How Much Should I Charge For My Commercial Cleaning Services?

You’ve bought all your cleaning supplies and equipment, told everyone you know that you have started a cleaning business and now you are ready to start bidding on jobs and getting down to work. So your next step is to meet with potential clients and put together a bid for their cleaning services. But how do you know what to charge for cleaning your potential client’s building?

Start off by remembering that you are in business to make a profit and earn a living. Sometimes the tendency is to price our services low in order to get our foot in the door. Pricing your services too low may mean you will end up working for very little per hour. And more importantly, will have little left over to reinvest in the growth of your company. There are cleaning companies that charge more than others and have all the work they can handle and there are companies that have lower fees yet are struggling to find work! Don’t sell yourself short or you will not be able to earn a living off your cleaning business.

The rates for commercial cleaning vary widely depending upon the area you live. Hourly rates are anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour depending on the type of services that you provide, whether or not you’re doing the work yourself, and your company’s overhead and expenses. Monthly square footage rates could run anywhere from $.05 to $.20 per square foot depending on the type of building you are cleaning and the frequency of cleaning. You’ll be able to bid a higher square footage price for medical facilities versus office buildings due to more specialized cleaning needs. You’ll likely bid a lower square footage price for large buildings versus small buildings. For example, you may bid $.08 per square foot for a 50,000 square foot building versus $.12 per square foot for an 8,000 square foot building.

You will most likely be charging your customers a monthly price and you will need to figure that price by estimating how long it will take to perform the services that your client has requested. The more productive you or your employees are, the higher the hourly production rate. If you’re able to clean 3,500 square feet per hour, your profit will be higher than if you’re only able to clean 2,500 square feet per hour, so adjust your price accordingly.

It’s also a good idea to find out what the “going rates” are in your area. A few phone calls to competitors may be necessary to get an idea of the basic charges in your area. Use a script when you call so you can compare apples to apples. So what do you say when you call? Try something like, “Hi, I have a small business office that I would like cleaned once a week. It is 3000 square feet and has two small restrooms. Can you give me a rough estimate of what you what you charge per month?” The person may or may not give you an estimate. Most contractors will insist on walking through the building, but it is worth a few phone calls so you have a ballpark figure on what cleaning companies in the area are charging.

To estimate what you should charge for cleaning a building, start by doing a walk-through with the building owner or manager. Keep track of the following:

* Frequency of cleaning (once a week, three times a week, five times a week). If frequency is one or two times per week, it’s best to estimate your time and multiply by your hourly rate. If cleaning 3 or more times per week you can estimate your time by the square foot.

* Overall square feet

* Types of floor surfaces and square footage of each (carpet, vinyl flooring, ceramic tile)

* Types of rooms – general office, break room, restrooms. Also note the number of toilets/stalls and fixtures in each restroom, as well as the types of restroom supplies used.

* Any special considerations – heavy traffic areas, elevators, unusual requests, etc.

* Make note of the specific services the client is seeking such as emptying trash, dusting, restroom cleaning, mopping and vacuuming.

The following services are specialized services and you should bid them separately, and list a per-service charge on your bid:

* Stripping and Waxing (.25¢ – .50¢ per square foot)

* Buffing/Burnishing (.03¢ – .07¢ per square foot)

* Machine Cleaning of Ceramic Tile floors (.12¢ – .21¢ per square foot)

* Carpet Cleaning (.12¢ – .25¢ per square foot)

* Carpet Spotting ($20 – $40 per hour)

* Cleaning appliances (microwave, refrigerator) – $10 – $35 per appliance

* Window Washing ($1.00 – $5.00 per pane)

Make sure you take enough notes so you can put together a realistic price that is fair to the client and one in which you will make a profit. After your first meeting with the client, go back to your office look through your notes and decide what it will cost you to clean the building. You may have to consult a production cleaning rate chart to determine how long it will take you and your staff to clean the building. Once you have an idea of how long it will take to clean the building you can put your cost estimate together:

* Estimate the time it will take by using a production cleaning rate chart or calculator.

* Determine your labor cost for cleaning the building one time.

* Determine your monthly labor cost to clean the building.

* Estimate a monthly cost for supplies. This will be a fairly low figure, perhaps 1 or 2% of monthly sales.

* Be sure to add in a profit margin!

Add up the figures and you will come up with your monthly cost. If you have access to a bidding calculator you will be able to put in a series of numbers and come up with a price. A bidding calculator will also show what profit you can expect to make. It is also advisable to add a first time cleaning charge. This is usually an hourly rate of perhaps $20 – $25 an hour. The first time you go through a building it will take longer and you may find the previous cleaning service may have left dirt in cracks and crevices that you will have to clean the first time through.

Once you have your price established, put your bid packet together. Your bid packet should specify what you are responsible for and what the client is responsible for (buying their own trash can liners, restrooms supplies, etc.). It should also include the monthly charge for cleaning services, how long the agreement is for, and the procedure to cancel the contract if either party is unhappy.

It is important to learn how to price your cleaning services so your customers know you are providing a professional service at a realistic price and so that you make a profit. After all, if you do not make a profit you won’t stay in business very long!

Copyright (c) 2006 The Janitorial Store

Learn to Make Japanese Miso Soup

If you have been eating at Japanese restaurants, you may have wondered how to duplicate the tasty and healthy Miso Soup you have enjoyed there. Here is the proper way to make it as I learned from a great Japanese cook.

You can now have this delicious hot soup in your home any time you want. You will most likely find that it tastes as good or better than at your favorite restaurant.

First you have to locate the right ingredients and that will require going to the right grocery store. You need to look up where the closest Oriental Grocery or Japanese Grocery is located.

When you visit this establishment, go to the refrigerated section and purchase a small tub of Miso. There should be a selection of different types of Miso paste. If possible try to buy a light or medium colored variety for your first soup. It should cost about five dollars and have about a half pound of Miso paste in it. This will keep you in Miso soup for a while and you will also find that Miso is great for other recipes in the future.

