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5 Stocks in the S&P 500 ETF Still Up YTD – Nasdaq

Posted: March 19, 2020 at 12:42 am

As coronavirus fears deepened, the bull market has turned into a bear market in less than a month. This is especially true as the S&P 500 has been witnessing wild swings lately and is on track for its worst month since October 2008. The benchmark has tumbled 14.4% so far this month, and 21.7% so far this year. Notably, it is down 25.5% from its peak reached on Feb 19 (read: Has Wall Street's March Madness Peaked? ETFs to Tap).

In an effort to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the White House and Federal Reserve unveiled massive stimulus measures. Trump administration has proposed an emergency stimulus package of $1 trillion, which includes direct payments to Americans, loans and help for small businesses. The move came after the Fed announced a surprise rate cut to near zero last weekend and will buy at least $500 billion in Treasury securities and at least $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities in the coming months to help ease a growing liquidity problem in financial markets.The slew of stimulus measures failed to revive investors confidence in the economy and the stock market. According to S&P Global and a number of analysts, the coronavirus outbreak has plunged the world economy into a recession. Notably, Morgan Stanley predicts the global economy to slip into a recession triggered by the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) with growth dipping to 0.9% year-on-year in 2020, which will be deeper than 2001 (read: Short Small-Cap ETFs as U.S. May Face Technical Recession).

Amid the sluggish backdrop, the proxy version of the S&P 500 Index, SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) has tumbled 21.5% so far this year. Lets take a closer look at the fundamentals of SPY:

Inside the SPY

The ETF holds 505 stocks in its basket with each security holding not more than 5.3%. This suggests a nice balance across each security and prevents heavy concentration. The fund is widely spread across sectors with information technology, healthcare, financials and communication services being the top four, with double-digit allocation each. It has AUM of $264.5 billion and charges 9 bps in fees per year from investors. The product trades in heavy volume of around 87.4 million shares a day on average, ensuring higher liquidity with a tight bid/ask spread, leading to lower trading costs for investors (see: all the large Cap Blend ETFs here).

SPY has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a Medium risk outlook. Though most stocks in the funds portfolio are in red from the year-to-date look, there are a few that are standing tall in the ongoing market turmoil. Below, we have highlighted five of them that are in green so far this year and has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold):

Best-Performing Stocks of SPY

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. REGN: The biopharmaceutical company is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of treatments targeting serious medical conditions. It has gained 17.4% so far this year and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 18.3%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of todays Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Clorox Company CLX: It is engaged in the production, marketing and sale of consumer products in the United Sates and international markets. The stock climbed 13.8% in the same time frame and saw positive earnings estimate revision of 4 cents in a month for fiscal year (ending June 2020). The Clorox has a Zacks Rank #3.

Rollins Inc. ROL: This Zacks #3 Ranked company provides pest and termite control services to residential and commercial customers. It has added 7.8% so far this year and has an estimated earnings growth rate of 8.2% for this year (read: Beat Virus With 2 Sector ETFs & Stocks That Survived 2008 Crisis).

The Kroger Co. KR: This company operates in the thin-margin grocery industry, rising 7.3% in year to date. Having a Zacks Rank #3, it has an estimated earnings growth rate of 6.8% for the fiscal year ending January 2021.

SBA Communications Corporation SBAC: This Zacks Rank #3 is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in the North, Central and South America. It has an estimated earnings growth rate of 10.8% for this year and is up 6.5% so far this year.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Global Termite Treatment Chemical Products Market Estimated to Expand at a Robust CAGR by 2028 – TheLoop21

Posted: March 17, 2020 at 1:49 pm

2020Edition:TAKING A DEEP APPROACH TO 2020

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North America& including Countries

Asia-Pacific & including Countries

Europe & including Countries

South America & including Countries

The Middle East and Africa

The Leading Companies in the Coating Binders market included in the report are as given below (evaluated on the basis of Revenue, Price, Gross Margin, Product offerings, etc.):

Bifen I/T, Essentria, Talstar, Martins, Bayer BioAdvanced, BASF, Ortho, Terro, Spectracide, Taurus SC, Zap-A-Roach, etc.

