These plumbers have unclogged it all — and they told HuffPost about what they personally won’t do in bathrooms as a result....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Unclogging gurgling toilets and bathtubs can be an unfortunately common rite of passage for many of us living in homes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Ideally, our bathroom pipes run smoothly without distressing noises or smells.
HuffPost reached out to plumbers about the common mistakes they have seen residents make and what they would personally never do in a bathroom after their years of experience. They shared their biggest “wants” as lessons for us all:
1. They won’t put flushable wipes down a toilet.
Just because a product says it is flushable does not guarantee it actually is.
“Flushable wipes are a huge no-no,” said AJ Jenkins, an Oklahoma City-based plumber.
Philadelphia-based plumber Kelly Ireland also warned against using flushable wipes, because then you will then “pay $10,000 to have your front yard ripped up. That’s your other option when it’s old plumbing systems,” she cautioned.
“To say ‘flushable’ just means it’s going to go through your toilet. But what it does to your plumbing system, especially if you have older pipes, is if you have, like, cast iron, the wipes don’t disintegrate,” Ireland said. “I’ve had instances where I spent [an] entire two days drain cleaning and you get to a point where you’re like, ‘Now we have to just dig this whole pipe out.’ And then you’re dealing with a dig-up in your front yard or in your basement. And that obviously is super costly.”
If you use flushable wipes, put them in a trash can, not your toilet, Ireland said.
2. They won’t flush tampons down the toilet.
Similarly, avoid flushing tampons and menstrual products down your toilet to avoid dealing with future drain clogs.
“Have you ever stuck a tampon in water? It literally just expands,” Ireland said.
3. They don’t use Drano as their only unclogging method.
Just pouring Drano and other heavy-duty chemical drain cleaners down your bathtub to deal with hair clogs can do more harm than good.
“What Drano will do ― if you don’t know your plumbing system and you have old pipes ― is it will actually eat through the old pipes. So, sure, it’ll get rid of the clog, but it’ll also start raining in your living room,” Ireland said.
She added that another problem is that the cleaner can move the buildup in your pipes to another area that’s harder to reach. “If it sludges into a hard turn, then you have a major clog,” she said as an example.
Similarly, Jenkins cautioned against using the popular DIY solution of baking soda and vinegar on sink pipe clogs. “You should also never use baking soda and vinegar to unclog a bathroom sink because it can eat away at the rubber gasket used to put the sink drain together,” they said.
“The best method to unclogging if possible is plunging. It’s the safest,” Ireland said.
4. They won’t install an adjustable P-trap.
“One item I would never install in a bathroom is an adjustable P-trap. P-traps are often advertised as a convenient plumbing solution for DIY homeowners, but they can cause more problems than they solve,” Jenkins said.
“The ridges on these traps tend to collect buildup and catch hair, leading to frequent clogs, and they’re difficult to unclog without needing to disassemble the entire drain,” they said. “Using the right materials from the start will save you time in the long run and avoid the hassle of having to frequently unclog your drain.”
Hardware stores offer a variety of different fittings to connect a sink drain, and Jenkins recommended a standard slip nut washer trap over an adjustable P-trap for your sink.
5. They don’t leave the water on while working on a leaky pipe.
Before you start working on a pipe or fixture you suspect is leaking, turn off its water supply to stop the flow of water — or else you will be risking water flowing into your bathroom.
“I would never work on a fixture that doesn’t have reliable and working shut-off valves,” said Carly Carey, a Minneapolis-based plumbing apprentice for Erik Nelson plumbing. “If you are working on a fixture or there becomes a problem with a fixture like it starts to leak, a broken or failing shut-off won’t hold.”
If a fixture doesn’t have its own shut-off valve, look for the main one in your house before doing any plumbing. It’s typically near a hot water heater, your basement, or the foundation of your house outside.
6. They won’t use bleach tablets to clean the toilet.
A toilet brush and a spray cleaner may take more hands-on effort than dropping a cleaning tablet into your toilet tank, but at least the former is less likely to destroy your toilet.
