Christmas Lights & Decorations -Safety Checklist

Blinking lights, flashy decorations and the appearance of the various hues of red and green colors are some of the key indicators that the Christmas season is fast approaching. While decorating for the holiday season may be a fun and exciting aspect to look forward to, keep in mind that a lot of Christmas decorations pose electrical hazards that may cause fire or electrical injury. Wrong practices and the use of poor quality materials are some of the main factors that could compromise you and your family’s safety. Indoors or outdoors, be sure to implement safety precautions to limit the risk of any unwanted accidents.

 Here are a few electrical safety tips to ensure an easy and safe preparation for your Christmas decoration set up:


Before shopping for any of your materials, envision the design you want to see for your Christmas decorations. With a design in mind, preparing for the season will not only be safe and easy but thrifty as well.

  • Categorize: Indoors or Outdoors? Make sure to check if all the materials you’ll be using will be suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Some materials can withstand certain environmental factors better compared to others. Placing a product in an unsuitable environment can result to fire hazards or electrical injuries. Double-check all your materials before setting them up. Label your lights and decorations according to its use. Never use indoor lights for outdoor use.
  • Use Quality Materials. Never compromise your safety for the price of a lower quality material. Whether it is for your Christmas lights and decorations or even your extension cords, use products that are UL listed to be sure of the quality of the brand you will purchase. Understanding the meaning of these certifications will give you a brief overview and guarantee for the quality of the brand.

 Here are a few guidelines for customers regarding the UL Product Certification:

  • UL-Listed – Samples of the products have been tested by UL representatives and have been determined to meet UL’s standard for safety.
  • UL Classification – Samples of the products and certain properties have been subjected to tests and evaluations. UL Classifications include that the product is applicable to UL requirements, standards for safety and other standards of national and international organizations.
  • UL Performance Verification – Samples of the product has been tested and evaluated against a specific performance standard. UL verifies the products based on National or international industry performance standards, Manufacturer’s proprietary (internal) standards and UL requirements.
  • For reference, check the color of the UL mark on the product’s package, a green UL mark indicates an “indoors only” product while a red mark indicates that the product is safe for indoor and outdoor use.


  • Before setting up, inspect all the materials you will use. Check all lights, decorations and extension cords for any signs of damage: bared wires, cracked bulbs, broken plugs, and frayed insulation.
  • Unplug all lights before replacing fuses or making any other repairs.
  • Make sure to protect all of your electrical connections. Plugs and outlets should be placed indoors or in a dry area where water can’t pool around your electrical connections.
  • Plot a direction for your cords inside your home to prevent anyone from being tripped. Don’t place wires and cords under rugs, furniture or near any combustible material. Covering the cords will cause frayed wiring and overheating, eventually causing a fire.   
  • When stringing lights outdoors, avoid contact with the power line. Keep a distance of 10 feet away from any overhead lines to avoid any lethal injury.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for connecting strings of lights together. Avoid octopus connections for your lights to prevent short circuits from happening.
  • Turn off all lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Consult professional services for technical concerns during the set-up of your Christmas decorations. 


Some of the dilemmas that shoppers encounter during this season include making a choice between two of the most common types of Christmas lights available in the market – LED and Incandescent lights.

Despite of the presence of incandescent Christmas lights since the beginning, the lack of improvement in these lights presents a higher threat to safety as compared to LED lights.

The following are a list of potential dangers that incandescent Christmas lights bring:

  • Heat Danger. One of the primary causes for damage to property and injuries caused by Christmas lights is fire. The lowest watt of incandescent light bulbs can generate extreme heat, which can burn anyone’s finger. Since glass bulbs are a good conductor of heat, overheated lights can cause an outbreak of fire when placed near combustible materials. LED Christmas lights are safer because they produce a minimal amount of heat and the bulbs are not made of glass but epoxy plastic material light bulbs. Compared to incandescent lights, LED lights operate at an extremely low wattage, making the light bulb cool to touch and safe from igniting combustible materials.
  • Glass Breakage. Possibilities of light bulb explosion may also occur when the temperature inside the bulb turns cold and conflicts with the copper filament. Incandescent lights are known for their easy-to-break, thin glass bulbs. Curious children can easily break these lights and cause shards of glass to injure them. LED lights, on the other hand, are made of an unbreakable epoxy plastic material sealed into its sockets. The LED light bulb material reduces the risk of pets and children from getting hurt when accidentally chewed or touched.
  •  Electrical Circuit Overload. Incandescent Christmas lights consume up to 0.425 watts per bulb. You can connect only as many as 5 premium strings together and they can already cause a household’s circuit to become overloaded. Compared to LED lights that consume only up to 0.069 watts per bulb, the threat of a circuit overload is exceedingly minimal with LED Christmas lights.
  • Increased electric bill consumption. Naturally, a higher consumption of wattage per bulb is also an indication of a higher electricity bill. Incandescent lights may be comparatively lower than LED lights in terms of purchase, but the cost for the use of incandescent lights exceeds than that of LED lights. Save as much as 10% off your power consumption with LED Christmas lights.

In conclusion, LED lights are safer and more practical to use compared to incandescent lights. The quality you choose for your lights and decorations is just as crucial as choosing the type of lights you want. More than the design and the output, the choice you make beforehand can make a difference in the long run.

Seek professional services in College Station TX in setting up your Christmas decorations call EcoZapp Pest & Termite. For technical concerns, we provide a service customized for your needs. Have a peaceful, safe and enjoyable celebration this season!



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Savvy Tips When Installing Christmas Lights

“Tis the season to be jolly” and to get excited about decorating the house and lawn to make it look festive for the holidays. Although it’s the time for tradition, it doesn’t mean you can’t stray outside the box of the usual illuminated Santa Claus and snowmen, or multi-colored reindeers twinkling in the front yard. Christmas is, in fact, a perfect time to show your wild side, but with it expect a staggering energy bill! 
If you want to put up awesome lights display, ranging from crazy Christmas lights to “themed” holiday decorations, use these tips to help you save on cost, stay safe and for best results. Dazzle your neighbors with unique Christmas lights installation while you prevent the bill from swelling with these tips.
Use LED lights. LED lights are a huge trend because they produce more light than regular Christmas lights, but consume only a sliver of energy than incandescent bulbs. 
Save with solar-powered lights. Lights that generate power from the sun are both trendy and economical. It’s a hip way to decorate without having to worry about huge energy cost even if you install many of these around the perimeter of your home.
Shop for lights after the holidays for next year’s use. Most stores slash prices up to 50 percent including Christmas lights and decorations by the end of the season. Buying around this time is not too early as the season is an event you look forward to each year. 
Buy Christmas lights from discount stores. Get quirky ideas on Christmas lights installation that can make your neighbors jealous. With cheap lights bought at half the price from budget stores, you can install more lights to make your home brighter.
