Rats! Dealing With Your Rodent Problem

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Winter brings all types of critters who can’t resist using a warm, cozy home as a respite from the cold outdoors. If you see one mouse in the house, it’s likely more are lingering in the cracks and crevices. Here are some tips for dealing with a rodent problem in and around your home. If you have any questions, stop by your local Ace to chat with an associate to find the best solution for your home.

The Snap Trap: The spring loaded mousetrap has hardly changed since it was first invented in 1874. Over a century later, they are still used as one of the most affordable and effective methods to kill a rodent. If you prefer not to see the mouse, catch and contain snap traps are available.  Our Ace expert says, “Wear disposable gloves when setting snap traps to prevent coating the trap with any oils & scents naturally found on your skin. If you don’t catch anything in the first 48 hours, try moving the trap to a new location.”  Price Range: $1-$6 per trap.

Glue Boards: The adhesive coating found on the top of these traps stops live rodents and insects in their tracks. Most use a scented adhesive, but we recommend placing bait in the middle of the trap such as dog food, peanut butter, or dried goods.  The downside to using these traps is they don’t kill the animal, so this is not the best trap for anyone who is squeamish or uncomfortable handling the mouse. Price Range: $1-5 per trap.

Baits & Poisons: If the problem is more than a few mice, poison may be the solution. Since it is lethal when consumed, pet owners and parents of small children should use extreme caution when using bait inside the house. We recommend a bait station, which contains the poison in a tamper proof container. Our Ace experts say, “Mix a little peanut butter with your bait to make it more attractive to mice and rats.” Price Range: $4-$12 for single use stations to multipacks.

Catch and Release Traps: If you don’t want to kill the mouse, you can use a catch and release trap. Most use bait to draw the animal, which then triggers a door to close and capture the mouse. Unfortunately, these traps don’t guarantee the mice won’t return, especially to places that provide a food source. Price Range: $2-$6 per trap

Sonic and Botanical Deterrents: Sonic chasers use a high frequency sound to “chase away” rodents, who find the noise to be fairly unpleasant. The sound is not harmful to humans, cats, or dogs, but can be damaging to small mammals like hamsters, rabbits, and chinchillas. Botanical deterrents feature naturally derived ingredients that are unpleasant and even fearful to rodents. Active ingredients include spearmint oil and fox blood and urine. Our Ace Expert says, “Use Spearmint oil from your local natural food store and splash it around the inside perimeter of your house. Mice may not like the smell, but we think it is fairly pleasant!” Price Range: $12-$20 per box, $8-12 per bottle of spearmint oil

Problems with Rodents Outdoors: As unpleasant as they are in a trash can or yard, the outdoors are their homes, not ours. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a stand and kick them out of your yard! If you want to eliminate a group of mice or rats, you can use an outdoor bait station (but make sure to keep pets and children from tampering with it) or a large spring loaded rat trap. Products like Shake Away Rodent Deterrent should be used around the perimeter of your home to deter nesting behaviors.

Steel Wool Is Your Friend! You can buy all the traps in the world, but the problem really starts with the weak points in your walls, floors, and ceilings. If you can find the source of the problem (like cracks in the mortar or spaces between the molding), we recommend you plug any gaps or cracks with some steel wool or gap sealer. Ask an associate in stores for the best strategies for keeping those rodents out for good!

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Our Made in DC vendor for Summer 2013- Susanne Kasielke! Exclusively available at Woodley Park Ace

Get Ready for School at A Few Cool Hardware Stores!
Check out these awesome Back to School Savings!

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Glover Park Hardware Now Offering Complimentary Curbside Pickup!

Glover Park Hardware Now Offering Complementary Curbside Pickup!

Click the picture above to read our official press release.

Five Cool Ways to Use a 5-Gallon Bucket

There are so many ways to use a 5-gallon bucket– aside from it’s obvious utility for painting and transporting materials, these buckets are large, versatile, and useful with just about any DIY project. Here are some of our favorite ways to use these buckets–and don’t forget to stop into Ace July 20th and July 21st for our CMN Bucket Sale– 20% off your entire purchase and a free limited edition bucket when you donate $5 to Children’s Miracle Network!

 

nate container garden deck bucket 1. Make Your Own Vegetable Container Garden- 5 Gallon Buckets are the perfect vessel for just about any plant! Without the rounded lip typical of most pots, you can fill these buckets with a few extra inches of soil, giving your plants some extra room to grow. Tomatoes are a favorite to plant in these buckets as they require a lot of room both for their roots and their limbs, though most any plant will flourish in these buckets. And, with a few 1 inch holes in the sides, these buckets can make great strawberry planters! Make sure to drill a few 1/4 inch holes in the bottom of the bucket to allow for drainage.

DEWALT BUCKET ORGANIZER2. Portable Tool Chest- Most hardware stores (including Ace) sells a toolbelt specifically designed to hang on buckets. If you are a contractor or simply do a lot of work around the house, these tool buckets are a great way to organize your tools but still be able to bring them with you on a ladder, in your car, or just about anywhere! Store your power tools and larger hand tools in the middle, and your accessories and smaller hand tools in the bucket tool holder.

buckte-mouse-trap-ramp3. Mouse Trap– As disgusting as this may sound, these buckets make really effective mouse traps. Most of the tools you need to build the trap are likely lying around the house (a tin can, dowels, a scrap of wood and some peanut butter will do the trick!), and the trap doesn’t need to be reset between mice, making this the perfect trap for a basement or crawl space. It’s not the prettiest thing, but many will swear by this technique! Instructions here.

5-gallon-bucket-aquaponics4. Aquaponics- It may not be the prettiest looking fish farm you’ve seen, but all those lush edible leafy greens will make it worthwhile! Aquaponics is a system that uses fish to fertilize plants. It is a self contained ecosystem, where a basin of live fish produce nutrient rich waste which in turn is absorbed by the plants stationed above the system. All you need to build this system is a few empty plastic bottles and a small pump that you can purchase at most hardware stores. It is a little tricky to explain the system, so here is some information about aquaponics, as well as the instructions to build your own system at home. You can’t grow fish large enough to eat in a 5-gallon bucket, but using a large storage tote instead allows you to grow fish as well as produce.

FOEL5ZPFV15TC1T_LARGE5. Bike Panniers- A few drill holes and some straps, and you’re bike pannier is ready to go! It can be as simple as you want it to be, but here are some detailed instructions on how to make a long lasting bike pannier– though square buckets are the preferred style, it is easy to adapt the project for a round 5-gallon bucket.

Quick and Easy Tricks for Remodeling your Bathroom

Want to redo your bathroom but can’t afford the time or money it takes? Here are some tricks to give your bathroom a facelift on a budget!

1. Go Tall– Replace your busy wallpaper with a calm paint color, and replace those big long mirrors with two taller ones to give the room some extra height. Try trading your short shower curtain for one that is longer to fill the space more effectively.

2. Design over Dollars– Before you knock down any walls to expand your powder room, try having the right accessories and decluttering your floors and countertops. It makes a world of difference in any bathroom, especially those in small apartments!

3. Replace your largest fixture with something more streamline. Sure, it’s great to have those gigantic countertops, but a freestanding sink saves you space and makes your bathroom more functional. Next time you are near your neighborhood scratch and dent store, stop in and look around for something simple, clean, and unique.