On the basis of product, the study gives the production capacity, gross revenue, cost analysis, the Coating Binders market share and CAGR for each type categorized as:

Arsenic TrioxideBifenthrinPermethrinFipronilImidaclopridOthers

On the basis of the applications, the Coating Binders market report involves the significant applications of the sector by examining the current market scenario, industry overview, and rate of consumption to give the Coating Binders market share and CAGR for each application, including:

HouseholdCommercialOthers

Furthermore, the Termite Treatment Chemical Products report is designed with qualitative, quantitative and SWOT analysis of the Termite Treatment Chemical Products market. The research gives an estimation of market forecast and market segmentation in keeping with regions such as Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. In addition, the report emphasizes the full-size PEST analysis and overall market dynamics for 2020-2028. SWOT and PESTEL are the crucial gear required to examine any market movements. The study comprises fundamental findings as well as suggestions highlights and widespread market tendencies within the Termite Treatment Chemical Products market, thus enabling industry players to layout efficient techniques to gain market sales. Likewise, the Global Termite Treatment Chemical Products Market research also covers an entire analysis of the geographical regions and the worldwide market.

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1. Key Trends andtechnological innovations

2. Contribution of a real believer in Termite Treatment Chemical Productsmarket performance

3. Performance, Scheduling, Distribution, and provider requirements

4. Industry and pricing issues

5. Geographic constraints

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7. Presence of Government within the Termite Treatment Chemical Productsmarket

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Contractor Scams To Avoid | Typical Contractor Scams

Posted: at 1:46 pm

Well, he seemed legit is what many homeowners end up saying after realizing theyre out the $1,500 they handed over for materials and stuck with a job barely done.

While most contractors are honest, hardworking professionals, a few bad apples can spoil it for everyone. Here are five ways to identify if a contractor could be scamming you, and how to protect yourself:

This is the most common ruse reported to the Better Business Bureau. Your contractor explains that because he has to order materials and rent earthmoving equipment to get the job started, he needs, say, 30%-50% of the project price up front. Once youve forked over the dough, one of two things happens: He disappears on you, or he starts doing slapdash work knowing that you cant really fire him because hes sitting on thousands of your dollars.

How to protect yourself: Never prepay more than $1,000 or 10% of the job total, whichever is less. Thats the legal maximum in some states, and enough to establish that youre a serious customer so the contractor can work you into his schedule the only valid purpose of an advance payment. As to the materials and backhoe rentals, if hes a professional in good standing, his suppliers will provide them on credit.

Sometimes it just doesnt work out. Heres how to say goodbye when youre unhappy.

A bleach solution or rubbing alcohol is your best bet for keeping your home sanitized.

There are no dumb questions to ask a real estate agent.

When you first meet with the contractor, hes very agreeable about doing everything exactly to your specifications and even suggests his own extra touches and upgrades. Some of the details dont make it into the contract agreement, but you figure it doesnt matter because you had such a clear verbal understanding.

Pretty soon, you notice that the extras youd discussed arent being built. When you confront the contractor, he tells you that he didnt include those features in his price, so youll have to live without them or pony up additional money to redo the work.

How to protect yourself: Unfortunately, you have few if any legal options against your contractor because you signed a contract that didnt include all the details. Next time, make sure everything youve agreed on is written into the project description. Add any items that are missing, put your initials next to each addition, and have the contractor initial it, too all before you sign.

Youre legally required to get a building permit for any significant construction project. That allows building officials to visit the site periodically to confirm that the work meets safety codes.

On small interior jobs, an unlicensed contractor may try to skirt the rule by telling you that authorities wont notice. On large jobs that cant be hidden, the contractor may try another strategy and ask you to apply for a homeowners permit, an option available to do-it-yourselfers.

But taking out your own permit for a contractor job means lying to authorities about whos doing the work. And it makes you responsible for monitoring all the inspections since the contractor doesnt answer to the inspector, you do.

How to protect yourself: Always demand that the contractor get a building permit. Yes, it informs the local tax assessor about your upgrade, but it weeds out unlicensed contractors and gives you the added protection of an independent assessment of the work.

The job is already under way, perhaps even complete, when this one hits. Suddenly your contractor informs you that the agreed-upon price has skyrocketed. He blames the discovery of structural problems, like a missing beam or termite damage, or design changes that you made after the job began.

The additional fees might very well be legit, but some unscrupulous contractors bid jobs low to get the work and then find excuses to jack up the price later. If youre unsure whether your contractor is telling the truth about structural problems, you can get an impartial opinion from a home inspector, the local branch of the National Association of Home Builders, or even your local building department.

