damage is not always covered under homeowner’s insurance so it’s essential to get periodic inspections and treatment.

In addition, here are some key ways to prevent infestations of all termite types, according to Spears Environmental, Inc.:

– Keep home foundations dry: Don’t regularly spray water on foundations. Slope gutters so that they drain away from the house.

– Be careful with mulch. Don’t mulch around foundations. Keep wood mulch as far away as possible from the house.

– Remove scrap wood and wooden debris. Quickly dispose of fallen branches.

– Avoid landscape timbers or railroad ties as edging around your house. Metal, plastic or brick edging is best for plantings.

– Build decks and stairs on concrete pads. Regularly treat around posts and pads.

– Cut clinging vines so they do not grow on the wall of the house. Termites love these.

– Keep crawl spaces as dry as possible and sealed, if feasible.

Share the News:


The environmental impact of fast fashion




The inexpensive rapidly produced clothing sold by large retail chains that are often referred to as fast fashion carries a steep environmental cost. Here’s what you should know about it.

Water stress and pollution
The fashion industry uses a lot of water. The water footprint of a single cotton shirt, which is the total amount of water needed for its production, is approximately 650 gallons.

These companies also tend to produce their clothes in countries with more relaxed environmental regulations than Canada or the United States. This means they dump untreated wastewater into rivers people rely on. A full 20 percent of worldwide water pollution is directly caused by textile treatments and dyes.

Ocean pollution
Every time a garment made of a synthetic fiber like polyester, rayon or nylon is washed, it releases nearly 2,000 plastic microfibers. These end up in the ocean, where they enter the food chain and eventually end up on our plates.

Waste accumulation
In 2014, people bought 60 percent more clothes than they did in 2000, and since we recycle only 15 percent of our clothes, most end up in landfills. Many of these are made of synthetic textiles, which will take over 200 years to decompose.

Greenhouse gas emissions
The fashion industry accounts for 10 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Production, manufacturing, and transport all factor into this. In addition, the synthetic fibers used by many brands are made from fossil fuels.

The fashion industry has a huge environmental impact. You can help mitigate this by privileging local brands and natural fibers and by buying second-hand clothing as much as possible.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Easter-weekend activities for the whole family




Are you looking for something to do over the Easter break? If so, here are some great activities the whole family is sure to enjoy.

Themed events
Participate in one of the many Easter celebrations taking place nearby. Consider bringing your kids to an organized Easter egg hunt or egg roll race, or simply staging your own at home. Or, you could visit a petting zoo in town or at a nearby farm.

Alternatively, keep an eye out for Easter-themed crafts and workshops offered by local community centers and businesses.

Cultural outings
Take advantage of the extra days off to absorb some culture at a local museum, learn about history at a nearby heritage site or read a book at your neighborhood library.

Or, if you want to be entertained, consider taking in a theater production, watching the latest blockbuster at the movies or cheering on your favorite sports team at a local game. You could also go to see a concert, dance recital or magic show.

Athletic activities
If the weather’s temperate, head outdoors for a hike or bike ride. Or, consider venturing to the nearest snow-covered mountain to go snowshoeing, snowboarding or skiing instead. However, if the weather’s not great, an indoor activity such as skating, bowling or swimming may be more appropriate.

If you’d prefer to stay in over Easter weekend, there are lots of things you can do from the comfort of your own home. You could decorate eggs, do some baking or simply cuddle up on the couch with a movie.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Tax time: Go for the refund, or no?




Not to be a downer, but if you get a refund to come tax time, it means one thing: you had too much money withheld from your paycheck throughout the year and you gave the government an interest-free loan.

Not that that’s a bad thing. The debate will surely rage on about whether it’s a good idea to set yourself up for a refund, with many experts loudly proclaiming it a bad idea.

