Category Archives: Caring For Our Community

The 5 Best Self-Learning Smart Home Devices

Self-learning home devices learn your habits and adjust themselves accordingly for an unprecedented level of convenience.

Picture this: You’ve had an exhausting week — all you want to do is go home and relax. It’s hot outside, but you arrive to a perfectly cooled home. As dusk rolls in, your blinds follow suit, as if they’re chasing the sunset. You make your way to your bedroom and practically crumble into bed. The lights dim as the temperature dips and you drift off into a peaceful sleep.

This might sound like a futuristic dream, but actually, it’s a reality. In today’s world, millions of smart gadgets are available to make your home more intelligent. But these “smart” devices are limited to homeowner’s programming capabilities, which is usually turning on and off at certain times. Genius? Not so much. Self-learning home devices are different. They learn your habits and adjust themselves accordingly for an unprecedented level of convenience.  Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best connected devices and the ways they can observe patterns, interpret data, or use artificial intelligence to help make your life easier.

  1. Self-Learning Thermostats

Keeping your house at an ideal temperate can be pricey. About 50 percent of your energy bill can be attributed to running the heat or air conditioning. A manual thermostat can be programmed to adjust temps at certain times but if you leave for vacation and forget to turn it off, you’re out of luck.

Smart thermostats are a game-changer. They can learn your favorite temp and make sure you’re never too hot or too cold. If you’ve cranked the AC a few days in a row, your thermostat will pick up on this pattern and adjust the temperature settings accordingly. And when you leave for work or a week-long vacation, sensors and GPS will alert your thermostat to automatically save energy (and money).

2.    Self-Learning Blinds

There’s nothing worse than being woken up at the crack of dawn on a weekend to sun beams hitting you square in the face. Or the opposite — you can’t seem to roll out of bed because the room is so dark that it must still be nighttime, right?

Smart blinds can help address both of these issues. The latest intelligent shades connect to your compatible smart-home systems and adjust themselves automatically. Simply program your shades to move your window treatments to your preference. And to take it one step further, some smart blinds can follow the sun to maintain the same level of light as the season’s change, which saves energy and money (without any effort on your part).

3.    Self-Learning Beds

Even your bed can have brainpower. Tech-savvy mattresses covers sync up with your thermostat and bedroom lighting for a full sensory experience. As you begin to snooze, the temperature and lights of your room and bed adjust to your preference. When you doze off completely, they adjust again or turn off completely. These self-learning mattress protectors can also track your sleep patterns and help you achieve your best night’s rest.

4.    Self-Learning Surveillance

Being able to keep an eye on your home while you are away is the ultimate peace of mind, as one in 36 homes are burglarized each year. Smart surveillance systems employ innovative learning technology like facial recognition to keep your home safe from unfamiliar faces. Some cameras also have self-learning video analytics, which automatically adjust their settings based on the scene conditions to give you the clearest view possible. Plus, they connect to Wi-Fi for 24/7 footage, pinged right to your smartphone from anywhere with internet.

5.    Self-Learning Spectrometer  

This might not seem like an everyday item, but smart food spectrometers are making waves in the kitchen. This tool interprets algorithms to understand food freshness, sweetness and quality. In real-time, it can determine if your meat has gone bad, if your whiskey is the real deal or if that farmer’s market fruit is fresh.

Bonus: Self-Learning Home Controller

As seen at the 2018 Consumer Electronic Show, a self-learning home controller takes your smart home gadgets and make them smarter. It uses artificial intelligence to understand your home patterns, picking up data from your smart appliances, lighting and electricity. It automates mundane tasks without scheduling or hassle to better manage your home and save money. Although it’s not available for purchase yet, this home controller could help smart gadgets reach their full potential.

As smart home gadgets continue to get smarter and learn on their own, it’ll be fascinating to see how they will predict our behavior to save energy, slash bills, and most importantly, make our lives better.

Perhaps one day, there will be no snoozing through alarms (your phone will know to wake you up), no burnt banana bread (your oven will know it’s fully baked), and no parties after midnight (your lights know bedtime is at 10PM). But hopefully these self-learning devices will learn that sometimes humans like to break the rules. #cbrmr

The Mash Team is Smart Home Certified.

How to Make Space for a New Pet at Home

Getting a furry friend is always an exciting time, however, it’s definitely a good idea to make a few tweaks to your home and take some precautions to ensure a happy, healthy life for the newest member of your family. Here are a few starter tips whether you’re getting a cat or dog.

