Monday, August 22, 2016

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DIY Arizona Scorpion Pest Control

I moved to Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona area a couple years ago from the midwest and found a whole new group of creatures. The one that bothered my wife the most was scorpions. The day we moved into our house we found one lonely scorpion limping alone the baseboard in our living room. She freaked out a bit and I went to the internet to find a Do It Yourself (DIY) way to kill scorpions. Online I also found out that Arizona is home to the pretty nasty bark scorpions.

First we bought a LED UV flashlight so we could easily see them. We used it to find scorpions at night and figure out where they may hide or nest nearby. It also was a fun "hunting" exercise for our nephews. Thankfully we only found a few scorpions on our property and weren't infested.

LED UV Flashlight Ultraviolet Black Light Flashlight - Inexpensive aluminum LED UV flashlight from Amazon. Just remember to by the 3AAA batteries for it.

Backpack Sprayer Chapin 61800 4-Gallon ProSeries Backpack Sprayer - Great backpack sprayer that makes mixing and applying these chemicals easy. I use it for all my spraying chores around the yard. Any pump up sprayer would work also.

I did a lot of reading on the internet about how to what chemicals are recommended to kill scorpions. There seemed to be two types of chemicals that were effective. I decided to use both and alternate one every other month. To get around our 2700 sq ft house and 3 car garage, I need about 1.5 to 2 gallons of insecticide.
Demand CS for SCorpion Pest Control
CS Spray #1 Demand CS Scorpion Insecticide -8 oz (odd months of the year) ~$30

  • Mixed 1.5 gallons to 36 ml of Demand CS in the backpack sprayer
  • This spray dries invisible and works well on scorpions (and other bugs) for a period of time. I spray it in a 2 ft band around the foundation, around the walls of the garage, around windows and doors, also inside under appliances and under sinks and in some large stone landscaping where we saw a couple with the UV flashlight.


Cyper Wettable Powder for Scorpion Pest ControlWP Spray #2 Cyper WP (Wettable Powder) Scopion Insecticide -1 lb (even months of the year) ~$64
  • Mix up 2 gallons - 4 scoops of WP in the backpack sprayer
  • I use this residual insecticide mainly outside and it will leave a white residue on dark surfaces. Sometime this is nice to see how long it lasts and where it is sprayed. I spray it in a 2 ft band around the foundation, around the walls of the garage, around windows and doors and in some large stone landscaping where we saw a couple with the UV flashlight.
Since we have been doing this for almost 2 years we have not seen any more scorpions in the house. The couple that we saw outside have also gone to zero. Another nice plus is we don't see any other bugs around our pool and patio worth mentioning.

Summary:
It takes about 30 minutes once a month, and about $75 in chemicals a year to get DIY scorpion pest control at our house. I need to buy the 8 oz CS product once a year and a 1 lb container of the WP should last 2 years.The price really went up on Cyper WP, so next time I may use Cyper WSP (understanding is they are the same chemical makeup).

References:
http://www.desertusa.com/insects/scorpion.html - General scopion information article
http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/scorpions.htm - Good article on overview of pest control
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/cyper-wp-p-228.htm - Good information on Wetable Powders and how they work
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/demand-cs-p-46.html - Good information on Demand CS and how it works

Thursday, August 18, 2016

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Utility Schedule Options - Honeywell RTH9580WF Thermostat

It seems Honeywell added some new features with a recent update to the RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat firmware. One new feature is called Utility Schedule Options. I looked on their website and found no information on it, so I decided to put together this blog post and a Utility Schedule tutorial video.

The feature allows people to take advantage of special time of day pricing programs offered by Electric utility companies. I did this in the past by setting up my schedule, but essentially lost 2 programs steps setting it up. The new menu item is under "preferences" under main "menu" (Menu>Preferences>Utility Schedule Options>On).

Main menu for Honeywell RTH9580WF new utility schedule feature
Video tutorial of Utility Schedule option setup


The video walk though of RTH9580WF Utility Schedule options setup, I shot walks through the setup. It also gives an idea of the different options you can set (up to 4 different breaks and active on different days). The thermostats then uses the temperature limits you set on top of the regular programming steps. After setup the thermostat displays "Peak pricing" or "Non peak pricing" on the main display.


Peak pricing shows on main display
Peak pricing or Non Peak Pricing added to main display


Here in Arizona this was the perfect thermostat for SRP's EZ-3 Price Plan. This plan says that you will reduce electric consumption during a 3 hour window Monday through Friday. I believe a lot of other utility companies have similar "time of use" savings plans to encourage homeowners to reduce power usage during times of peak demand. In exchange you get lower electric rates. My savings are about $300 a year - and using this new feature of the Honeywell RTH9580WF was easy to setup.

The only disadvantage that I saw is this setup isn't vising in the mobile app or web interface right now. You need to set this up on the thermostat itself and can't modify it remotely. This may change with future updates.

If you ever have the pricing notifications showing up on the screen, just go and turn off the "Utility Schedule Options". Press Menu>Preferences>Utility Schedule Options>Off to get rid of the extra prompt, if you're not using it -or haven't set it up yet.

You can buy the thermostat at the link below from Amazon like I did. I do get a small affiliate fee if you use this link: