Tag Archives: home repairs

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are big ants that live in many parts of the world. They like to build their nests or colonies from dead, damp timber. However, contrary to popular opinion, they do not feed on wood as termites do.

They use timber to build their colonies and tunnel through it in their search for new sources of food. This is evidenced by piles of frass, which is the debris that the carpenter ants have hollowed out of typically damp. dead wood.

There are over a thousand species of these large, typically black ants, which belong to the genus Camponotus. Carpenter ants live in colonies and have colonies both indoors and outdoors in moist, decaying or hollow timber. They like to travel through this rotting timber by chiselling out galleries or walkways in timber length-ways up the grain in order to provide passageways from one part of the nest to another.

The parts of a house that are most prone to be of interest to carpenter ants are floor joists, window frames and rafters in the roof. In fact, anywhere where you are liable to have a difficulty with water entry. Decks and porches are also obviously at risk.

An interesting fact about carpenter ants is that some species produce members that can explode in order to kill attackers. These so-called exploding ants are found mostly in South East Asia where there are at least nine species that can cause their bodies to explode, thus committing suicide.

These ants have a huge abdomen which produces a sort of glue which is shot out of the head onto attackers. The exploding ant dies, but all the attackers caught up in this mesh of glue are immobilized as well.

How do you know whether you have carpenter ants or not? Well, the best method of idetifying carpenter ants from other ants is by observing their waists. A carpenter ant has only one node or hump and their thorax or upper body is well-rounded and smooth. Other similar ants have more than one node or an uneven or two-sectioned back.

If you are looking at flying ants, then the disparity between carpenter ants and termites, with which they are often confused, is that carpenter ants have darker-coloured bodies, narrow waists, elbowed or bent antennae and, if they have them, the rear wings are shorter than the front wings.

Another aspect is that carpenter ants are fairly happy to come out and be seen, whereas termites are light-shy, even though carpenter ants are most active between dusk and mid-night and reproductive termites will take to the air during the day time.

Carpenter ants eat protein and sugar such as other insects, living or dead and spilled honey or sugar. This honey can also be extracted from aphids or greenfly, which is called honeydew. Therefore, if you want to trace carpenter worker ants back to their nest or colonies, you have to lay down something like honey and watch the ants take the food back to their colonies. This is the first step in destroying colonies of carpenter ants.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on quite a few topics, but is at present involved with Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Killing Carpenter Ants.

The Powerful Skill Saw

Another name for the skill saw is the circular saw. This saw is very helpful for the homeowner, the DIYer, and the carpenter/woodworker.

It is a very popular and convenient saw among lots of tradesmen for completing a wide assortment of jobs.

The saw itself can be mounted on a table or hand held. The choice is up to the user. Another choice is that the saws can be purchased to be run on either electric or battery power. If the battery operated saw is being used, it is very important that the correct battery is attached.

The skill saw has a metal-toothed blade or disc. There are lots of different blades manufactured to fit most needs. The blades are able to cut wood, metal, plaster board, and masonry or stonework. The saw is able to create sharp rep cuts, cross cuts, and narrow slots.

Every saw is equipped with a blade guard. This guard ought to be utilized at all times. The blades used ought to always be sharp and of the correct size. A skill saw can be very dangerous if it is not used properly.

There are numerous different models of skill saws on the market. The amount of torque that every motor provides makes the difference in the models. The two variations that are used the most are the worm drive and the side winder.

On the worm drive the motor will is attached behind the blade. The blade is positioned on the opposite side to that of the side winder motor. This permits the user to see the line they have marked without having to look over the saw, thereby allowing for better accuracy. If the blade is on the left side, it is easier to cut thin strips off an edge.

When cutting in a downward direction, the weight of the worm drive helps propel it, making cutting far easier. Whilst cutting overhead, the two handles on a worm drive make the job easier.

The worm drive is very sturdy and powerful and therefore is used by many carpenters and woodworkers.

The side winder is a useful saw for the homeowner or someone that needs it sometimes. The side winder is far easier to handle than the worm disk as it is much lighter.

