After a long, cold winter a little bit of sunshine starts us dreaming of summer vacations, outings on the lake and all sorts of warm weather fun. So go ahead and dream a little! Imagine a vista of sparkling blue waters against the back-drop of beautiful mountains……and you and your favorite people laughing, swimming and eating together on the deck of a half million dollar rental home!
Or perhaps your dream consists more of renting a gorgeous big boat and riding off into the sunset, fishing, swimming and camping on some beautiful little island. In fact you can just quit dreaming and start planning. Put in your time off request and make your reservations! Whatever your summer dream vacation looks like, Smith Mountain Lake has it all!
To find just the right place to stay, you can talk to Diana Salyer for marvelous rentals on the lake, from cottages to homes or condos. Or you can find a magical place online by cruising Vacation Rentals By Owners. There are many wonderful vacation spots at SML, including Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
Visit local Vineyards and breweries; play at some fantastic Golf Courses; Go fishing in one of Virginia’s most popular fishing destinations; Spend the day on the lake on the boat rental of your choice; Visit several of the marvelous restaurants SML has to offer; Enjoy Water Sports such as Wakeboarding, Water or Jet skiing, Stand Up Paddleboard, Kneeboarding, etc.; or you could even plan your trip around one of the dozens of fun and exciting events happening at the lake!
Tags: Lake Living
It is not always easy to appreciate winter, when your electricity goes off, your water pipes freeze, or your nose and fingers go numb in the frigid temperatures. But even in the midst of cold weather hassles and challenges, it is difficult to dismiss the wonder of the falling snow.
In spite of all the extra trouble it makes for many of us, there is something a bit magical about the world when it grows misty with glittering frost and the soft crystal snowflakes fill the air. In tinkling silence the snowfall infuses whispers of goodness and hope into our noisy and stressful lives.
Aesthetics aside, snow truly is an amazing phenomena! While it is an explainable occurrence in scientific terms, it is also full of myriad fascinating aspects. For instance did you know that:
~ Snow is a mineral like diamonds or salt.
~ A snow crystal can be 50 times as wide as it is thick, so even though crystals can be grown in a lab as big as two inches across, they’re generally far thinner than a piece of paper.
~ At the center of almost every snow crystal is a tiny mote of dust, which can be anything from volcanic ash to a particle from outer space.
~ Thunder-snow (a blizzard with visible lightning) is rare. But some scientists believe that all lightning is born of snow that’s just out of sight: Ice crystals in clouds collide and generate electricity.
~ Don’t eat red snow, either: It is called ‘Watermelon Snow’ and is ruddy-tinted snowfall that smell like fresh watermelon. It gets its color from a species of pigmented algae that grows in ice. The snow tastes great, but eating it will give you the runs.
(Taken from http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jan/20-things-you-didnt-know-about-snow)
Here are even more interesting Snow Facts……
Are you aware that there is actually a “National Snow and Ice Data Center” or NSIDC? And that there is more than one kind of snowflake? According to the NSIDC
Snow Crystals are categorized as one of 4 types:
Snowflakes are single ice crystals or clusters of ice crystals that fall from a cloud.
Hoarfrost is the deposition of ice crystals on a surface when the temperature of the surface is lower than the frost point of the surrounding air. In this process, moisture goes directly from vapor to solid, skipping the liquid phase. Hoar frost is usually composed of interlocking ice crystals, and tends to form on objects of small diameter that are freely exposed to air, such as wires, poles, tree branches, plant stems, and leaf edges.
Graupel consists of snowflakes that become rounded, opaque pellets ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters (0.1 to 0.2 inches) in diameter. They form as ice crystals fall through supercooled cloud droplets, which are below freezing but remain a liquid. The cloud droplets then freeze to the crystals, forming a lumpy mass. Graupel is sometimes mistaken for hail, but tends to have a texture that is softer and more crumbly. Graupel is sometimes also called snow pellets.