Stay within your budget. Determine how much you want to spend on Christmas lights before shopping. The amount you set aside prevents you from spending more than the allotted budget.
Know the best lights for your purpose. Not all Christmas lights are manufactured equal. Some are designed for outdoors while others are rated for indoor purposes. Popular Christmas lights for the roof and gutters are icicle lights and C7/C9 bulbs that can be purchased in strings or separately. 
Examine your home’s architectural design to help you decide what to put up. Determine the right Christmas lights display for your home. The type of lights and decorations must complement your house to successfully bring out its elegance. Hanging too many or too few can inadvertently produce the opposite effect. 
Choose fun colors. LED lights come in a wide range of colors either singly or in combination with others to create eye-catching holiday lighting displays. An easy idea to start with is to pick your favorite color. Dressing up a tree in pink LED lights does not only make it cheerful, it also screams a fancy statement.
Reuse or repurpose the lights.  Instead of buying new sets, repairing broken lights is much cheaper. Make sure, however, to test lights before using them. Having a bulb tester to check last year’s strings of lights is sensible.
Stick to safe intallation methods. Prevent accidents. It is always best to wait for a dry day to install Christmas lights especially when planning to use a ladder to reach high spots. Wear shoes with good tread to avoid slipping. Keep the tools handy in a tool belt that can also be useful in organizing small items. 
Harmonize your lighting display. Use a theme to light up your home. Instead of stringing lights here and there, create a look based on an inspiration. A combination of red, white, and blue lights are needed to add a patriotic flair, while a  lighted cowboy boot can give a “Wild, Wild West” theme to your home. A well-conceived theme can be easily achieved with bulbs and stringers.
Enhance with colors. Dress up an otherwise boring fir with a splash of color like bright blue or deep red. Deck the tree with tinsel Christmas lights for a bit of wintry effect, or hang lights in university team colors to complete your sports theme. For the roof, decorating ideas include placing bulbs in single or double sockets to create amazing patterns. 
Use the right amount of lights. Determining the “right” amount of lights to be used can be a bit tricky. Knowing the size of the area to be lighted and the type of bulb to be used can certainly guide you in the right direction when giving your home that special holiday glow. The right amount of light will make the area neither too bright nor too dim.
Opt for bigger bulbs. Smaller lights may be more trendy and whimsical, but you’ll need more strings to achieve the best effect. Bigger bulbs are more lasting and can be seen even from a distance.
Set the lights on timer. The lights don’t need to shine brightly throughout the night so put a timer to dim the lights when all the neighbors are already in bed. This can save you much money so don’t scrimp on a timer.
Strive to be different. Set your home apart from the rest by not resting when the neighbors stop decorating their homes. Make your home stand out for Santa to easily spot it. If you have a chimney, line it with glowing sticks to direct the old man to your landing strip. Santa and the neighbors will all be mesmerized with the alluring crazy Christmas lights you used to put up the show.
A home that illuminates is truly a shimmering sight to behold espcially with crazy Christmas lights. It brings joy and cheers not only to you and your family, but to the entire community as well. Making your home extra bright with more lights, however, requires more time, money and effort. While these tips can help you save on energy costs, there is no other way to feel safer than to entrust the more complex job to professional light installers. Hiring a company that is also known for its pest control services becomes the ultimate step to go over the top with your holiday Christmas lights display and make your house a glittering stopover in College Station TX. 
Call EcoZapp to schedule your professional Christmas light installation in College Station, TX.