On the side winder the drive motor is situated on either side of the blade. The drive shaft for the blade is powered by a motor. The cutting RPM of a side winder is more than a worm drive as the blade is in line with the drive gear. This extra speed could be as much as 2000 rpm.

You ought to read and follow the safety rules that come with the saw. It is recommended that goggles be worn while using a skill saw.

There are numerous makes of skill saw on the market; they can be found at hardware shops, and firms such as Sears, Walmart, and Home Depot. The prices of these saws vary, so you have to shop around and find the skill saw that fits your requirements.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on several subjects, but is currently involved with Black and Decker Tools. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Woodworking Power Tools

Helpful Advice To Use Before Employing A Handyman

A number of household tasks, particularly anytime they have increased in number over time, may require that you hire a handyman. You need to know, though, that they have got differing skill level sets. A handyman’s abilities are not always limited to carrying out the simpler things, like work in the yard, or raking leaves. Insignificant house repair, in addition to improvements, like painting, are other things they can do.

When you are looking for the ideal handyman, you might need to check out more than one. To begin with, you have to make a list of everything you would like done, in detail. It is in all probability that each handyman you speak with, won’t be able to do all of the jobs you want to have finished. The conventional handyman focuses on jobs that are quick to complete, possibly even jobs that he can do on an ad-hoc basis. Based on your needs, you might cut costs by finding a handyman who specializes in what you need, rather than one with a wide range of skills who will charge more. If all you want accomplished is a bit of tiling, using the services of someone who can also do painting, woodwork and electrical wiring will probably cost you more.

As long as you have a substantial list of workers seeking work, then you can save money by choosing the one who best fits your needs. It is important to find out details of their experience, and to get references. Typically one hears people mention brazen theft, or shoddy work, amongst other things, on the subject of handymen. The higher a handyman’s reputation for good work and trustworthiness, the better the job you will get done. There’s no better strategy for finding a good worker than by word of mouth referrals. Ask all your friends, your family and your neighbors about somebody you are looking at hiring, and make sure you hear only good things.

You must be provided with a written estimate which shows the all-inclusive charge, in addition to the date the work will be completed. Getting merely a verbal estimate can lead to some unexpected costs by an unscrupulous handyman, who often add a list of extra charges. You have to be provided with the total estimated cost, as well as clear details of anything that could lead to extra charges later on. For your personal safety, have everything in writing. A trustworthy handyman will likely be happy to give you everything in written form. You might perhaps permit someone you have had an extended relationship with to not do this, but you should stay well clear of anyone else who seems unwilling.

Ask them to supply proof that they have valid liability insurance, especially so if the job is quite a large one. Aside from a smaller project where you may waive this requirement, you do need to know that any potential damage is covered. A justification for hiring a handyman is to knock over a bunch of small jobs that have built up over time. Ensure that you are at ease with the person, because he will likely have access to your home.

A home remodeling venture is really a rewarding job that could be accomplished. This author holds years of expertise accomplishing home improvement jobs such as insulating basement walls. In addition, an experienced person on basement lighting and advocates LED lighting technology for energy efficiency.

Some Particulars About Ants

Everybody has lived with ants in the house or and the garden all his or her life. Wherever people live, ants live too, except in Antartica and a few islands, but how much do you really know about them?

Ants evolved from wasps about 120 million years ago and later, as plant life started to diversify, ants diversified and specialized as well. We do not know how many varieties of ants there are, but it is estimated that there are about 22,000. Of those, 12,500 odd have been classified, so there is still a great deal that we do not know about ants.

In spite of the large number of species they all have a characteristic shape: a node-like formation with a very narrow, wasp-like waist. Ants are insects and they live in colonies from a few dozen to many million individuals. The majority of these individuals are sterile female workers and soldiers.

There are also a few males, called drones, for reproduction purposes and one or more reproductive, egg-laying queens. There will also be a back-up group of reproductive females who can turn into workers or queens as the nest requires.

