Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lions And Tigers And ANTS Oh My...


I woke up this beautiful Saturday morning, went out to the kitchen to fix breakfast for my family only to find myself standing in a pile of fire ants. Having fire ants bite you is just plain non conducive to fixing eggs and pancakes for breakfast so I've got to fix this problem by facing it head on. How could this happen? I mop and clean and then I mop and clean again it seems and I know that I didn't use sugar water to mop and clean (unless I've lost my mind which is always a possibility in this household.) What Do I do here? I don't want to poison my family. Using any kind of poison where I fix my family's food is right out. So I googled solutions to my problems and came up with some really interesting finds.
With over 12,000 species of ants in the world, only a small handful of them insist on invading our homes in search of something tasty from either the sweet foods or flesh and greasy foods. Ants commonly found indoors include the Argentine ant, the pharaoh ant, the thief or grease ant, the pavement ant and the odorous house ant And if you're really unlucky, you might have the carpenter ant, an ant insistent on destroying the wood that holds up your house, so get professional help fast in that case!However, it would be unbalanced to see ants as bad on the whole. Most of the things ants do are good for us and the environment, including eating the larvae of fleas, spiders, bed bugs, flies, silverfish and clothes moths. From that point of view, aiming to control them and prevent them from accessing your food is a better approach than seeking to completely eliminate them and natural approaches are best for this purpose. For the ants you need to control, there are some very easy, natural and effective natural methods to either ward off or remove ants from your home areas.


Here are 11 natural methods to ridding your kitchen or other living areas from ants:
        
1. Heed the scouts. The first signs of ants in your kitchen is a warning to you. These are the scout ants checking out your kitchen for signs of suitability to invade and their job will be to return back to the nest to inform the other ants that your kitchen is blooming with potential. Waste no time in getting to work cleaning your kitchen, sealing all food and removing all sources of sticky, sweet, greasy and flesh foods from their access.


Don't have any dirty dishes left out. Wash all dishes as they're used or place them into the dishwasher and shut the door tight. Wipe down all of your cupboard and bench top surfaces with vinegar; this cleans, disinfects and leaves a nasty smell as far as ants are concerned. Remove all sources of garbage and keep the kitchen bin shut tightly. Rinse all recyclable containers before putting them into storage.

Sweep and vacuum the kitchen area daily.

Rinse off any jar, container or bottle that has a sticky or leftover residue. In particular, check jam/jelly jars, sauce bottles, pickle bottles, cordial bottles and honey and syrup containers. Place your honey jar and any other very ant-attractive foods inside a bowl of water (see How to keep ants out of honey and How to keep ants away from cat food for more details.

Seal every food item in containers. The containers need to be of the sort that ants cannot get into. Be relentless about this for 3-7 days. The ants, having nothing to eat, will go elsewhere. This works because the ants are following the chemical trails left by other ants, who did find food.


You may also need to seal fragrant items such as cleaning powders, deodorants, and the like in case these attract the ants' initial attention. Just be alert to any congregations around non-food sources


 2. Seal off all entrance areas. As part of your big kitchen clean, do some of your own scouting work. Can you tell where the ants are entering the house? Follow the first ants to see where they're entering and leaving from. Seal all the entrance holes that you can find using silicone caulk, putty, glue or plaster. Temporary methods can include petroleum jelly or poster tack. If you use a temporary sealant (such as poster tack), only do so until you can purchase a more permanent solution, as it will deteriorate over time and open up the gap again.
       
3. Load the soapy water. Soapy water will both kill the ants it hits and it will destroy their chemical trail, preventing more ants from following in their tracks. This cheap and easy method consists simply of putting one teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle and filling it with water. When you see ants, spritz them and that will be it!


  • Additions to the water for added potency include mint oil or citrus peels or citrus rind oil.

  • Adding soap to water barriers can make them even more effective than simply using the water.

4. Put up defensive barriers. There are a number of barrier methods that you can put into place to really terrify the ants and keep them at bay. Many of the products that form these natural barriers are probably already in your kitchen; they just need to be deployed properly. A barrier doesn't need to be wider than a quarter of an inch (6.35 mm) but it must be an unbroken line. Be clear that barriers won't work on ants already in the kitchen (indeed, you'll be trapping them inside) but they will prevent any more ants from coming in. Some of the items with which to make barriers include.

Powdered charcoal

Turmeric

Cinnamon

Citrus oil

Black or cayenne pepper (hotter is best); or try red chili pepper

Chalk lines

Vaseline (great for doors and windows)

Baby powder

Powdered cleanser

White Vinegar and Water

Desiccating dusts such as diatomaceous earth or silica aerogel

5. Sprinkle around deterring odors. Ants dislike various scents such as peppermint and camphor. These can be used fresh or in oil form to disturb the ambiance of any area that ants have been making their way to. The great thing about these fragrant deterrents is that your own preferences for scent can be used to improve the household odors in general, all the while making your kitchen, pantry and other areas very ant-unfriendly. Here are some ideas:Crushed mint leaves; and grow mint near the entrance areas. Dried peppermint is also effective.

Lavender oil; and grow lavender near the entrance areas.

Oil of clove or crush cloves and sprinkle as a barrier.

Camphor.

Use laurel/bay leaves to keep the ants away from a specific food. Ants are especially attracted to sugar, paprika and flour. Put laurel/bay leaves in your sugar can, flour canister and paprika jar. You will be amazed!


6. Create your own ant baits. You can buy ant baits but they're chemical preparations that don't fit well with natural attempts to control ants in the home. It's straightforward to make your own ant baits and a particularly successful one is made using boric acid. A natural derivative of the mineral boron, boric acid is used in borax and some saline solutions. Boric acid is a stomach poison – when ants walk in it and then clean their feet or antennae, they ingest it. Bearing in mind that removing too many ants from your local environment can harm the good they're doing in keeping down pests for you, here is how to make a boric acid bait:
Buy boric acid at the local drug store (it's about USD $2 a bottle).

Pour about a tablespoon of real maple syrup (or anything you know ants love) on a flat plate or saucer.

Sprinkle the boric acid around the syrup so that the ants must walk through it to get to the syrup, you may even use a q-tip to ensure a good distribution of the powder around the the syrup.

Place wherever the ants are frequenting. Keep out of the reach of children or pets. Be patient as this method can take a week to take effect.


7. Use food against ants. There are several techniques that can get rid of ants through their inability to digest the food or through expansion and death. It's not very pretty to think about but these methods do work. As with all methods, put the bait food where the ants are appearing:

Use corn meal. This method is especially great around pets or children, as corn meal by itself is not poisonous. The ants will carry it home and try to eat it, but they can't digest it properly. Be sure to put corn meal wherever you see that the ants like to frequent.

Put out cream of wheat (farina). Don't cook it – use it raw. The ants eat it and it expands in their stomachs, killing them. Put the food somewhere you know there will be ants and just leave it.

Ants are extremely susceptible to caffeine. Leave coffee grounds (used works) where the ants are and they will carry it home and eat it. This method takes a few weeks to see.


8.Deal with carpenter ants in as natural way as possible. An invasion of carpenter ants is serious as they can damage your house structure. Be alert for their invasion – piles of broken wings can be one sign and it is longer than most ants. You may also see their fecal pellets (these appear like sawdust) and they can sometimes be heard rustling in the walls. Some ways to deal with them include:

Bait them. They like sugar, so you can turn this against them; use the boric acid method described earlier.

Vacuum their nests out of the wall if possible.


Have an exterminator drill holes in the wall and blow in diatomaceous earth, silica aerogel or boric acid. A professional exterminator specializing in natural pesticides can also use pyrethrin spray or boric acid baits of their own concoction.


9. Use a professional exterminator specializing in natural pesticides to deal with fire ants. Fire ants rarely enter the home but if they do, get immediate help as they're aggressive and their stings are painful and can trigger off an allergic reaction in susceptible people. If the ants need to be sprayed, insist on the use of a bait that has an insect growth regulator like abamectin in it. In terms of outside areas, you can do this yourself provided you wear clothing top to toe and boots to protect yourself. Sneak up to the nest on a cooler day (the ants and queen rise to get more warmth) and pour several gallons/liters of boiling water into the nest. If you want to use additives to the water, try vinegar, insecticidal soaps, citrus oil, pyrethrum insecticide, or ammonia. And then repeat every day or so until it seems that the ants have given up and moved.