Find fresh Tofu in the refrigerated area also and buy a small tub. I usually buy the firm variety so that it does not crumble while in the soup. A nice thing about making Miso soup is that the entire recipe is really up to your taste and each cook has there own variables of each ingredient.

You also need to find or ask for “Negi”. If that sounds strange, don’t worry, that means scallion or green onion in Japanese. Buy a small bunch of Negi. You also need some “Wakame”. Wakame is the tasty green leaf vegetable that you may have noticed before in Miso soup. It is a special sea vegetable, seaweed, if you will. Wakame can either be bought dried in a small couple oz packet, alternately you can purchase a small plastic package of about a quarter pound of salted fresh Wakame. Now you should find a small package of fresh Shiitake mushrooms.

Finally buy some “Dashi”, this can come in teabags that contain the Dashi. It is a very mild and tasty fish stock flavoring. There usually is a big selection of types so you can ask someone at the grocery store which one they recommend.

If you read my article on making Japanese style rice, you could also pick up the correct rice to make that you can eat with your soup.

So, to make Miso Soup, here is your list of ingredients to buy and a description of each:

  1. Miso Paste — soybean paste
  2. Dashi tea bags — soup stock in teabag form.
  3. Wakame — seaweed, either dried or salted fresh is ok
  4. Negi — scallion
  5. Shiitake — mushroom
  6. Tofu – soybean curd – this is an excellent source of protein, by the way.

Resist the urge to buy anything else right now because it is time to go home and make your first real Miso soup!

When you are home, take out your Wakame and soak it in a bowl of water, you only need a teaspoon of flakes or if you have the salted variety take about a six inch strand. The quantities are to your taste. Completely wash out the salt in the fresh strand of Wakame and then put it in a fresh bowl of water to soak while you are cooking. Sometimes it actually is better to soak salted Wakame for an hour or longer so that it is more tender. I usually keep a soaked supply in my refrigerator and make more every few days. If you are short on time, cut the washed fresh salted Wakame into one inch pieces and boil it in the Dashi you are making as this works nicely to tenderize the Wakame.

Wash a few Shiitake mushrooms with water and discard the tough stems. Slice each mushroom into quarter inch strips. For the soup, the object is to boil a pot of water with a Dashi bag. Figure about a quart per 2 people but this is really something you can do by eye. Take your Shiitake mushrooms and add them to the soup. Boil gently 5 or 10 minutes to cook the mushrooms. Bring down the heat to a gentle simmer and add a couple tablespoons of Miso paste as per your taste. Remember how it tasted at the restaurant, use this as your guide to deciding how much Miso to add. You will have to stir the Miso paste a bit to dissolve it. A good trick to help dissolve the Miso is to put it into a strainer and rub it through into the soup. Taste your soup and make adjustments to the amount Miso as needed. Do not be concerned over ingredient amounts, just taste as you go and make your soup to your own taste.

OK, let the Soup continue to simmer gently and if you are soaking Wakame, drain it and slice it into one inch pieces. Put the Wakame in the soup and let it cook about 5 minutes.

Take about half the tub of Tofu and cut it into cubes. I always think it is fun to cube Tofu! Put the Tofu cubes into the soup and let it heat up for a minute or two but do not boil, just let it heat the Tofu.

Next, find your “Negi, do you remember what that is? Clean one stalk and with a very sharp knife and cutting board, finely slice it crosswise and put the Negi (scallion) aside for later.

That’s it! You are done!

Serve the soup into small bowls and put some of the fresh uncooked Negi on the top of the soup right before you eat it.

I am now going to teach you one more useful Japanese word. If you remember it, you can definitely feel good saying it while you are eating something that is particularly wonderful.

Oishii!

You can pronounce it like this: Oyy Shee! 

It means delicious!

Roaches – How Do They Get In Your Home

Are you embarrassed that you have roaches? You don’t want anyone to know because they will think you’re an unclean person. If this fits you, you have come to the right place. It’s not your fault that roaches are in your home. They can come from a number of sources you have virtually no control over.

Grocery Stores

Roaches love to eat food. Product is shipped from all over the world to grocery stores. It only takes one supplier to infest a lot of other suppliers. The most popular way people bring roaches home is in a paper grocery bag. Why? Roaches like paper. They can also be found in other paper products at the grocery store like beer and soda cases.

Laundry

A lot of apartment dwellers go to Laundromats. And, apartments are known for having roach problems. When you go to the Laundromat, a roach might just tag along in your laundry. Maybe he/she is looking for a cleaner home to pursue. Be careful when going to the Laundromat.

Used Appliances

First of all, don’t buy a used appliance unless you really have to or you know it’s from a clean home. Roaches love appliances. They make their home in microwaves, ovens, fridges, and even washers and dryers. Don’t try to save a few dollars. Don’t ever take a used appliance from an apartment complex. You are just asking for some roach trouble.

Shipping Materials

Roaches love wood and paper and these are very common shipping materials. If a warehouse is infested you can be sure some of the critters will make it to your place of business. That’s why it’s important to always put out some boric acid bait paste. For one reason, if some roaches show up they won’t survive long enough to infest the premises.

Neighbors

If you are in dwellings attached to your neighbors homes, if one person brings them in they can easily spread without detection for some time. To keep them out of your home, keep water and food sources sealed. The roaches will tend to make their nest where there is the most water and food. If you want to get rid of all the roaches, you will need to treat your neighbors homes as well.

Outdoors

Hot humid areas have a larger concentration of roaches living outdoors. In some cases, they can come in from your yard. Some people use a boric acid bait mixed with fertilizer to eliminate the outdoor roaches.

Solution

Fortunately there is a low cost effective solution. It is called boric acid roach bait. We call if MRF 2000. It is effective against roaches for up to one year and easy to apply.

Grandtrek WT M3 Snow Tires – Are These the Right Choice for Safe Winter Traction?

