Top 10 Moving Destinations in U.S.

Americans are on the move, now more than ever!. The U.S. Census Bureau said that 36 million people relocated in 2012, with plenty of these being people who moved to new states. Looking for a new place to move? Take a look at the top 10 spots where Americans are moving. 

10. Sarasota, FL – Home of Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. This is the perfect place for all things ocean! Take a stroll on the beach, go for a boat ride, eco-tour, or take a dip in the water. 

9. Charlotte, NC – Home to one of the East Coast’s largest financial centers, Charlotte is nicknamed “The Queen City.” The NASCAR Hall of Game and over 40 public golf courses make this a wonderful place to go. 

8. Seattle, WA – No, it may not have the weather of the last two, but it has a little bit of everything else. The sports teams have loyal fans, the view from the Space Needle is breathtaking, and the Pike Place Market houses locally grown food. 

7. Denver, CO – Take a deep breathe and smell the fresh mountain air. This is the outdoor-play enthusiasts dream. From skiing to snowboarding, to biking or hiking, take your pick and enjoy reasonably priced home (median home sale price is $233,950.)

6. Houston, TX – If you’re looking for warm temperatures all year round, give Houston a spin. With many employment opportunities, Houston also has shopping and restaurants out the wazzoo! 

5. Chicago, IL – The Windy City makes the list at number 5 this year. Look here for easy transportation and great entertainment.

4. Orlando, FL – Another Florida city, this one is known for Disney World and so much more, including fishing and boating all year round. 

3. Phoenix, AZ – Hot weather, lack of rain, this is for you if you love the nice weather! Just watch out for the heat of the summer!

2. Dallas-Forth Worth, TX – Classic Texas-style fun all year round with a speedway and amusement park right outside the city. Reasonable home prices and great employment opportunities!

1. Atlanta, GA – For the third year in a row, Atlanta brings it home with great cultural events and the world’s largest aquarium are on the list of great things about this city!

Benefits of Vinyl Siding

As a siding material, vinyl siding is relatively new. Introduced in the late 1950’s as a substitute for aluminum siding, vinyl got a bad reputation when it cracked, faded, buckled and sagged.

 

Since then, there have been many changes to the chemistry and installation techniques of vinyl. These changes have improved its performance and furthered its acceptance by builders and homeowners.

 

So what are the benefits of it? Well for one, its cheaper than red cedar or redwood and takes less time to install. A mid grade vinyl costs about $1.60 per square foot to install, but that’s not including the trim pieces. Vinyl also goes up faster than red cedar and redwood, and doesn’t require any painting afterwards.

 

But the real win for putting plastic siding on your home is the reduced maintenance. No need to spend your time on the siding of your house, when you can be out enjoying the summer weather.

 

Wondering what vinyl is chemically? Well its a polymer, a chemical mix up between ethylene gas and chlorine, which would produce a fine white powder called vinyl resin. Once melted and mixed with additives, the result can be either rigid as pipe, or durable enough to survive heavy foot traffic on a kitchen floor.

 

Empowering Yourself after a Divorce

A divorce can leave you feeling adrift in a sea of uncertainty and change. The marriage you assumed was permanent has ended. You may feel angry, scared, liberated or a confusing mixture of emotions. That’s perfectly normal; your life has undergone a fundamental change, and it takes time to recover from such upheaval. And you’re not alone. In fact, thousands of people have had to resort to using services of Philippines Private Investigators as well as many others to look into their spouse’s suspicious behavior.

It can be tempting to look at recovering from a divorce as form of healing over triumph over tragedy, but it might be more positive to see it as a successful movement marketing campaign, where you rebrand yourself and your relationships with others.

Only one solid rule applies to empowering yourself after divorce: proceed at your own pace. No one else has the authority to tell you when to stop mourning the loss of your marriage, when you should start dating again, or how you should handle your children in the wake of divorce. One of the positive results of divorce can be a rediscovery of your values and identity.

Taking Control

Many online post-divorce websites focus on empowering women after divorce, but the advice on such sites applies equally well to male divorcees. One of the most common empowering tips is realizing you can change your environment.

Environmental changes don’t refer to moving out during divorce: that’s a necessary evil. Instead, this advice recognizes that – possibly for the first time in years – you’re in sole control of your own life. This is a potentially transformative realization, goals and dreams you may have put off as impossible during your marriage may suddenly be attainable.

Some people use this newfound freedom to change jobs, move to new locations or go back to school after a divorce, but change doesn’t need to be so dramatic. Taking control of your environment can be as simple as redecorating in a style that reflects you, not your ex-spouse.

Put the Past behind You

Focusing on what you’ve lost is tempting after a divorce. While that’s perfectly natural, looking back doesn’t help you move forward. You may resent or even hate your ex-spouse, but focusing on those feelings does no good, especially if you share custody of children.

Looking forward can be very empowering. Every decision you make, large or small, is now your own. Whether you’re deciding where to eat dinner or considering a job offer, the decision – and its consequences – belong entirely to you.

Goal setting can help you move forward. Goals don’t need to be huge, life-changing events. Planning to get together with an old friend is a goal. So is starting a new exercise program or learning a new skill. The goals themselves aren’t important: what’s important is that attaining goals forces you to look to the future, not the past.

The Importance of Self-Care

Above all, take care of yourself. Eating right, getting out and moving, and taking time to pamper yourself are always important, but never more so than after a major stressor such as divorce. Caring for yourself can mean everything from starting a new exercise program to buying an ice cream on the way home from work. Go at your own pace, and start a movement that carries you forward.

Adrienne Erin

 

Guest post by Adrienne.  Adrienne is a blogger over at Pongra.  When she’s not blogging, you might find her practicing French, whipping up some recipes she  found on Pinterest, or writing some snail mail.

3 Unique Vacation Destinations in 2012

Denali - Mountains - Alaska

It’s winter in the US right now, a season of knit caps and snow shovels for most. It’s a time of the year that many of us spend dreaming of a beach vacation or another summer getaway. But, if you are smart, you are doing more than daydreaming.

It’s best to plan out your vacation several months in advance. Better prices are usually available for those that plan ahead and many destinations fill up quickly so booking in advance is a must.

As you sit down to plan your 2012 getaway, here are 3 places that promise to bring a great vacation that you might not have thought of:

1. Alaska

While not the typical destination that comes to mind for many, Alaska’s temperatures are actually pretty mild in the summer. Those who enjoy active vacations will find plenty of things to do outdoors. Hiking, fishing and boating are just a couple of popular activities. A common way to experience Alaska is on an Alaskan cruise. Cruisers get to see more of the state and also get a peek at the marine wildlife that Alaska is famous for.

2. Belize

Central America is famous for its breathtaking beaches and crystal clear water. Belize offers all of this and it is the only English-speaking country in Central America. There are plenty of places for snorkeling, caving, diving, zip-lining and sightseeing. 2012 would be an especially interesting year to visit Belize because of the many Mayan people who live there. A large number of events and festivals will be held this year. Whether you want an adventurous vacation or just want to relax at one of the vacation spas, Belize is a great escape.

3. Iceland

Iceland is a quickly growing tourist destination for many Europeans. While the name suggests an ice-covered tundra, the island offers much, much more. Vatnajökull National Park is the largest national park in Europe and offers a stunning variety of nature. Landscapes around the country vary from volcanic mountains to endless green pastures to, their famous icy glaciers. Iceland is also well known for its natural geothermal spas, including the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik.

Image credit to blmiers2

Get Rid of Your Moths with a Pantry Pest Trap

Moths can enter your home through your pet food, dried flowers, flour, grains and birdseed. Once inside, they can wreak havoc, destroying your clothes and furniture.

Moths have the unique ability to digest keratin, giving them the ability to eat any animal-based materials, including wool and fur.

You can stop their infestation by using a pantry moth trap. Read on to find out how these effective traps work and tips for stopping moth damage.

Pantry Moth Trap: Your First Step

At the first sign of meal moths, use a pantry moth trap. To make sure you’re using the most effective pantry moth trap, look for one that:

  • Covers 1,000 square feet: The traps that cover 1,000 square feet offer the greatest protection from moth infestations.
  • Works on four different kinds of moths: grain, meal, seed and flour moths, which are commonly found inside homes.
  • Uses pheromones to attract male moths: Male moths have large antennae designed to detect pheromones from female moths, which they cannot resist.
  • Lasts up to 3 months: The pheromone lures will last up to 3 months in the most effective pantry pest traps.
  • Is easy-to-use: The easiest traps require you to simply place the lure on the glue and then position the trap.
  • Is organic: The most effective traps are organic and safe to use around kids.