Polycrystals are snowflakes composed of many individual ice crystals.
There are hundreds more tidbits of information and amazing things to learn about the snow on the NSIDC and other websites. You might enjoy taking some time to read about more of them at https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/resources.html. And the next time you see the snow falling softly, you will have a whole new appreciation for this marvel of creation!
Tags: General · Lake Living
Smith Mountain Lake and surrounding area is most popular in the summertime for water sports, vacationing, fishing tournaments and so forth. But there are also many wonderful winter attractions and fun activities at the lake during winter months as well. Bundle up warm and come out to enjoy some of these fabulous cold weather events at the lake and it’s surrounding counties! Below are just a few you could choose from.
~ The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount, Franklin County, VA. – This is a new and exciting live music performance center. Large enough for good size crowds of nearly 500 in the main room (plus a lower level); a 40 ft. stage with state of the art lighting/audio, etc. and offering performances in a variety of genres. In Jan. and Feb. 2015 you can enjoy great groups such as: The Embers, Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets, The Wildfire Band and much more. See the complete Harvester Calendar here https://www.harvester-music.com/calendar.
~ Sontag Disc Golf Course will be hosting the The Brawl Disc Golf Tournament on Feb. 7th. What is Disc Golf you may wonder? Disc golf is a game somewhat similar to traditional golf. However, instead of a ball and clubs, a concave plastic disc is thrown into metal baskets situated on an outdoor course. The sport became popular in the 1970′s, and just like in regular golf, the object is to complete the course with the fewest throws. This tournament is part of a series that includes four division: Pro, Ladies, Amateur and Junior and does involve fees. Contact Jeff Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. (Picture Credit - ”Disc golfer and basket” by Steve Ganz – http://www.flickr.com/photos/steveganz/11559175/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via )
~ SoVA (Southern Virginia Wine Trail) will be having it’s Winter Wine Fest on Feb. 21st in Danville, VA. Twelve Virginia farm wineries will offer tastings from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a heated the indoor arena at Danville Community Market. Good food and live music from Firecracker Jam of Lynchburg. For Ticket Prices and other available information visit http://www.sovawinetrail.com/.
~ Southwest VA Boat Show 2015 - The Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association has hosted the Annual SWVA Boat Show for over 30 yrs. This years Boat Show will be at the Roanoke Civic Center February 20th through February 22, 2015. The event has grown tremendously over the last couple of years and represents a unique opportunity to see every dealer and boat on Smith Mountain Lake. The event will have a Free Admission Friday….for more on other admission fees and info. go to http://www.roanokeboatshow.com/. (Picture Credit - ”Sea Isle Marina Miami Florida left 20100213″ by Averette – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0)
~ The Red Valley Community Center in Burnt Chimney, VA will feature a live Bluegrass Concert by Johnathan Dillon & Friends. The concert will take place on Jan. 31st from 6pm to 8:30mp. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission $10 at the door. For more info call 540-537-3415
~ Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, VA offers a chance to spend time with the Dinosaurs! On Saturday, January 24th, the museum’s Dino Day festival will feature exciting, NEW life-sized dinosaur skeleton casts! Marvel at real dinosaur fossils from the museum’s collections! Play dino-themed games and create dino-crafts! Witness special presentations by dinosaur experts! Did we mention animatronic dinosaurs?! Dino Day is sure to be a festival of Jurassic proportions! Visit www.vmnh.net to get more details and info.
Tags: Entertainment: Attractions · Entertainment: The Arts
You will face some complex issues when purchasing waterfront property at Smith Mountain Lake. Unless you already live on the lake and are intimately familiar with all of these issues, it is crucial that you locate an agent who will work to find the best property for you and assure that you avoid the pitfalls enumerated here. How do you find an agent like this?