Dunlop’s new Grandtrek WT M3 snow tires are a class-leading winter traction tire for luxury SUVs and 4x4s. This tire is uniquely designed for modern low profile tire and rim combinations popular on larger high performance SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Audi Q, Mercedes GL, Cadillac Escalade, and Volkswagen Touareg. These are also known as Grandtrek WTM3 without the space.

The main problem with these high performance SUVs is the difficulty in optimizing the tire footprint for snowy and icy winter conditions. All-weather tires do not cut the mustard in snow, slush, and ice because they are not designed with widely spaced tread blocks and fine grooves to bite into snow and ice. In addition, the extra width of performance rubber prevents the tire from biting deeply into the snow and tends to cause hydroplaning in slush and freezing rain. As a result, your standard low profile all weather tires will slip badly or simply float on top of the snow, slush, and ice and completely lose traction.

If you own a luxury SUV or high performance truck or 4×4 featuring large rims with low profile wide tires, you need to either purchase a snow tire specifically designed for the purpose, or replace your entire rim and tire package. Since the latter option is extremely expensive, the best bet is to buy low profile snow tires that fit your high performance application. This is where the Grandtrek WT M3 comes in.

Grandtrek Dunlop WT M3 snow tires offer a directional V-pattern that quickly extricates large amounts of snow and slush from the tread, giving you excellent grip in the snow. Their low profile retains excellent response and feedback you expect from your high performance vehicle. The high silica rubber ensures the tire remains pliable even in the coldest conditions. Customer feedback on comfort, handling, noise, and treadwear has been very strong, meaning these are tires you can get great value from. The tires are V speed rated up to 149 mph/240 kph.

The Grandtrek WT M3 also comes in a Run Flat Grandtrek WT M3 ROF version. Dunlop’s patented Self Supporting Technology (DSST) provides an immensely important safety measure that allows you to drive 50 miles or more on a flat tire. If you have ever gotten a puncture at -10 degrees in a blinding blizzard, you know that you never want to change a tire in those conditions again! So if you’re looking for that extra measure of safety for you and your family, you should seriously consider the Dunlop Grandtrek WT M3 ROF Run On Flat as an option.

When shopping for snow tires for your luxury performance SUV or 4×4 this winter, hopefully these positives and negatives come to mind if you’re considering the Grandtrek WT M3.

Benefits of Commercial Plumbing Services

Commercial plumbing services offered by plumbers are vital to business and industry. A licensed commercial plumber understands that plumbing emergencies can negatively impact a business. Professional plumbers will go to a commercial building quickly and identify and resolve the problem promptly and professionally. Commercial plumbers have the knowledge, tools, equipment, and the expertise to address a commercial plumbing problem and provide the best service for enterprise to resolve the problem in a timely and professional manner.

When a business takes advantage of commercial plumbing services, they will benefit from the following expert plumbing services:

Plumbing Installation Services

Commercial plumbers install all types of plumbing fixtures and parts, including entire plumbing systems. They install such fixtures as sinks, faucets, toilets, sinks, shower heads, hand-free faucets, sir dryers, commercial garbage disposals, low flow toilets, water meters, showers, etc. They also can install water heaters, water filters, automatic shut-off valves, handicap fixtures, and servicing plumbing for rooms such as the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen. They can install complicated pipe networks for small and large business.

Plumbing Pipe Upgrades

Many commercial buildings can have old pipes that are not up to code and make the water taste bad. For healthier water with an improved taste, a plumber can remove and install better plumbing pipes. They can even install and service water pipes that are in difficult to reach areas as many business buildings can have a small crawl space under the building. A plumber knows how to reach these pipes and perform repairs. In addition, a plumber will service gas lines such as detecting a gas leak which can be very dangerous.

Drain and Sewer Line Services

Commercial plumbers can effectively service drains and sewer lines. They can remove clogs, clean drain lines using sophisticated technology, video inspect lines, and remove stubborn material from the lines such as grease, soap, and mineral deposits. Commercial plumbers also service sewer systems where they fix damaged lines, clean sewer lines, clear obstructions, pump septic tanks, and more. They have the expertise to identify problems and repair them in an efficient and timely manner. Commercial plumbers provide extensive sewer system and drain line services to help keep the system operating properly.

Water Heater Services

Commercial plumbers service commercial water heaters. They can perform such services as eliminating hard water, cleaning out hard deposits from the tank and water lines, servicing the heating elements, making sure the temperature is correct, check CO levels, leak detection, replacing corroded parts, check and repair or replace such valves as the emergency shut-off valve, and check the water pressure. A commercial plumber has the expertise to make sure the water heater is working properly. The commercial plumbing system is both complicated, extensive, and fragile which is why it must be handled by a professional. Licensed plumbers offering commercial plumbing services have the expertise and tools to make sure a commercial building is meeting all government codes. Because the plumbing system is essential to a business or industry, it is essential to hire a licensed commercial plumber.

The Different Uses For Nylon Fasteners

What are nylon plastic fasteners and how are they used? Nylon fasteners are used in everyday living for everything imaginable. They include cable ties, wire management clips, hose clamps, circuit board hardware, panel fasteners, bushings, spacers, washers, screws, bolts and nuts. Fasteners are generally constructed using tough molded nylon that is corrosion resistant but they can be made out of other material as well.

The most common of all plastic fasteners is the nylon cable tie, more commonly known as zip ties or locking ties. They are most often used to organize multiple cables together or to secure a tag to an item. Not only do they come in various widths and lengths, but they also are available in several colors to tie up almost anything. The length of the cable tie determinates what the bundling diameter will be and the width determinates the tensile strength. Many people are surprised to find out that the overall strength can exceed a couple hundred pounds for a single tie and they can be several feet long.

Nylon circuit board hardware was created to aid in spacing, locking, guidance and supporting electronics. As more and more devices utilize intelligence lodged on a circuit board, the need for fastening the boards in place has grown. The advantage of nylon hardware is that the material properties provide excellent electrical insulation while metal does not. Most styles simply snap into place through the holes in the circuit board panel. If they need to be removed from the piece once it has been snapped in, you just simply squeeze the locking device from the other side of the panel. The other types are mounted by either using threaded hardware or pre-attached adhesives to secure everything in place.