In the kitchen. The biggest danger in the kitchen is when pets help themselves to toxic foods left out on the counter, or worse, from the trash. Just like humans, raw meat of any kind can be dangerous for them to ingest, as well as chocolate, onions and grapes. Some of the best ways to prevent them from eating human food are to keep counters clear, store food in hard-to-reach upper cabinets, use a pet-proof trash can and put up a pet gate during food prep and mealtime.

In the bathroom. Toilet bowl water is commonly contaminated with chemical cleaners, so you probably don’t want your pet drinking or falling into it. You can use the same toilet locks used with young children to prevent this. It’s also smart to keep bathroom counters clear of small accessories, such as hair ties, bobby pins, jewelry and makeup. Keep cleaning solutions, both here, in the kitchen and the laundry room, out of reach too. If you’re prone to keeping a dirty laundry pile in the bathroom, be sure to keep loose clothes off the floor so they don’t get torn or chewed up.

Lastly, especially for big dogs, you may want to consider integrating a pet washing station into the bathroom, mudroom or laundry room. This can be done by building out an entirely new setup or installing an extra ledge in an existing, spacious shower. Smaller dogs and cats can be easily washed in oversized utility or even kitchen sinks.

In the living room. One of the biggest concerns here is ensuring your pet doesn’t claw up your furniture. Leather and synthetic fibers are great options for sofas since they can easily be wiped clean, and carpet tiles are great alternatives to regular carpets and area rugs because you can replace any tile individually for a small price if it gets damaged.

Many pets love having a great view of the outdoors. If you have expansive windows nearby, set up a nice lounging area for them by putting a pet bed or cushion along a window seat. In addition to that, many pets also love cozying up by the fire. Be sure to protect them from getting hurt or burned by an open fire with a simple screen. #cbrmr

In the home office. Protect yourself against having to use the age-old excuse of “my dog ate my homework” by filing loose papers away in a cabinet or binder and away from pesky paws. Another concern here is exposed bundles of cords, which can electrocute your furry friend if they chew on them. Tuck them away or cover them with concealer cables, which have the added benefit of helping declutter your workspace.

Give them their own space. Although you’ll probably want to spend most of your day snuggling your pet, it’s also important to give them a space of their own. Their cozy corner can easily be integrated into any low-traffic zone such as the laundry room or garage where you can arrange their bed, favorite toys and food and water bowls. Crates and litter boxes have come a long way from their traditional bulky look and can now be hidden under a desk, integrated under the staircase or custom made to match your room design.

The great outdoors. Just like many of us, dogs and cats love basking in the sun and exploring nature. Consider installing a pet door so they can go in and out as they please. Add a fence or gate around your yard so they don’t run off and get lost. It’s also a good idea to have a boundary or cover for outdoor features, such as pools, ponds and fire pits, so they don’t fall in and injure themselves. Finally, exercise caution when planting garden favorites, such as daffodils, tulips and hydrangeas, since they can be toxic to dogs and cats if ingested.

 

Integrating technology. It’s always important to show your furry friend some love. If your budget allows, invest in one of these new technologies to keep your pet happy and healthy. Automatic pet doors that are linked to a device on your pet’s collar beat traditional versions by blocking wildlife, rodents and even snow or rain from coming in too. GPS smart collars also help keep your pet safe and able to locate in worst case scenarios. Lastly, automated water and food feeders are great alternatives to manual feedings, especially for people with busy lifestyles, and can even help your pet diet and lose weight. #cbrmr

10 Best At-Home Exercises

Whether you’re homebound due to a monster snow storm or just trying to save a little extra cash, sometimes the gym isn’t all that practical. For those days, it helps to bring the gym to you, but can you really get a good workout without the fancy machines and equipment?

The answer is absolutely! Bodyweight exercises—moves like planks and squats that use the weight of your body as resistance—have risen in popularity thanks to their low overhead and simplicity. In fact, these exercises make a great choice if you’re working out without the supervision of a professional trainer, because you’re less likely to hurt yourself than you might with weights.

Of course, if you’re working out at home, you’re no doubt pressed for time, too. So we tried to limit our suggestions to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises, a technique where you exercise in short bursts of intensity, followed by brief recovery periods. These high-energy circuits allow you to burn calories faster, and have been shown to improve metabolic functioning even hours after your workout. This is due to an effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), a state of elevated oxygen intake used to repair spent muscles. In layman’s terms, that means your body continues to burn more calories after your workout as it works to restore your body back to a resting state.

