Salt Water Pool Test Kit – What is the Best Way to Test Salt Levels in Pool

Salt Water Pool Test Kit
Taylor K-1766

The Taylor K 1766 is by far the best salt water pool test kit you can buy. Let me tell you why. It is a little more expensive than the Aquachek test strips and takes a little more time to use, but it is well worth it I’ve already told you why the Taylor K2006 is the best all-around test kit for testing your pool chemicals. Now, I can confidently tell you that the K 1766 is the best salt water pool test kit for much the same reason I like the K2006 for testing chlorine. The results leave no doubt in my mind as to how the salt water level is of my swimming pool.

The reason I like Taylor products such as the K2006’s included free chlorine test kit is that there is a clear end-point with the color change which leaves no doubt or subjective speculation. The K1766 works much the same way as I will explain below. First, let me tell you what I didn’t like about the Aquapure salt water test strips.

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Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Perky Pet Bird Feeder
Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

A squirrel proof bird feeder is an absolute necessity if you want to enjoy watching birds in your back yard.  In this review I will compare the Pesky Pet bird feeder with a bird feeder cage.  This is the first time ever that I’ve really attempted any bird watching and I was surprised at how difficult and messy squirrels could make of this seemingly enjoyable and simple hobby. One of my main concerns with squirrels is not just that they will eat the bird feed and make a mess, but I am also afraid that my cat, Noche, will get a hold of one of these pesky, large rodents. These squirrels are almost half her size and could carry rabies and any other number of diseases so I am unsure who might get the worst of the battle if she succeeds in catching one.  She keeps trying and the squirrels don’t seem to see her as much of a deterrent to their quest for the bird seed. They are not afraid to challenge her to a game of chase, so I would just as soon limit their reasons for tempting their fate. Unlike the Wasp Traps, a squirrel proof bird feeder should not only keep squirrels out, but prevent them from even trying. I will go ahead and tell you about my experience with two different bird feeders and which one has been the most successful at keeping out the squirrels.

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Solar Powered Water Fountain

Solar Powered Water Fountain Pros and Cons

Solar Powered Water Fountain
Anself Solar-power Fountain

A solar powered water fountain can be a great addition to your pond, swimming pool, bird bath, or anywhere in your backyard where there is standing water. Moving water adds life and fun to your outdoor environment. The key to getting water to move is that you need a water pump. The problem with traditional water pumps is that you need to either place them where you have a powered outlet or you need to cleverly install them where the cables cannot be seen in your yard. Also, traditional powered water pumps require electricity, consume energy and therefore cost money to run.  Wouldn’t it be great if they made solar-powered water pumps that you could place anywhere and didn’t need any cabling or electricity to run. The good news is that they do make them, they are pretty inexpensive, and they work pretty well. Below are my advantages and disadvantages on these inexpensive solar powered water fountains.  There may be more expensive models which trade-off cost for some of the disadvantages I’ve outlined below. This review is on inexpensive solar water fountains ranging from $15.00 to $40.00.

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Pentair Pool Pump

Pentair Pool Pump

A Review

Pentair Pool Pump

Our Score

From what I had read and heard about pool pumps prior to making the investment, the Pentair Pool Pump is the Cadillac of all pumps. It took me a while to get my brain wrapped around the features and timer for making the very best use of this product, but after having used it for a summer, I am beginning to agree. In fact, this is one of the best purchases I have made for my pool, right next to the Saltwater Pool System nearly 2 summers prior. Unfortunately, it also took me some time to get my mind wrapped around paying so much for a pool pump. Because my pool is very far and uphill from my pump-room, I tend to be very hard on pumps. My last pool pump cost around $465.00 installed and lasted about 5 years.  The Pentair Pool Pump is in a whole new price league. I paid just under $900.00 for it on Amazon.

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How to get rid of Wasps

Update on Trapstik July 19, 2017

TrapStik has been Pulled from Stores

TrapStik to be Immediately Pulled from Stores

As it turns out concerns over trapping small birds and other animals were not only well-founded, but led to the demise of what seemed like a great idea. After the stories I heard about these, I took extra precaution myself and never did feel comfortable having them in my yard. I decided I would never hang them anywhere, though I have used them low near wasp nests and never hurt a small animal or bird. Apparently, the birds are attracted the bright yellow color just as are the wasps. Birds also see the trapped wasps on the sticky surface as an easy meal. The TrapStik did an amazing job attracting and trapping wasps. Unfortunately, some of the environmental side effects of products like these are not always easy to predict. I applaud Rescue for coming to the rescue of small birds and discontinuing a very effective wasp elimination product. The occurrence may have been rare, but who wants to be one of those rare people trying to remove suffering and/or dead birds from traps? Rescue did the right thing. Now, what can we expect?

How to Design a Better TrapStik for Wasps

Rescue mentioned in their press release that their product engineers are working on ways to improve TrapStik to make it environmentally safe. Here is my idea: They should place a transparent, plastic cone with small holes around the same, wasp-attractive, colored, sticky surface. The colorful design would invite wasps to step inside through the holes, while preventing birds from access to touching it. One question I have is whether or not they could improve the design of their other, current wasp traps by mimicking the same colorful yellow and green pattern. The serum alone, did not seem to be nearly as effective in attracting wasps as the colorful surface of the TrapStik. The colors combined with the scent of the serum, I would think, would make them far more effective at getting wasps to come in through the bottom holes. I will keep you updated on the reinvention or improvement of TrapStik as well as other effective products for getting rid of wasps as I hear about them. Wasps in our own backyard continue to be a huge problem for us.

 

How to get rid of Wasps
– A Review on Trapstik

how to get rid of wasps
TrapStik for Wasps

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How to get rid of wasps is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The answer depends on the type of wasps, location, and situation. I have had great success removing wasps from the row of hedges along side of our swimming pool late in the summer simply by spraying them with a couple of cans of wasp spray. Other times, I was able to control wasps by hanging up a couple of Wasp Traps with Wasp Attractant around the perimeter of the yard. This summer, we had a different problem: Wasps were gaining entry into the bottom of our porch through an open hole. Dozens were coming in by the hour I tried using wasp spray and tried using wasp attractant, but none of these things seemed to make a dent in the wasp population flying in and out of the porch hole. Finally, I sprayed the hole shut with insulation foam. The wasps appeared to not be able to get anymore, but it didn’t stop them from trying. The area was now a complete mess, swarming with wasps who were bound and determined to get inside the bottom of our backyard porch. Finally, I found something that appears to be working.

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