The use of plastic screws, washers, nuts and rivets can vary from the type of material that they fasten together. Most, if not all, of these items can be used with almost any materials such as particle board, metal, rubber, plastic and wood. These items secure the material to itself or to another object, such as a wall or a sheet metal panel. The key advantages of nylon over metal are the resistances it has to corrosion, rust, chemicals, abrasion and vibration. Others advantages include: lightweight, electrical properties and limited torque. However, when securing large items, the proper size of the fastener is necessary because nylon is not as strong as metal. Each fastener has its own purpose and there are other types available to help complete almost every job imaginable.

The purpose of hose clamps is to help seal a hose onto what is called a nib or barb. The clamp serves as a seal with items such as automotive parts and household appliances. It is important for household appliances, such as washing machine, to have the proper fitting hose clamp because the repercussions of having the incorrect size could lead to a leak. The hose clamps come in many sizes to accommodateate almost every type of hose that is on the market. To use the clamp properly it would need to fit over the two hoses that need to be joined together. Once this step is completed, the clamp can be tightened in place with the attached screw.

Loan Modification Process – Details of Waterfall Method and How It Applies to Your Loan

The loan modification process involves a standard method of modifying loans into new affordable monthly payment terms. This is called the Waterfall Method and it is mandated for use under the Treasury Department’s loan workout plan. This plan is called HAMP – for Home Affordable Modification Program. When your lender reviews your application, part of the process will be to determine if your loan and financial circumstances will fit within this method of modification.

The loan modification process begins with a borrower contacting their lender and requesting consideration for HAMP. It is important to specifically ask for this plan because lenders are required to review each and every homeowner who asks for help under this plan. While your file is being reviewed for eligibility, the lender is not allowed to move your home forward to foreclosure sale. So this gives you some time and a second chance to save your home with a loan workout.

Once you complete your loan modification application and send it in along with your income documentation, your entire package will be reviewed for eligibility and acceptability. Here is the basic loan modification process:

  1. Homeowners request consideration for HAMP
  2. Borrower completes the application package and provides proof of income
  3. Lender reviews the information provided by homeowner for eligibility
  4. Waterfall Method of Modification is attempted and acceptability is determined
  5. If the loan can be modified using the standard terms, then the homeowner may be approved for a loan modification
  6. Homeowner enters 3 month trial modification period, after which mod is made permanent

How exactly does the Waterfall Method of modification work? This standard formula uses several criteria to determine which loans and borrowers will be eligible. Remember that the homeowner is providing their financial information – monthly income, monthly expenses, cash in the bank, etc. – on their application form and this is the information that is used when determining if the homeowner will qualify. The lender will use standard methods of reducing the current mortgage in order to meet a new target mortgage payment. This new payment will equal 31% of the borrowers reported gross monthly income and it includes principal, interest, taxes, insurance and any HOA dues.

The first Waterfall method step to reach the target payment is to reduce the interest rate, and the rate can go down as low as 2%. If more changes are needed to reach the goal, then the loan term may be extended to 40 years. The final step is to forgive or defer some principal balance to reach the new desired target payment. This is called a Waterfall Method because they lender must follow these steps in order, as they are needed. However, if the borrowers income is too low or too high, or if the loan balance is so high that a large principal reduction would be needed, the loan modification may be denied.

Homeowners who hope to be approved need to understand how the loan modification process works and most importantly how they should complete their financial statement so that it will be acceptable. If you know ahead of time how much income you need to prove to qualify, then you will be able to make the necessary adjustments and submit an acceptable application. If you knew that just by cutting a couple of hundred dollars a month in expenses, you would fit the guidelines, then you would certainly do that, right? This is confusing for borrowers, but you can use a loan mod software program that will actually show you just how much income you need and where you may need to fine tune your figures to fit into the standard HAMP guidelines.

Basic Design For Children’s Rooms

Designing your own room is one thing, but designing your child’s room is a whole new task. Children’s tastes can be very unpredictable, and your job is to find a theme that can suit their changing moods. Often, the task proves costly and time-consuming.

So how do you decorate your child’s room? First of all, don’t think of it as a daunting task-consider it a chance to show your playful side. With a few good ideas, you can turn your child’s room into a personal haven while barely breaking a sweat. Read on to find out how.

Let them decide. Allow your child, with a little guidance, to decide on room colors, curtain designs, and other accessories. If you can’t agree on a wall color, here’s what you can do: use their chosen color on two opposite walls, and paint the rest in a neutral or contrasting shade. You can also use beige area rugs or other accessories muted shades. This lets you both have your way without sacrificing room aesthetics.

Give it a function/s. For children, bedrooms are more than a place to sleep. Some use it as a playroom, others as a study area, others as a place to entertain their friends. The best setup for a growing child is a multi-functional room that accommodates all their interests. Use area rugs to define areas in the room. Kids area rugs now come in various designs, so let them take their pick.

Splurge on storage. Kids tend to have a lot of stuff, so storage is essential to their room design. But plain old storage will not do; you need accessible storage that your child can organize on his own. Avoid shelves and cabinets more than one foot taller than your child-chances are they won’t be using the top levels much. For toys, large floor baskets are usually a better choice. Place some braided area rugs under them to add color and make storing toys seem less like a task.

Choose furniture wisely. The main pieces of furniture for a child’s room are a bed, desk, side table, and a closet or dresser. Chances are they’ll need more furniture as they grow up, so don’t fill the room just yet. Focus on getting safe and durable pieces that will last hours and hours of play. Instead of upholstery, consider using slipcovers for the seating. This makes cleaning up spills a lot simpler, and lets you change the colors according to your child’s tastes.

