Archive for July 26, 2016

UK Is Set For A Summer Ant Invasion

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Ants tend to keep the same nest for several years at a time if not disturbed and while a cold winter can wipe out a local ant colony, we have had the 3rd warmest winter in 100 years and a warm spring too, conditions are just about perfect for ants to mate and thrive.

The most common ant species in the UK is the Black Garden ant, which generally lives outside in nutrient-rich, moist environments. During the spring and summer, they are often found in the warm, damp area beneath paving slabs. They frequently make their way indoors in search of food and additional places to nest. Should they find a food source, the ants will lay down a chemical trail to give other ants a signal to follow, causing a potential problem to quickly escalate in your home.

Preventing an ant problem all starts with simple hygiene. Storing food in sealed containers and wiping down surfaces will go a long way to keeping your home ant free. If caught early, ant issues can be dealt with quickly and easily. A range of products are available for use indoors and outdoors, in the form of sprays and powders, and nests can be treated with a killer gel which the ants themselves then help spread within their nest.

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However, immovable infestations may require professional attention to effectively and finally deal with the problem, particularly if the ants have found their way into wall voids or under floor tiles.

There could also be an increase in the number of Flying Ants – these are the males and new queens produced by the black garden ant colony, growing up to three times the size of their peers. The goal of the flying ants is to breed and build new nests in other areas creating a potential pest nuisance for the following season. On a side note, flying ants make a tasty inflight snack for most common garden birds so if you see a large flock of birds suddenly appear over your house or garden around sunset / early evening then chances are you have flying ants in your immediate area.

Tips to prevent ant problems:

Exercise good hygiene
When there is a spillage or mess, clean it up as soon as possible. Once ants have found their food they leave chemical trails to lead other ants to the area. Be sure to clean up sticky messes, shut food containers properly, and don’t leave washing up to fester. Also keep surfaces clean and clear of food, so there won’t be anything to attract them.

Regular deep clean
Aside from maintaining a hygienic environment on a day to day basis, a regular, proactive cleaning regime plays an important role in avoiding an unwelcome visit from ants. Pay particular attention to those hard to reach places, which could be fostering the moist conditions craved by ants. Cleaning also disrupts the chemical trail left by ants.

Keep an eye out for any ants outside your home
Most patios are laid on sand, and ants will often emerge between the cracks to find and carry food. By watching where the ants disappear into the crack, you’ll be able to locate the nest and have a place to aim that ant killer spray before it spreads any further.

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As shown in the picture, the finely granulated soil on the pathway is a clear indication of an inhabited Ant colony and also marks the main entry / exit of the nest.

As the summer progresses and the weather stays hopefully warm, remember to check below windows before throwing them open and keep a close eye on any paving slabs or patio areas you have in your garden for the signs of an ant colony under your feet.

Protecting The World From Underage Fruit Eaters

Last night, we got a notice that one of our products had been removed from our Amazon storefront because we didn’t get age verification of the recipient and we had violated Amazons Policy on the shipping of bladed products.

The policy which was introduced at the end of June states thus

1) From 28th June, all age restricted bladed products must be shipped with an age verification on delivery (AVD) ship method. Tracking numbers for each age restricted product shipped must also be uploaded to Seller Central, to enable Amazon to verify that the product has been shipped with an appropriate AVD method.
UPS is one carrier which offers an age verification service which is compliant with above requirements.

However, if you wish to use a different carrier to ship your products with AVD, please contact bladed-product-carriers@Amazon.co.uk, with the following details:

a) The name of the carrier.
b) A link to the carrier’s website which shows the age verification on delivery service offered.
c) Confirmation that the carrier requires a signature for all age restricted products shipped.
d) Confirmation that the carrier employs the ‘Think 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ standard for all age restricted products shipped.
e) The unique identifier for age verification that will be displayed within the order tracking number. This will enable Amazon to review your orders and confirm that you are using age verification on delivery for all orders
i. Example: All Age verified shipments sent by ‘Carrier A’ have the letters ‘AV’ in the 5th and 6th character of the tracking number – such as: “d4h6AV9O0pL”

Amazon will then review the information provided to determine whether the carrier can be included in the list of permitted AVD carriers.

The other two policy changes relate to the type of products which require the “over 18 Knife” warning on the product detail page. The table below highlights the changes which will be made to the existing bladed product policy on 28th June.

