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Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

Waspocalypse! How to protect your home against pests this summer

A very nice looking forecast for the Memorial Day weekend but some uninvited guests could disrupt your party or picnic as yellow jackets are already showing up in record numbers.

Experts say there are an unprecedented number of yellow jacket queens flying around this spring and they threaten to breed clouds of offspring. If you don't like having your barbecue buzzed it's time to start your battle against yellow jackets now.

The people who put out their yellow jacket traps early this year are seeing some disturbing results.

Queens are emerging in record numbers after fattening up during a long and mild fall.

"Well the large number of queens that we're seeing right now kind of really adds up to a perfect storm for hornets and yellow jackets this summer," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Products said.

Right now queens are looking for nesting spots. If they find a suitable throne in your yard, your trouble with yellow jackets will multiply.

"Each yellow jacket queen can represent 200 to 2000 yellow jackets later on this summer depending on the colony size," Alyssa Ando with Rescue Pest Products said.

Health District working to help you keep insects, rodents at bay

Health District working to help you keep insects, rodents at bay

Flowers are blooming, spring is in full swing, and that means the insects are coming out, but there are a few things you can do to keep those unwanted summer guests away from your home.

The Spokane Regional Health District has launched a campaign called "Bring It, Summer Pests!" and its goal is to give people tips on what they can do to keep insects and rodents away from their home.

Next week's forecast calls for sunny and 70s but with warmer weather comes unwanted insects. Steve Main with the health district has some ideas on how to keep them away.

First up? Mosquitoes.

"Any standing water you find in your property is perfect habitat for mosquito breeding, something as small as a child's toy or a gutter or even a tarp like this has enough standing water to breed mosquitoes," he said.

Main said you should drain anything outside your home that holds water, about twice a week.

As for rodents, he has some advice on how you can get rid of them.

Nonprofit builds Deer Park homes

Nonprofit builds Deer Park homes

Lin Hunt wanted a better life for her daughter and grandson. She feared for their safety and was sick of throwing money away into her rental.

"We could sit out on our porch and hear the car crashes the fights, the sirens, the gun shots every night," said Hunt.

Hunt never believed she would be a homeowner. Almost three years ago she was given the opportunity when Habitat for Humanity approved her application.

"They think that people are going to move in here free they don't move in here free, you have certain criteria you have to meet," said Hunt.

Each household is required to complete 500 hours of "sweat equity," or in other words volunteer work for the organization, before they are able to move in. Hunt and her daughter have completed their sweat equity and are now hoping their house will be finished by the summer.

"We would not have a house if we did not have volunteers everyone asks us when do you expect your home to be completed, we do not know that will depend totally on the volunteers," said Hunt.

Area greenhouses ready for business

Area greenhouses ready for business

Spring is finally here, which means it's just about time to get out and start growing, and Green's Greenhouse is one of many 'growing' businesses in the area ready to put your green thumb to good use out in the yard.

In 2012 owners Dan Dunn and Brian Green took a big risk and built a small greenhouse on their property hoping their business idea would grow. Well, a little patience, some good soil and about three years later Green's Greenhouse has blossomed into something that even they didn't expect. Now, they are just working to keep up

"The more word that gets out there the more customers we get and it just keeps growing," Dunn said.

When you're in Dan's business 'growing' is the name of the game. He and his partner Brian invested everything they had into their property out in Paradise Prairie between Spokane and Cheney. Brian's the true expert; his love for plants was discovered as a kid helping in his grandmother's garden. He went on to work in nurseries and couldn't get enough

"I just loved it and my passion just developed from there, I put myself through college and ended up in this, and couldn't be happier. It's fantastic," Green said.

Beware the swarm!

Beware the swarm!

Warmer temperatures next week are likely to wake up the area's first wave of yellow jackets, so here's what you need to know to help cut back their numbers before they invade your barbecue later this summer.

Right now it's only the queens that are coming out of hibernation and they're looking for a place to nest and start laying their eggs. If you can catch a queen with a trap now you can really cut back on the number of hornets you'll be battling in the warm weather ahead.

Late last summer a lot of us were at war with yellow jackets.

"They got up over the 90's and that allowed the yellow jacket nests to increase in size and then of course they got aggressive going after meat and food at your picnics," Stephanie Cates with Rescue Pest Control Products said.

As it turns out we could have cut down the number of these pesty party crashers if we had gone after the queen.

"They've been hibernating all winter, they're ready to emerge right now and start finding a new nest location," Cates said.

Save big bucks in online auction

Save big bucks in online auction

KXLY Radio is partnering with businesses across the Inland Northwest to bring you an online auction that you won't want to miss.  Here are just a few of the deals you'll find on the Bid on Spokane website.

  • A McCulloch 27" Snow Blower, retail value $799, with a starting bid of $180
  • A $100 Blush Beauty Bar gift certificate with a starting bid of $20
  • A Flexsteel Sofa, retail price $2,190, with a starting bid of $440.

There are more than 50 items to bid on, including furniture, sporting goods, and family entertainment.  You can see pictures, descriptions, and bid on the items on bidonespokane.com.  

The auction closes on March 31st, so take advantage while you can!

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

New home construction continuing to rise across Spokane County

Building permits in Spokane County are on the rise again after taking a big hit early in the recession, another sign the regional economy is slowly improving.

According to the Spokane Homebuilders Association, the area hit a low point in 2011 with only 664 permits issued for new home construction. That number climbed to 874 in 2012 and topped 1,100 last year.

From Kendall Yards to Liberty Lake, things seem to be looking up for Spokane County.

"Over the last couple of years there's been a really exciting time for this market let alone River District," Jeremy Nichols with Greenstone Corporation said.

Nichols handles River District developments in Liberty Lake and has experienced the housing market rollercoaster firsthand.

"Statistically over the last couple of years we have tripled our sales in the last two years. In 2011 we sold 17 homes, 2013 we handed off 48 keys to homeowners," he said.

This year alone they are going to build another 35 homes in the River District and hundreds more between Spokane and Kootenai County.

"We just plotted 225 more lots heading north towards the river," Nichols said.