Put safety first. Safety should always be on top of your list when it comes to decorating your child’s bedroom. Carpeting is the best protection against falls and bumps, especially for toddlers. As they get more coordinated, you can move on to smaller area rugs that suit their own tastes. Make sure all the furniture is firmly installed, and keep all electrical outlets out of reach. If your child is prone to allergies, avoid synthetic fabrics-wool area rugs and organic cotton drapes are usually the safest bets.

How to Control Earwigs Naturally

They do feed at night and do seek out dark, cool, moist places to hang out during the day. Some common hiding places are under organic matter such as mulch, pine straw, leaf litter, and other debris, loose wood chip mulches, decaying matter, rotten fruit on the ground, wood, boards or tree branches that are on the ground, under dense growth of vines or thick cover and flower pots, any thing moist that will shade and protect them from the sun. As well as hiding in piles of firewood you didn’t use last year and let us not forget hanging out inside that small wooded shed you have out back that you haven’t been gone inside in years. While Earwigs are scavengers, eating dead insects, decomposing plant materials they can also eat live plants and damage your vegetables and feed on the flowers of plants, including marigolds, petunias, hibiscus, and many other plants. Earwigs leave many small holes in plant leaves and flowers.

Seedlings and most flowering plants can be severely damaged or even killed when you have a large earwig population (coffee grinds will protect). Earwigs can produce large populations rather quickly and can become a major problem for the homeowner over night! They are attracted to lights so they will come in at night attracted to any lights that are on; as well as to any lights that you have on during the day which will cause them to hang out there esp if it is a cool area. Earwigs can be found in most homes and can get in through entry points like doors and windows, going up through the broken walls and any cracked openings, broken screens. They do have a beneficial role in the landscape and have been shown to be important predators of aphids, mites, most insect eggs, and most soft bodied insects such as white flies. They do have a very disagreeable odor when crushed.

Some Natural Controls

Hint: earwigs are attracted to moisture

Control water around the outside of the house. Repair any leaks. Convert to drip system to keep water below ground. Regularly control weeds and clean up dead debris. Eliminate high moisture areas around walls, in mulch, under stones, boards, etc. Control damp moist conditions in crawl spaces, faucets, along the foundations. Change landscaping by creating a dry border immediately around the house walls. Gravel or flat stones can make an attractive barrier against earwigs and other pest invaders. Rain gutters should direct water away from the house. Caulk or use weather stripping at all possible entry points such as doors, windows, pipes, repair screens and doors and windows. Where earwigs are a problem, eliminate hiding places that have high moisture levels. Initiate a regular daily trapping program. Removing earwig habitats is very important to the control of all insects, including earwigs. As they are attracted to lights, stop lighting outside at night. Remove the white light and install yellow LED ones instead.

Inside the Home

Indoors earwigs should be vacuumed up daily; be sure to kill them and dispose of them by dumping into a plastic bag and tying and throw into trash, promptly so they will not re-invade. If earwigs are a regular problem in a building, inspect the area to see how they are getting in the house and seal and chaulk up cracks and all entry points. Repair all broken screens.

Natural Sprays

Essential Oil spray

You can make a natural spray that will keep them from coming into the house. Use 1/2 oz per gallon water of any of the following essential oils available

1. citronella oil

2. cinnamon oil

3. pennyroyal oil

4. clove oil

5. lavender oil

6. citrus

7. basil

8. any natural essential oil can be use the above are just a few. Try your own.

Citrus Spray Use OTKO a Natural Citrus Cleaner. Spray straight through a mister. Will kill earwigs and most of insects on contact. Soap Spray Use any natural castile soap like Dr Bronners soaps. They make peppermint, lavender, almond, tea tree and lot of other natural sources. Use 1oz per gallon water. Will kill earwigs when sprayed.

DE SPRAY Gadren Grade DE can be added to water and sprayed. Best way is to put some DE into a panty hose and suspend in gallon water. Allow to sit, pour into a gallon sprayer and spray. when dried the de will act as a barrier and kill and earwigs that crawl over it. You can use just dust the areas with it.

Check List

Vacuum, vacuum ad vacuum…

Vacuum up any earwigs inside your house. Vacuum very thoroughly and as often as needed. Throw away the bags in the trash.

Natural Dust

Garden Grade DE can be used as a dust around the house as well as under the house and the attic. Dust lighly and allow to sit.

Boric Acid can be used as a dust in cracks and other areas between the house walls.

Reducing Populations:

Traps inside the house is one ongoing way of you managing earwigs in the home on a regular long term bases.

Various Traps

Ultimate Flea Trap is by far the best insect trap on the market. This one uses no chemicals and only a small light with a sticky mat that get the insects trapped that are attracted by the light. Place one in every room that has earwigs. It also works on fleas ( thus the name) as well as on spiders, cockroaches and most other insects.

Outside the house

Remove materials outside the perimeter of the building that could provide as a hiding place, such as ivy, plant debris, leaves in gutters, old wood piles, old leaf litter, piles of newspapers, or other organic material. Caulk and repair cracks, crevices, and other openings around the foundation or around the outside of the house. Manage moisture around the building by repairing or replacing leaky faucets, leaky air conditioners, leaky drains, control water going into the foundation after it rains, and provide crawl spaces to allow for entrance. Repair or change the conditions to promote a drier environment. Caulk and weatherstrip around doors. windows. bathrooms water outlets as well electrical outlets.

Go through any areas inside that is dark and they can hide in. Cardboard boxes will make a great host place for them to hang out inside the house. Remove any other debris such as old unused firewood. Always keep moisture away from your home by repairing any defective rain spouts, keeping the grading in an area so water drains away from the home, and by keeping proper ventilation in crawl spaces to allow area to dry out.

Earwigs are attracted to outdoor lights, so replace them with Yellow LED lights, which are less attractive to earwigs. Treatment should be done outside with natural applications of garden grade DE around the building foundation, flower beds, mulch areas and turf within a couple of yards of the building, as well as in the crawl space areas of the home. Treat in a two foot band around the building adjacent to the foundation to limit earwigs from getting inside. Establish dry border right around the base of the houses for great control.

