Tag Archives: Hardware

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!

Snow glare got you down?

This woman knows nothing of glare with her Architella Easyrise by Hunter Douglas.


Well why don’t you put up some blinds already? We always recommend buying the best products you can afford because, as with all things with moving parts, they start to not work so well after a while. That, and you get better coverage and sometimes even some insualting properties for cold- and hot-weather months. 

We just got Hunter Douglas window treatments for 5th Street Ace Hardware, Tenleytown Ace Hardware and Old Takoma Ace Hardware when it opens in the spring 2010. They are very pretty – our favorites include the energy-efficient Duette Honeycomb Shades, Silhouette Window Shadings and Luminette Privacy Sheers, as well as Provenance Woven Wood Shades and Country Woods Wood Blinds.

Whether you get blinds from us or another outlet, the most important thing you want to have in place are your window measurements. There isn’t much room for error here, so you want to get it right. Your best option: hire a pro to do it for you. We partnered with pro Roslyn Ashford of ra reDoes rooms, who will make house calls to conduct the measuring service. The fee is $50 and will be applied to the final cost of window treatments if an order is placed with us within seven days. (To set up an appointment, fill out the online form.)

Or, if you’re the consummate DIYER,  follow Hunter Douglas’ how to:

Inside Mount  

  1. Measure the width inside the window opening at the top, middle and bottom. The top measurement is critical because the headrail must fit. Record the actual dimension of the shortest width to the nearest one eighth of an inch.
  2. Measure the height inside the window opening at left, right and center. Record the actual dimension of the shortest height to the nearest one eighth of an inch. Also measure the window on its diagonals. If the two diagonal dimensions are not exactly the same, it may be necessary to specify an outside mount for optimal fit, light control and privacy.
  3. The ordered width should ensure a precise fit for the headrail and allow proper operation of the shade. If widths in the window vary, order the minimum width necessary to allow the shade to raise and lower properly.
  4. The ordered height should ensure clean operation at the base of the window as well as provide maximum privacy and light control.
  5. Be sure the window opening is deep enough to install the mounting bracket.

Outside Mount

  1. Measure the desired width and height. To minimize light leakage, the shade should overlap the window opening at least 2 inches on each side and at the bottom.
  2. When measuring the height, take into account the requirements for mounting the bracket attachment.

3 reasons (and 6 stores) to avoid the Big Box.

Not too many cars in this scene. Back in the day, people walked to to the store. It was social. It was exercise. It was fun.

Yesterday, I made a very gratifying sale.  It was for 68 cents.  I happened to be riding in the elevator with a neighbor who said, “Hey!  Maybe you can help me.  But I doubt it.”  When I asked why she doubted it, she said she had already tried Home Depot and they didn’t have the screws she needed for her faucet-repair project.  She also said she preferred to go to Home Depot because she liked to drive to do her shopping. To this, I thought, “WHA??” When did we get to the point where driving in city traffic trumped walking 5 to 10 minutes to a store that has everything you need?

Up for the challenge and sure that I could help, I took a sample of the screw she needed to one of our locations and found the exact match in about 15 seconds.  Problem solved and no gas or time wasted on a trip to a Big Box. 

Here are 3 reasons why we can top a Big Box experience:

1. We carry a LOT of different products and are always surprised when our customers are surprised at how much we offer. We’re not just hardware. Indeed, we have absolutely everything you need for home-maintenance, DIY projects, kitchen and bath, gardening, storage, and even novelty and gift items. 

2. We have parking at several of our stores, so if you’re a drive-and-shop kinda person like my neighbor, this is good news. It’s generally short term with validation, but we’ve designed our customer service so you can get in and out quickly. One hour is TONS of time.

Glover Park: Behind the building, free for 15 minutes and $1 for the first hour.  

Tenleytown Ace: We validate 1 hour of free parking in the garage at

5th Street Ace: If you combine your trip to see us with your grocery shopping at Safeway, you can get free underground parking for 90 minutes through their validation.

In Baltimore, Waverly Ace and Federal Hill Ace both have outdoor lots.

At Logan, admittedly, there is not much convenient parking, but if you’re clever, you can combine your trip with a certain grocery store nearby and get their validated parking.

 3. 5th Street Ace also offers a free personal-shopping service as well as free delivery (call the store at 202-682-4570 to see if you’re in the zone).  Email us at shop@acehardwaredc.com by 2 p.m. and if we have the products in stock, they’ll be ready for you to pick up in the afternoon. 

And we can guarantee you won’t find that at Home Depot!

C'mon Groupon!