“Those blue tablets and bleach tablets people keep in their tank are horrible for the toilet. They break down the tank parts and constantly need replacing,” Ireland said.
The longer that a cleaning tablet sits in your toilet, the more likely that it will dissolve the plastic and rubber gaskets, washers, and pipes around it.
“The longer the tablet sits, the longer its chemicals chip away at your toilet’s materials. Your toilet pipes will eventually begin to leak often, and your toilet won’t flush properly,” explains a blog post for Mr. Rooter Plumbing company of Columbia, Missouri. “Instead of dropping a couple of tablets in your toilet and letting them sit for months, use distilled white vinegar and get rid of stains in an effective, yet valuable way.“
Ultimately, everyone wants to keep their toilets, tubs, and sinks fresh and clean. When in doubt, double-check what kind of bathroom materials you have to see which cleaning products you should use. And know when to call in professionals for help.
“If all else fails, that’s why we have professional plumbers!” Jenkins said.
How to Get Rid of Whiteflies for Good on All Your Plants
Use these tips to naturally get rid of whiteflies on indoor and outdoor plants....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
If you see tiny white bugs on plants, clambering over leaves in a group or flying in a swarm when a plant is disturbed, you are probably dealing with whiteflies. Whiteflies are common plant pests that affect outdoor and indoor plants and plants grown in greenhouses. Although whiteflies are small, these pests spread rapidly, and large populations can weaken and even kill plants if left unchecked. If you suspect you’re dealing with whiteflies, you need to act fast. The organic pest control tips here will teach you how to get rid of whiteflies and prevent them from returning.
What Are Whiteflies
Whiteflies are small, flying insects with yellow-to-white, triangular bodies that measure about 1/12-inch long. Despite their name, whiteflies aren’t flies; they are closely related to mealybugs and aphids. Like their plant pest cousins, whiteflies feed on plant sap and are most active during the day.
In warm areas, whiteflies survive outdoors all year round, but in USDA Zones 7 and colder, whiteflies are primarily encountered in greenhouses and houseplant collections. Many species of whiteflies target only specific types of plants, but silverleaf whiteflies and some other whitefly species are generalists that feed on a broad range of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Whiteflies are most common on houseplants with smooth, soft leaves, but they also target many vegetables, including brassicas, sweet potatoes, and plants in the nightshade family.
Whitefly Life Cycle
One of the reasons whiteflies are so problematic is that these pests reproduce incredibly rapidly. In warm, humid environments, whiteflies can complete their entire lifecycle in just 16 days, and a single female whitefly lays about 400 eggs in her lifetime. Considering those statistics, it’s no wonder whitefly infestations can quickly overwhelm houseplants and greenhouses.
Female whiteflies typically lay their round, yellow eggs in a circular pattern on the underside of plant leaves. Those eggs hatch in about five days, and the nymphal whiteflies that emerge don’t travel far before they attach themselves to plant leaves and start feeding. After the larvae have fed enough, they pupate and turn into mature whiteflies with wings. Interrupting the whitefly lifecycle before mature adults lay more eggs is the best way to tackle whitefly infestations and keep them from spreading.
Signs of a Whitefly Infestation
Diagnosing a whitefly infestation can be tricky since whiteflies, aphids, and mealybugs all cause similar damage on plants. Like aphids and mealybugs, whiteflies weaken plants as they feed, making it harder for plants to photosynthesize. As infestations progress, plant leaves may yellow, wilt, and fall off, and the plant’s growth becomes stunted.
You might notice a sticky “honeydew” residue or sooty mold on affected plant leaves, which are signs that you’re dealing with whiteflies or other sap-sucking pests.
Because whitefly problems so closely resemble the symptoms of other plant pest infestations, it’s essential to inspect your plants carefully to determine if you’re dealing with whiteflies or another insect. Whiteflies often congregate on fresh growth and the undersides of plant leaves or around leaf veins, but they also fly up in swarms when disturbed. If you suspect your plants are infested, gently shake the leaves. If small, white insects fly out, chances are good you have a whitefly problem.