How to protect yourself: Before signing the contract, make sure it includes a procedure for change orders mini-contracts containing a work description and a fixed price for anything that gets added to the job in progress. The extra work, whether its related to unforeseen building issues or homeowner whims, can proceed only after the change order is signed by both homeowner and contractor.

This hoax is usually run by driveway paving companies, whose materials hot-top asphalt and concrete cant be returned to the supplier. So the crew pulls up to your house with a load of leftover product and quotes a great price to resurface your driveway on the spot.

Even if its really a bargain (by no means a sure thing), taking them up on the offer is risky if you have no idea who they are and havent checked references. And if the driveway starts cracking next year, you can bet you wont find this bunch again.

How to protect yourself: Never hire a contractor on the spot, whether its a driveway paver, an emergency repairman who shows up after a major storm, or a landscaper with surplus plantings. Take your time to check contractors out to make sure they have a good reputation and do quality work.

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Polymer Products: Colorants, Additives & Formulations

Posted: at 1:46 pm

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A river runs through it: Tracing the Dahisar’s meandering and dwindling path – Firstpost

Posted: March 16, 2020 at 4:50 am

THE SEMINAR ON Mumbais rivers flows erratically. Aslam Saiyads tone is conversational, but under the influence of the microphone and within an auditorium built for high school exaltations, his voice is comprehensible only to the attentive. While his presentation skills might be questionable, Aslams content most certainly isnt.

I will tell you five stories about Mumbais rivers. This is the first one, he says, as the projector pauses on a young Shabana Azmi, in a song from the 1977 film Swami. (The song begins before the video does, and plays out with this comical lag.) Conspicuous in the backdrop are a Portuguese-style bridge, quaint and European; a shimmering water body clear and unsullied by plastic; and the bizarre choreography of the time. That is the Dahisar river, Aslam says, and that Lonavala-Khandala type place is Dahisar [sic]. The bridge was built by Portuguese settlers. It was 400 years old.

***

That 400-year-old bridge the only one of its kind within city limits was demolished in 2007.

They spent Rs 35 lakh to break it. Modern bridges collapse for free, Aslam chuckles, when we meet the next morning, at the entrance of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Aslam moves horizontally past the gate, beyond a concrete parking lot that has room for a skateboard park but at the moment, has all of three old men doing pranayama. This is new, just a few years old Aslam says, indicating the floor on which we walk, leading to the grey wall were heading towards. He doesnt need to be asked to tell you what it used to be: The Dahisar river bed.

As we climb and look over the grey wall, the river bears an awful resemblance to a sewage line: Such a simple thing to do. Wall the sides and you forget that its a river. How can you feel for something which you can't see?

***

Within 20 metres of this place, beyond the walls of the SGNP, the Dahisar river flows crystal clear, under the boughs of Casuarina and Gulmohar trees. The glades are illuminated by shafts of white light, and deer roam here, chewing on tufts of dusty grass, unaffected by romancing couples seeking privacy. Within a hundred steps, vibrant life gives way to concrete inertness. A river becomes septic.

Aslam has a safa feta tied around his head at all times, like a tourniquet that keeps riverine truths securely fastened. With a friend, Fahim, he has started a photography studio. While he struggles with the constraints and woes of a middle class existence, he crusades for the citys rivers, at a pace that is best described by the name of the sole (barely) money-generating venture he has built around the rivers Hallu Hallu. Thats how hed have the world walk, if he could: When you walk slowly, you see more. How can you feel for something you can't see?

***

Outside SGNPs Nature Information Centre is a weathered, 3D scale rendering of the National Park. It inadvertently does a fine job of conveying just how ancient the hills of Borivali and Kanheri are. On these hills grow the 87 sq km of jungle land, nourished by rains that still serve a prehistoric pact the city has forfeit.

The average annual rainfall of over 3,000 mm in these parts exceeds the citys average by at least 500 mm. On 26 July 2005 the day Mumbai came to a standstill because of monsoon floods Colaba saw 74 mm of rainfall. The Vihar Lake, inside SGNP, received 1,045 mm.

This model is so good, that during the monsoons, the Tulsi and the Vihar fill up and flow out from here, just like the Dahisar, Poisar, Mithi and Oshiwara rivers. Youll see the Tasso [Mumbais fifth river, which flows into Vihar Lake] as well, Aslam says, indicating the various points on the mural.

The Vihar and Tulsi lakes were both built by the British between 1860 and 1897 to furnish the water needs of the newly transformed city of Bombay. And thus, the complicated relationship between the city, the sea and the river began.