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Safe and Green Ways to Reuse Christmas Lights

Call it tradition, but even the humblest of homes need a little glitter and lights to make them sparkle during the Christmas season. Whether you already have a budget or you are still scrimping to buy new Christmas decors, one practical thing you can do is to reuse old holiday adornments such as Christmas lights.
Year after year, Christian families around the world do their very best to ready their homes for Christmas, and that really costs a lot. This year, why not try giving your old Christmas lights a new lease on life? It will not only save you money, you are also helping the planet reduce junks being tossed into the landfills. Do you know that these lights will never naturally break down? 
Armed with these motivations, buckle up and discover some ways to save precious bucks and the environment.  Here are a few ideas for you:
Get Them Fixed for the Look
When planning to reuse the lights, it is always best to start early to have enough time for repairs and replacements, and to make sure your home is all aglow during the season. Ensure safety with these steps:
Take out those old lights and sort. Which ones are working and which are not? Test those lights that are working before installing them. 
Heed manufacturer’s safety instructions and warnings. These instructions are meant to keep you and your home safe, so do not ignore them. Avoid making alterations that can be risky. Make sure that your old lights aren’t part of a product recall.
Inspect the the strands. Pay attentions to lamp holders, leads as well as the cords and plugs for frayed ends, cracks and loose connections. Set aside those that lack insulated pins as they do not meet safety requirements.
Replace defective bulbs. If a strand has some defective bulbs, replacing those with energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights is an excellent decision. They are eco-friendly using 90 percent less energy, much more durable and are safer to use. 
Set aside more heavily damaged strands. Do not use them until these are properly repaired by an electrician. 
Repurpose  what can’t be repaired. If you are using one of those modern lights that have fuses to avoid sparks and accidents, you are advised to ditch them. If you want to save them from the landfill, repurpose them.
Remember, defective lights can start a fire and cause damage to life and property. You don’t want them scorching your home to ashes and putting your family and neighborhood in danger. Safety is best ensured with the help of a licensed electrical contractor.
What to Do with Unsafe Lights
Ditching those old strings of lights to the landfill must be your last option. There are easier, but green ways to deal with them. Consider the following:
The recycling facilities in your area can help. If you live in or near College Station TX, you’re in luck because there are several facilities there. You can start by contacting the closest ones to where you live and finding out what they recycle. If you find the right facility, ask them the details you want to know.
Are there retailers in the area who do holiday light exchanges? This is something that a number of home depots and other retailers do just before the season.  You can ask around or find out from the local harware store you patronize if they are into light exchanges.
Look for e-commerce companies that are into reutilizing lights. One good tip is to check out online stores selling Holiday LEDs being aggressively promoted these days. If you find one, it usually entails shipping out your old lights (at your cost) to them.
Repurposing your Old Christmas Lights
Do you love crafting? If you do, another green way is to use your old and busted lights to make decorative and functional items you can use around the house or as gifts. Here are a few easy-to-do projects for you.
Transform them into more Christmas decors. There is a plethora of ideas you can gather from the Internet and craft books. Some are really quite easy to make. For instance, you can spray gold or silver paint to a bunch of small light bulbs then put them in glass jars and baskets. You can also add them to a tray of fruits, veggies and flowers to make inexpensive, unique and sparkly table centerpieces perking the holiday spirit around your home. 
Grow plants in them. Find a style to hang a few bigger bulbs on a commercial chain imaginatively modified to make a bulb bunting. You can fill it up with water and use them as a vase for small wildflowers. You can also use them as small planters or terrariums.  With a card, some glittery and Christmassy supplies, use them as place cards on your Christmas table that your guests can take home as gifts or tokens.
Hang them up in the nursery. Steal the idea of hot air balloons. Using a decoupage, wrap the burnt-out bulbs with petal-shaped fabric cut according to the bulb’s dimensions. Using a string, add a loop at the top so it can be hung. Glue four more strings around the bulb all the way down to the base. Make stiffened (with a glue) string to connect the base to a basket (painted caps make good substitute). Make it more whimsical with a small polymer animal glued to the inside of the cap like a passenger.
If a bright abode is your idea of a happy home, learn to reuse your Christmas lights not only for the next Christmas, but for other holidays or all year long. Let your creativity flow as you use those lights to light up your family room, as you use it in a canvas art or other projects. 
If you decide to reuse them as lights, make sure you will not compromise your safety. It is smart to call in a professional electrician not only to check your Christmas lights, but also to install them. If you live in College StationTX, EcoZapp is right here to help you. What’s great about this company is the fact that they can make your home all bright and ready for Christmas while making your home pest-free too.


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Lessons about Frozen Stink Bugs and Polar Vortex

Stink bugs didn’t earn the moniker “terrorist bugs” for no reason; they are a nuisance in the lawn and garden and irksome pests indoors. Stink bugs are native to Asian countries and they have no natural enemies to check their population in the US where they are spreading fast in about 40 states and several Canadian provinces.  

This is why stink bug haters have to rely on human efforts to keep them off their properties. If your home and garden are especially prone to their invasion, you can seek the help of pest control experts who have the technologies to control their population. It would still be sensible and interesting to learn new facts that promise to help in their control; such is the effect of exposing them to freezing temperatures.  

Surviving Winter

These pesky insects can very well survive extremely cold weathers because of particular adaptive attributes:

• They hide in the warm areas of your homes – in attics, under shingles, or in the walls. They only emerge from overwintering when conditions get better or temperature goes up close to spring.

• Their metabolism slows downs during winter as they enter the state of “diapause,” which is akin to “hibernation.” With a slower metabolism, their nutritional needs are reduced so they don’t need to get out of their hiding places to eat as often. 

• The drop in the temperature triggers a change in their physiology. They produce more “freeze proteins” functioning as “polyol cryoprotectants.” These prevent the crystallization or freezing of their body fluids. 

The Freezing Experiment 

• Thomas Kuhar, an entomologist of the Virginia Tech, found out that 95 to 98 percent of these stinking bugs can be killed by exposing them to freezing temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius. 

• The setup of the experiment was such that the test animals were placed in 5-gallon buckets containing foam insulation tubes. These were stored outdoors to expose them to winter elements.