Coat your boots in something sticky to deter the ants from crawling on you as you perform this task.

10. Sprinkle Splenda where you see ants. We use this at school where it is not a danger to the kids.

11. Use coffee grounds. This really does work! You have to be persistent: empty coffee grounds on ant hills and along your house foundations. We generate a surprising amount of grounds in a week. This safe material confuses the worker ants because they lose their scent trails. Thus the hatched young in the ant colonies have no food and starve. It may take all summer at first but now we don't get ants in the house and the lawn is mostly clear of ant hills. It is important to apply grounds every year but that is what makes this safe! No residue effects. Clean kitchens are also a must.

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Camphor is a poison, not only for ants, but for humans. Do not use in places with children.
Boric acid is potentially harmful to humans. Although the toxic dose is several grams consumed, precautions should be taken when handling it. Always keep it out of the reach of children and pets and don't absent-mindedly lick it off your fingers!
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I have now found several methods to getting rid of ants and I am giving them a try.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.
So far so good! Now back to breakfast or what really has turned into brunch! I hope this helps you to conquer or even prevent what we have gone through today!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hi There! It's #WebsiteReviewWednesday Again. Check Out This Blog:


I discovered this blog in my travels and I loved it! I was looking for help with something to do with blogging (what else right? What kids? Dinner?What's that? I have a husband? Since when?) :O) and my query brought me here. Check it out and leave a comment letting me know what you think! Take care until next time! Kelliand be sure to visit me here as well:

https://twitter.com/MOMMYKOGGIBOO
https://www.facebook.com/MOMMYKOGGIBOO
https://www.pinterest.com/mommykoggiboo/

https://www.instagram.com/riebesehlfamilylaw/

It's Not Too Early To Think About Teaching Your Children To Swim!


Learn to Swim

Knowing how to swim is essential for personal safety and enjoyment. The Centers for Disease Control says formal swimming lessons can prevent young children from drowning; drowning is the second highest cause of death involving unintentional injuries. Private or group lessons are available year round through the YMCAs, The Red Cross, Vanderbilt University, MTSU and other facilities. Don’t delay in giving your young child lessons. This is especially important for States with year round swimming such as ours, Arizona.

Along with reports of our great year-round weather in the Valley of the Sun often come news reports of accidental deaths by drowning. This makes water safety a high priority for Arizonans where the potential for disaster from swimming pool drownings exists all year long.

On average, nearly 90 people die from drowning in Arizona each year with the majority of those deaths happening between April and August. This comes as no surprise since Arizona summers are known for outdoor recreation including swimming and boating.

Although they make up only 20% of the number of total drowning deaths in Arizona according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, news reports usually center on children who have drowned in their family's or a friend's backyard swimming pool. Most of them, about 75%, were being supervised around water by at least one adult and were out of the sight of those adults for 5 minutes or less.

While less than half of all drowning deaths in the state involve swimming pool accidents, owners of swimming pools must adhere to stringent state and local building codes.

However, the best way to prevent swimming pool drownings is by following simple water safety procedures including these from the National Safety Council:


Never swim alone.

Never leave a child alone near water. If you must leave, take your child with you.


Enroll children over age three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors.In addition to water safety relating to swimming pools, you must be aware of other drowning dangers, especially for children, in and around your home. These include bathtubs, decorative ponds, and even mop buckets. It only takes 2 inches of water and a couple of minutes for a small child to drown.

Carelessness while participating in water sports, including boating, tubing, and piloting personal watercraft, contributes to many drowning deaths in Arizona. Following these water safety tips from the National Safety Council can help prevent such tragedies:

Always use approved personal flotation devices (life jackets).

Don't jump or dive into unknown bodies of water.

Always have a first-aid kit and emergency phone contacts handy.


Never consume alcohol when operating a boat or other watercraft.

Arizona is a wonderland for outdoor recreation throughout the year. It's also well known for being consistently above the national average for drowning deaths. Water safety is serious business. Following these few simple rules can keep your outdoor activities fun, and your friends and family safe for many summers to come.