History is an omnipresent and invisible companion in these parts. Like the dust that Aslam wipes off a plaque to lets passersby know they are walking next to the Dahisar river. This is new, he tells us. The plaque has a sacred relevance to him: a long-due acknowledgement that a river runs through here.

Under the winter sun, the Dahisar runs dry then pools in small pockets again, nourished by little streams that unspool with little secrets from the wilderness nearby. The biggest and flattest of the boulders wear shiny medals of bright coloured clothes, kept out to dry. A snake drops by for a sip of the water.

The pool we sit at has few fish. Aslam explains: [The locals] drop reetha (a soapnut) into the water. The fish feed on it, and it makes them high. This makes it easy for locals to catch the fish. They only do this when the pool is drying out, and shallowwhen the fish would die in any case.

***

We reach a pada, a village with no name, that has drifted over time to the periphery of the woods.

Here we find Anandi Bai who we first heard of during Aslams presentation seated ramrod straight, outside her house, in the sun. She complains to Aslam in a frail-but-endearing-grandmother-whine about receiving an electricity bill of Rs 1,000, for the single tubelight and the television set in her home. Her posture conveys a certain ease natural to those who live in a world where chairs arent needed, her eyes hold wisdom and softness. She is, according to Aslam, at the end of a very long life.

The interior of Anandi Bais house is spotlessly clean a lifetime condensed into a neat corner of belongings; a few pots and pans; a flashy golden purse for special occasions. Three steps into her home, and the reason for her inclusion in Aslams seminar becomes clear: Behind a wall, one half of her house shelters a cluster of termite hills (enough for it to be called a termite range). They build around life, Aslam says. When she goes and this village is relocated by the SRA, we all know what will happen.

***

The Dahisar river sheltered the pada and the pada sheltered all kinds of life in and around it. A baby hare popped onto our path and turned back, quite sure it had taken a wrong turn two streets ago. Ducks and cats and pups and goats all made their presence known, by sight, sound, smell or a visitors errant step into their excrement.

A freshly felled toddy palm next to the river bank sends us tailing after those who fled with the bounty: a pair of kids with faux hawks and coloured hair, fastidiously at work cleaving the toddy palms shoot. Its white stalk they separated into perfectly rectangular slides that they reluctantly let Aslam sample. It tastes a lot like a coconut. Its sheaves formed a simple curtain of intersections; this they plan to cook into a curry. Aslam slides his hand over the faux hawk of one of the boys, and says: They cut and colour each others hair. They don't visit salons.

The river and her children are slowly becoming more distinguishable from each other.

***

Aslam enquires about a friend in a Warli pada. The answer places him near Mithi river. For the tribals, every river that flows next to them is a Mithi river. The water is sweet. Its mithi. So Mithi river, he explains.

Rivers wounded by decades of chemical and organic damage were abused even further during the era of the cotton mills. And then came plastic. Over the past few years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has set up several sewage treatment plants across the rivers. Unauthorised settlements have been demolished to widen the river bed. Fines are levied on cattle sheds. Several hundred tons of filth have been dredged up from the river. Citizen-led initiatives have seeded activated charcoal and vetiver grass to neutralise industrial pollutants. But Aslam is unimpressed.

The basics are still being ignored. Sewage channels and storm water drains are still intertwined entities. They put up a grey wall and say flooding is solved, now we will solve pollution But they dont realise that by putting up these walls they are making it easier for the river to be polluted.

Seasonal floods continue to cripple Mumbai a stroke caused by blocked veins. And this is the citys heart, Aslam says, indicating the farmlands that grew into the woods all around. There is hope yet, for on the trees, Aslam points to a vine that curls like a thick wooden ribbon: This is the entada. If its around, its a sign that the forest is still healthy, he says.

In a city built around the sea, it took a cruel monsoon in which the Mithi overflowed for Mumbai to realise that the river even existed, Aslam says. There, beside the Dahisar, he remarks of the audience at the previous days seminar: I spoke for an hour about rivers. And the question they asked had nothing to do with it.

The question Aslan refers to came at the end of his seminar when hed opened the floor for questions. A boy asked him about the evils of the coastal road. The answer Aslam gave seemed to be drawn from the same generic article that the by used to source his question. It was the only question Aslam was asked before the seminar ended, and everyone rushed to the toilets.