Traps outside the house

Newspaper: A rolled-up wet newspaper held together with a rubber band.

Cardboard Box: Punch pencil-size holes along bottom edge of cardboard box.

Old Garden Hose: 12-24 inch pieces of garden hose

Used cat food can. Add 1/2 inch any type beer or wine.

Tupperware: Use a tupperware like plastic container. Punch holes along the top edge of the tub, add 2 inches any cheap wine and cover with top and sink into ground.

Finch Bird House can be used as a housing unit where you can place a 8 oz plastic cup 1/2 filled with beer or wine. I would try one of each and see which attracts the most.

Trapping is an effective, easy approach to reducing earwig populations.

One of the key element of a natural earwig management program is a daily active trapping system. Just before dark, place the bird finch traps throughout the yard in out of sight places. In the morning, shake them out the traps over a pail of Dr Bronners Soap / water or any natural soap n water. Keep trapping until you do not catch any more earwigs. Traps can be hidden near shrubbery and ground cover plantings, or against the house. For fruit trees, keep weeds, brush, and the suckers (always prune) away from the base of trees throughout the year because they provide refuge for earwigs, snails and other creatures. Monitor populations by counting amounts of earwigs caught in the traps.

Eliminate Their Habitat:

Altering the habitat around your garden will reduce earwig population and damage. Get rid of their hiding places: boards, weeds, wood piles, plant debris, leaf litter, and any other objects that create dark, moist hiding places. Do not plant dense ground covers, such as ivy, mint, herbs,, next to vegetable or flower gardens. Raise vulnerable seedlings indoors until they are able to withstand some munching. Or start them outdoors on a table with legs protected by sticky barriers.

Some folks advise against the use of organic mulch because they say it provides harborage to pests such as earwigs and spiders. I have the opposing view that organic mulch offers earwigs a diverse hunting area that will save your plants as well as provide for the earth’s needs. Mulch can easily be kept clean of earwigs by dusting with garden grade several times per year or by dust just before and after every time you apply a new layer of mulch. Spraying the mulch with any natural soap will also control them too.

Andy Lopez

The Invisible Gardener

Virtual Data Rooms for Business: Advantages and Disadvantages

According to the release of KPMG, dated the 1st of September, analysts predicted that the desire and capacity for M&A transactions among the largest companies of the world would increase over the next 12 months.

Due diligence is often considered to be crucial to the success of a deal. In any case, it is at least a very important part of a transaction. Data room is a necessary tool for due diligence. The main function of this tool is to facilitate access and use of the data in M&A transactions, and this sharing of corporate documents must be done in an extremely secure way, of course. Physical data rooms played this role before the Digital Age, and virtual data rooms (VDRs) come to the leadership nowadays. VDR is IT-based due diligence tool, which provides many advantages, to compare with the physical rooms.

Virtual data room exists online, not inside any physical walls in some physical place, therefore classic burglar can do nothing with it. Even if a burglar has stolen the IT device (notebook, smartphone or something other) of the person who is a user of virtual data room, the documents in VDR are still unreachable for that criminal, while the user applies 2-step verification: multi-factor authentications, which consists of not only the password entering, but also of randomly generated code sent to another device of the user. This method makes the theft or loss of the IT device not more dangerous in regard of the VDR secret content, than a veggie in regard to cattle.

Moreover, it is impossible to hack 256-Bit SSL Encryption, used by some providers of VDR, and watermarking is a great help for security, too.

The list of a VDR advantages, over the physical data room, depends on the position in a transaction: are you a Buyer or a Seller?

For a Buyer, the main advantages are:

• cost savings (travel, hotel and person-to-person meetings costs are reduced);

• time savings (due to the travel time savings, as well as the flexibility of the access time);

• transparency among the sides of a deal.

For a Seller, the main advantages are:

• cost savings;

• time savings;

• simplicity of use;

• competitive price (VDR gives the possibility to increase the number of potential buyers significantly);

• legal compliance is easier;

• security level is higher.

Sure, disadvantages are also present in the using of VDR. Lots of features yet to be implemented, and they are being implemented constantly, just while you are reading this, they are implemented according the tasks of customers. Nothing is perfect: neither VDRs, nor their providers, and users. However, strategically, globally, the main disadvantage of VDR is a relatively insufficient publicity of this tool and, accordingly, less significant role in business than VDR deserves.

Cello Bags Vs Polyethylene Bags

Cello bags and polyethylene bags are extremely popular today. The tricky part is that many people do not know the difference between them. It is not uncommon to see or hear people referring to cellophane as polyethylene, and vice versa. This educational article is meant to eliminate the confusion between these two once and for all, as well as to help you choose one for your current needs (marketing, gifts, etc.).

Cellophane

Cellophane is a transparent grease-resistant and moisture-resistant film produced from viscose. It was invented by a Swiss textile engineer in 1911. In 1913, France began to manufacture it on a large scale. It became the first moisture-resistant and flexible packaging in the world. However, after the invention of polyethylene in the 1950s, cellophane started to be replaced by this new material.

Cello bags are typically used for foods (meats, cheeses, candy, cookies, etc.), as well as for small gifts and cards (greeting cards, florist cards). Cello packs are often used to wrap gifts for parties and holidays (birthday, wedding, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, etc.). They can be clear or colored, as well as preprinted or custom printed. They can be flat or gusseted, as well as square or cone-shaped. You can even find biodegradable cello packaging.

Polyethylene

Polyethylene (polythene) is a plastic made by polymerization of ethylene. Today, this plastic is the most manufactured plastic in the world. This material can look transparent or white (depending on its density). It is much more durable and resistant to elements than cellophane. It is used in bulletproof vests, boats, ATVs, and cartilage replacements in medicine. Polyethylene was invented in 1899 by a German engineer, but it stayed in oblivion until 1933. By the 1950s, it became the most popular material for packaging and started to replace the less durable cello bags.

