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Archive for the ‘gardening’ tag

Quick And Easy Landscaping On A Budget

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Landscaping can be fun, and if you get good at it, you might even be able to make some extra money. Start by learning a few simple techniques that you can practice in your own backyard. Soon, you’ll be able to take pride in how beautiful your yard looks and might even be able to offer your services to someone else.

Before you pick out the plant species to use in any particular flower bed, take the time to determine its sun exposure. How much or how little shade a bed gets makes a big difference in what plants will do best in it. Facing is also important. A spot on the west side of your house will get very different exposure to the sun than one on the east side.

Make sure you do real research on the plants you are considering for your landscaping. Look into what requirements each plant has for optimal growth. Furthermore, be sure to understand the amount of attention each type of plant needs, and match plants to fit your lifestyle. A great place to start this research is your local garden center.

Starting and completing a landscape project can be expensive. Think about doing it in stages so that the cost is spread out over time some. This way, you can pay as you go, and you will not have to pay interest on either credit cards or a loan from the bank.

One tip that all do it yourself landscapers should always remember is to have fun. Landscaping doesn’t have to be a chore, and it really shouldn’t be. Don’t make your design so complex that it will cause you to loath working on your yard. This can keep you from ever finishing your project.

Use solar lights to add visual appeal to your yard. Solar lights can make a pathway safer to walk on at night, and they add texture and beauty to your garden. Solar lights are available in many different varieties, and at all different price points, so it is easy to find a set that will work well in your yard.

If you are adding archways, or pergolas to your yard, make sure that they are tall enough. A good average height is 8 feet. If you make an archway too short, people will not be able to walk underneath it and enjoy it. If you make it too tall, it can look overwhelming, and out of place.

When selecting trees for your landscaping project, look for those with rough, glossy or peeling bark. Birch, crepe myrtle, paperbark maple and Japanese cherry trees all have interesting bark that can add texture and visual appeal to your landscape design. Choose trees with bark colors that complement other aspects of your landscape, such as stones or flowers.

When you are purchasing flowers look for perennials rated for your zone. Annuals are great for quickly creating a colorful flowerbed, but they will need to be planted again the following year. Perennials come back year after year and cut down on the work and expense of maintaining a beautiful flower garden.

When planning a landscaping project for your house, be sure that you put your design on paper first. This will help you visualize your concept and ensure that your project is going to work. This is going to help ensure that you do not waste your time and your money with a misguided plan.

Container planting works great in any garden. Container plants are easy to move around if you have plants that need different levels of light than what is present in your yard. They are also raised from the ground, making them easier to tend to. Place a few in your yard to add visual appeal.

Hopefully, you’ve learned some new techniques after reading this article that will allow you to begin doing some landscaping. Your backyard is the best place to begin and you can experiment, so that you can create the yard you want and most people won’t see the results until you invite them to. Don’t forget to have fun while you’re learning.

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Written by Willie Dylan

December 10th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Bellevue chiropractor shows you how to prevent gardening injuries.

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Its almost that time of year again! Time for the sunshine to come out and for the flowers to start to bloom. This means getting out into the garden, and with that comes gardening injuries. Digging, bending, twisting, and pulling are all vigorous physical activities and they are all a huge part of gardening, and yet we rarly consider gardening a physical activity. “Many people think gardening as an innocuous activity, but it puts the body in positions it hasn’t been in for months-bending, sitting on the ground, stooping, working on all fours,” says Dr. Hancock, DC of Chicago.

We have to start thinking about gardening activities much like we would think about participating is a sporting activity. “To warm up, walk for five to 10 minutes to get your heart rate up While you garden, divide your activity into thirds- (movements affecting the body) below the waist, between the waist and shoulders, and above the shoulders, doing each for 10 to 15 minutes,” he says.

Before and after a gardening project, Kathi Casey, ERYT, CPI, a health coach and trainer practicing in Massachusetts, recommends a complete stretch and flexion of the spine for a minute or two before and after a gardening project. “Sit tall in a straight chair with your feet on the floor. Inhale deeply as you slowly arch your spine; then exhale slowly as you curl. Avoid straining your neck,” she says.

For those of you who are going to take on bigger gardening projects like diging trenches, Debbie Mandel, MA, a fitness and stress management expert and author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman’s 7-Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, recommends undergoing some strength training to prepare. “To strengthen upper extremities, she prefers triceps extensions and wrist curls with dumbbells. To strengthen shoulders for overhead movements, use two dumbbells in a military press and shoulder raises. “Remember to hold your abdominals in tightly to support your back and recruit core strength, and to exhale on exertion,” she adds.