Anyway, onto the good stuff! Here are ten exercises you can do at home for fast, meaningful and convenient workouts.

Push-ups

It’s not fancy, but the good old faithful push-up is one of the pillars of any good at-home HIIT workout. The key is sticking the form: your head, back and hips should stay aligned at all times, moving as one unit. Engage your core as you dip low to help you keep your butt in line. This one adjustment will help you get much more out of each one. Try to do three to four reps of 15 push-ups (try knee push-ups if a regular one is too hard) each, resting for 30 seconds in between.

Two-Phase Squats

These aren’t any old squats! Two-phase squats allow you to take full advantage of the exercise, more fully activating your hip and knee extensors and glutes. To do them, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, and squat down, keeping your head and shoulders back and relaxed. Come back up halfway and pause for a second, then squat back down again. Rise all the way up, squeezing your glutes together at the top. To add resistance, you can do this exercise with weights in each hand. Do as many squats as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

Ladder Hop

The main idea of this move is to transition from a plank to forward fold by hopping incrementally toward your hands. Position yourself into a plank with your arms straight. Imagine you are hopping up a three-rung ladder running from your feet to your hands. Hop to the first “rung” and then hop back to where you started from. Hop to the second imaginary rung. Hop back. Hop to the third rung, near your hands. Then jump all the way back and start again. Do as many of these as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds for a killer workout for your calves and abs!

Burpees

Burpees have a formidable reputation around the fitness world, and for good reason: this three-in-one heart-pumper hits your core, legs, chest—basically every muscle in the body! To start, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your hands and come into a deep squat. Kick your legs back one at a time into a plank form. Do a push up, then bring your legs back one at a time into the squat position. From your squat, jump up and back into standing. Repeat as many times as you can in a minute, and get ready to sweat!

Superman (or Superwoman!)

Legs, arms, glutes, core—these areas get plenty of love in your typical HIIT workout. Your back, however, sometimes goes neglected, which is unfortunate, since many Americans complain of back pain. Strengthening these muscles improves posture and ultimately reduces that pain. To attack the muscles in your back, we love supermans. Lie on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you. Slowly lift your arms, legs and chest all at once and contract your back for two seconds, then gently release. Repeat this for 30 seconds for a superhero-sized lower back workout.

Spider Plank

This is a good one to try if crunches hurt your neck. Get into a plank position with your weight on your forearms. Engage your core muscles and draw your right knee to your right elbow. Move your legs back together. Now switch, drawing your left knee to your left elbow. Continue this way for 30 seconds. If you want to, you can pick up the pace with this move to get some extra cardio in. You’ll definitely feel this one the next day!

Alternating High Knees and Butt Kicks

Speaking of cardio, it’s not a bad idea to fit some of that into your workout too. This next alternating circuit uses your bodyweight to rapidly raise your heartrate. But since you’ll be doing it in short bursts, you’ll be able to sustain the high-intensity. Stand up tall with your hands extended in front of you, elbows at your waist. Kick your right knee up until it hits your hand, then move back down. Repeat with your right knee. Continue like this, as quickly as you can, for 30 seconds. Next, do 30 seconds of butt kicks: kick your right heel up and try to hit your behind. Place your foot back on the ground, and then do the same with your left heel. Repeat, alternating sides, as quickly as possibly until the 30 seconds is over. Rest for 30 seconds.

Dragonfly

Many HIIT moves can be tough on your joints, but this is one low-impact exercise you can do without putting a lot of stress on these spots. Lie on your back with your feet straight up in the air, hands over your head. Hold a dumbbell in your hands to stabilize you, then slowly lift your legs, hips and trunk up, curling to meet your head until your toes are just above your head. Lower your hips down slowly to the starting position, then repeat for 45 seconds.

Grasshopper

Another one inspired by the animal kingdom, this one works your arms, abs, and legs all at once. Crouch down with your hands flat on the floor, in a sort of bent-squat position. Plant your palms and hop or walk your feet back into a plank. Square your hips and move your left knee toward your right elbow. If you can, touch your knee to your elbow. Return to the plank and repeat this move on the other side, touching your right knee to your left elbow. Hop your feet towards your hands and jump up, clapping your hands overhead. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Mountain Climbers

This is one of those moves fitness experts return to again and again. Crouch down with your arms straight in front of you, palms on the ground. Keeping your hands in this position, drive one knee forward and back and then reverse. Do this as fast as you possibly can for 45 seconds. It will feel like you legit scaled Mount Everest!

