Anna Messina's Blog
After a long winter, it’s nice to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures. That is, until I remember all of the insects that the season brings.
Insects can wreak havoc on your lawn by digging holes. Others can demolish your garden in a matter of days by eating leaves and laying eggs.
It’s no wonder we turn to pesticides to keep them away from the yard and garden we’ve spent so much time perfecting.
On the other hand, there are some insects that provide immense benefits to your yard. These ones often go unnoticed due to their nocturnal activity and tendency to stay out of sight.
In this article, we’re going to talk about some beneficial bugs that you actually want in your yard and garden. We’ll discuss why they’re so important and how you can encourage them to stick around.
But first, let’s discuss why you’d even want to invite insects in your yard.
The problem with pesticides
It would be reckless to label all pesticides as harmful. However, some pesticides have been shown to have detrimental effects on us, and on the bees who pollinate the plants that keep us all fed.
It is difficult to examine the effect of pesticides because there are so many factors at play, making a controlled study difficult to achieve. However, some “natural experiments” (meaning ones we don’t plan for and execute in a lab) have shown the pesticide chlorpyrifos to cause developmental problems in children.
Many people born before the turn of the century will probably remember or at least heard of the pesticide DDT and the risks that came with it. The dangers of such pesticides have led us to seek out alternatives in our yards, where our children play, and our gardens, where we get our food.
So, which bugs do you want to stick around in your yard?
Lady beetles, or “ladybugs” as they’re known in North America, are both beautiful and useful to have around the yard.
These colorful beetles look gentle but they are predators who prey on plant-eating insects called aphids. In its lifetime, a lady beetle can eat up to 5,000 aphids, which comes to about 50 per day. That’s a lot of protection for your garden.
To attract lady beetles to your garden, all you’ll need is a source of pollen for them to eat. They particularly like cilantro, fennel, dill, geraniums, and dandelions. You can also purchase lady beetles online and, with some luck, they’ll keep returning year after year.
There sure don't sound beneficial, but there are a few varieties of parasitic insects that won’t harm you or your garden, but will kill pests like aphids and flies. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside of aphids, killing them. Fly parasites kill flies in the pupal stage.
Flies are attracted to manure and other composting materials that you may want to use in your garden. If you keep a composting bin outdoors, you’re probably no stranger to flies. Purchasing fly parasites will help you manage the flies without resorting to sprays.
These slimy creatures aren’t like the others on our list. Rather than managing pests, earthworms help your soil directly. They aerate the soil, improving drainage, and they add nutrients to the soil in the form the of castings they leave behind.
The best way to attract earthworms to your yard and garden is to simply take good care of the soil. Earthworms thrive in moist soil with plenty of organic material.
So, when you see those tiny piles of worm castings in your dirt, just rake them out. It’s a sign that you have a healthy lawn and healthy soil underneath.
Looking to add your home to the real estate market in the near future? Home interior improvements are a must, especially if you want your residence to stand out from the competition.
Believe it or not, your bathroom can serve as a key differentiator for your home. With a neat, tidy bathroom, you may be able boost your home's appeal to potential homebuyers. On the other hand, a messy bathroom is unlikely to do you any favors in a fierce housing market.
If you spend some time cleaning your house's bathroom from top to bottom, you could increase your chances of a quick home sale. Lucky for you, we're here to provide simple, effective bathroom cleaning tips so you can enhance your house's bathroom.
Here are three bathroom cleaning tips that every home seller needs to know.
1. Use an All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner on the Sink
Dirt and grime may form in your bathroom sink over an extended period of time. Thankfully, an all-purpose bathroom cleaner will make it easy for you to eliminate residue from your bathroom sink.
An all-purpose bathroom cleaner is a great option to remove light soil and film from a bathroom sink. And if you need extra help, you can always use an abrasive or soft-scrub cleaner as well.
2. Scrub the Shower and Bathtub
When was the last time you cleaned your shower and bathtub? If it's been several years, then there's no time like the present to scrub down every inch of your shower and bathtub and give them a fresh look and feel.
Abrasive scrubbing pads are ideal to remove bathroom rings or deposits on shower floors. Also, tile brushes will enable you to scrub tile grout and clean cracks and corners as needed.
3. Spend Some Time Cleaning the Toilet
Let's face it – no one likes cleaning the toilet. However, a home seller will need to spend some time cleaning the toilet to ensure a home's bathroom stands out for all the right reasons.
Toilet bowl cleaner dissolves deposits and kills germs, and as such, can help you speed up the process of cleaning a toilet. Plus, you can use a toilet bowl cleaner in conjunction with a strong, durable toilet bowl brush to eliminate all deposits with ease.
Lastly, don't forget to use a disinfecting spray cleaner on the toilet rims, seat, lid, tank and bowl exterior. Wipe down these areas, and you'll be able to enhance your toilet's overall appearance.
If you're unsure about how to improve your bathroom, be sure to consult with a real estate agent before you list your home. This real estate professional is happy to provide home selling tips and ensure you can revamp your house's interior and exterior.
A real estate agent can serve as an expert guide to the home selling process and will offer tips along each stage of the home selling journey. Therefore, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble maximizing the value of your house.
In some instances, a home seller has limited time and resources to list his or her house and promote it to prospective buyers. Fortunately, there are many ways for a seller to make the most of his or her time and resources throughout the property selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a house seller get the most out of his or her time and resources.
1. Create a Plan
A home selling strategy can make a world of difference for any seller, at any time. Because if a seller knows what to expect after he or she lists a residence, this individual can plan accordingly.
As you put together a home selling strategy, think about your property selling goals. Then, you can determine the steps you'll need to take to achieve these goals – something that may help you streamline the house selling journey.
2. Learn About Your Target Audience
Consider the buyer's perspective – you'll be glad you did. If you understand why buyers may consider your residence, you can ensure your home listing hits the mark with them. And as a result, you could boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Don't forget to analyze your home's strengths and weaknesses too. Oftentimes, it is beneficial for a seller to conduct a house inspection before he or she lists a residence. With an inspection report in hand, a seller can identify any underlying home problems and correct these issues before they can slow down a potential home sale.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you need help to sell your home, you can always hire a real estate agent. There are many qualified real estate agents available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do everything possible to ensure you can optimize your time and resources throughout the house selling journey.
A real estate agent understands the home selling journey varies from person to person. As such, he or she first will meet with you and find out why you are selling your residence. Next, a real estate agent will provide a personalized home selling strategy. A real estate agent then will promote your residence to prospective buyers, host home showings and open house events and much more.
Of course, if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent is ready to help you determine the best course of action as well. Performing an in-depth analysis of a homebuying proposal sometimes can be difficult, but a real estate agent is happy to help you make an informed home selling decision.
For those who are looking to achieve the best-possible results during the property selling journey, it generally is beneficial to explore ways to maximize your time and resources. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you'll be better equipped than ever before to use your time and resources to enjoy a quick, successful home selling experience.