First of all, I believe it is important that you select a full-time agent — someone whose family is depending on this individual to earn the income needed to survive. Many agents are not full-time. I can tell you from experience as a full-time buyers agent that it is challenging to stay on top of all of the listings available out there. When you contact a buyers agent looking for a certain type of property, it is imperative that they have a working knowledge of the inside and the outside of a large variety of homes on the market. It is difficult for a part-timer to do this.
Second, you should attempt to work with a seasoned SML agent. The growing popularity of Smith Mountain Lake has drawn many new realty agents and investors, so it is important that you ask a prospective agent about their experience and credentials.Third, you should select an agent who is fully devoted to Smith Mountain Lake, not an agent who works in a nearby city and is only slightly familiar with the lake. There are fantastic agents in nearby areas, but they are often not aware of the variety and complexity of issues involved in the purchase of real estate here at Smith Mountain Lake.
Thanks to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of the local Board of REALTORS®, any licensed realty agent can arrange a showing on any property on the market, regardless of who has it listed. Many clients often get a sneak peak at pocket listings that have not yet been formally listed.
SML buyer agents must be able to assist clients in knowing the waterfront situation at a variety of properties. With all of the online resources available to the public today, it is critical that agents be able to quickly comment on a variety of prospective listings that a client selects online. When a client calls and tells me he has found the perfect property online, I can virtually guarantee that it will not be the property he selects when he comes to town. It almost never fails. There are just too many factors that are hard to capture in a description, photo and virtual tour. This is partly what makes this such a unique and wonderful place. However, it also means that you need a devoted agent to help sort out these factors.
As an example, a client of a newer realty team member selected about 10 homes that interested him. One of our veteran team members, and one of the top buyer agents at Smith Mountain Lake, went down the list and was able to comment in detail on each of these homes. His analysis included a description of the lot, the view, the slope, the neighborhood, and in some cases the rental potential for the home. This is invaluable information that you would normally not receive from a part-time or inexperienced agent. Choose a devoted Smith Mountain Lake agent. Dont be afraid to ask tough questions, and if you dont get the answers you want, dont fear politely excusing yourself from the relationship. There is too much at stake to leave it in the hands of a rookie.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Since you are likely coming to Smith Mountain Lake for the lake and the mountains, it probably makes sense to see properties both by car and by boat. Strangely enough, they are quite different and it is important to get both views, at least when you are in the process of narrowing down the field to the top candidates. I have seen a number of occasions where someone really liked a property when arriving through the front door, but was scared away when they got there via the dock, or vice-versa.
You may even want to see an aerial view of your top picks. I had a lot client who elected to see his top picks by boat and from the air in a private plane. This gave us a unique perspective and gave the buyer great confidence in purchasing his expensive dream property.
Since many of the lake agents live at or near the water, there are many who routinely show property by boat. It is really worth the effort to do both.
Do a Trial Run
If you have interviewed a few buyer (or listing) agents and you think youve located the right one for you, give them a test before making a commitment. Ask them to investigate a number of issues for you with an agreed upon deadline. This could be as simple as pulling listings for a number of properties meeting certain criteria. Then privately hold them accountable to getting the information back to you in a timely and professional fashion. If they dont perform as planned, it may be the signal for you to find another agent. If you are unsure after the first trial, give them a tougher one and see how it goes. I am sad to say that some realty agents do not always follow through on their commitments. You should not have to bear the consequences of their laziness in the process of acquiring or selling one of your largest assets.
Tags: Real Estate: Buying a Home
Rain or Shine, enjoy a full-day event featuring crafts and a spectacular competitive chili cook-off, with awards for Best Chili, People’s Choice, and Showmanship! Held at Bridgewater Plaza, savor the essence of fall with ‘chili…just the way you like it’ at the Smith Mountain Lake Fall Chili & Craft Festival. This event, slated for this Saturday, November 1st, is sponsored by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and it captures the best of everything with plenty of activity, great chili for tasting, craft vendors, awards and a beautiful lakeside setting.