• Critiques observed that stink bugs don’t normally live in buckets and get themselves exposed to harsh winter temperatures. Once the temperature drops and other signs of the cold season start to set in, they hide in warm places. Michael Rupp, another expert entomologist from Maryland, commented that it was just a single observation and the simulated condition isn’t usually what occurs.

Impact of the Polar Vortex Chill

• Bugs came out of their hiding places to cause a sudden invasion in Washington last January 29 to 31, 2013. It is believed to be triggered by the favorable warm temperature (66 to 72 degrees Celsius) pervading the area at the time. 

• Around the same time/month of 2014, the mercury dropped in the Washington area close to the temperature of Kuhar’s experiment due to cold air intrusions from the Arctic; this is referred to as the “Polar Vortex.” 

• The result of Kuhar’s experiment got many people (including scientists and pest control professionals) wondering if the number of stink bugs will go down by spring of 2014. If the Polar Vortex were to happen more often, it is intriguing to know if it can impact the bug population in diapause the following winter. 

If you live in College Station TX where the temperature never drops below 5 degrees, there is little chance that a Polar Vortex can save you from stink bugs, if it really works. You obviously need to rely on your efforts and the help you can get from the pest control experts in the area. 


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Christmas Light Safety Tips to Light up Your Home

One of the festive holiday attractions that never fails to delight people of all ages are Christmas lights. The holiday season isn’t complete without the dazzling twinkle that these tiny lights give. For many people, hanging these little lights is a traditional exercise that stirs up fun and tradition. The annual rite, however, can lead to injuries and damages, definitely dousing the festive mood of the season.

Make sure your holiday wish doesn’t include a trip to the emergency room. Give yourself, your family, and home the precious gift of safety this season by implementing these sound tips for installing Christmas lights.

• Use only lights designated for outdoor use outside your home. Don’t install lights meant for indoor use because they are not designed to withstand harsher outdoor elements. Always take time to read and follow product instructions. 

• Check old lights for damage. If you’re using last year’s lights, stretch out the entire string to look at the bulbs, wires and plugs to see if there is any damage. If you have doubts, have the lights checked out by a licensed electrician or don’t use the lights at all.

• When buying new lights, always check to see if they have been tested and approved by credible testing agencies. Look for logos on the packaging that indicate the lights have passed safe tests conducted by reputable laboratories such as the UL and ETL.

• Look for strings of lights with built-in fuses. These fuses serve to protect the lights from overheating and make replacement of busted bulbs easier. Be sure to use the same wattage when replacing defective light bulbs. Do not attempt to alter or modify the product for any other lighting purposes.

• Use insulated wires to fasten them on trees, roofs, gutters, or fences. These materials are safe to use when stringing the lights for outdoor use. Instead of tacks, nails and screws, run the strings through hooks to hang them overhead.

• Plug outdoor lights into a GFCI-protected outlet. Connect no more than three standard-sized sets to outdoor-rated extension cords to prevent overheating and fire.

• Know when to turn off the lights. Don’t leave the lights on for too long. This is not only economical; it is also safer, especially when you’re leaving the house or going to bed.

• Remove the bulbs by carefully unscrewing or detaching them. Avoid pulling on the wires to prevent damaging the bulbs and wires.

• Store the lights in a sealed container and place them in a dry place where they can’t be damaged by water, insects and other pests until the next use.

What is Christmas without a festive home? Christmas lights are among the most popular decors used during the season. It gives your home and Christmas tree just the right feel. Know, however, that fires and accidents can happen if they are not properly installed. Why risk your life or limbs when you can contract out the services of a professional company to do the job. EcoZapp installs Christmas lights in College Station TX and is a double treat to enjoy a safe holiday while your home becomes a spectacular lighting display during the season. 


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Light up Your Halloween in Purple and Orange

It’s that time of the year again when the prevailing mood is to scare the wits out of everyone. Halloween is a much-loved holiday in College Station TX because it’s a day when you can go all out in setting up decorations to revel in the morbid. But it doesn’t mean you can’t use any inspiration in adding a glamorous sparkle to your amazing Halloween decorations. What could be more glitzy than creating a spooky atmosphere that glows in mysterious purple and orange beams of light?

Purple and orange are classic Halloween colors. To set the tone of your scary statement, here are some bright ideas to give your home that Halloween shine.