All in all, make sure that you are physically prepared to garden this summer. I have seen far too many gardening injuries and would like you to stay strong and healthy this gardening season.

Michael Weir, D.C. is a local Bellevue chiropractor. He can be found at Back in Action Chiropractic at 1940 116th Ave NE #101, Bellevue WA 98004, or by calling the phone number (425) 635-0495.

Written by Dr. Michael Weir

January 2nd, 2012 at 2:10 pm

How To Get Rid Of Skunks

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Skunks are so adorable… if they live six miles away. Unfortunately, human territory and skunk territory often crosses and the outcome can be stinky at most. As the prospect of how to treat skunks may appear difficult at first, you can find items that may well be done to store skunks from deciding an exact patch of land or backyard is the playground. While it’s not real to always keep them away, homeowners can create their properties rather unattractive with these creatures. In the event that they do, chances are high the skunks will move to greener pastures.

There are many things homeowners can try to make certain skunks don’t make an attempt to call their houses home. Some of the ideas take diligence and something of work, however the end result might be sweet smelling success. To help keep skunks covered up try:

Keeping garbage protected and covered. Large, plastic cans with tight-fitting lids are sometimes the best for storing trash. Bags left outside for garbage men can attract various food scavengers…skunks are only one type. The secret is to make sure the rubbish smell isn’t released from the can and then to help to ensure sure trash won’t spill over if the can happens to get tipped by way of dog, cat, raccoon or especially skunk.

Keeping pet food covered or inside. It is never wise to leave food to have a cat or dog outside for 24 hours. Skunks are attracted to the easy meal then they will could plan to move set for good. Additionally, many other scavengers can decide to pay visits when foodtstuffs are ignored. Watch out with bird feeders, too. Don’t let the seeds fall on the floor.

Removing bugs. Skunks are natural born bug eaters. They adore offers like larva and grubs. Ensure lawns are treated properly in order to avoid food-hunting skunks from finding a simple meal within.

Covering compost heaps. Using modernized plastic compost bins that cover tightly might actually help avoid this skunk attractant from reeling them in. Should a covered heap isn’t possible, be sure you keep fruit, animal bones and eggs out of the piles. Continue with plant material instead.

Keeping fruit trees and berry shrubs harvested. Fallen fruits and berries can attract skunks. To create a yard less attractive, be sure you pick these up when they fall.

Other methods. Some homeowners have taken first-class luck through the use of different repellants, fences along with devices to store skunks away. Bright light, for instance, will likely become a useful and natural means. It might also keep other nocturnal animals from a yard, nevertheless it does present a problem by serving to catch mosquitoes along with other troublesome bugs.

Skunks some times eaten by areas where the feeding is straightforward. When tackling the situation of approaches to eradicate skunks, the trick to keep them away should be to make sure a yard will not present a smorgasbord of food and water they might get at easily. A careful surveying of many property plus some fairly simple measures can be enough to ensure skunks along with scavenging critters don’t decide to call a particular patch of land their very own.

Finally, if you want to know how to get rid of skunks, just visit this home improvement blog

Written by Ed Carlton

December 21st, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Termite Eggs And The Queens That Lay Them

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Termites are not ants, but they do resemble them in many ways. In fact, termites are not even distantly related to ants, they are more closely related to cockroaches. But, as I stated, termites share many traits with ants. They live in colonies of many hundreds, thousands and even millions of inhabitants, they have a queen termite, they are controlled by something we humans do not comprehend, but which we call ‘collective intelligence’, they are given this information by pheromones and they procreate by means of eggs. The queen can lay thousands of termite eggs per day and there can be more than one queen per colony.

An adult termite queen is capable of producing thousands of eggs a day. This is accomplished by having an enlarged abdomen. Sometimes the abdomen is a hundred times the size of a typical termite, although the head and the legs remain the same size as before.

This procedure produces quite a bizarre creature in relation to her relatives, although we clearly do not know how they regard her. Being blind and in the darkness of a termite colony they cannot see her anyway. In some species, the queen will grow a new pair of ovaries with each shedding of her skin, which will increase her fruitfulness even more.

When a mature queen is at this phase in her life, she cannot walk, because when she sits on her belly her legs do not even touch the ground. If she has to get anywhere for whatever reason, the worker termites will either carry or roll her there. They also tend to her toiletry needs and feed her.

It can take dozens and dozens of workers to shift the queen when she has become an egg factory. If she is moved by the workers, they are rewarded with a liquid that the queen secretes from her behind. It is invigorating enough to revive the workers and encourage them to do the queen’s bidding next time. The queen communicates with her subjects through pheromones.