Regardless, the average taxpayer received a refund of roughly $3,000 each of the last few years, according to NerdWallet. And if you’re one of the many people who look forward to that windfall every April, here are some ideas to be fiscally smart when your money comes back around to you:

* Pay off or pay down high-interest credit cards, or, if the refund won’t pay them down completely, consider rolling the balance over onto cards with lower interest rates. (Note: consider the interest you pay during the course of a year and whether it’s better to have less money withheld from your paycheck so you can pay that debt off sooner.)

* Add funds to your emergency account. Or set one up if you don’t have it already.

* Invest it. From the NerdWallet article: A taxpayer who received a $3,000 refund in 2010, invested it and earned a 6% average annualized return would have more than $5,000 in that investment today. If they did the same for each of the past 10 years, they’d have more than $47,000 today.

* Put it toward retirement. Whether that’s your 401(k) or some version of an IRA, you can use the refund in a tax-free investment for your golden years.

* Put it toward an education fund or a 529 plan, each of which offers tax benefits as well. (Always consult your CPA.)

* Buy life insurance.

* Donate to your favorite charity.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


How to choose perennials




Do you want a lush garden that grows back year after year? If so, here’s how to choose the perfect perennials for your outdoor space.

• Know your climate. Find out which hardiness zone you live in and choose plants that can thrive in it.

• Evaluate the amount of light. Does your garden get direct sunlight all day or is it in a shady spot? Either way, choose plants that will flourish with the amount of light provided.

• Consider when they’ll bloom. To ensure your garden flowers all summer long, plant a variety of perennials that bloom at different times.

Other factors you may want to consider when choosing your perennials include whether you want to attract pollinators and if you’d like flowers for cutting and displaying in bouquets.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


4 tips to help you complete your long-distance training




If you’ve decided to broaden your horizons by completing an online training program, you’ll need to do these four things to ensure you succeed.

1. Set realistic goals
Estimate how long it’s likely to take you to finish the program. Evaluate how much time you have available and compare it to the amount of work that needs to be completed. Then, determine the date at which you’d like to be done. Don’t overestimate yourself, however, as trying to meet an unrealistic goal could backfire and undermine your motivation.

2. Stick to a schedule
Determine how many hours a week you can dedicate to your training program and create a schedule. Make sure to set specific times for yourself to do the course work and stick to them as much as possible.

3. Find a place to study
Find a quiet, isolated spot where you can focus. If you have young children, ask your partner to take care of them for a few hours or hire a babysitter. If finding a suitable spot at home is impossible, study at your local library or a coffee shop.

4. Ask for help
If completing your coursework is challenging, or if there are things that you’re unclear about, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Oftentimes, seeking out assistance is essential to achieving your objectives.

In sum, you can succeed in completing your long-distance training program by focusing on your goal, setting a schedule, studying and asking for help when you need it.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


The best storage solutions for every room in your home



Did you finish your spring cleaning only to realize you need more storage space? Here’s a room by room look at some of the best solutions available.

Install hidden trays under your cabinets to hide chargers, coffee pods and other essentials. In addition, placing pull-out shelves in cupboards will make it easier to organize your items.

Store your cleaning supplies on a Lazy Susan to make them easy to find when you need them. Use baskets to hold things like bath towels or toilet paper.

Living room
Put a bowl on the coffee table to stylishly corral remote controls, magazines and other items. Additionally, a storage ottoman is perfect for holding throws and pillows.

Take advantage of the space under your bed by adding drawers or using under-the-bed storage boxes.

Install overhead racks near the ceiling. This allows you to incorporate storage in the garage without sacrificing parking space. Use this area to hold stuff you don’t need to access often, like seasonal decorations and sporting gear.

Workshop, office or craft room
Mount a pegboard above your work area and use it to organize your tools or supplies. By hanging things on the wall, they’ll be easier to find and you’ll free up some room.

In addition, be sure to use the vertical space in your home. Install shelves above doors, get extra tall bookcases and put hooks on the back of closet doors.

Share the News:
Continue Reading

King Cartoons

Front Royal
06:4319:44 EDT
Feels like: 56°F
Wind: 0mph SSE
Humidity: 70%
Pressure: 29.64"Hg
UV index: 0
min 54°F