Polyethylene is separated into 3 types: HDPE (High Density Polythene), MDPE (Medium Density Polythene), and LDPE (Low Density Polythene). The HDPE is used for durable bags with regular or reinforced patch handles or loop handles. The LDPE is used for lightweight T-shirt bags. These are more capacious; besides, they are the most affordable type of packaging.

Custom Printed Cellophane and Polyethylene

Both types of materials (cellophane and polyethylene) can be custom printed in full color. They can be used for placing text or graphics onto them, such as for marketing and gifts. Cellophane packs are commonly used for gifts, while polyethylene packs are more often used for marketing. Cello bags are used to carry gift cards with flowers, as well as gifts for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, and other events. Polythene bags are used for product sales, as well as to distribute printed materials at presentations and exhibitions.

Both types of bags are one of the most versatile, compact and cost-effective mediums for advertising or personalized gifts. Any of these two types of personalized packaging will be long remembered and create a favorable impression on the receiver. We hope that we have eliminated the confusion between the two, and that now you know which type of them is best for your current needs.

My Wife Has No Time for Me! How to Take Control and Change This

We’re all well aware that each day only affords us a meagre twenty-four hours. When you factor in the time you spend working, traveling to and back to the office, sleeping, showering and eating, there isn’t a whole lot of time left for anything else. However, when you’re married you really do need to pencil in some time to spend with your spouse. It’s expected and beyond that, it’s crucial for a well balanced, happy and fulfilling partnership. That’s why it’s so alarming if you’re a man who has a wife with a schedule that doesn’t leave any time at all for you. If your wife is so busy that she can’t spend even a few moments with you per day, you need to help her find an opening here and there to connect with you. If you want your marriage to last, this needs to be at the top of your priority list.

Obviously, you are going to take it personally if your wife has no time for you. Early in your marriage, she made certain that she had time to devote just to you, yes? You two did things together that you likely miss now. Perhaps back then you took something like having a coffee together for granted. Now you’d give just about anything to have an hour alone with her. As much as you may want to blame her lack of interaction with you on her busy schedule, there’s probably an underlying reason why she has excuse after excuse for not spending time with you. In most cases where this happens, it’s because the wife has begun to feel emotionally detached from her husband. Instead of trying to make awkward small talk with him she’d rather avoid him.

Your wife isn’t about to do anything on her own to change this. If she seems happy enough filling her days with things that keep her from you, it’s you who needs to alter the routine of your marriage. Start by telling your wife that you miss her and wish you two had more time together. Although this may not alter her schedule so that she makes time for you, it lets it be known that you’re not happy with the way things are and your goal is to share more of your life with her. Your statement about wanting to be with her more won’t go unnoticed by her even if she seems to ignore it or brush it aside.

Many women are devoting a great deal of their time to things that have to do with running the household and being a mom. You’re part of that equation so why not pitch in so your wife has more time for you? You can ask her if there’s anything she’d like you to do but be prepared for her to say there isn’t. Many women have a bit of a control streak running through them and they like to tackle everything they possibly can just because they believe no one else has the ability to do it quite as well as they do. If this sounds like a dictionary description of your wife’s personality, take on some tasks on your own. Jump in and drive the kids to school or make dinner a few times a week. Show your wife that you want to be her domestic partner as well as her life partner. The time you spend doing things around the house or tending to the children will result in more free time for your wife and thus more time for her to be with you.

A great way to solve the issue of a wife who has no time is to create a scenario in which she has no choice but to spend time with you. This almost sounds like it borders on forcing her to make time for you but don’t view it that way. Plan an evening out for the two of you and take care of all the details right down to arranging child care if necessary. Then surprise your wife with your thoughtful night out. She’ll see the effort you put in as a sign of your desire to be closer to her. It’s a great way to not only have some uninterrupted time with your wife but it will give you a chance to talk with her about what she’s feeling and that will only help when it comes to bridging any emotional distance she may be feeling.

Minimizing Water Damages From Wind and Rain Storms

Springtime in many parts of the country is well known for stormy weather and tornado activity. Recent weeks brought massive rain, wind and hail storms throughout parts of the United States. These storms have proved destructive on many fronts, causing extensive property damage due to strong winds, heavy rains, flooding and overflowing storm drains.

Tornadoes are usually accompanied by brutal winds, hail and unrelenting rain. These storms damage roofs, skylights, trees, fences, buildings, and anything else that is in their way. Agile winds toss cars and trucks as though they are mere cardboard boxes. They hurl roof shingles off homes and let rain and hail cause wet carpets, ceilings, floors and furniture. Rainstorms flood basements and crawl spaces bringing about tremendous water damages and financial woes to property owners. The end results of tornadoes, massive winds and rainstorms are oftentimes pathways of destruction and disaster stricken communities.

Not all water devastation from these storms can be completely avoided. However, there are ways to minimize potential water damage in your home. Most importantly, homeowners need to know that regular home maintenance and storm preparedness are the first steps in property and personal safety. Although it is impossible to prevent wind and rain storms, it is possible to lessen the impact of water damage stemming from these storms.

Before the rainy season begins and after each significant wind, hail or rain storm, inspecting both outside and inside the home and making necessary repairs may determine how well the home fares in a future storm situation. Outside the home, checking the gutters to make sure they are not blocked with dried leaves and debris should be included in a basic home maintenance routine. Homeowners should examine the roof to ensure there are no loose or missing shingles. Roof inspection also includes checking the flashing around the chimney to make sure it is tight and will not let water leak in. In addition, the ground around the house should be sloping away from the home, otherwise rainwater will pool around the house, potentially damaging the foundation, causing flooding and water damage to occur. Cracks both externally and internally should be caulked and sealed well, to prevent water from seeping in.