How to Get Rid of Whiteflies
Preventing whitefly infestations before they happen is always the best option. But if whiteflies have found your plants, you can eliminate these destructive pests without chemical pesticides.
Spray plants with a garden hose to dislodge adult and larval whiteflies. After that, treat the plants with an organic neem oil or insecticidal soap spray made with a few drops of Castile soap mixed into a quart of water. Apply sprays to the tops and undersides of plant leaves, as well as to plant stems and the top of the soil line. It’s best to apply sprays in the early morning or the evening and reapply them every 7 to 10 days until you don’t see any more signs of whiteflies.
While soap sprays are effective, you’ll get even better results using multiple treatment methods. This tactic is known as integrated pest management (IPM). For example, combine organic insecticidal sprays with sticky traps and vacuum up adult and larval whiteflies with a handheld insect vacuum. You may also want to release beneficial insects into your garden. Of course, don’t forget to monitor your plants regularly to ensure whiteflies don’t creep back into your garden.
Healthy plants can resist pests more easily than weak ones, so if you want to keep whiteflies out of your garden or houseplants, make sure the plants receive the care they need. That means providing regular water, the right amount of sun, and a little fertilizer.
Aside from maintaining plant health, you can avoid whiteflies in outdoor gardens by experimenting with companion planting. Plants like nasturtiums and marigolds are known to repel many pests, while sunflowers and zinnias attract predatory insects and hummingbirds that feed on whiteflies.
Installing reflective mulch or a bit of aluminum foil around the base of vulnerable plants might confuse whiteflies and prevent their spread.
Interestingly, whiteflies are resistant to many synthetic pesticides and can be particularly problematic in gardens where pesticides are used. While pesticides may not harm whiteflies, they kill many beneficial insects that feed on whiteflies, including lacewings and ladybugs. Keeping your garden as organic as possible and growing plants like yarrow and dill to attract predatory insects will maintain your garden’s natural balance and allow predatory insects to manage whiteflies for you.
If you keep houseplants, avoid whiteflies by checking new plants carefully before you bring them indoors. You may also want to spray new arrivals with an organic insecticidal soap to ensure whiteflies and other pests don’t hitch a ride into your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What bug kills whiteflies?
Whiteflies have many natural predators, including lacewings, ladybugs, spiders, big-eyed bugs, minute pirate bugs, and many species of parasitic wasps. Hummingbirds and some songbird species also hunt for whiteflies and feed them to their young.
- Where do whiteflies come from?
Whiteflies naturally occur in gardens, but they’re particularly drawn to certain plants, such as tropical hibiscus and mulberries. Indoor infestations of whiteflies typically occur when infested plants are brought in from outdoors or when new plants are added to houseplant collections.
- How do I get rid of whiteflies during flowering?
If whiteflies invade plants that are in flower, hold off on using insecticidal soap or neem oil sprays during bloom times. While these products are safer for bees and other pollinators than non-organic pesticides, they can still harm these helpful insects if they’re sprayed directly on flowers. Instead, try dislodging whiteflies by spraying them with a garden hose or use a handheld insect vacuum to suck up any whiteflies you see.
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10 Foods You Should Never Eat if You Want a Flat Stomach
Who doesn’t dream of having a perfectly flat stomach? Belly fat is a very difficult thing to remove, even for those who spend hours sweating in the gym....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Additionally, abdominal obesity has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other metabolic and vascular diseases.
Following the proper exercise routine, the proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle is what you need to achieve the belly of your dreams.
While we leave you the choice of what you want to eat, We will tell you what not to eat to fulfill your dream of having a flat stomach.
Foods to Avoid to Lose Belly Fat
Legumes are nutritious, but also rich in carbohydrates. So while you can eat them for protein, to get a flat stomach it’s wise to keep them out of your diet.