Place your pantry moth trap wherever you store dried foods, pet foods, or bird seed. Common locations can be the basement, garage, pantry or kitchen. Make sure the location you choose won’t cause damage to the trap by swinging doors. Also, place the trap where it will get good air circulation.

Once you place your trap, check it weekly to see if it is full. Once full, it should be discarded. It can be wrapped in newspaper and thrown out in the household trash.

How it Works

By emitting powerful pheromones male moths can’t resist, the pantry moth trap attracts the moths and traps them inside

Once all the male moths are securely trapped, the breeding cycle will be interrupted and your moth infestation will end.

While one of these traps will end an infestation, they should be used primarily to confirm an infestation exists. Once you confirm the infestation by a full trap, you can treat the problem with an insect killer that will exterminate directly on contact.

Flying Insect Killer

If you see moths, you can use a flying insect killer to exterminate them on contact. When selecting a flying insect killer for effective moth control, choose one that:

  • Is CFC free: This will ensure there is no lingering odor. Some even have a citrus scent.
  • Is organic and safe to use indoors: Many products appear to be “green” and “earth-friendly” but are not organic. Look for a product with the OMRI Listed logo. This means the product has been reviewed and approved for organic gardening.

Image credited to Angelique Oneko


Little Known Moth Facts: From How Clothes Moth Traps Work to Moth Migration

Moths are strange, interesting creatures. There are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moths in the world, with around 11,000 different species recorded in the U.S. and Canada alone.

With so many different moth species, there are many unique characteristics of this insect. Read on to learn some fun moth facts and why these insects are special, from how clothes moth traps work to when they fly.

 

Clothes Moth Traps Use Pheromones

The clothes moth eats your clothes, hence the name. They have the unique ability to digest keratin, enabling them to eat your wool, fur, leather … any clothes made from animal products.

Clothes moth traps emit powerful pheromones that attract the moths. Once they reach the trap, they get caught.

While clothes moth traps effectively attract and then trap the moths, they don’t actually kill them. The traps are useful at letting you know you have a problem. You’ll want to get a flying insect killer to stop your moth infestation.

Male moths have large antennae to detect the pheromones the female moths release. They release these pheromones from their legs, wings or abdomen. Males can detect their pheromones as far as 5 miles away. This is what makes clothes moth traps very effective

 

Predicting the Weather Based on the Wooly Bear Caterpillar

Many people still believe the wooly bear’s coat can predict the weather. Seen from May to October, the dark stripe determines how the winter will be.

A thick brown stripe means the winter will be mild. If the brown stripe is thin, it means the winter will be harsh. This all started back in the 1600s when farmers relied on weather history to predict future conditions. When comparing wooly bear caterpillar stripes with the weather reports, they found a correlation. Or at least they thought they did.

Some studies point to the weather conditions the caterpillar developed in as an explanation in the bands. A wider black band indicates it lived in wet conditions, while the wide brown band is a sign it lived in dry conditions.

 

Moth Migration

Although moths migrate, they don’t travel far distances. When they do migrate, they navigate using two methods: by the moon and stars, and when light sources aren’t available, they use geomagnetic clues.

 

Lookalikes

The moth family Clearwing is known for resembling other flying insects, such as hornets and wasps. Some even resemble hummingbirds.

Another lookalike moth is the Bird Dropping group. Named so because they look like bird droppings.

 

Flying Times

Although moths are typically considered nocturnal, there are species that are active during the day, including the hummingbird clearwing, spear-marked black and the Virginia ctenucha.

Depending on their species, nocturnal moths are active at different times during the night.

 

Image credited to Rachel (“Nutmeg”)

Use a Rat Trap Like a Pro

If you’ve got mice or rats in your home, it’s time to get them out. The sooner you trap them and get rid of them, the sooner you prevent some serious damage to your house. That’s why a rat trap is so important.

Rats and mice will chew through just about anything in their quest for food. Wires are just one tiny road block to them. To us, however, wires that are cut can be wires that are dangerous or expensive to replace. Think electrical fire or your TV cables.

If you have a rodent problem and need tips on how to use a mouse or rat trap, you’ve come to the right place. This post will offer ways to get the most success out of your rat trap for the best rat control.

 

Placement of Your Rat Trap

Wherever you see damage or activity, that’s where you want to place your rat trap.