 Charm or alarm with Jack-o’-Lanterns. Bring out your collection of vintage Jack-o’-Lanterns that retained their bright orange hue despite the years. Arrange them on a deep purple mantle to create a sensational macabre scene. For a more interesting dimension, place a few lanterns on black candleholders to achieve a floating illusion.

 Set a spooky dinner table. Whether you’re hosting a big party or enjoying a family get-together on Halloween, it’s still possible to entertain in style. Lay a black and white runner on top of a black tablecloth to set the stage for an elegant table arrangement. Position eye-catching tableware like silver goblets, black and white plates, taper candles, and a black cauldron filled with dry ice with eerie haze. Illuminate the entire scene with purple and orange miniature lights twisted around dried twigs. Never has darkness been so friendly and fun as it casts mysterious shadows all over the dining area. 

 Liven up the pathway. If you’re bringing the party outdoors, a creepy yet cheerful glow serves as the perfect backdrop for a grand entrance. Intertwine strings of purple and orange luminaries alternately with bats and black widow spiders for a total haunted house effect. Even if you intend to scare, this fabulous décor spells a big welcoming statement for both guests and trick-or-treaters.

• Jazz up the yard. When decorating the yard for Halloween, add more glitz and scary fun by hanging purple or orange icicle lights on black wire on the roof edges and fence railings. If you want to have a creepy glow, line up orange pumpkin lights with sparkling interiors that flash bright colors from yellow to green. 

 Carve an Origami bat cave. Select a nice tree or bushy spot in the yard to fashion a bat cave made of black construction paper. Cut out a flock of bats from the same material then add glow-in-the-dark glitter in the artwork. Use black nylon thread to hang the origami bats from tree branches and inside the cave. Light up orange bat lights against a backdrop of purple LED lights to create an incredibly spooky effect.

Decorating for Halloween is fun, whether you want to entertain or scare people. There’s nothing creepier than to light up the space with purple and orange glowing lights. Make sure to choose the right type of lights to illuminate the paths of your costumed guests. It’s even best to hire a professional lighting installer to hang the lights for you. After all, no one wants to limp around on real crutches! 


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Welcome Back to School! Prevent Bed Bugs in Your Dorm

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can easily cling to clothes and luggage, and travel with you from a hotel-infested room to your home or dorm. Yes, dorms are a hotspot for bed bugs since traveling college students are mostly unaware that they can be means of infestation. They are also less likely to adopt control measures when travelling or when they got back from travel. Pest control professionals around College Station, TX would attest to encountering heavy infestations in university or college dorms in recent years because of the increasing trend of travel and stays in hotels. 

You wouldn’t want bed bugs to pester you. There are ways to make sure that hitchhiking bed bugs will not be able to get to your dorm bed. 

 Inspect your clothes and suitcases/traveling bags. Make the inspection methodical each time you stay in a hotel and repack your stuff to go back to the dorm after summer, term and Christmas breaks. 

 Seal potentially infested stuff. Did you get bites while staying in the hotel? These prove that the hotel is infested. You do not want to transport them to where you are going. Make sure to separate those items that are possibly infested such as clothes, linens, and shoes by putting them in sealed plastic bags. 

 Treat clothes and shoes. Take out the stuff suspected to be bed bug-infested and wash the clothes and linens in hot water. Since you can’t use hot water on your shoes, use a vacuum or steamer before spraying them with a bug killer. 

• Conduct regular inspections of your bed and bedding. It is necessary to look for telltale signs of bed bugs before putting your sheets on your dorm bed. Check the seams of the mattress as well as the nooks and crannies of your bed, headboard, bedside table, sofa, and chair. If you notice any signs, report the matter to the dorm authority. 

• Use a bed bug proof mattress cover. A bed bug proof case for the mattress is an “essential” that college students planning to stay in a dorm must bring with them. Use it to make sure that bed bugs can’t get in or out of it. Since the mattress is old anyway, the cover can also serve to encase it and make it “feel” cleaner.

 Treat your bed. It is not easy to get your mattress heated higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It is more practical to keep a bed bug killer or repellent handy. The spray can be used to kill bed bugs and to keep the bed and mattress bed bug free through spraying regularly.