A cup of whole-cream yogurt contains nearly 170 calories, a cup of nonfat yogurt contains 120 calories, and a cup of the popular double-cream yogurt contains approximately 230 calories. So, the decision to ditch it or not is certainly a no-brainer.
8. Carbonated Beverages
A small can of Coca-Cola contains 140 calories, while the largest can contain twice as much. Avoiding them is a step in the right direction if you want a flat stomach.
Alcohol is high in calories and has almost no nutritional value. A single night of drinking can cause you to consume thousands of calories. It is not without reason why a belly is also called a beer belly.
6. Processed White and Wheat Flours
Studies show that the consumption of processed white flour is among the leading causes of obesity.
Processed white flour generally contains little or no nutrients, no fiber, and one cup contains 455 calories. Alternatively, eat 100% whole wheat flour.
Sweet for your palate, but not so sweet for your flat stomach goals. The excessive consumption of sugar is one of the main causes of obesity and diabetes. One cup of white sugar contains 773 calories.
4. Fast Food
Most fast foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Studies have repeatedly shown links between fast food consumption and obesity.
Potatoes are nutritious and tasty, but they are also very high in calories. An average potato contains about 163 calories. If you are striving for a perfectly flat stomach, remember to eat them in moderation!
2. Dry Fruits
Dried fruits are high in calories without the water that would otherwise make fresh fruits plump. In addition to being more caloric per gram compared to fresh fruit, they are also often coated in sugar, further increasing their caloric content.
1. Power Bars
Most energy bars are loaded with calories that, if you are aspiring to have the perfect flat belly, will negate all the hard work you put in at the gym.
Best bug-killer sprays for the house to keep your home pest-free
The Evening Standard’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Anyone who’s had to find a housemate online or rented in a London houseshare has, at some point, lived with a pest. And while human ones are challenging enough, they’re a piece of cake compared to the insect kind.
You can’t reason with fruit flies nibbling freely at your snacks in the kitchen or prevent ants from entering your private space by asking them politely to stop or taping a pass-agg note to your door. We’ve tried it, and the results, as you might imagine, are laughable. Similarly, moths may not borrow your clothes but they will ruin them, and bed bugs don’t seem to understand the word ‘no’, no matter how stern your tone.
When a plague of pests descends upon your home, it’s time to get biblical. In modern terms, that means using a spray to stop them in their tracks, obliterate nests and eggs and stop them from returning. A good bug killer should do all three.
Replacing bugs with chemicals isn’t everyone’s idea of a welcoming home, especially if you’re using the spray in close-contact areas, like your mattress or sofa. Thankfully, some natural sprays will be gentle on your skin while still reaching their objective. If you’re worried about using harsh formulas in a home filled with children and pets, going for a natural option will add to your peace of mind but always check the packaging for suitability before you start blitzing and spritzing.
According to Safeguard Pest Control, spring is a flash point for bugs emerging from their cocoons and making a break for your warm home. The expert has a pest control calendar that tells you what creepy crawlies to look out for over every month of the year, be it roaches in January, moths and wasps over Easter or spiders in October. It’s not exactly bedtime reading, but if you’re the sort of person who likes to be prepared, it’s essential.
Speaking of preparation, it’s a good idea to stock your cleaning cabinet with bug-battling formulas so you’re ready when they appear. Better to tackle a small infestation before it gets out of hand instead of sticking your head in the sand and hoping the issue will sort itself out. It probably won’t and you may have to shell out hundreds for a professional to solve it for you.
We’ve rounded up the best formulas to tackle common household bugs. Don’t be kept hostage in your own home by creepy crawlies – get the best and most effective solutions below.
Rentokil 2 x Insectrol Insect Killer 250ml Aerosol
From one of the UK’s best-known pest control specialists comes this spray which will see to common household insects like fleas, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, bedbugs and most other crawling insects. It takes a few minutes to work its magic, ridding your home of pests.
