Don’t Bring Bedbugs Home from Your Vacation!

Photo credit: Foter.com

Vacation time should be the time that you can relax and unwind. Unfortunately, bed bugs can be a serious concern for vacationers, as these tiny creatures are rampant in hotels today.

Here are some travel tips that can help you to prevent bed bugs.

Check hotel reviews

Check out the reviews of your hotel to see if anyone has reported bedbugs at this particular hotel. It’s important for you to know ahead of time because you can always choose to stay somewhere else! If you do still have to stay at that hotel, you can take plastic bags to seal your clothing in as well as other precautions to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride home with you.

At your hotel

Once you do get to your hotel, do a room inspection to see if there are any dried blood spots on the bedding. Look at fabric on chairs, check the creases of the mattress, look at the headboard and in the drawers. Should you find any evidence at all of the bed bugs in your room, contact the management of the hotel as soon as possible. Insist that they give you another room that doesn’t border your current room on any side.

Once you do get in (and inspect your new room), unpack just the clothes that you’re going to wear, and put your shoes up off of the floor. Keep everything sealed safely in plastic bags to keep bed bugs from getting in.

At home

Once you’re home in Jersey City, look closely at everything for signs of bed bugs. Unpack your bags outside or in the garage to prevent bugs from coming into your home. Should you find bedbugs, wash everything in hot water or dry on the highest setting in your dryer for ten minutes.

With these simple tips, you can prevent bringing bed bugs home before you find yourself needing to bring in a pest control company when you get home!

This company is the one to call if you have a bed bug infestation in your home or business. Do not underestimate this pesky pest as they multiply fast. Request for a free quote today.

What’s that Smell? How I Banished Garbage Disposal Smells from My Sink

Photo credit: Dean Hochman via Foter.com / CC BY

There are places in the kitchen that seem to just gather smells. The trash can. The produce drawer in the fridge. The trap in the bottom of the dishwasher. The garbage disposal.

The thing that these all have in common is that they’re where food goes to decompose. It’s the bacteria that goes into decomposition that causes the smell. We don’t like these smells because they signal that bacteria – which our bodies, of course, are naturally averse to. Yes, that sickening feeling in your stomach when you smell your stinky garbage disposal is a survival thing.

Last week I was in the kitchen making some tacos for dinner for my two teenagers when I got a whiff of something that made my stomach lurch. What was that? I checked the fridge. Nope, that wasn’t it. I checked the trash can to find that it was empty (that boy of mine had taken out the trash!). Then I followed my nose to the sink to find the source – the garbage disposal! Ick!

Though everyone in my household is really good about keeping the water running while the garbage disposal is running, apparently that’s not enough to keep bacteria totally out. Who knew?

I quickly decided to come figure this problem out – after Taco Tuesday dinner of course.

Cleaning the garbage disposal blades

First off – NEVER STICK YOUR HAND OR ANOTHER OBJECT INTO YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL. I cannot overstate this. No smell is worth losing a finger or sending a rigid object flying towards you when your garbage disposal kicks it out. Cleaning your garbage disposal NEVER involves putting anything rigid down there, and of course, you should NEVER put your hand in the garbage disposal. You probably didn’t need to know that, but it’s worth saying firmly.

This part isn’t so hard. Luckily I had used some fresh lime juice to make the taco filling, so I was perfectly placed to get to the deep down smell. To clean garbage disposal blades, all you need to do is to put something down there and run the garbage disposal as usual. Here are some ideas.

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down your garbage disposal and let sit for five minutes. Then run the hot water and turn on your garbage disposal.
  • Pour two cups of ice down your disposal. Add a cup of coarse salt. Turn on the cold water and run the disposal until the ice is gone.
  • Stuff the rind of two lemons or three limes down your garbage disposal and run as usual.

I, of course, used the lime rinds that I had leftover from Taco Tuesday. It worked like a charm!

How to clean a garbage disposal splash guard

This was SO much easier than I ever imagined.

What you need:

  • Old toothbrush
  • Antibacterial, anti-grease kitchen cleaner spray

All you’ve got to do is to lift up the corners of the splash guard and spray your cleaner, then scrub off the crud, one corner at a time. Again, NEVER stick your fingers down near the blades, even if the garbage disposal is off. Rinse with cold water, working your way around the edges. Take your time, running cold water to see how you’re doing. It’s cleaning the underside of the garbage disposal guard that makes the difference here, so get in there!

If you’ve never cleaned your splash guard (like me), then you might find that this takes a little while. But in ten minutes you’ll be done with the whole process! No more bacteria. No more smell. Next time I’m sending my sixteen-year-old to do this one. DIY I for everyone!

Meanwhile, if you need to get a new disposal, you can find them here.  (We will do a DIY article on how to replace them in the near future.  it’s not hard!).

Causes of a Clogged Sewer

To date, a clogged sewer is still one of the most common plumbing problems. This problem develops over time and by the time you notice it, the dirt in the plumbing system will have piled to unbelievable levels. Although everyone rushes to find a plumber to unblock such sewers, studies show that most of them do not even know what causes it. The following are some of the most common causes of sewer clogging.

Soap and fat residues

The soap that you use in your bathroom and kitchen can slowly cause clogging in the sewer line. Soap particles often stick to the walls of pipes and drains and therefore, they become a huge chunk of solid as time goes by. They may accumulate right under the sink or in the other parts of pipes. In addition to that, fats from dishes in the kitchen can also cause clogging. When you wash dishes, the fats solidify as they drain and may cause a blockage.

Foreign objects

Food particles, sanitary towels, pieces of cloth, children’s toys and many other objects that are introduced in the sewer lines can cause a clogged sewer. In fact, these ones will cause instant clogging, unlike soap which accumulates over time. A child could be playing with one of their toys and accidentally drops them into the drainage. It may take a lot of time to identify where the problem is even though all that you need to do is to take the item out.

Other factors that are likely to cause a clogged sewer include faulty pipes and poor plumbing. When the pipes break, they are likely to block the drainage of water at that point and so, you will have to fix it before you can enjoy a smooth flow of water through the sewer line again.

If you are a landlord, be sure and put IN THE LEASE with all your tenants that NOTHING should go in the toilets that are not human waste or toilet paper.  It helps to list everything, which embarrasses them and keeps them honest.  If you have a plumber/drain cleaner come to your property, have him tell you what he found, and and then tell your tenants because it can’t be argued with. This goes a long way to outing the people who are the worst offenders.