• Keep your room clean. The pests will have no hiding places if you remove clutter. Make it a habit to vacuum and clean your room painstakingly especially the tight corners and spaces. Wipe clean non-porous surfaces with hot water and alcohol.

 Get professional service. If bedbug infestation has already set in, the best way to eradicate the pest is by calling in the experts. They would know the best techniques and products to use. 

Once the pests have been eradicated, it is important to stay conscious of the various ways to prevent another infestation. Stick to the suggested practical tips and you’ll have wonderful days on the campus and nights in your dorm.

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5 Tips to Hang Your Outdoor Christmas Lights Safely

Article – Christmas is coming! Tips for outdoor lights.

Nothing is more magical during the holiday season than to enjoy the sights of starlights lining home exteriors and twinkling in trees or shrubs. From your slow drive through the neighborhood and until you pull up in your driveway, you purposely linger to admire and remember this ethereal scene made more enchanting by tiny outdoor Christmas lights sparkling in festive colors.

Seeing many homes in College Station TX aglow with Christmas lights can tell you that it’s fairly easy to install outdoor lights. By following these simple tips, you can transform your home and landscape into a picture-perfect stage for creating dramatic holiday memories.

• Invest in the right type – With strings of lights continuing to evolve and flood the market, it is important to know what to look for when you’re out to buy new sets of outdoor lights. Christmas lights for outside use must be water-resistant and must bear the necessary tag indicating they passed the national industry standards. Best options are LED lights. Although they are more expensive, these lights are brighter, durable and more economical in the long run.

• Apply necessary precautions – The policy that it’s always best to be safe than sorry applies when you prefer to install outdoor lights on your own. Check for broken bulbs and frayed cords before stringing lights on trees. Choose trees and bushes that don’t come in contact with any electric lines then use a stable ladder as the safest route to reach high spots to hang the lights.

• Connect to proper outlet – It is safer to connect from a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet that automatically shuts the circuit down in the event of over-current. You can also source power from an exterior outlet or extension cords designed for outdoor use. Make sure to keep the connections away from the ground, water, and high-traffic areas. Conceal the cords with tape or plastic wire to prevent them from becoming hazards

• Use light clips – Hold strands in place by using insulated light clips. These clips are the smartest solution to anchor the lights on any surface like trees, gutters, shingles, and even concrete materials. Never use nails or tacks, instead look for stainless metal cup hooks to screw the strings in place. 

• Wind the strands – Depending on the type of tree, you need to wrap the lights around to distribute the lights evenly. If you choose to string lights on an evergreen, climb up at the top to begin winding down to the base. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, will require you to work your way up in a spiral formation.

Outdoor Christmas lights illuminate your holiday landscape in whimsical fashion. If you can look for more creative ways to vary the focal points beyond the gutter outline or fence, you can make your home the main night star in the neighborhood. In fact, this endearing sight doesn’t have to end when the season changes as you can allow the beauty of outdoor lighting to shine through during the whole year. Hiring a EcoZapp, professional company, that installs Christmas lights in College Station, TX and engages in pest control is the best way to keep the magic all year round.



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Moths in your closet

It is always a comforting thought that you have warm wool sweaters and blankets for the fall season. It is also good to know that your pantry’s stocks are intact during this time. It’s summer now, so you probably haven’t given it that much thought yet. Caring for your woolen items is crucial if you don’t want to use perforated clothes and sheets during cold weather. Your pantry needs to be secure, so that you can have food during chilly nights.

Woolen fabrics and pantries are often the targets of moths. When you see adult moths flying around in your house, they are set on getting into your pantry. They usually infest grains and flour. The larvae of these moths target the clothes and other items with fabric in your closet. The adult moths cannot be seen in the closet because they just lay the eggs there and leave. Clothes moth larvae and carpet beetles can both do harm your clothes, but carpet beetles are more prevalent in most areas of the US. Moths and beetles lay their eggs in hidden placed with a high amount of food. These specific areas can be pet dander on surfaces, wool, down, or fur. It can be any animal-based item.