Why didn't we think of this concept?

We have a Groupon coupon out there for the Baltimore stores, Waverly Ace Hardware and Federal Hill Ace Hardware. It’s a $20 coupon for $10. It’s a really good deal. It’d be like if you gave us $10 and we gave you $20 back in change.

The deal ends at midnight tonight.

Halloween Fun at 5th Street Ace

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Our 5th Street Ace trick or treaters: [clockwise from top lef] Nick, Lauren, Jeremy, T., Tom. It’s a good-lookin’ crew!”] Who’s your fave? Take our poll!

Mom Made Foods Loves Mythic Paint


We filmed our first commercial at 5th Street Ace Hardware a couple months ago with Mom Made Foods owner Heather Stouffer and her family, Craig (the big guy) and Emory (the little guy). Ty and Jeremy helped them choose and mix their colors–Yellow Duckling for the main walls and Buttercream for an accent wall. See how pretty:


A nursery is born with Mythic paint.


The antique framed print is actual wrapping paper from a boutique.

Since then, baby Audrey was born into a healthy, non-toxic environment with a doting big bro!

See how easy these kids are breathing? Mythic is magical!


Young & Green

This pic is from DC Metrocentric. That's a Canadian Mountie.

This pic is from DC Metrocentric. That's a Canadian Mountie at Team Alberta's house.

The solar decathlon teams have been popping into 5th Street Ace for supplies since they started putting up their solar houses on the National Mall last week. Things are shaping up rather nicely. Don’t miss this energy-efficient pop-up village – you can stroll through it until Sunday 10/18. Go teams!

And if you’re interested in how to turn your home into a solar-energy powerhouse, go here.


We're not farmers…

This is Tom. He works at 5th Street Ace. He's really nice. As nice as a farmer.

This is Tom. He works at 5th Street Ace. He's really nice. As nice as a farmer.

…but we like a nice farmer’s market! That’s why 5th Street Ace joined the new Liberty Market at Mt. Vernon Square yesterday. Tom manned the tent and sold fall essentials like pumpkins, carving kits and mums. There were a few other vendors including a bakery from Herndon (oooohhhh, zucchini bread), a jewelry artist, a soap maker, coffee brewer and a man who concocts delicioso meat rubs.

The market is every Tuesday 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. near the corner of 7th & K Sts. NW on the grounds of the old Carnegie Library. We’re planning to be there next week, so if there’s any items from the store you’d like to see out there, holler.

Fall Planting–It's Tiiiiii-iiiiiiime

Did you know fall is the best time of year to plant shrubs and perennials? Instead of being late in the game as some might think, planting certain varieties between September and December gives green thumbs a head start. The preemptive move allows roots several months to grow below ground while the plant remains dormant above the soil. Once spring comes around, plants are already established and acclimated to the soil, and ready for a spurt of strong leaves, new top growth and flowers.
Lots more advice where this came from at Glover Park Hardware tomorrow. We’re having a Fall Planting Extravaganza Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. There’ll be free workshops and demos given by local garden-and-landscape experts including Wisteria Landscapers, Petals for the People and Homestead Gardens. In addition to all the fall-planting advice you could ever ask for, Bill Smith of DRO Enterprises (the Magic In Your Attic folks) will be on hand to provide valuable home-weatherization tips for the cold season.
12 to 2 p.m.  Wisteria Landscapers: Planting instruction, including winterizing beds and proper mulching techniques
12 & 2 p.m.  Petals for the People: Fall-Bloom Arranging
2 p.m.  Homestead Gardens: Planting Tips
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  DRO Enterprises: Home-Weatherization
The store will also offer one-day-only discounts and specials:
  • 20% off lawn & garden supplies*
  • 20% off in-stock grills and lawn furniture
  • Buy 2 seed packs, get 1 free
  • Special discounts on live plants
  • Enter to win a brand-new garden device, the GroPole
  • Discounted weatherization kit
  • Spicy (& free) refreshments (lemonade and cookies, people!)
*Does not apply to seed and plant discounts.


We’re located at 2251 Wisconsin Ave, NW right next to Whole Foods. Call 202-333-6378, or visit acehardwareDC.com. You can also follow us on twitter.

Big Ole Ace Warehouse

Now that's a nice group of people right there.

Now that's a nice group of people right there.

Assistant managers and back-office staff toured the dizzying 800,000-square-foot Ace warehouse last week. It was our first “mobile retreat.” There were lots of ideas (branding, customer service, products and more products) and Hershey’s miniatures, and only one person got kinda sick.