However we try to humanize this process in order to better understand it, it is virtually impossible to think like a termite or any other insect that uses ‘collective intelligence’. We talk about ‘the queen’, but do termites think of her as ‘the boss’? Do they pity her for not being able to get out? Almost definitely not. She has a job to perform as do the other castes of termites and it is probable that not one caste feels itself to be higher or lower than another.

Calling the various castes of termites queens, kings, soldiers and workers is just a way of explaining things in simple human terms, but it almost certainly bears little relevance to how termites interact within their own community.

An interesting digression to the topic of termite eggs is the winged termites, also called reproductive or alate termites. They can sit in the wings waiting for the right moment to fly off and establish a new colony or one of them can be ‘brought on’ to replace a queen that has died or been killed.

Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on lots of subjects, but is at present concerned with how to get rid of termites. If you are interested in this or if you are wondering: What Does A Termite Look Like?. Please go to our web site now for further details.

Make Your Garden Looking Nice By Ridding Yourself Of Pests

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Taking a stroll in your garden, expecting enjoying your plants, can be totaly ruined by the discovery that they are suddenly full of holes Infestations are usually the guilty party. Birds, slugs, and worms are a few of the garden pests that are the worst, in addition to snails, caterpillars and even gophers.

Despite the fact that you won’t ever have a completely pest-free garden, you can largely preserve the results of your labours by taking appropriate action. An issue is that insects are often only found by looking for them in rotting vegetation or under the surface of the soil. One of the first things you need to do is clear away the places where the insects live. Take away the weeds, the old leaves, and any decaying matter that the insects want to live in. Burrow over patches of soil and break up any clumps on a frequent basis. This should help eliminate any hiding areas in the soil.

Dormant spray is something else you should use to limit plant diseases and insect activities. You implement the spray once the plants are dormant, around February/March. The dormant spray won’t be effective unless of course the instructions are meticulously followed. Another reason to follow the directions is that when used incorrectly it could be lethal for your plants. Just like some insects are bad for your garden, there are others that are good, therefore try and retain them. There is an additional class of garden pest, that lives not on the ground but around the sky – birds. Attempting to chase them away isn’t going to do much good, but a solution you might try is to put up a bird feeder. Let the birds feed on what you have inside your feeder instead of what’s in your garden. It can help you save money in the long run, and become part of your yard decoration.

It may not eliminate your whole situation, but having a dog could actually help also. For many garden owners their unique garden pest would be the gopher. When you have declining plants and discover small heaps of pushed-up soil then you will know they’re around. Gophers are tiny creatures that can often be a nuisance. With a length of between five and fourteen inches, gophers have small tails and are usually black, brown or occasionaly white. Placing traps is one way to try to eliminate them. To do so successfully you must detect their tunnels and choose the right position for the traps Removing gophers can also be attempted by burning smoke bombs in the entrances to their tunnels.

If pests are not done away with speedily, your garden will deteriorate rapidly. The longer they remain, the harder they’re going to be to get rid of. A well-kept garden is usually a pleasant thing that offers value to a home.

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Written by Daniel Wilson

November 26th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Snake Free Home

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Snakes are a creature that people don’t want near their homes. They are able to attack people as well as dogs and cats. If the snake is venomous it can cause some severe damage. Keeping snakes away can be important for people who have fears connected with them.

Snakes can handle going into any hole that is the size of a quarter or larger. A common spot of entrance for snakes will be spaces between siding, windows as well as the gap found between the garage door and the ground. Any holes a homeowner encounters should be protected or filled so as to not allow for any entrance.

A fairly easy and straightforward action to take to keep snakes out would be to mow the yard often. Snakes benefit from the cover that high uncut lawn offers them. Snakes are predators and when the property owner eliminates the favorable hunting ground the snakes will move on to greener pastures.

Get rid of all mess which may be inside or outside of the home. Stacks of stone or trash, to a snake these items are home sweet home. Snakes love mess, since it is a good sanctuary for them.

A home owner should if possible distinguish the type of snake they are working with, since different snakes have got different diets. Generally though, for many kinds of snakes it’s a great idea to eliminate pests like mice, rats, frogs, and grasshoppers.

Venomous snakes are generally vibrant or flashy to be able to warn other creatures to leave it alone. This alert will make it more difficult for a snake to be able to creep up upon its prey, however it also helps make the snake safe from potential predators that would have it for dinner.