All images courtesy Kunal Kampani

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Time bomb: Father pleads for action on termite-riddle trees – Coolum & North Shore News

Posted: at 4:45 am

A COOLUM man says a termite-infested tree outside his property is a ticking time bomb, after a neighbouring tree in the same condition snapped and nearly crushed his daughter's car.

After noticing termite trails leading into his property two years ago, John Duggan's infestation fears were confirmed by an arborist who said the three trees on the council verge were riddled with the insects.

Despite stressing his concerns with the council, offering to provide an inspection report and having council arborists inspect the trees, Mr Duggon said little was done to fix the problem.

"Two years ago, they ignored what I said, and two years later the tree has cracked and fallen and damaged property," he said.

"It's a risk that they were aware of and had been made aware of and they did nothing about."

Mr Duggon said his daughter's car was scratched and dinted by the tree, but it could have been much worse.

"You've got to be unlucky for a tree to fall on you but, we had a party that day for my son and we had about 15 people come over a couple hours prior to that tree falling," he said.

"So, we are lucky in a sense that it fell when it did."

After returning home from holidays in January 2019 Mr Duggon and his family were surprised to see the council had lopped one of the three trees and left the remaining two standing.

"To the naked eye you could tell, these things were dying off, they had next to no leaves and they were slanting over, I don't know why the council arborist came out and said they were all good," he said.

"When they took the first one, they really should have taken all three and that's just logic They need to put their listening ears on."

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said one of the trees was cut down as per the council's arborist recommendations and another inspection will be done to determine the most appropriate action for the last remaining tree.

"The amount of work carried out was determined based on a risk assessment of the trees at the time," they said.

"Council receives an average of 150 requests for tree maintenance each week.

"These requests are assessed and scheduled based on their individual risk rating.

"If at any time customers feel the situation has changed or increased in risk, they are encouraged to contact council to arrange for an arborist to reassess the request."

Mr Duggon said if nothing was done to remove the trees and the infested stump the termites could invade homes.

"The concern is that the third one will fall as well and also they have left the trunk hanging out from the one they lopped and they really need to poison it and take it out," he said.

"Eventually they will run out of food and will move into your house or they might move into the next-door neighbour's house.

"It's on their land, you are not allowed to touch trees without their approval, but they don't really care."

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Is It Still Safe to Be a Jew in America? – The Atlantic

Posted: March 15, 2020 at 1:48 pm

Pessimism runs deep in the Jewish psyche, with, tragically, good cause. Anti-Semitism goes back to the very beginnings of Jews as a people. Since biblical days, Jews have been seen as the other, outsiders, victims of conspiracy theories and myths that have no rational source. The pages of Jewish history are bloodstained from countless persecutions and pogroms. Jews have been accused of being too wealthy and too poor, too powerful and too weak, communists and financiers.

Anti-Semitism drove Jews to the New World, and it followed them there. In 1654, Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of the colony of New Amsterdam, sought to expel Jews as deceitful, very repugnant, and hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ. The Brandeis University historian Jonathan Sarna points out that Stuyvesant also railed against the Lutherans and the papists, noting that in America, the fate of Jews and the fate of other persecuted minority groups were, from the very beginning, entwined.

Even as Jews gained greater acceptance in American society, anti-Semitism persisted. During the Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant moved to expel Jews, as a class, from the war zone he commanded. Leo Frank, an innocent man, was accused of murdering a 13-year-old girl in Atlanta in 1913. Two years later, when his death sentence was commuted, he was taken from jail by an angry mob and lynched.

In the 1920s, Henry Ford wrote a series of articles in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, accusing Jews of being part of a worldwide conspiracy based on an anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In the 1930s, Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a Detroit-based precursor to todays talk-radio shock jocks, drew up to 30 million listeners to his weekly program, on which he spewed pro-Hitler and anti-Semitic vitriol, until the show was canceled in 1939.

During World War II, an estimated half million American Jews served in the armed forces, and many encountered anti-Semitic verbal attacks from fellow soldiers questioning their loyalty to the U.S. After the war, anti-Semitism was often more subtle but still present, with quotas on Jews in universities still in practice, and Jews restricted from many neighborhoods and professions.

In recent years, as overt anti-Semitism has declined, criticism of Israels policies from the left has often morphed from anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism from the right has been more direct, and violent; both of the men charged with the fatal synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway claimed that Jews are a threat to the white race.