In response to our popular post, Lakeside Dining: 5 of Smith Mountain Lake’s Best Restaurants, we’ve rounded up five more restaurants that we believe to be must-eats for SML diners. However, this time we eschewed personal favorites and gone to the community instead to ask what’s best. You’ll find all restaurant descriptions accompanied by first-hand reviews and personal accounts of local diners.
After you’ve got the rundown on these five local favorites, make use of the interactive map at the end of the post to plan your next visit.
Photo via Jake’s Place
The first restaurant on the list is owned and operated by the same folks associated with the Blackwater Cafe, which we mentioned in our last post. Jake’s Place offers fabulous waterfront dining with a casual yet high quality menu and atmosphere.
“Jakes place is an absolute favorite for our family. I am an onion ring connoisseur and I don’t think I have had any better than Jakes Place. Service is always exceptional, and the staff makes sure you are taken care of well,” says local diner Teresa Sirois.
Check out the full Jake’s Place menu and learn more by clicking here.
Mango’s Bar & Grill
Another waterfront option, Mango’s Bar & Grill is most known for its expansive outdoor seating and frequent live music and events. Standard bar and grill fare cooked to perfection paired with an enormous drink menu make this spot one that’s hard to wear out.
Have a look at the entire Mango’s menu and see a schedule of upcoming events by clicking here.
Old Oak Cafe
You don’t have to look any further than the Old Oak Cafe website to find out what they’re all about: “Our traditional fare is designed to make you a regular – good food, served in generous portions, and priced so you can afford to make a habit of eating with us,” it says. If that sounds too good to be true, rest assured knowing that Old Oak Cafe definitely lives up to those promises.
There’s a special spot in everyone’s heart (and stomach) for authentic Italian cuisine. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find great Italian food. Sometimes it’s a challenge to find something that can even beat out the preformed chicken parmesan and frozen veal saltimboca at Olive Garden.
Thankfully for Smith Mountain Lakers, the Tuscan Tavern serves up some of the best Italian cuisine around. Italian lovers take note: this should without a doubt be your next stop in SML.
Waller’s is a cherished local eatery that has served the Smith Mountain Lake community for many years. For seafood, as well as a variety of other entrees, Waller’s knocks it out of the park every time. The menu is pretty big, but chances are you’ll like whatever you end up picking.
Did we miss your favorite spot? If so, get in touch with us via email or on Facebook and let us know your recommendations!
Tags: Blog · Entertainment: Dining
HOW DO I CLOSE ON MY SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE PROPERTY?
So you’ve struck a deal on the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime waterfront property! How do you go from there to getting the deed in hand? What will it cost to close on your property? By now you know the first thing I am going to say: Let your real estate professional guide you from this point as he has through the entire process.
There are a number of inspections to be performed in the process of transferring a home here. The seller is typically required to fund and conduct three inspections within less than 30 days of closing. The first is a termite inspection. The seller will hire an inspector to examine the home for evidence of wood boring insects. The seller is also responsible to conduct a test of the well water. This is a simple test to check for bacteria in the water, not an extensive test of water quality. The seller will also conduct an inspection to ensure the proper operation of the septic system. Often the same inspector will conduct all three tests. If evidence of any problem from these inspections is discovered, the seller, unless otherwise agreed upon in the contract, is responsible to correct this situation in order to proceed to closing.
As I mentioned earlier, you as a purchaser may also choose to have a home inspection and a radon inspection. In addition, you may choose to request a more extensive water report and septic inspection. I have had purchasers ask for each of these. The septic inspection may include a visual inspection of the tank using a special camera. Sometimes an older tank may become corroded and need to be repaired or replaced. The basic required inspection will not find this defect, but it would need to be repaired if you are going to rent your home in Bedford County. A more extensive water test may include testing the water for other less harmful substances that you may choose to have filtered out of your water. If you plan to consider asking the seller to pay for repairs from these two inspections, or if you would consider calling off the purchase for bad results, be sure to delineate these terms carefully in the contract upfront.
