What is the Difference Between Fleas and Ticks?

When it comes to pests that love to latch on to your pets, there are no two bigger culprits than the flea and the tick. These disgusting parasites love nothing better than to climb onto your furry friend for a free meal. This could be a bad thing for your home depending on which little blood sucker your pet is hosting. Knowing the difference between fleas and ticks is an important part of keeping your home and family safe.

Ticks

Ticks are actually closely related to spiders. They are a small hard, round parasite with six legs. They can have a wide variety of colors and markings. They spend the first part of their lives hanging on to low plants and foliage looking for a warm blooded mammal to become their home and meal. Once they sense the smell, temperature and vibration of an approaching animal, the tick climbs onto its host and begins to feed.

While ticks are dangerous and can carry diseases harmful to humans, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, human habitats do not support tick populations. They require a densely vegetated, humid environment to thrive and reproduce. Your home is safe from all but the occasional stray tick that makes its way in on you or your pet.

Fleas

Fleas are a parasite of a different nature. Like ticks, they seek out a warm blooded host from which to feed. They are an insect with a body smaller than a grain of rice. It is quite easy to distinguish a flea from other insects by the way the leap great distances. A flea has a jumping range of around 13 inches.

Unlike ticks, fleas live together on the host animal in large numbers. One female flea has the ability to lay over 5,000 eggs in her lifetime. Once the female lays her eggs, they can live for up to 100 days until warmth and vibrations cause them to hatch. An adult flea with a regular supply of blood can live as long as one and a half years. This combination of factors makes the flea a difficult pest to eradicate without professional assistance.

Once you discover the presence of these nasty parasites in your home, it is essential to begin a regimen of flea control. If left unchecked a colony of fleas can quickly take over an entire home, leaving you with little red bites all over your feet, ankles and shins. Flea saliva causes dermatitis in dogs, leading to red, flaky skin and bald patches. Fleas can carry a number of dangerous diseases including typhus and spotted fever. In the 12th century, fleas were responsible for killing one-third of Europe by spreading the Bubonic plague.…

Wood Working Skills

When you look around the home, you might see areas that could use a little improvement in the way of carpentry services. It could be new steps at the front of the home or a bookcase inside the house so that it captures your personality while allowing you to display your books and other belongings. If you have an idea for a carpentry project, it’s sometimes best to take hold of it and see what will result. The best thing about woodworking is that there are things to get involved with for almost any age.

Backyard Bliss

There are numerous things that you can make with wood for the back yard. An idea is a swing so that you can relax while swinging in the breeze. Customize the swing by adding details on the sides, such as a heart or a star. Another idea is to make a lounger for the yard or the patio. You can make the lounger any size that you want and in any design, adding pillows so that it’s comfortable to sit on while outside.

Little Red Wagon

If you have kids or know someone who has young children, then you might want to try your hand at making a little wagon. While most people think of red when they think of a wagon, you can paint it in any color before adding personalized details, such as the child’s name or a few characters.

Game Boards

Make a few game boards out of wood so that they last longer. Checkers is an easy game to make, and you can paint the board and pieces in any color that you want. Another game idea would be Tic-Tac-Toe. You can make a large game board with the pieces to make it easier to play with someone else. A benefit of making wooden games is that you can cherish them for years, playing the games with your children or grandchildren.

Work Benches And Such

Most homes need some kind of work bench or a tool box. Instead of spending a lot of money on the metal benches and boxes, consider making one yourself. You can design the shape that you want and the size that you want as well. Add details like a pocket on the side of the bench and the box for the smaller items that might get lost. You can also add larger tools to the sides of the bench that are used on a regular basis.…

Falling Asleep In Comfort

Choosing the best mattress to sleep on involves more than just going to a store and selecting something that you like and that fits your budget. There are several aspects to consider when you’re mattress shopping, such as the firmness and how it cradles your body as you sleep. Making a purchase in a store is the best option, but you can shop online if you aren’t able to get to a store or if you want to compare several options at once.

One of the places you might want to try is a bedding specialty store. You can see how the sheets and blankets would fit on the bed. Some beds that you think might be the size that you need appear to be a bit shorter once everything is on them when the bed is on display. This can give you an indication as to whether the feet might hang off the end of the bed or if there is enough space for two people to comfortably sleep in the bed if you’re looking for something for yourself and a significant other.

The pillow-top can be comfortable for a few months, but they can quickly flatten and feel like a typical mattress. You also want to steer clear of mattresses with thin innersprings as they can wear out fairly quickly as well. A local mattress store often has a variety to choose from with employees being able to give you a better idea as to what would work best with your body.