Inside the home, checking and maintaining appliance water line connections, such as washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator hoses on a regular basis goes a long way toward minimizing the potential for water damages. Toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs need to be regularly checked for leaks as well as mold discoloration and musty odors. Any discoloration on walls or ceilings must be investigated and attended to because it could be indicative of water leaks. Water heaters last an average of eight to twelve years. However, they may become rusty and may leak at any time, so a drain pan leading to an external outdoors drain is a must. In fact, calling a professional water damage restoration contractor to inspect the premises and offer advice and suggestions about necessary repairs is a wise and worthwhile investment.

Not all water damages from storms and flooding will be completely eliminated with a home maintenance routine, but regular care will certainly go a long way in most cases to decrease potential damage. Tornadoes and the massive wind, hail and rain storms that accompany them can cause tremendous damages to homeowners, towns and municipalities. Taking responsibility for one’s home will decrease many unpleasant storm and flooding scenarios. However, when faced with water damage emergencies, professional water damage restoration companies can remove, dry and clean up floods and repair the premises to pre-emergency condition.

African Black Soap – The Growing Popularity of This Natural Soap & How You Can Benefit From Its Use

African Black Soap has been becoming more popular with consumers in the Western world as it becomes more important to many buyers to use beauty products that are biodegradable and natural and because of its many great benefits.

For many years, this soap has been made from ingredients including palm oil, raw Shea butter and coco pods, found in various countries in West Africa, mainly in Nigeria and Ghana, but also in Mali and Togo. This soap is full of emollients and vitamins that work well for thorough moisturizing, gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing. Authentic soap of this type is a healthy addition to your health and beauty regime.

Depending on the locale in which the soap is made, this soap may contain different ingredients. For example, the type of soap made in the Nigerian region, known as Dudu Osun soap, contains wild honey, palm bunch ash, glycerine and lime juice in addition to the basic ingredients mentioned above. Dudu Osun is an excellent treatment for skin blemishes like blackheads from acne, and it is also useful in diminishing uneven tones of skin, like dark marks and spots. Honey makes Dudu Osun valuable to smooth and soothe skin, but if you have sensitive skin, this type of soap may be drying. You may want to apply lotion after you shower or bathe with Dudu Osun soap.

The soap made in Ghana, known as Alata Samina, is usually made from the skin of the plantain, which is an excellent source of iron and vitamins A & E. The plantain skin is dried gingerly in the African sun, and then roasted inside a clay oven. It is only roasted for a precise amount of time, to achieve the correct smell, texture and color. In some areas, they may use cocoa pods, the shell of cocoa fruit, rather than plantains. This soap is also excellent for treating acne, with its natural healing properties. Like Dudu Osun, it is helpful in treating a dry scalp, and it will make your hair clean when used as a shampoo bar. If you have allergies to nuts, African Black soap is perhaps not the soap for you as Shea butter is produced from a nut.

If you find African Black soap that is almost too black in color, it may have had artificial coloring added and likely to have been commercially made and include other impure ingredients. Organic soaps are usually browner in color, and they don’t have a scent, unless it is added. After you bathe or shower with this soap, you will want to store it somewhere away from your tub or shower perhaps in a soap box as African Black soap may shrink, due to its glycerin content. You should also not be surprised if this soap comes apart after you have used the bar, since this is common with this type of soap.

In contrast to soaps that are cold-processed, African Black Soaps are made on an open fire, so it retains the burnt leaf ashes, which will add the soap’s excellent exfoliating properties. The variations in color range from slightly dark blackish to brown. If you want to be sure that the soap you are purchasing is authentic, avoid added dyes, since genuine soaps crafted in Africa don’t usually have them.

African Black soap is also marvelous for hair care. It is rich in glycerin, and works well as a conditioner. It will leave your hair quite light-weight and soft. The natural, gentle moisturizers can even add a bit of curl or wave to your hair.

Getting Ready for Summer: Choosing a Fence for a New Pool

Getting a new pool means you will be getting a new fence, or repairing an old fence. Whether you have an above ground pool or an in-ground pool, you will need to install fencing that meets your local pool code. Pool safety codes require specific types of fencing and lock mechanisms. Failure to install a fence that is to code for your pool is illegal and may potentially expose you to liability should someone get hurt.

What type of fence do I need for my pool?

We have multiple fence options that satisfy swimming pool safety laws. Your real question is: What type of fence do I want for my pool? You have the luxury of many choices. Think about the type of pool you have or are planning to install. If it's a lagoon-style pool you may want a fence that does not interfere with the natural landscape. Alternately, you may want the fence to match or complete the siding on your home. A pool requires consistent maintenance, but the good news is aluminum and vinyl fences are maintenance-free. A variety of colors and styles allow homeowners to turn their yards into as casual or elegant a retreat as they desire.

When choosing a fence for a pool, keep in mind that pool codes vary by city, town and even subdivisions. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that they have up-to-date code information. You will need to check with your community or homeowner's association in addition to the city or town in which you have to make sure you have all up-to-date pool codes before choosing your fence.

3 steps to check your fence for pool codes:

1. We will help you find your local municipality for you to verify local pool codes

2. We will show you which changes meet your pool codes and you can customize your selection

3. Schedule a simple installation

Since aluminum fines require no maintenance, you will not have to be concerned about corrosion issues like many low-quality fence materials may have, or rotting and insects that may be attracted to wood fines over time. Old unsightly wings take away a home's curve appealing. When you choose an aluminum fence you will not have to worry about long-term issues relating its appearance.

If you are planning to install a pool or if you already enjoy one and need a replacement fence, you already appreciate how upgrades add value to your home. The right type of fence helps to increase your home's value with curb appeal, safety, and security. Not only that, but a maintenance-free fence is an excellent feature when you are ready to sell your home. Installing an aluminum fence is a simple process, unlike other home upgrades that require an inconvenient lengthy process.

Aluminum treasures that meet pool codes have tremendous flexibility in design. We can create custom fence systems and decorative tops to fit your specific taste. Browse samples of our aluminum and vinyl treasures to find one that reflects your home's style and at the same time satisfy pool safety requirements.