The Closing Agent
In Virginia, the purchaser has the right to select the closing agent. Closings are typically conducted by a closing attorney or a title company. This agent coordinates the various elements of the closing including the title examination, deed preparation, prior mortgage (deed of trust) payoff, the new mortgage, title insurance, allocation for property taxes and homeowner dues, recording of the deed and mortgage, payment of recording fees, transfer tax payments, and the payment of any fees for services including realty commissions and inspections or other liens not paid previously. The closing agent summarizes all of these charges and allocations on the closing statement, otherwise known as a HUD-1, which is a legal form developed by the federal government for this purpose. You should request an advance copy of the HUD-1 prior to closing to ask any questions, look for any errors, and to avoid needless delays on closing day.
It is extremely important for you to examine your deed when purchasing property anywhere. The deed is the ownership title for the property and the definitive document for many rights and encumbrances of the property. These may include power company easements, easements previously granted to neighbors, rights for common areas such as boat launches, requirements to adhere to neighborhood restrictions, and much more.
We worked with a seller who was using a deed that detailed the rules for constructing a dock in that neighborhood, which is unusual. Upon examining the deed, the buyer discovered that the current owner had built his dock too far into the cove. That meant that the seller was faced with obtaining a variance on his existing dock from the neighborhood property owners association before he could sell his home. By examining the deed, the purchaser saved himself from inheriting this potentially nasty problem.
Talk to your closing attorney about examining your deed before purchasing your new property.
Closing Long Distance
These days, many closings are handled long distance without either party coming to town on the day of closing. If this is best for you, the closing attorney and realty agents can use email, fax, overnight mail, and wire transfer. This will save you a drive to the lake, although the main downside is that you may not have the opportunity to do a walk-through of the property just prior to closing. Talk to your realty agent about how to best manage this situation.
Though each situation is different, the following is a list of typical closing costs for a transaction in this region of Virginia at the time of this writing.
Purchaser Closing Costs
Title Examination $100
Closing Attorney Fees $350 to $450
Deed Recording Fee (transfer tax) 0.33% x price
Mortgage (Deed of Trust) Recording Fee 0.317% x loan amt
Mortgage Points and Other Charges Variable
Property Taxes* Pro-rated
Homeowner Association Dues* Pro-rated if any
Title Insurance** Up to 0.4% x price
Deed Recording Fee $33
Mortgage (Deed of Trust) Recording Fee $46
Realty Commissions $0***
* Property tax and homeowner association dues may be owed to you by the seller or owed by you to the seller depending on who is paying the actual bill and when.
**Note that title insurance is not legally required for cash purchases in Virginia but is highly recommended. Mortgage companies always require you to purchase title insurance to cover their interests. Talk to your closing agent for more information.
*** While it is common for purchasers here to pay nothing in realty commissions, it is illegal for multiple companies in a market to jointly establish realty commission rates. Commission rates here average about the same as other markets in the United States. Talk to your realty professional for more information.
Seller Closing Costs
Deed preparation $100
Grantor (transfer) tax 0.1% x price
Property Taxes* Pro-rated
Homeowner Association Dues Pro-rated if any
Realty Commissions** As Negotiated
* Property tax and homeowner association dues may be owed to you by the purchaser or owed by you to the purchaser depending on who is paying the actual bill and when.
** It is illegal for multiple companies in a market to jointly establish realty commission rates. Commission rates here average about the same as other markets in the United States. Talk to your realty professional for more information.
One final note: As a home seller or purchaser, you may wish to purchase a home warranty. This will warrant a large number of home elements for the purchaser for at least a year after closing. This may allay the purchasers fears of problems and could help avoid tensions between the parties after closing. These warranties typically cost between $300 and $450 for one year.