When you’re shopping, make sure you take the other person who will share the bed with you. It’s not going to be comfortable if someone else in the bed is so restless because of the comfort level that you are awake all night as well. Some stores will offer a bit of sales hype to get products out the door. Avoid caving in as these stores usually just want to make a quick sale. A common tactic is that mattresses are medically approved or that several years of testing have gone into the features of the bed.

Many stores display the items that are at the highest prices. Ask about basic sets as these are kept in the back of the store in most places. They are less expensive and often the same quality as the ones that are on the showroom floor, giving you more options that better fit your budget.…

How to Save Money By Getting Your Central AC System Serviced

The two biggest energy using appliances in your home are your furnace and your central air conditioner. Squeezing out every percentage of efficiency that you can from your heating and cooling systems can lower your monthly utility bills to save a considerable amount of money for each season that they are used. Homeowners seem to naturally schedule service calls to inspect a furnace system before the heating season begins, and it probably has to do with concerns over potential fire and even carbon monoxide hazards. The low regard of safety concerns for AC systems can leave them lacking in maintenance to keep them running at peak efficiency, and many homeowners never schedule AC service until there is a problem.

AC

The Subtle Loss of AC Cooling

The only real way to determine an absolute loss of cooling capability in a central air system is to have a record of the temperature of the chilled air at a vent when the system was new to compare it. A good indicator of loss of efficiency is also increased monthly energy bills in the summer without it being any hotter than last year and without a per kilowatt hour rate increase on your utility bill. Things that can cause subtle loss of your central air conditioning system’s ability to cool your home include dirty condenser and evaporator coils, low refrigerant levels, dirty air filters, and improperly adjusted duct and vent dampers for the summer cooling season. All of these things can be quickly addressed in a routine service call.

Old AC Systems

Have you considered the age of your central air conditioning system and the influence that has on the amount of energy you use to cool your home? Energy.gov states that, “Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as air conditioners made in the mid 1970s.” It is not unfeasible for homes to have an AC system 40 years old, but maybe yours is nowhere near that old. Still, the government website devoted to educating consumers about energy usage indicates that even a central air system a decade old can be using 40% more energy than a new system. Electricity savings at that level can help pay for a new central air system over its lifespan. If your furnace is decades old too, then a complete heating and cooling upgrade could offer significant energy savings.

Whether you have an air conditioning system that is just a few years old or one that would qualify for an antique license plate if it was a car, proper servicing and maintenance will help you keep it running at its peak efficiency. A qualified technician can give you the energy usage specs for your existing system compared to what a modern central air system uses. That information combined with how much you pay per kilowatt hour of electricity and your summer electric bills can be used to calculate how much you can save with a system replacement.…

Protection and Safety Guide for a Propane

Propane tanks that hold a lot of gas are usually placed in locations that are somewhat risky. If your unit is mounted in an area that gets traffic, you may have to deal with tempering, collisions, and theft. In order to avoid these costly situations, several crucial steps must be followed.

Propane Tanks

Prevent Tampering

In most neighborhoods, people and animals tamper with gas tanks. Problems typically occur when the main gas line is bumped out of place. Although gas line technicians use special tools to secure the line, certain bolts can weaken over time. This is why tampering can lead to a minor or major gas leak.

The best way to prevent tampering is by placing your tank in a highly secured location. If this isn’t an option, you can protect the unit by putting commercial-grade fencing around it.

Avoid Vehicular Damage

Gas tanks that are used in commercial and residential areas should be mounted in a spot that’s away from streets and driveways. Vehicular damage can lead to a very dangerous situation because the impact will weaken the gas line. If a vehicle smashes into the housing at a high speed, the results may be more dramatic, as the collision might cause a major leak if the gas line breaks.

Protect Vital Components

The dome on a propane tank is a highly durable component that protects the fittings and valves. It also protects the vent and regulator when gas travels to appliances. Whenever a dome isn’t properly mounted on a tank, it must be readjusted by a trained gas line technician. Dome-related problems should be resolved quickly because debris and branches could damage the fittings if they’re not protected.

Safety Considerations

In order to fully protect a propane tank, proper safety procedures must be implemented. Since propane tanks are manufactured in different sizes, certain steps must be taken according to the situation.

If you’re going to buy propane for a grill, ensure that the tank is firmly secured before transporting it. When you make a stop, always remove the tank out of your car because propane gas can could problems if it’s left in a hot vehicle.

Whenever you smell heavy propane fumes near a tank, extinguish every open flame. Then, get all residents out of the general area where the smell is emitting. The gas supply valve near the tank should only be turned off if the surrounding area is safe.…