San Diego offers free rat inspections for homeowners

Signs of rat activity include:

  • stripped bark from plants and trees;
  • piles of cut snail shells under plants or piles of wood;
  • sounds in the attic, floor and walls;
  • rat droppings in garages, storage buildings or other sheltered areas;
  • rub marks caused by greasy rat fur;
  • damaged food containers;
  • signs of gnawing.

“The County’s Vector Control Program assists property owners with their rat control efforts by providing inspections and consultations. The County performs exterior inspections to educate property owners about structural weaknesses that may allow rats to enter structures. During these consultations, a rat control starter kit is provided to the property owner. These kits include an enclosed rat station, a rat snap trap, and an educational pamphlet with information for control measures focusing on exclusion and elimination.”

  • To request a free rat inspection: Call (858) 694-2888 or e-mail

Four myths busted about creating a sustainable home

contain house

It doesn’t need to be quirky

A sustainable home doesn’t need to be built from a shipping container or rammed earth.

It doesn’t need to be expensive

Andrew Reddaway, an energy analyst at sustainable advocacy firm Renew, says while adding sustainable elements to your home can vary in costs, there are cheap fixes that most people can implement.

“There’s the old saying – reduce, reuse, recycle – so you can do that without any upfront costs at all,” he said.

“Just reduce the amount of stuff that you’re buying, reduce the amount of energy and water that you use, recycling, composting – all of those things are great. And there’s a couple of other things like if you’ve got a reverse-cycle air conditioner, then you can use that for heating instead of gas. That’s a more efficient way to do it.”

You don’t need to make changes all at once

Not everybody has the funds or the ability to start building a sustainable home from the ground up. Adding sustainable elements to your home can be a gradual process.

“There are ways to stage your build so that you can incrementally implement sustainable solutions over time,” said Dicker.

“You can spread the cost over time so obviously insulation in the walls, that kind of needs to go in first, but the rain tanks and the solar panels, they can go later if your budget doesn’t allow it.”

Small adjustments make a big difference

“Sealing up little cracks and gaps around windows and doors – that’s very cost-effective [and] very easy to do as a do-it-yourself job. [You] can actually make a big difference when you don’t have those draughts coming through,” said Reddaway.

He also recommends replacing halogen down lights with LED ones, as a single one can accumulate as much energy as a fridge.

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Miramar – Save thousands with repurposed items for kitchen, baths, etc

bath 4


Refind Kitchens was launched in June 2016.  They find used showroom kitchen cabinets, sinks, counter-tops, bathroom vanities and many other home items.