See? You don’t need a gym membership to get a high quality workout at home!

 

Ditch the Sprinkler with These Water-Efficient Landscaping Ideas

From efficient plants to water-smart landscaping, your lawn can certainly do its part to improve water efficiency.

Ready for a shock? The average household guzzles down 320 gallons of water a day—that’s about nine full bath tubs’ worth of liquid! And about 30 percent of that gets dumped out straight on the lawn. Conventional water sprinklers are so inefficient that about half of all the water they use is totally wasted.

Mulch the Eco-friendly Way

Mulching bed around the house and bushes, wheelbarrel along with a showel.

Many new gardeners assume that mulching is just for appearances—but did you know it does a lot more for your beds than covering up the dirt? Mulch not only roots out troublesome weeds, it conserves moisture in the soil. A layer of it around plants more closely mirrors natural conditions, since forested areas are typically topped with nutrient-rich plant debris. Inside this mixture of twigs, bark, and leaves are beneficial microbes that subsist off the decaying matter. As these organisms break down organic material, transforming it into soil, they give off a sticky, almost glue-like substance that holds the topsoil together so that it has a crumbly texture. Soil with this texture holds in water much more effectively than other consistencies. Mulching with organic materials like leaves or pine needles kicks off this natural process, so that the soil is less likely to dry out—and it also forms a protective layer that keeps water from evaporating as fast.

Forget the Landscaping—Go for Hardscaping

A professional landscaping job with stone path and stone steps.

Turf is overrated, at least where water conservation is concerned. Hardscaping, the collective name for stone features used to landscape a garden or exterior area, gets points for being drought-tolerant—and when used properly, can really add some modern verve to your lawn. A terraced backyard, for instance, uses stone boundary walls to create multiple tiers—which can then be topped by native plants or beds of pebbles.

Other options? If you have a smaller lawn, try extending your paved patio out further from the back door. Leave openings for attractive beds that provide a peak of color, without being too hard on your water profile. Or add a “dry creek bed” finished with appealing native stones and pebbles—as a bonus, permeable paving like this helps collect rainfall and return it to the soil. Curved paths, steps, and stacked retaining walls all offer notes of interest in the hardscaped yard. And the best part? You’ll never forget to water them!

Spruce Up Your Beds with Ornamental Grasses and Succulents

Cortaderia selloana Grass in the Park Citadel in Barcelona, Spain. The Park is also called Ciutadella Park. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia

Most lawns are pretty thirsty—experts recommend giving your grass about one to two inches of water a week, which is about two-thirds of a gallon for every square foot. That means that if you’ve got quite a bit of turf on your hands, your lawn could be practically guzzling water!

The alternatives take a little more planning—and a designer’s eye—but they’re definitely worth it when you weigh your water footprint. In particular, native ornamental grasses make for a pretty stunning display. Try pairing two species at varying heights for a more polished look. These work well along a fence or border wall, or in place of less drought-tolerant shrubs against your house or beside an entryway. You should try to pick varieties that are native to your area.

When You Do Water, Do It Wisely

Detail of a working lawn sprinkler head watering colorful flower in the garden.

No matter how hardy the plant, most species need a little supplemental watering every once and awhile, especially during the driest parts of the year. Certain techniques definitely are more water-efficient than others, however. For instance, never water your garden during the hottest part of the day. Not only will the water evaporate more quickly, meaning your plants don’t get the good soak they deserve, if the sunlight is very intense, the reflection from the water droplets could damage the leaves.

Likewise, you can adopt practices that will minimize runoff as well. For instance, a short watering—say one to four minutes—three to four times in a day is much more efficient than a long soak. If you must have the sprinkler, turn it off after a rain or in the winter, when most plants are dormant.  Investigate a water-saving smart irrigation system. Using your input, such as your soil type, area, and sun exposure, these WiFi-connected sprinkler controllers are able to create a customized watering schedule that delivers just the right amount of irrigation— no more, no less. Many can even access weather reports to automatically cancel watering if it’s just rained. And the EPA estimates that products labeled with its WaterSense efficiency rating save an average 9,000 gallons of water per household annually. That’s a lot of water for one little change! With updates like these, the future of our water table is right in your hands.

Dedicated to the Love of People and Home…and Dogs

Humorist Josh Billings once said, “a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

At Coldwell Banker, we have a love for home. It’s been our calling for 111 years and it’s why our agents love what they do. If love is an essential element of any home, there’s no better way to add even more love than welcoming a shelter dog to your family roster. #cbrmr

 

Top Tips for Pet-Friendly Window Treatments

Whether you have drapes, blinds, shutters or shades, consider these tips from Blinds.com to help protect your window treatments from your furry friends.