2) All bladed products, regardless of the length of the blade, will require an “over 18 Knife” flag and must be shipped using an acceptable AVD method (see above) – this will include all unlockable folding blades of less than 3 inches, which under the current policy are exempt from needing AVD.
3) All knives (excluding steak or cheese knives) included in ordinary cutlery sets with spoons and forks will no longer require an “over 18 Knife”, and can be shipped without an AVD method.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Amazon.co.uk.

The item in question was a fruit peeling knife priced at £2.75, just a little bit sharper than your average spoon.

The issue with Amazons requirements are that the courier companies charge a large amount of money for age verified deliveries. We sell predominantly household cleaning products with a small range of kitchen utensils and general household items. If we were selling hunting knives or swords then I could understand the problem. Secondly, why should the onus be on the dispatcher to verify the age of the recipient, surely the age verification should be on the purchase of the item not the receipt of it and surely it should fall to Amazon to police this in house as you have to have a credit card to buy from Amazon in the first place and you must be of age to set one of those up.

One day, I am going to write a book based on all the daft decisions Amazon have made and the crazy logic they employ when dealing with their merchants. In the meantime, you will have to use your own knife to peel your fruit, we can’t send you one anymore.

SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!

At the present time we are having severe internet issues, we are having problems processing orders from all platforms. Apparently there are known problems to BT across the country at the moment and they are working to resolve them as fast as possible.

At the time of writing, we do not know how long this is going to last so we may end up having a very unproductive day if it not resolved shortly.

Please accept our apologies if this causes any delays to orders placed in the last 24 hours. We will notify you once we are back online again.

Thank you for your patience.

Homecare Essentials Team.

** Back to Normal By Lunchtime that day, Sorry for the lack of update. **

Back At Last! – Dylon Machine Use Fabric Dyes

It is always frustrating when a much loved product just disappears off the shelves without warning, This was the case with Dylon, their range of machine use fabric dyes just stopped being available to supply and the only answer we could get was “They are being looked at”.

After months of uncertainty over their future, We are pleased to announce that they are back. Now in stock and available to buy.

A change of formula that now includes salt, the same great and vibrant colours as before, they even kept the names to avoid any confusion, well two changes they did make, “Antique Grey” is now called “Pewter Grey” and the box is bigger, in a new 350g size over the 200g previously.

The whole range of dyes, both machine and hand use can be found HERE along with other great products from Dylon.

 

 

How To – Properly and Safely Move A Fridge Freezer or other Heavy Domestic Appliance.

In another of our “How To” series of helpful hints and tips, I’m going guide you on how to move those heavy domestic appliances like a fridge freezer or washing machine.

Moving large items such as Washing Machines, Fridges etc. are a hassle, no matter what the circumstances may be. A washer, a dryer, a refrigerator or a dishwasher is far too big for one person to pick up, and often too big for even two people to pick up and carry.

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There are a number of angles from which you can approach the problem. Depending on what the appliance is, you may be lucky enough that it’s on wheels. Most refrigerator models have some kind of wheels so that you can push them at least part of the way, although you may still have to resort to some other technique in order to maneuver them around angles.

Without wheels or without practical wheels, one easy idea is to use Universal Appliance Rollers or a Scanpart Movable Base. The best ones are the ones that have a long flat edge that you tip it back toward you to can slide underneath the appliance in question then you can push or pull it to the location in which you need it.

If you are moving something over a longer distance, it’s a good idea to use a rope or bungee cord to secure the appliance in position on the Scanpart Movable Base or Universal Appliance Rollers. It may also be a good idea to have a partner help you guide the appliance or steer for you if it’s something particularly large.

Tips for Moving a Fridge:

1. Remove all contents, including freezer items.

2. Unplug the refrigerator and if it has a freezer compartment let the freezer defrost. This will usually take at least 6-8 hours depending on the state of the freezer. It’s best to defrost it overnight, and in the morning wipe out the inside.

3. Remove all shelves and other loose items. If you prefer, tape the fridge drawers closed (be careful that tape doesn’t leave a mark) or remove them. Wrap the shelves with blankets, towels to protect them during the move. Label the shelves appropriately.