I've selected a few really cute swimsuits and some water gear for your wishlist:



Friday, June 3, 2011

TODAY IS MY PRECIOUS BABY GIRL'S 8TH BIRTHDAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BABY GIRL!!!

















......I will add more photos later on capturing the last eight years and also add her pictures from her special day to commemorate her very special and big birthday but for now I just wanted to throw in a little message to her! To my biggest birthday girl, wowie!!! 8 years old!!! Is that ever big or what!!! Mommy and daddy love you so very much and are so very proud of you!!! You are such a wonderful girl and you bring sunshine with you wherever you go!!! You are the first of our baby bunch and you have been such a big helper and such a great big sister! You are definitely our little hen and have never had any trouble even to this day raising your little sister and baby brother and even us grown-ups!!! I love you deeper each and every day and I have so many hopes and dreams for you and whole future to share them with you!!! Just you wait kiddo, the best is yet to come!!! Happy Birthday my sweet 8 year old!!! May your day be full of love, laughter, sunshine, hearts, balloons, stars, rainbows, cupcakes, candy, and cake and everything else out there happy in the world!!! May this coming year be a blessed, safe, healthy, happy, and bright one where you are always happy and have more hugs and loves than you know what to do with!!! Love, mommy & daddy

MOMMY'S LITTLE SAILORS













We had the best summer last year into fall boating and swimming and we are looking forward to another great summer on the lake so I posted these pictures now so I can capture all the changes that the kids will go through this summer and how much they've grown and changed since last year! We hope you too have a great and safe summer especially around the water!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thursday Threes (Good things come in threes like 3 pictures of the sweetness of children!)

"On THURSDAY morning
They're up with the larks
To build a fire of lightning sparks..."



 "...Then all day long
They mix and bake
Very delicious
ANGEL FOOD CAKE!"


Bath time for baby just like mommy bathes me!
Piggy toes are so yummy! Let me just get this other bootie off!
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hi there and welcome to our newest family blog!


I have five minutes to write this first blog entry as that's about how long I have before my toddler son returns with his sisters and daddy from the grocery store and then I will be otherwise detained until about bedtime as he apparently has gotten his second wind and a balloon, which is his most favorite thing in all the world to play with. I'm beginning to really question this weekend hoopla about taking a break from the hectic work week. I have spent all day long going from one clean-up and repair job to the next and let me tell you that I'm am so surprised that our house is still standing after today! What a little stinker he is. While I was trying to get Barbie's head out of the potty with the plunger, he disassembled his daddy's drums stool and all, and then while I am desperately trying to re-assemble those so that his daddy doesn't return him to the hospital (the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit no less- ummm... honey I don't think they take 4 year olds back even if he is a newly turned 4 years old!),  he has gotten grease all over his bed including his sister's pink bunny while he was "washing his hands." So as I'm sitting here keyboarding this like a maniac trying to muster enough energy to endure these last few hours before bedtime. The girls are planning on reenacting Dora's Birthday Party scene so maybe they will invite him since he has a new balloon and he's ready for a party! I hope to be able to spend some quality time on this new blog a bit later for a proper introduction but until then I'll leave you to decide whether or not you think this precious little boy could ever even do anything naughty! :o)

Great Parenting Quotes!

Great Parenting Quotes!

Here's To The Magic Of All Children!!!

~ Once the children were in the house the air became more vivid and more heated; every object in the house grew more alive ~Mary Gordon
~ Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life ~ Sophocles
~ The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him. ~Pablo Casals
~ Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.~ Rosaleen Dickson
~ Children are our second chance to have a great parent-child relationship ~Laura Schlessinger
~ Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
~ Among the mind's powers is one that comes of itself to many children and artists. It need not be lost, to the end of his days, by anyone who has ever had it. This is the power of taking delight in a thing, or rather in anything, not as a means to some other end, but just because it is what it is. A child in the full health of his mind will put his hand flat on the summer lawn, feel it, and give a little shiver of private glee at the elastic firmness of the globe. ~ Charles E. Montaque 1867
~ There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
~ The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out of his nose ~
Garrison Keillor