Tags: Real Estate: Buying a Home
TLC Blueberry Orchards is now under new ownership. The new owners Doug and Sharleen Schmidt have re-named their orchard TLC Buffy’s Blueberry Orchard. Buffy was Sharleens nickname while working as a hair stylist in Northern Virginia for 37 years and since Buffy’s Blueberry’s has a nice ring to it they decided to carry the name to the orchard.
TLC Buffy’s Blueberry Orchard are loaded with berries that began to ripen in July. There are twelve varieties of blueberries in the field and the plants will produce berries through the month of September and possibly into October.The hours of business will be from 7am. to Noon, Wednesday thru Sunday. Select times are available for groups picking a minimum of 20 pounds. Call 540-330-5144 For more information or to schedule special picking times. If you pick the berries the price is $4.00/lb. If you call ahead for a certain quantity already picked, the price is $6.00/lb. There are 4 acres of blueberries that are pesticide free. Because of this we cannot use chemicals to control pests or poison ivy. It is recommended to wear long sleeves and long pants and to spray your legs or pant legs to prevent chigger and tick bites. Sharleen has bug spray available if you forget yours.
The property also hosts a resident Emu named Harvey, 10 chickens and 7 Guinea hens. A rustic barn and blackberry picking in season, are added attractions at the orchard. The orchard can be made available for special events. Contact Doug or Sharleen for additional information.
TLC Buffy’s Blueberries is located on Capital Hill Road off of route 608 in Huddleston, Virginia. To find them with your GPS enter the address 1038 capital rd. Huddleston, va. 24104. The orchard is the first entrance on the right after turning on Capital Hill Rd. The 1038 address is the yellow house on the corner of 608 and capital hill rd. After turning on Capital Hill Rd Follow the signs to the orchards entrance.
A Few Blueberry Benefits:
- Blueberry’s are rich in antioxidants and are believed to be beneficial for brain function, memory, eye health, anti-aging, nervous system and immune system.
- Blueberries can be frozen without doing damage to the fragile antioxidants they contain. Freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0°F (-17°C) for no more than 6 months, showed no significant lowering of overall antioxidant concentrations in research.
- Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and fiber and are also are high in manganese. (Vitamin C is necessary for growth and repair of tissues, immune system, inflammation response, wound healing and much more. Manganese helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.)
- They are low in fat and sodium, have just 80 calories per cup and recent studies have found that blueberries have a positive impact on blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetes.
- Organic is better: Studies of organically grown versus non-organically grown blueberries have given impressive results for the organically grown berries. Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.
Tags: Entertainment: Attractions · Local Businesses
New businesses are regularly opening up around the Lake, and some existing companies are doing remodels. It is nice to know there is evidence of steady economic growth as we see new services being offered and existing ones being revived. So come on out and support one or two of the upcoming Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies. You will enjoy yourself as well as supporting your community.
Bedford Landings will have their Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting, Wednesday, August 27th, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00p.m.,with the Ribbon Cutting at 12:15p.m.. Refreshments will be served. Directions: Route 122 South to White House Road (Rt. 608) Travel about 7 miles to right on Airport. Go one mile. Left on Buccaneer. Go one mile. Bedford Landings is on the right (1995). Roof Cleaning Service has a new Billboard on Route 608 east of Downtown Moneta. Stop by our office at 330 Lakewood Forest Road in Moneta for a $50 SoftWash Bucks coupon. Visit our website www.riddickroofing.com for more info or call 540-721-1329 for a consultation and free estimate.
The Cabinet Gallery cordially invites you to a Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting event, August 28 from 11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m. with the Ribbon Cutting at Noon. The Cabinet Gallery, a new subsidiary of Smith Mountain Building Supply, features cabinetry ranging from “simply functional” to “your wildest dreams” and all places in between. Come enjoy complimentary refreshments, visit our showroom and meet our AKBD-certified professional designers.
Kupkakery Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting at 1544 Franklin Street in Rocky Mount, Va. on September 10th.