4. Turn off the power source and wrap the cord, securing it out of the way.

5. Secure the doors. With a strong cord or rope, tie the doors closed by wrapping the cord around the fridge. If you have a double-door, tie the doors together tightly. Tape will work as well, but just remember that when you remove the tape, the paint surface might be disturbed.

6. Position it into its new space. Before you plug it in, let the refrigerator sit for at least 2-3 hours. This allows the fluids to flow back into the compressor. This is critical to its cooling mechanism.

Leave it plugged in. It’ll take a while before the fridge is ready to use. Some require 3 days before they’ll reach an optimum temperature. Check your manual for details.

Always keep the refrigerator standing upright as much as possible. This ensures that oil won’t seep into the cooling tubes which can cause permanent damage.

Read the manual. Check moving instructions in your refrigerator’s manual before you move. It’ll highlight important safety tips and advice and warn you of potential problems.

Hopefully there are some helpful tips there next time you have to move the fridge to retrieve the cat (true story!).

Now Stocking The Complete Range. Tri-Bio

A few weeks ago, we announced a new range of products from an American company Tri-Bio. After a successful trial, we have added the remainder of their products to our catalogue.

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Click on the image above and have a look at their awesome range of natural and probiotic home cleaning products. TRI-BIO cleaners are recommended for people with sensitive skin, and those suffering from allergies and asthma.
They are safe to use without gloves and safe to use on all surfaces.

Top Of The Shop – June

Welcome to our monthly top 10 best sellers from the previous month. While we all wait with baited breath for the summer sun to make an appearance, lets take a look at what was selling big last month.

*cue Led Zeppelin – A whole lotta Love*

Our first new entry at Nº10Pure Spa Whirlpool Sanitiser Tablets

Also New at Nº9KIlrock Meltaway Fridge De-Icer.

Down 1 place to Nº8Pure Spa Hot Tub Surface Cleaner.

Also down 1 place at N°7Cat and Dog Repellent Crystals 600g.

Up 2 places to N°6Inspired Mattress Stain Remover.

Down 4 to N°5HG Hagesan Window Cleaner 500ml.

New in at N°4Aristowax Wood Silk Lavender Wax Polish.

Our penultimate new entry at N°3Chemico The Pink Stuff.

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Up 2 places to N°2Original Barkeepers Friend Bundle Pack.

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This means we have a new N°1HG Hagesan Sticker Remover.

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That’s it for another month, a new product reigns at the top. As we move deeper into summer, what lays in store? stay tuned to find out.

See you next time.

Important Service Announcement – Thursday 07/07/16

On Thursday July 7th, there will be essential maintenance on the Local Power Grid. We have been notified that we will be without power for a large chunk of the day.

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This means we will have no computers, lights or telephones. This will have a knock on effect as we are constantly processing orders from our website, Amazon and Ebay storefronts as well, literally from the time we open until the time we close, so losing half a day or more will mean some orders may be processed and dispatched late, every effort will be made to honour orders that have been placed for next day delivery, however, we will inform you directly if we have been unable to dispatch your order on time.

Please accept our apologies if your order is one affected.

The last occasion this happened it took longer than the times given to us on the flyer notice, we have our fingers crossed this will not be the case this time.

 

The Homecare Essentials Team thank you for your patience.

Novinophobia – We can help you cure this dreadful affliction.

It would not be surprising if you have never heard of this particular phobia, it is not vocalised often.

In recognition of the millions of silent sufferers, we are doing our bit to help you manage this affliction.

Normally you would have to place an order with us to receive the details for this treatment in the form of a voucher, but today I have permission to just tell you.

Sufferers of Novinophobia (lit.. The fear of running out of wine.) we have teamed up with a premier online Wine Merchant. Naked Wines.

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Just go to www.nakedwines.com/homecare or click here,

Enter the following Code: HMCR16

Enter the following Password: ASP32XYN

Followed by your email address and claim £60.00 off your first order of £99.99 or more.

Now £99.99 sounds like a lot for wine but that is for a case of 12 bottles and with the £60.00 discount that is £39.99 for 12 bottles or £3.33 each.

Novinophobia sufferers can relax now, you make sure you are always fully stocked and never have to succumb to Novinophobia again.

*Disclaimer – Novinophobia is NOT a real condition and comes from the Urban Dictionary. Please drink responsibly.*