Sunday, July 28, 2019

Try These Easy Pest Prevention Tips

Summer is the perfect time for picnics and cookouts. Everyone gathers around the grill eager to gulp down hamburgers and hot dogs. Laughter and music fill the air and cold drinks keep things chill, even when temperatures are high. It’s idyllic, at least until your guests start bugging out. Apparently, friends and family aren’t the only ones invited to the party. Insects invade by land and air only to crawl across the food, and worse, your company. Your next cookout doesn’t need to turn into a scene from Creepshow, however. Here are four easy tips for a bug-free barbecue.

Oil is Essential
Essential oils offer therapeutic benefits, but many people are surprised to learn they also provide pest protection. Spiders steer clear of decks and outdoor furniture when sprayed with a solution of peppermint oil, dish soap and water. Citrus and lavender oils are other effective deterrents.

Muscle Up Your Mulch
If ants, beetles, moths or termites are a problem, add cedar chips to your mulch. It’s perfectly safe for people, animals and birds, yet emits a toxic aroma for many insects. Additionally, spreading chopped citrus peels is particularly effective against mosquitos and roaches. You also may want to use one of the all natural tick and mosquito control products available on the market.

A Penny for Your Thoughts
It turns out those pennies you picked up off the street will come in handy at your next outdoor party. Place several pennies in a clear bag, fill it with water and then hang it in an area where it will catch sunlight. Flies will keep away due to the reflections cast.

Wasps Aren’t Welcome
If you’ve got fresh fruit or soda at your cookout, chances are you’ll also have wasps. These stingers may love sugar but they sure hate hornets. Stuff a brown lunch bag full of plastic bags, rags or cotton balls. Tie it at the top and hang it so it resembles a hornet’s nest. Wasps will stay away.

Don’t let bugs ruin your summer fun. Bite back with these four tips.

A Family Roadtrip for the Summer of 2019

School is officially out and six weeks of "doing nothing", as the daughter likes to call it, is in! But no, it will not be six long boring weeks because there will be things other than school stuff to do. Plus, this family will be going again on a roadtrip this summer, this time for the first time with our adorable french bully Suki. Yay!!!

It has been quite a while since our last roadtrip as a family and we sure could use a vacation for a number of reasons: 

1. We need to take a break and get our minds off work, hence this much deserved holiday.
2. Our "little girl" did very well at school and this milestone has to be celebrated with the family.
3. We didn't get to spend our summer with Suki last year since we flew back to the Philippines so we are spending this summer with her. She was still happy last year though because she spent it at Pino's Hundehotel with other dogs.

So where to this year? We initially wanted to drive through France and then Spain and back but because it would be too hot in Spain in the summer, we decided to drive to central Europe, where the summer weather will hopefully be milder and more friendly to our frenchie. Thank God for Google maps, I was able to map out our route that will take us through St. Michael in Lungau, Austria, Heviz and Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia,  and back to Germany.

Our route has been set and our dog-friendly accommodations have already been booked weeks ago. What is left is to research on what we will be doing in each country that are foremost "dog-friendly"and family friendly too. If you know of any dog-friendly destinations or activities in these areas, be sure to drop a word or two in the comment section below! It would surely be very helpful and is much appreciated!

I will be writing another entry in the coming days so be sure to drop by every now and then. Thanks!

How To Package Your Dangerous Goods

Whether you are starting a business or sending a present through the mail, it is important to know if anything you ship is considered dangerous and how you need to package it. There are relevant government and international agencies which have their own guidelines for how things are packed and shipped.

Packages and Testing
Anytime you want to sell a product, you will need to make sure that it is packaged correctly and that the package has competent authority approval. This means that it has been tested and approved by someone certified in that field. You can find competent authorities to approve your dangerous goods packaging by going online or contacting the relevant government agencies.

It is a good idea to make sure that you are using approved packaging materials and that they are durable enough for the bumps and bangs of transportation. The materials also need to be rated for the things that you are putting into them. For example, corrosives can eat through metal containers in a violent reaction that can cause injury to people and damage to transportation.

Laws and Regulations
The laws and regulations are different if you are shipping the packages by air than if you are transporting them by truck and can be different for local versus national or international shipments. It is a good idea to check with relevant governing bodies before talking to a package tester to make sure that you are getting the right kinds of approval. There also may be specific regulations involving part of a package but not another. For example, most batteries will need to be shipped separate from the items they go to.

Shipping and packaging your dangerous goods can be easier than you think. You will need to research the best materials for your packages and ensure that they are tested by a competent authority certified in that area. You will also need to know the relevant laws and regulations to know which shipping methods you will need to use.

What You Should Know When Sending The Balikbayan Box

If you are an expat like me, chances are high that you have at least once in your expat life sent gifts to all your loved ones packed in a box - the Balikbayan Box. They are called as such because Filipinos working abroad usually send these boxes ahead of their planned date of homecoming, hence the words "balik" (return) and "bayan" (country). The box would be filled with lots of items for loved ones as gifts for those missed milestones and occassions such as birthdays and anniversarries, for a job well done at school, for achieving something or just because.

Some also send these boxes back home when they finally decide to retire back to their home country for good. These boxes usually travel by sea because they are much cheaper than when you have them carried via air freight. 

But one cannot just put anything in the box. Before you go packing, here are some things that you need to know:

Declare the Contents of the Box Properly
Just like any other cargo, the contents must be declared properly and should not exceed the amount allowed by customs otherwise you would be charged accordingly. Goods are considered by customs as a commodity if the package contains 12 or more items of the same kind. If you declare your items properly, the German customs will have no reason to hold you package. If there are discrepancies, they would hold your package or the entire container. So it is better to declare each item than to be sorry.

No Prohibited Items!
There are also goods that are not allowed to be placed inside the box such as firearms and explosive weapons, hazardous materials, prohibited drugs, dismantled automobile parts, alcoholic beverages, used clothing of commercial quantity, meat and poultry products, and other prohibited materials. LBC has a comprehensive list of prohibited items that should not be placed in the box. You may also contact your local forwarder for support more information.

Pack and Label the Box Properly 
Your box must also be packed properly and should not bulge and can be sealed properly. A box that is too bulky as if it is about to explode might not be accepted for shipment since it would not fit properly into the container or the box itself would no longer be able to hold its contents and disintegrate. So pack your items carefully and well to avoid damages. Most cargo services offer insurance but it is only up to a maximum of €300,00 per box depending on the company. Properly label your box. Write down the name, address and recipient of the recipient properly. That way, your box will find its way to the correct destination and intended recipient.

So there... I hope I am able to help you pack your balikbayan box properly. Do you also use the balikbayan box for sending gifts to your loved ones back home? Which service are you using and why? Be sure to share them in the comments! 

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