O’Kelly’s at Westlake is hosting a Skin Care Day, Friday August 15, 11:30 to 2:30. Enjoy a free smoothie and meet with Beauty Consultants! Discover how to enhance and protect your beauty while “At the Lake”. Skin Care/Glamour Samples, Beauty Bucks Coupons, and O’Kelly’s gift cards to be given away.
Southern Roots is bursting at the seams and moving to a bigger store in The Plaza Shopping Center…Suite 1100, between Old Oak Café and Curves. Just a short walk from the current location. Same great stuff, more room for your shopping pleasure. Southern Roots is open Monday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-3.
Is everyone else’s business going full speed except yours? Are you tired of that nagging feeling that you’re stuck in last place? Think that maybe you “just don’t get it”? Want some FREE expert help? Call Dick Ephgrave at the Longwood University Small Business Development Center
Tags: Local Businesses
Maintaining a home while keeping out unwanted pests is no easy feat. And the challenge is even tougher when you’re living near the water. Food crumbs, trash cans, and warm temperatures can attract a variety of rodents and creepy crawlies to your home.
So what are you to do? It often seems that spraying harsh chemicals and setting cruel traps are your only options, but that’s not the case.
You can actually repel pesky critters with essential oils derived from totally natural botanical sources.
Try out these natural solutions the next time you need to give the boot to unwelcome pests. You can pick them up at any health or natural food store, or even order them online.
The best way to use these oils for pest control is to dilute them in some water and spray them through a spray bottle. They’re simple, non-toxic, and safe for kids and pets too!
Keep Mice at Bay With Peppermint
They’re sneaky, and they’re fast. Mice can hide out in any number of nooks and crannies in your home, and they’re a real challenge to exterminate. What’s more, the main methods of eradication – sticky paper, traps, and poison – aren’t exactly humane.
Thankfully, peppermint oil can keep mice away with no trouble at all. Just spray a solution of peppermint oil and water around the baseboards of your home and around any areas where you believe they might be coming in. Before you know it, they’ll be abandoning your home to find more hospitable lodgings.
Banish Ants and Other Creepy Crawlies With Pennyroyal and Orange Oil
Ants: once you have them, they’re almost impossible to get rid of. The same is true for spiders, centipedes, and other insects. And unfortunately, making a habit of spraying insecticide in and around your home is both costly and hazardous.
That’s where pennyroyal and orange oil come in. Apply these oils in the same fashion as above – using a diluted solution through a spray bottle – for a cheap, safe, and effective bug killer. This natural solution doesn’t just kill bugs; it repels them too!
Combine Lavender, Lemongrass, and Citronella to Repel Mosquitoes and Ticks
Of all the bugs out there, the ones that feast on our bodies have to be the worst. And they aren’t just a nuisance. Mosquitoes and ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses.
To rid yourself of multi-legged, bloodsucking hitchhikers, mix up a homemade bug repellant using lavender, lemongrass, and citronella (tea tree, peppermint, and pennyroyal are good additions too, although they can cause a slight burning sensation if not properly diluted). These oils can be mixed into a salve with beeswax and coconut oil too.
Deter Raccoons and Other Rodents From Rummaging Through Trash With Tea Tree and Peppermint
No matter how cute their little furry masks may seem, raccoons are a huge nuisance. Unattended trash is their prime target, and they can leave behind a huge mess.
To keep them from digging through your garbage and rummaging around your home, simply spray your cans and bags with a solution of tea tree and peppermint oil. The tea tree oil imparts a bitter, off-putting taste to your trash, while the peppermint causes burning and irritation (both oils have an odor that raccoons find very unpleasant too). Don’t worry about causing the raccoons harm. They’ll likely take a couple whiffs and move on before they have the chance to dig in.
1. Photo via Kate Ware
2. Photo via Flickr
3. Photo via Flickr
Tags: Health · Lake Living