Snakes can be found worldwide in virtually all environments, with the exception of the severe freezing places near the poles. Some snakes survive on land, while some spend their entire existence in water and therefore are aquatic. There are many varieties of snakes and they all have developed special ways to live based on the region.

check out some more information on how to repel snakes, or maybe you are looking for snake spray.

Written by Ben Flanken

November 25th, 2011 at 10:33 am

What Is The London Underground Mosquito?

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Who would have guessed that the London Underground is home to a unique species of mosquito? The species is known as the London Underground mosquito and is thought to have evolved from Culex pipiens. The London Underground species has been dubbed Culex pipiens molestus, because it is a tireless biter.

It is not new, but it is comparatively new in biological terms. Molestus is known to have bitten Londoners during the Second World War whilst they were taking refuge during the air raids. However, there are other references to a mosquito with the same name, molestus, 170 years before the war, when there was no underground railway system in London or anywhere else in the world.

This mosquito was first discovered in the London Underground, which is why it got its name, but it can be discovered in metro and underground railway systems all around the world. No one really knows a lot concerning this insect species yet.

Some people suggest that it is a variant of a local Culex pipiens that has adapted to living in warmer, subterranean tunnels, whilst others say that is a southern (and therefore warmer) variant of C. pipiens that is able to live in the colder north because it has colonized the warm train tunnels of the underground systems.

Yet others, notably Kate Byrne and Richard Nichols, suggest that it is a totally different species from Culex pipiens. Their proof for saying this is that there are differences between pipiens and molestus: they display very different behavioural patterns and do not mate readily with each other.

C. pipiens molestus will bite rats, mice and humans and dies in cold temperatures but remains active all year round, whereas C. pipiens can tolerate cold weather, only bites birds and hibernates if the weather gets very cold.

On the rare occasions when the two varieties cross breed, the eggs are infertile, which suggests that they are distantly related if at all. Recent studies indicate that molestus originated in one source but spread rapidly around the world, maybe in freight.

Second-hand tyres have been held responsible for spreading molestus around the world. There is a colossal international trade in second hand tyres and it is infamously difficult to get all the water out of a tyre that has been left in the rain. Mosquitoes can breed in a tiny amount of water, so this is a possibility.

There is a bizarre and not completely explained twist to the story of the molestus, the American version of molestus pipiens still bites birds which leads some people to say that molestus is a separate species, but that it has formed a hybrid in America with pipiens.

This is fairly frightening, but fairly possible, because the American pipiens can transmit human encephalitis caused by the West Nile virus, an outbreak of which hit New York in 1999.

There is a lot more to find out about the London Underground mosquito, since the story is only just starting to unfold. The real story will probably come out of America where this new mosquito has proved to be the most perilous.

Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on a number of topics, but is currently involved with finding a home remededy for mosquito bites. If you would like to know more, please go to our web site at Getting Rid of Mosquito Bites.

Written by Owen Jones

November 19th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Advice For Keeping Mosquitoes Out Of Your Backyard

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Anyone with a nice garden, patio or deck will surely take pleasure in sitting outside on a warm summer’s day or evening. But if there is one thing that can ruin it for you, it is mosquitoes.

Occasionally, it only takes one of two determined mosquitoes to make your blood boil. Mosquitoes are a nuisance for sure, but they can also become a health hazard, spreading dengue fever and malaria and a number of other truly horrible diseases. So how do you go about keeping mosquitoes out of your garden?

Perhaps you cannot realistically hope to keep mosquitoes out of your backyard completely, but there are some measures you can take to deter them and hold their numbers down. Preventing them breeding in your garden is the first step to take. Mosquitoes do not have a long flying range, many of the mosquitoes that trouble you in your backyard will have been born in your garden.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so make certain that there is none in your garden. They will lay eggs in water butts, dogs’ bowls, water that has collected in old tyres, bottles and tins and your waste cans, so make certain that no water can gather anywhere. Blocked gutters are another breeding site. If you have a water feature, put fish in it to feed on the larvae.

Mosquitoes hate the smell of lemon, so you could grow citronella plants, lemon thyme, lemon grass and even a lemon tree, if the climate is right. Otherwise you could burn citronella scented candles or oil nearby They not only keep the mosquitoes away, but the smell is very fresh and envigourating.

If they are still pestering you, you might have to rely on mosquito repellent. You could imbue your clothing with permethrin, like the army does for jungle warfare or just rub a deet-based product on your skin. There are also plenty of natural mosquito repellents as well, such as lemon oil, citronella and eucalyptus oil.