A new family pet comes into your home bringing love and happiness, but unfortunately, it often brings along a little home destruction as well. Flooring, furniture, upholstery and woodwork can bear the brunt of a cat or dog’s claws and teeth. Window treatments are especially vulnerable to the wrath of our furry friends: a wild puppy looking for anything to chew up, an astute retriever pawing at the squirrel out the window, or a cat scrambling for a spot on in the sunlit sill can wreak havoc on delicate window coverings.

Whether you have drapes, blinds, shutters or shades, consider these tips to help protect your window treatments from Buster the dog’s teething habits or Tigger the cat’s claw-full exercises.

Pet Friendly Window Treatments_Coldwell Banker_Image

Avoid Low-Hanging Fabrics
It’s no secret that cats love to climb things, and their climbing technique typically involves extending their claws and sinking them into any surface in their path. To a cat, there are few things more enticing in the home than those big heavy drapes hanging over your windows. One way to deter your kitty from climbing your drapes is to replace low-hanging fabrics with valances, which add texture and style while staying high out of reach. Valances cover the top portion of the window, so for extra privacy and shade, you can combine them with shutters or blinds.

Choose Durable Shutters and Blinds
Climbing cats and curious dogs often find their best entertainment at the windowsill—whether it’s to bask in the sunlight or keep watch against passersby or wild critters. While they’re there, obstructive blinds can become a casualty: cats can tear up the outer edges and tangle up accessible cords (which is also a safety hazard), while dogs can make a teething toy out of wooden blinds. The best way to protect your property is to install durable, cordless window treatments.

Plantation shutters are a stylish and durable window treatment that can withstand a decent amount of pet attention. Typically attaching to the window frame, shutters provide minimal access to the window so pets have a hard time pawing their way through them. Unless you have a particularly aggressive chewer, shutters’ thick construction can withstand more action from pets than most blinds.

However, certain blinds are more ideal than others in pet-friendly homes: vertical blinds on windows or patio doors that reach low to the ground allow dogs and cats to gain window access, without tangling, bending or snapping the slats, and they are a little more difficult for your dog to chew. Cordless blinds eliminate those enticing strings for pets to bat around, saving the life of your blinds and increasing the safety for your pets.

Implement Pet Deterrents
Of course, discouraging your pet from playing with your window treatments to begin with is helpful as well. Some pet trainers advise on specific methods to keep pets away from the window treatments: leave blinds halfway open so pets don’t have an obstructed view, or try attaching tin foil to the bottom of curtains to deter frisky claws.

While discouraging your pets with these training tools may help, they might not always work on a bored or anxious pet left unattended for hours. That’s why choosing the proper pet-proof curtains, drapes, blinds or shutters for your home may save you hassle, time and money. #cbrmr

 

One Garden, To Go!

Creating a beautiful garden takes time, effort and money — all of which usually result in a completely worthwhile outcome. But what if you’re planning to move this summer, and will only be able to enjoy the benefits of all your hard work for a short time? Consider taking your garden with you! #cbrmr

Whether you have the tiniest of terraces or the biggest of backyards, you can exercise your green thumb by creating a container garden — a garden that will provide the curb appeal you need when your house is on the market, and then the flexibility of portability when you move to your new place.

Container gardening is just that: gardening in containers. Choosing your containers is just one fun aspect of container gardening. Just about anything that can hold soil and withstand frequent watering will do. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses: plastic is cheap and lightweight, but doesn’t endure; wood drains well, but is heavy and can rot; terra cotta and clay also drain well, but can dry out and are heavy; metal is lightweight, but can rust. Your choice of container should also take into account the size of your plantings; deep-rooted vegetables for instance, will require deep pots or root growth will be limited.

Containers offer the advantage of being mobile: move your plants around if they’re not thriving in a particular spot, keep your vegetables and herbs close at hand, and even bring your beloved bougainvillea with you should you move. What’s more, container gardening is a great solution for limited space or poor soil conditions.

Thinking of putting down roots in a new home this year?  Please call TheMashTeam at 905 430-6655 today!

Good Job!