If you find a chewed wire, stick a trap next to it. If you find snack bags in your pantry have gnaw marks on them, stick a rat trap next to them (after you seal snacks safely in air-tight containers).

In theory, the more rat traps you place, the more rats you’ll get rid of. Studies have actually proven more rodents are killed on the first night of having traps out. Maybe these rodents are smart and they tell their rodent friends about some traps they saw. If you have enough traps set, there won’t be any rats left to tell.

Don’t just place your traps evenly, such as at 10-feet intervals. While you think you’re getting optimal coverage, you’re not taking into consideration where the rats or mice really are. It’s better to put all your traps in the exact area where you see the damage (or droppings). This is where they hang out.

All traps need are 1 or 2 inches between them.

 

Bait Your Rat Trap

It’s been argued bait isn’t that important. Many are under the false assumption “placement is key, but bait isn’t that important to trapping”.

I’m of the school that you do need to pay attention to bait. And while rats and mice eat a lot of different types of food, they seem incapable of resisting peanut butter.

When you set your trap with peanut butter, make sure to apply fresh bait each time. Don’t rely on old, dried out peanut butter to entice the rodents to the trap. While they can still smell it, it isn’t as powerful as when it’s fresh.

For even better results, utilize a variety of baits. The reason why this works is because rats have particular foraging jobs. Some will go after chips, while others will go after meats (like bacon bits).

 

Image credited to Steve Cranfield.

See How Easily You Can Use Mice Repellent

When you think about mice repellent, you may think of complicated sprays or pellets. Turn s out, there are mice control options that are not only easy, but also really effective at keeping mice away. This post is dedicated to an incredibly easy-to-use mouse repellent. In fact, it may just be the easiest one there is.

Ok, So What is This Easy-to-Use Mice Repellent?

It’s the ultrasonic kind. While it sounds high-tech, which it is, it really is easy-to-use. All you need to do is plug it in. Really, that’s all.

By emitting sound waves at a very high frequency, it sends rodents running in the other direct ion, yet we (and our pets) can’t hear it.

Dogs, cats and birds don’t detect the ultra high frequency used in this effective mice control product. Now if you have guinea pigs or hamsters, they can hear it. So you’ll want to move them into a different room. Since the sound waves these little machines generate can’t go through walls, moving your pet rodents out of the room where the unit is will keep them from hearing these annoying sound waves.

 

What Makes This Form of Mice Control So Effective?

This mice repellent is not only easy, but also really effective because it drives the rodents crazy. So much so they don’t want to be anywhere near these sound waves.

I do, however, want to clarify not all models are created equally.

You may have heard ultrasonic devices don’t work well. It’s just not true if you have the most effective mice repellent and then use it correctly.

Using it correctly means first understanding how it works. The ultrasonic waves don’t go through walls. So to protect your home fully, put a device in each room. That way the rodents won’t find solace in other parts of your home.

Also, the sound waves are absorbed by anything soft. So don’t plug yours in behind your couch or drapes and think it will work.

Finally, like any mouse control method, it needs to be used in conjunction with other methods for optimal results.

 

Finding the Most Effective Mice Repellent

When shopping for an ultrasonic mice repellent, make sure it:

  • Uses a non-repetitive pattern: by mixing it up, the rodents won’t become desensitized to it
  • Generates 80 oscillations per second: this high oscillation is what sounds so annoying to the rodents … kind of like a jackhammer in their ears
  • Is backed by decades of laboratory research and successful field testing: the models that have been proven to work will include this information on their packaging or website, so make sure you’re buying the device that’s been shown to effectively repel rodents

Image credit to Brian Kellett.

Does the Deer Repellant Make the Cut?

If you’ve got deer visitors in your yard, chances are you’ve got deer destruction. And you need a good deer repellant.

Deer will tear into your garden or landscaping, even ripping away at trees as they stand on their hind legs. Unlike other animal pests, such as rabbits and rodents, deer don’t have upper incisors. While rabbits and rodents leave neat, sharp cuts, deer strip bark and leaves.

There are many different types of deer repellant. This post will review common methods for deer control and determine which make the cut, and which don’t, so you know how to best protect your yard from deer damage.

 

Hair as a Deer Repellant?

One of the most common homeopathic deer repellants is human hair. People will sprinkle hair around areas they want to keep deer away from.

When stacked up against other deer repellants, this one just doesn’t make the cut.