It only takes a few weeks before their larvae emerge. Carpet beetle larvae, if undisturbed, can consume the fabric for about twelve months or even more. Moth larvae cause a significant amount of damage to your closet in just a couple of months.

Ways to Get Rid of Moths

  1. Disturb your closet regularly. Remember that moths hate sunlight. They have developed that pattern of laying eggs in dark, secluded, and undisturbed areas. That is why they choose closets and panties. Make sure that you always “disturb” or clean areas where you keep clothes, towels, sheets, and carpets.
  2. Pay attention to your rugs and carpets. Moth larvae are also attracted to those areas where recent spills happened.
  3. Vacuum every day. Vacuuming and mopping the floors also prevent moth larvae from dominating your home. The sucking action gets larvae and any trace of moth eggs in between fabric strands.
  4. Wash everything first before storing your woolen items after the cold weather season. This eliminates the eggs and larvae that might still be in the fabric. Washing them will also get rid of any attractive scent that comes from food, beverages, or perspiration.
  5. Brush your woolen items. Do it the old-fashioned way, if you don’t want them dry-cleaned. Hang them outside and brush them vigorously, so that larvae and eggs are manually eliminated.
  6. Store them well. Airtight spaces prevents moths. You have to look for storage boxes and bags that have re-sealable, openings. You should also wrap the woolen items in clean cotton before storing, so that they can be protected from condensation. Consult a textile conservator for best storage ideas.
  7. Choose deterrents. Moths can be deterred while your items are in storage. You can opt for chemical-based or natural ones. It’s ideal to use these deterrents as preventive measures after you have cleaned your items for storage.

If you have used tried these methods to get rid of moths and they’re still bothering you, make sure that you contact the pest control professionals in College Station. They will help make your home moth-free, anytime.



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Butterflies: the beautiful bug

How Real Butterflies are Distinguished

Lately, various insect populations are being slowly depleted. The main reason for this is the heightened development. Modern butterflies are becoming rare insects to find, even in meadows or farmlands. As property owners, you should be able to identify different species of butterflies, so that you can appreciate them and avoid destroying them or their habitat.

A butterfly is different from a moth. You have to know the species of butterflies in your area to avoid killing them if they happen to wander into your home. Below are some of the common butterflies in College Station. Get to know them and know their significant traits.

Papilio cresphontes cramer or the giant swallowtail has an exotic appearance. It is a species that is abundant in the state of Florida. The adult giant swallowtail always visits landscape arrangements and gardens. The caterpillar or the larva of the swallowtail is categorized as a pest because of its voracious eating habits when it comes to citrus trees. The larvae are called orange dogs. They can easily defoliate young or small plants.

Nymphalis antiopa is commonly known as the mourning cloak. Each wing has irregular borders and has short projections. The upper wings are wide, with a row of blue spots at the inner edge and a yellow border on the outer portions. Their mating season is during the springtime. Their flight schedule is during June or July.

Papilio glaucas is also known as the tiger swallowtail butterfly. It is a strong flying butterfly species that has black and yellow marks on its body and wings. Some females of the species mimic the pipevine swallowtail , which is a very poisonous species. Southern tigers are larger than the northern tigers. They have tails that resemble the tails of swallows.

Papilio troilus is the scientific name of the common spicebush butterfly. It is a large and dark swallowtail butterfly species. This butterfly is found in the eastern half the US. It is not that common in the Mississippi River area.

Eurytides Marcellus or the zebra swallowtail butterfly has white and black markings and an elongated tail found on its hind wings. There are also markings here that are blue and red. The hind wing markings are strongly scalloped as well. When zebras hatch, they eat their own eggshells. When adult zebras sip nectar from the flowers, they are able to collect pollen. They absorb the amino acids in the pollen. The proteins they get help them mate, survive, lay eggs for up to 6 months.

Leminitis arthemis is the common red-spotted purple butterfly. The upper side of its wings is colored blue to blue-green. It has the same iridescence as the outer part of its hind wing. Its large forewing has two red or red orange spots near the base of the leading wing edge.

Keep your eyes peeled and learn to distinguish the beautiful butterflies in College Station. If what you have on your property are moths, it is about time you call EcoZapp, the College Station pest control professionals, to get rid of them.



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