When your home is in need of repair or improvements, you want to be sure you’re trusting it to the right hands; a quality contractor can make or break your renovation experience. When on the hunt for just the right person, keep the following advice in mind: #cbrmr

  • Ask for referrals. Check with friends, relatives, neighbours, co-workers, even your realtor and local home improvement store or lumberyard. Make sure the recommended contractor is licensed to work in your area, and is bonded and insured.
  • Give them a call. Ask the contractors if they take on projects of your size, and how available they are.
  • Meet them in person. Once they pass the phone test, set up an appointment to meet them in person. Are they late for the appointment, or worse, do they not show up at all? Do the contractors wipe their feet or take off their shoes when entering your home? If not, that could be a clue they’ll track dirt and mud throughout your home while the project is being completed.
  • Take your time. Interview at least three candidates, ask for references and contact their previous clients to ask if they’re happy with the work the contractor did for them. Check licenses, complaints and litigation history; you want to be sure the contractor is properly qualified and doesn’t have a history of disputes. Also check insurance coverage to find out what is covered by the contractor’s business versus your own home insurance.
  • Get everything in writing. Ask the contractor to break down all costs in the contract, including the cost of any permits they will be securing for you, in addition to materials and labour. Get the approximate start date and projected completion date in writing, and detail the payment schedule too.

Household Hacks: Coffee Filters

  • Coffee filters are great for having around the house, even if you don’t drink coffee. Here are some alternate uses for inexpensive paper coffee filters.
  • Use as a lint-free paper towel substitute for dusting, and for cleaning glass and windows.
  • Use to spread butter or oil around a baking pan.
  • Catch popsicle drips by poking a hole at the bottom of a coffee filter, inserting the popsicle stick into it and letting the filter catch the drips.
  • Cover bowls or plates with paper coffee filters to avoid splatters when heating up food for the microwave.
  • Protect delicate china and non-stick cookware by placing flattened coffee filters in-between items to prevent scratching.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of liquid fabric softener or essential oil onto a coffee filter to make your own scented dryer sheet.
  • Place a coffee filter in the bottom of a planter to prevent dirt particles from going through the hole at the bottom. #cbrmr

4 Simple Pesticides for Your Garden

Check out these easy and natural pesticides that you can make at home.

Spring has arrived. It’s only a matter of time before insects arrive in droves to your garden. Begin protecting your lawn and garden with pesticides now so that the impact of them will be less throughout the growing season. Check out these easy and natural pesticides that you can make at home:

1. Oil Spray Insecticide

If you see a lot of aphids, mites, or other small insects on your plants consider making an easy oil spray to help kill these pesky insects. Simply mix together 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap in a jar. Mix two teaspoons of this mixture to spray bottle filled with one quart of water. Shake the mixture and spray directly onto plants to help eliminate insects. The oil will keep insects away without hurting your plants. Spray affected plants every 10 days to keep insects at bay. As suggested by landscape experts, make sure to apply your solution carefully as natural remedies sterilize the surround soil as well.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

This commonly known natural product is regularly found in the Earth’s crust. Diatomaceous Earth is made up of the sharp remains of miniscule fossilized plants and can be easily found in garden centers. For a do-it-yourself version, rinse and breakdown egg shells into a granular state. Use this natural compound by sprinkling it around plants in your garden. The sharp contents will keep insects away without harming your plants at all.

3. Sprinkle Soap

For those homeowners who have a high population of deer in their area, sprinkling soap around gardens is a great way to deter deer from eating your prized petunias. Soap can be used in a few different ways and is a great way to easily deter pests from the garden. Full bars of soap can be used if put on spears in the garden or slices of soap can also be used around the garden area as well. If you have just planted seedlings, consider shaving soap and sprinkling it on the garden bed.

The soap deters deer who don’t like the fragrant aroma and will also help to keep bugs away as it dehydrates them in the soil. Soap won’t hurt plants and will last as long as the rain allows it to before being washed away. Highly fragrant soaps, like Irish Spring, are the best choice when using in your garden as a deterrent.

4. Order Ladybugs

Ladybugs are not only pretty to look at but they also are quite the helper when it comes to ridding your garden of unwanted insects like aphids. One ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day and they also will help rid your garden of other insects like boil worm, corn earworm, scale, leaf hopper, and mealybugs. Ladybugs can be ordered online and will arrive at your door hungry and ready to feast. Simply open the container at sundown to encourage them to scatter, without flying away, and they will go to work on ridding your garden of insects quickly!
Keeping your outdoor space free from pests is easy with these simple things that you can do at home. Mix up some oil spray, slice some soap, or order some ladybugs to quickly rid your garden of insects this growing season. #cbrmr