Not only is it not effective, but it’s gross. Human hair sprinkled around landscaping or in gardens does not make for an appealing yard – if it worked as a deer repellent, we would be more open to using it but it doesn’t do the job their either.  Moreover, it’s time-consuming. Getting the hair, usually from a barber or salon, will be a regular errand as the hair is easily washed or blown away in bad weather conditions.

 

Homemade Rotten Eggs

Homemade rotten eggs are another common deer repellant. While rotten eggs may be more effective than human hair, they aren’t any cleaner or more convenient. While your yard or garden may not be hairy, it will definitely be smelly. And, just like human hair, rotten eggs are easily washed away in bad weather because there is nothing to help it stick to your plants.

 

Commercial Deer Repellant

If you want to get the most out of rotten egg’s deer deterrent properties, your best bet is getting a commercial deer repellant.

The most effective deer repellants will contain putrescent egg, but in a formula that lasts because it has a sticker and dries odorless to humans.

Putrescent egg smells just like a decaying animal to the deer. When deer smell a dead animal, they stay away, since the smell often means a predator is nearby.

When selecting a commercial deer repellant, look for one that:

  • Repels deer using smell (putrescent egg) and taste (capsaicin): deer have highly sensitive taste and scent senses; using a deer repellant that targets both means better results
  • Is long lasting: the best deer repellant lasts for up to three months before needing a reapplication, saving you time and money

- Is easy-to-use: look for ready-to-use or concentrated formulas so you know the right amount you need to use to protect your area

- Has the OMRI logo: this means it’s been reviewed and approved for use in organic gardening

Another plus to using commercial deer repellant is it doubles as an effective rabbit repellant.

 

Deer-Proof Plants

Planting deer-proof plants doesn’t make the cut. Mainly because a hungry deer will eat pretty much anything, including plants thought to be deer-proof. Moreover, if you plant deer-proof plants, it doesn’t repel the deer. They’ll still eat the other plants right next to the deer-proof varieties.

Image Credited to Alfred Benway.

Squirrel Proof Feeders and Greased Poles: What Works and What Doesn’t

Most bird lovers hate squirrels. These critters damage feeders, ransack birdseed supplies and scare away birds. In attempt to outsmart the squirrels, people have tried a variety of tactics. Some are successful. Some are not. And some aren’t safe.

From squirrel proof feeders to greased poles, this post goes over the most common, tried-and-true tactics for combating bird seed-eating squirrels.

Squirrel Proof Feeders
There are squirrel proof feeders designed to keep bird seed safe. Squirrel proof feeders are either surrounded by a chew-resistant metal cage or weight-activated. The weight-activated ones shut off access to feeding ports when a squirrel jumps on it. Both work well.

Some Use Cayenne
One of the reasons why cayenne pepper repels squirrels is because it tastes bad to them. Luckily for birds, they can’t taste it, but it can be harmful.

Some people mix cayenne pepper with birdseed, typically 1-2 teaspoons to 10 pounds of birdseed. The effects of cayenne pepper wear off quickly, in a day or two. For large feeders, which you don’t need to refill often, mixing cayenne pepper with birdseed isn’t an ideal solution and is not recommended.

The other reason why mixing cayenne pepper with birdseed isn’t a good idea is because it isn’t safe for the birds or the squirrels. The point of bird feeding is to nurture our feathered friends, not harm them. The pepper can fly into their eyes and cause pain or itching.

A good way to incorporate cayenne pepper safely is by including it in a suet mix. The other ingredients, such as the lard and peanut butter, trap the pepper so it doesn’t come loose and get into bird eyes.

Another way to get the benefits of cayenne pepper in a safe way is by using a commercial squirrel repellent. The best repellents are effective for up to 30 days.

Offering an Alternate Food Source – The Jury Is Still Out

Some people install squirrel feeders or spread dried corn away from bird feeders. In theory, setting up a feeding area for the squirrels will keep them fed and deter them from ransacking your bird feeder. However, results vary.

How far is far enough? Are you attracting more squirrels? If they eat all the corn, what’s stopping them from hitting up the birdfeeder?

Since this method can’t hurt anything, you can try it to see if it helps.

Grease: Not a Good Idea

Another common tactic is covering a bird feeder pole with grease. People will use vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. While the squirrel may slide down the pole, unsuccessful at reaching the birdseed, it will probably be left with a sticky coat. This residue, especially old grease, can make the squirrel sick.

Image credit to Steven Carter.