Garlic is said to deter mosquitoes, so you could try growing garlic nearby. It is also believed to deter ticks and has proven to discourage greenfly (aphids) from roses. What could be better, especially if you are partial to garlic as well?

You could put up one or two of those lamps that lure insects to them and them kill them with a high voltage current. These electric insect killers are especially good for killing mosquitoes and household flies, which can also become a nuisance if you are sitting outside.

They are reasonably priced and will last for years. They give off a pleasing glow and some claim to be able to clear areas of a quarter, a half and even a full acre of land of all flying insects by the use of the ultraviolet light and pheromones.

By using some or all of the above ways of keeping mosquitoes out of your garden, you should be able to enjoy your drink, a chat or a doze in complete peace and freedom from flies and mosquitoes.

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on several subjects, but is at present involved with Insect Exterminator problems. If you would like to know more, visit our website at Bugs Infestation.

Written by Owen Jones

November 17th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Destroying Ants With Natural Pesticides

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Ants seem quite harmless to most people. In the majority of temperate climates, ants do very little damage, although red ants bite people all over the world. 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 deaths. Red ant bites itch or 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 draw 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 dangerous ants in the warmer countries can be worrying.

Indeed, only a fortnight ago, my male dog was plastered in big red marks all over his stomach and under carriage. He was obviously 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 late, so he most likely dug a shallow hole in the earth to keep cool. He was probably attacked by ants while he was napping, but could not shake them off. He was in a very bad state for three days.

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

One problem is that insects can become resistant to chemical controls and sometimes this resistance is localized, so it is better not to use chemicals if you can do anything about it. Chemicals can also present a danger 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 nests, so this encompasses ants and termites. It can be mixed with sugar and water to make it more appealing to ants or can be scattered around the garden with no danger. It is risk-free to children and pets alike.

Cayenne pepper is another deterrent-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. Sprinkle 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 gratifying all the same.

There are other biological remedies for destroying or deterring 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 subjects, but is currently concerned 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.

Written by Owen Jones

November 15th, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Is Soap A Natural Insecticide?

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How much do you know about soap in its various guises? If you wash with it, it makes you clean and kills some germs, particularly those obtained from going to the toilet. It makes children throw up if they eat it. Shampoo stings if it gets in your eyes. It does not taste very nice. Most dogs hate being washed in it. Anything else? Did you know that it is it is a cause of death to the majority of creatures on the planet? The pointer is in that it destroys germs.

Soap can be employed as an insecticide as well as a germicide. Everyday soap does not kill ‘ninety-nine percent of all known germs – dead’, as the advert for a bleach once went and it perhaps does not kill all the different types of germs either, but as a broad-spectrum insecticide, it is pretty good. Some types of soap are more effective than others.

Neem Tree oil soap is a good example. It will poison some insects such as fleas and repel a whole load more and it is a potent fungicide. In fact, there has to be a lot more study carried out on what Neem can do. It is a tree from south-east Asia, particularly India, where it has been used for hundreds of years minimum for its antiseptic, insecticidal and fungicidal properties.

However, it is very strong If you use it on your plants take care. It may kill delicate, weak or young plants, so you will need to make a few tests first. The oil seems to work by increasing the effects of sunlight in some manner.

Domestic washing up liquid, at the strength you use to wash dishes can be used to control wasps, greenfly and some mites. However, but some plants rely on an outer layer for defense and de-greasing soaps can affect that layer. It is safest to only use this liquid on woody plants like roses. If you want real, commercially-produced insecticidal soap, try your garden shop.

Soap usually has an effect on on insects by washing away their outer waxy layer which is meant to stop them dehydrating. It can also cause cell damage. As a repellent? It probably smells bad to them, which is a good enough reason for washing surface areas often.

Domestic soaps, with the exception of Neem, are only effective as an insecticide when they are wet, but you should never apply soap suds in strong direct sunlight or they may burn or boil your flowers. Automatic dishwasher soaps are not good for plants as they are too severe, but may be effective against ants’ nests and wasps’ nests and the like.

The most prolific insecticide the world has ever known, borax or boric acid, used to be put into a lot of soaps and may still be added to some intended to poison insects. Boric acid is slightly less safe than table salt to humans and their pets, so if you see that chemical in a soap, you know that it is not a cause for concern and that it is an insecticidal soap. Borax is meant to be consumed and will kill a whole ant colony in a couple of weeks.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on many topics, but is currently concerned with Terro Ant Bait. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please visit our web site at Killing Carpenter Ants.

Written by Owen Jones

November 15th, 2011 at 2:32 pm