The aerosol contains a formula that includes permethrin and d-alethic and as a result can be extremely flammable, so keep it away from heat as well as curious pets and children.
Raid Fly, Wasp & Mosquito Killer with Eucalyptus Aroma Oil
Wish flying insects would just buzz off? Give them a helping hand with Raid’s formula, designed to evict flies, wasps and mozzies. The eucalyptus-scented formula is fast-acting and uses fewer chemical solvents but does require you to leave the room for 15 minutes after a thorough spraying.
Be sure to ventilate well once the treatment has worked. The purchase is for six sprays, allowing you to stash one in every room of the house and stock spares in the cleaning cupboard too.
Raid Ant & Cockroach Killer
“Well hello Mr Cockroach, please come into my home and spread disgusting bacteria everywhere, won’t you?” said no one, ever. If you spy one of them in your home, it’s time to act fast. Raid’s ant, spider and cockroach killer will take care of your crawling insect issue in no time. Not only will it sort out the immediate issue, but the formula will deter them from returning for up to four weeks, offering a long-lasting solution.
The downside? Customers have reported strong fumes so be sure to use when you can ventilate the room properly afterwards.
Crocus Venus fly trap
If you hate fruit flies as much as we do but don’t want to spritz your food prep area with harmful chemicals, it’s time to recruit Mother Nature’s assassin. The Venus Fly Trap isn’t just the star of Little Shop of Horrors; it can sort your kitchen’s fly problem too.
The carnivorous plant will eat the pests for the payment of the odd drink of water and without chemicals while also keeping the entire household in its thrall. Just be sure to keep it in full sun and don’t prod it or the leaves will die and may not return.
Moth Stop Fabric Moth Killer and Freshener Spray 275ml
The only kind of moth we’re happy to have in the house is the canned cocktail kind (if you know, you know). When they emerge from the wardrobe having feasted on your precious cashmere knits and coats, it’s time to get rid. This formula is up to the task and not only kills moths but will eliminate their eggs and larvae too. Each bottle covers up to 13.75sqm, leaving behind nothing but a lovely lavender scent.
Zeroin Bed Bug & Dust Mite Killer Spray 500ml
The market leader in bedbug elimination, Zeroin has a number of options to return your home back to normal. The 500ml bottle comes with a nozzle to dispense the quick-working solution, which kills bedbugs and dust mites on contact (RIP suckers). The low-odour solution is water-based, meaning it is safe to treat mattresses, cushions and sofas.
Ready Steady Defend Bed Bug Killer Spray
This non-toxic and scentless formula is ideal for busy households full of pets and children and promises to get to work instantly, killing larvae and hatched bugs to demolish the infestation cycle. It uses inspiration from a compound usually found in chrysanthemums and will continue to protect the targeted area from returning bugs for up to three months.
RepellShield Bed Bug Spray
Prevention is always better than the cure. Make your bed an unattractive place for bedbugs with this spray solution, which contains clove leaf, cedarwood and tea tree essential oils to ward the little bloodsuckers off. The German-made non-toxic and natural spray also works on fleas and mites, giving it extra firepower in your cleaning supplies.
RugRemedyUK Silverfish Killer spray
Silverfish may be harmless to humans, but they’re still an unwelcome tenant in most homes and can decimate books and wallpaper, so it’s no wonder most folks want rid of them. RugRemedyUK has come up with a formula to help you get rid, which kills on contact and stops new silverfish from returning for up to three months. It dries to an invisible finish and is safe to use around pets and kids once it’s dry.
Karlsten Dual Bug & Insect Destroyer Spider Killer Spray
Summon up your inner Winston Wolf and clear your (interior) decks of spiders with help from Karlsten. The company has formulated an insect repellent with arachnids in the firing line. The 500ml spray bottle comes with a nozzle for direct sprays to wipe out infestations and prevent new ones from forming thanks to the residue left behind. One to use when you’ve run out of glasses to trap them under.
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