Category: Home and Garden

With the beginning of spring, the urge to clean out our spaces grows until even the most undomesticated amongst us find themselves emptying out closets and dusting light fixtures. The tradition of spring cleaning came from the time in our human history when candles and gas lights were used to light homes. During the winter, a coat of soot settles on most everything inside the home and once the weather becomes tolerable enough, windows are opened and everything washed down or taken outside to be shaken down and aired out.

Even after a recent remodel, I find myself this spring wanting to wash my fresh walls. I recently painted most of my first floor a very light, almost ethereal ice blue with the slightest hint of green. It’s a beautiful color, restful, serene, but really, really not good in house constantly overrun by children under the age of eight. Within a week of living with my freshly painted walls, the smudges began to appear. Tiny fingerprints, some with chocolate, a scuff mark from my husband’s briefcase hitting the wall. I had gone with the slightly matte finish, recommended if you’re painting old walls with visible flaws, and the marks started to drive me crazy. Even my white trim painted in a gloss finish weren’t spared. Taking a wet rag cleaned up some of the dirt but the scuff marks remained. From laundry to painting on the walls, the person will be performed through домоуправител for the person. A comparison can be done in the services offered through different house managers companies. The charges should be under the budget of the person.

Luckily I stumbled upon the All Purpose Eraser by Homelife at my local grocery store. Mr. Clean makes a similar one called The Magic Eraser. I took one home and followed the directions, basically, dampen with water and rub scuffed wall. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The sponge lifted the scuff off with out leaving any marks or lint, like my rag did. I tried it on crayon and magnetic paint that I accidentally swiped my maple cabinets with, and it took it right off. I also used it on the brown marks left by my club chairs bumping into the wall. There are some very deep scuff marks that it won’t take completely off, but I could see it was because the drywall has been gouged out a bit and I’ll probably have to touch up with paint, but at least I don’t have to completely wash my walls in the traditional spring cleaning fashion.

Two of the Homelife pads went for under $2.00. A package of four for Mr. Clean goes for about $6.99 at staples.com. Probably my only complaint is that unlike regular sponges, the erasers don’t last forever. They almost seem to disintegrate after some really heavy using. Don’t pay any attention to e-mail claims that they’re toxic. They are not made with formaldehyde and are not and have never been in any recall. Check out snopes.com if you want to check it out.

If your shrubs, plants, or small trees are having pesky pest problems, there are a number of things you can do to help them look healthy and beautiful. There are also many preventative measures that could keep you from battling insects and other pests in the first place. Here are ten tips for keeping your shrubs looking their best.

  1. First, don’t be too eager to spray. This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but unless there is already a mosquito pest control Columbia SC, the natural ecosystem in your own backyard may be keeping pests at bay as is. Pests have natural predators (birds, rodents, etc.) that naturally help to keep the insect population at an appropriate level. Only resort to spraying if your shrubs are truly being overrun and diseased by pests.

  2. Make sure your shrubs are receiving proper nutrition. Shrubs are much more susceptible to damage from insects when they are lacking in proper nutrition. Symptoms of poor nutrition may include pale or yellow leaves, stunted growth, a plant that loses leaves early, and mottled leaf veins. Try Miracle-Gro Tree Shrub Fertilizer Spikes. This is a slow-release formula specifically for shrub nutrition.
  3. Still, having shrub nutrition problems? Try deep root injections. This is the best fertilization technique because the fertilizer is actually injected deep into the roots where it is needed most. A pest control expert can provide this service during the fall and spring for the best results.
  4. Do not apply too much mulch. Excessive mulch creates ideal conditions for pests. Mulch should not be right up next to shrub trunks, but rather should be placed around the shrub creating a “donut hole” shape.
  5. Apply a preventative if necessary. Preventatives protect your plants for weeks after application from many potentially damaging pests. An excellent product is Bayer 2-in-1 Systemic Rose and Flower Care Granules. It is even effective against insects which tend to be very persistent and destructive.
  6. If you do have a pest problem that is causing the disease to your shrubs, stop the disease from spreading by removing any dead foliage. This includes removing diseased stems that can actually carry the disease to healthy parts of your shrub.
  7. Apply a fungicide to help manage diseases caused by backyard pests. Shrub fungicides do not cure the diseases themselves, but they do help manage the pests that cause them. Try a general purpose fungicide like Bug and Disease Killer. This Bayer Garden fungicide has an added fast-acting insecticide.
  8. If your shrubs and trees are still suffering the effects of damage from insects, mites, and fungus, professional spraying may be necessary. But finding the proper type of pest control spray depends on a variety of factors. Keep this in mind when searching for the right pest control.

The type of insects being controlled

The time of the year

Region/climate concerns

Environmental regulations

  1. Seasonal sprays are an option. Many pest control and lawn care companies provide five basic seasonal sprays. These include:

Dormant (Winter) sprays

Early Spring sprays

Late Spring sprays

Summer sprays

Fall sprays

  1. If more intensive spraying is needed for a particular pest, a professional can help you in its identification. Some sprays may work great about some pests but are completely ineffective against others. Examples of tough pests to get rid of include aphids, caterpillars, apple maggots, and coddling moths.

In the case of backyard pests, prevention goes a long way. But remember that there are ways to fight damaging insects and keep your shrubs looking beautiful.