Ants are capable of working together to solve fairly complicated social or environmental problems and they have been a source of inspiration to human societies for centuries.

Termites are frequently called ‘white ants’, but in fact they are not at all connected to ants. They are more closely linked to cockroaches. The fact that termites and ants share a number of traits is attributed to convergent evolution.

Ants are very successful creatures. They make up about twenty percent of the entire land-based biomass and that exceeds the biomass of vertebrates. Most ants will eat anything although some species have specialized. There is a massive disparity in size. Some varieties are only three-quarters of a millimetre long while others are fifty-two millimetres in length, which is two inches long!

Ants have jointed antennae unlike most other insects and most of them have very poor eyesight, some are even blind, but definitely not all. Some ants have superb eyesight. They do not respire as we do, but gases passes through their exoskeleton (hard external skin) by means of valves. They do not have a heart as such either but they do have nerves. Some ants, such as the fire ant, have stings like their ancient relatives the wasps.

Ants come from eggs, but the eggs do not have to be fertilized: fertilized eggs turn out to be female and unfertilized develop into male. Ant nurse workers can affect which caste of ant an egg will produce by the kind of food it gives it. Ant eggs need a constant temperature, so nurse workers will often move the eggs from chamber to chamber to keep it perfect.

When an ant hatches out, it is given light duties like looking after the queen and the eggs for a few days and then it is moved on to excavating and cleaning the nest. The ants that go out foraging are the older ants. It is reckoned that they are given this work because it is dangerous and they will probably die of natural causes soon anyway.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on many subjects, but is currently concerned with how to kill fire ants. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Killing Carpenter Ants.

Destroying Ants With Natural Pesticides

Ants appear to be quite innocuous to a lot of people. In most temperate climates, ants do very little damage, although red ants bite people all over the planet. However, there are more serious ants in warmer countries and some of these ants can even be the cause of for hospitalzations and even a few fatalities. Red ant bites itch and even hurt, but picture a baby falling onto a red ant nest.

What if that infant fell onto a fire ant nest or a red carpenter ant nest? Carpenter ants can be an inch (25 mm) long and a bite can extract blood. There are poisonous ants in South America and exploding ants in Southeast Asia, although they will not kill humans. Soldier ants are quite frightening too. In fact, the amount of hazardous ants in the warmer countries can be worrying.

Indeed, only two weeks ago, my male dog was plastered in big red welts all over his stomach and under carriage. He was clearly in a lot of pain when he walked and was off his food. It has been very hot here in Thailand this summer because the monsoon was behind schedule, so he probably dug a shallow hole in the soil to keep cool. He was probably attacked by ants while he was asleep, but could not shake them off. He was in a very bad way for three days.

Some ants are vegetarians but others will happily eat meat, if it is on offer. Most ants will eat dead insects and small, dead animals. Some will also assault fit animals, including humans, if they feel threatened.

One trouble is that insects can become resistant to chemical controls and sometimes this immunity is localized, so it is better not to use chemicals if you can help it. Chemicals can also present a hazard to children, which makes storing them and using them even more dangerous.

Boric acid is a by-product of boron which is a natural product. Boric acid is extremely good at destroying insects that take food back to their colonies, so this includes ants and termites. It can be mixed with sugar and water to make it more appealing to ants or can be spread around the garden with no danger. It is risk-free to children and pets alike.

Cayenne pepper is another repellent-cum-killer. Cultivate your own cayenne peppers, liquidize them and add to boiling water, then spray over ants and ant runs when it has chilled. It will not kill a colony, but it will stop foraging ants.

Corn meal is a way of ant and cockroach control. Spread it about and when the insects consume it, it will expand up with their digestive juices and cause them to blow up. Not very nice, but satisfying all the same.

There are other natural remedies for killing or discouraging insects too, some are favourites of one country or local people. Why don’t you ask around the older people where you live and find out what their parents used to make use of to control ants and other insects the natural way?

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on many topics, but is currently involved with Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Killing Carpenter Ants.