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Moving? How I Prep My New Spaces

April 25, 2013 By: kajay Category: Tips

IF I were going to move again, before I moved in, as soon as I could, I would spray all latex painted walls and any other soft anything (except what children or pets may chew) with my enviro spray. It takes 8 to 12 weeks to kick in and has been for me a powerful tool in keeping down the critter population. If I had time, I would clean everything, and I mean everything, before spraying. BUT if I could not clean for whatever reason, I would spray anyway. I don’t care if where I was moving was full of junk. I would still spray anyway. I probably would NOT be going someplace with carpet, if I could help it, so the walls and any other absorbent surfaces would be my main concern. If the place DID have carpet, then they would get my equal attention. The key would be for me to get that clock ticking.

Supplies

  • Gallon sprayer. I use whatever gallon sprayer I happen to own at the time, and rinse it out thoroughly when I am done. Otherwise the boric acid will corrode any metal parts.
  • Insect repellent–I like Legacy Herbs Insect Repellent. Not only does it smell better (to me) than other repellents, it works great for me.
  • Caulk–Clear, white, and any other color I need. Home Depot and Walmart both, at this writing, carry a latex caulk that has a guaranteed life of 35 years. Basic colors are cheapest, specialty colors carry slightly more special pricing.
  • Caulk Guns–One for each color of caulk. Much faster and easier.
  • Tile Sealer–If the house has tile, it needs sealing. No one seals their tile often enough. I would do an online search to see if there was a good commercial sealer available that was safe for interior home use.
  • Insulating Foam–Cut to fit between outlets and switches and their covers. I buy mine at in the electrical department at any mega home store.
  • Large-ish Funnel
  • Stirring Tool–I grab anything with a long, inflexible handle. If I can find the whisk I reserve for mixing household recipes, I use that, because wire whisks stir powders into liquid faster than anything else I have found. (I never use that whisk with food.)
  • 1 Cup Boric Acid–Had I not discovered Eaton’s Boric Acid in the 5 lb tub, which I order online (several webstores carry it, I just search for it), I would still be buying the same thing in those white cylindrical Roach powder containers with the pointy red caps that are available in the pest control section of my local home stores.
  • Insect Growth Regulator–I buy this from a DIY pest control store locally or online.
  • Detergent–I use any detergent that has a stong odor, or any detergent plus an additive with a strong odor. I have used many things. Some (all work) include Orange Plus, Tweet Mint, Cedarcide, and Pine Sol–this will not only subdue the critters during spraying, but mask my scent. KleenAway dissolves some critters (I have seen that happen under the microscope).
  • A puffer like the Pest Pistol Mini Duster sold at Amazon for $9.95. I say this, but I never use it anymore. I would if I moved someplace where I haven’t already puffed the whole building.
  • Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth (I can add it to my food or drink, or to my pets’ food, and use it on my house). Amazon has a 10-lb bag for $under $20. The 25-lb bags are a better deal.

Preparation

Again, if I can, I clean top to bottom and caulk all cracks. Caulk seals stuff away from me. I have had to be a detective and contortionist to figure out and locate all the places that things can get into my house. This is a good investment of time and saves me money on my energy bills as well as eliminating entry points for all manner of critters. I caulk all joints, that is, everywhere something is connected to something else: floor to baseboard, baseboard to walls, walls to door or window molding or built-in casework.

Enviro Spray

1. In a 1 gal sprayer (1 gal should be plenty) I fill half full with hot water (to dissolve the boric acid). Then I add–

  • 1 Cup boric acid
  • Insect growth regulator in the amount specified on the label for a 1-gallon sprayer.
  • 1 Tbsp of whatever detergent I chose

2. I stir until the boric acid dissolves in the hot water (a few seconds). Then I fill the sprayer with cold water, which slows the drying time (a good thing).

SPRAY MYSELF

I spray insect repellent on myself, especially inside cuffs of pants, around shoes, etc. Also, I wear gloves and spray them before removing outlet and switch covers.

BED, SOFA, CHAIRS, DRESSERS

That’s right, I save the largest areas–floor and walls–for last. The first thing I want to do is to cut off the obvious escape routes into all the places I don’t want critters to escape!

HANGING CLOTHES

I wrap a tarp or other large sheet of plastic around all my clean clothes. I make sure that I wrap UP, so that the tarp protects the clothes from the bottom. Ideally, I spray the closet when it is empty

OUTLETS AND LIGHT SWITCHES

I remove covers and wash them. I spray them if I like, then after dry wipe off the powder residue.
I would puff DE inside the outlets and switches, and around them, and around the junction boxes, if they were open. Before that, I would first caulk anything I wanted to seal up. Boric acid is extremely corrosive. I would not use my Enviro Spray (which contains boric acid) on metal. Boric acid will rust metal quickly. I would use a pistol duster and apply diatomaceous earth instead. For example, I would dust INSIDE light fixtures and outlets. Then I might lightly apply some Enviro spray to the clean switch or outlet covers, then reinstall.

TRIMWORK

 

If the interior trim on my new home was dark, and I were renting, then I would plan on cleaning monthly with any strong-scented cleaner.
If the interior trim were white, I would  include it in my spraying. If the trim is high gloss, I would wipe it down after it dried.

 

CEILING FANS, WALL AND CEILING LIGHT FIXTURES

 

If there were ceiling fans or light fixtures, I would spray a large circle around them, avoiding metal.

 

WALLS

 

I would spray thin SOLID lines around–

* The edge of the ceiling near where it meets the walls.

* The top of the walls, just below where it meets the ceiling.

* The lower part of the walls just above the baseboards. I spray up, over, and around door frames and furniture, but I KEEP THE LINE SOLID

* Installed cabinets and outlets if need be.

Then I would spray a GRID on the wall between the lines at the top and bottom of it, all the way around the room, as if I were going to play a huge tic-tac-toe game.

WHY don’t I spray a solid mist all over? Because misting leaves plenty of room for the critters to walk AROUND the ingredients. I like to give them a place to run away from the spray, but to have to cross a demilitarized zone (solid line of the ingredient) in order to go ANYWHERE. That is what works.

CAR

 

Then I do my car upholstery and flooring, as well as any carpeted trim such as carpeted  side panels on doors if they are carpeted.

 

Warning: This will not eliminate my problem. But it will make it a lot less horrid, and much more manageable.

 

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