Jews are contending with a growing effort on university campuses to demonize Israel as a racist, illegitimate state, and thus define Jewish students who support Israel as untouchable. As a result, such students are frequently excluded from liberal groups that support causes such as Black Lives Matter, gay rights, and combatting climate change. To distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and racism, the Soviet refusenik turned Israeli politician Natan Sharansky applies the three Ds: delegitimization, demonization, and subjecting Israel to a double standard. Among many on the left, Israel, once admired for boxing far above its weight in a chaotic region, is viewed now as a pariah state.

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Is It Still Safe to Be a Jew in America? - The Atlantic

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Keep Your House Termite-Free Without Using Toxins – Austin Monthly

Posted: March 13, 2020 at 7:46 pm

The Texas sun is currently teasing Central Texans with the familiar taste of spring temperatures doused with cold snaps. As we begin to welcome the warmer weather and longer days of sunlight, local bugs are currently planning to emerge again to enjoy the warmer weather with us.

If youre like our family, being cooped indoors during the cold and rainy seasons means our outdoor play areas have been neglected. So, its very possible that your familys winter hibernation has created an inviting environment for pests, like termites, to nest among your home.

The scary truth is that termites thrive in our warm climatemeaning the Texas heat is extra inviting to these damaging pests.

A few signs termites might be your home:

Subterranean termites are the most active group of termites in the United States, and also the most destructive. They eat non-stop. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. For this reason, termite infestation quickly jumps from a small problem to a serious one that can lead to major damage in a relatively short period of time.

The damage termites can cause can cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, so its important to maintain regular monitoring, and be proactive in preventing them.

An inspection from Chem-free Organic Pest & Lawn will help you detect termite problems before major damages (and major costs) occur. Their team of professionals will also pinpoint quick chemical-free adjustments that can be made to prevent your home from becoming appealing to these pests, and tailor a prevention plan specifically for your family, home, and yard.

If termites do find their way into your home, they wont go away on their own. They will feed for years and years if they are allowed to. So, in the event that your specialist determines that treatment is necessary, Chem-free will utilize a low impact, IPM-based treatment plan. They will provide the most effective, long-lasting pest controls possible, all while minimizing the impact to the health and well-being of your family and the natural environment.

Contact Chem-free Organic to begin your protection plan against termite damage.

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Warm months ‘dramatically increase’ bug population in Southeast Texas, expert explains how to fight back – 12newsnow.com KBMT-KJAC

Posted: at 7:46 pm

BEAUMONT, Texas If you are a warmer weather fan, you probably enjoyed this winter.

Mother nature may have failed you in another way.

It happened in the form of a bug boom!

Spring is right around the corner, and temperatures are rising. Flowers are blooming.

Barry Bryant with Bill Clark Pest Control. He says Southeast Texas

"As the warmer weather heats up the population of pests dramatically increase," Bryant said. "We have all the right conditions for pests to thrive and survive right here in Southeast Texas."

He says our area isn't a stranger to bugs of all kinds, including cockroaches.

A warmer winter means an earlier start to the bug season.

With the rain we had during the winter, mosquitoes and fire ants are coming out in full force.

"During the warmer months and more rainfall, mosquitoes reproduce a lot faster," Bryant said.

He says when it starts to heat up, the calls for service almost triple.

"4 to 5 to 600 calls a day is normal," Bryant said.

While there are hundreds of bugs in our area, Bryant says wasps, ants and termites can cause the biggest problem for homes and businesses if they go untreated.

"You know if you go without treating termites, they can do some destructive damage to a structure," Bryant said. "If you go without treating fire ants that have built up against the side of a house, they can get inside of a structure. If you go without treating wasps on a structure their nest can get larges and population get heavier."

MORE |DIY:How to get rid of ants inside & outside

There is no foolproof plan to keep the bugs at bay, but there are some things you can do to help lower your chances of an insect infestations.

Make sure doors, windows and the perimeter of your home are sealed.

"The longer you go without treating pests the more that there are," Bryant said.

Bryant says if you see something, do something.

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Warm months 'dramatically increase' bug population in Southeast Texas, expert explains how to fight back - 12newsnow.com KBMT-KJAC

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Easy to build, and durable – The Hindu

Posted: at 7:46 pm

In a fast changing world where immediate gratification is the rule of the day, it is not surprising that housing too is viewed with similar timelines.

The construction industry, keen to satisfy this emerging market, is coming up with various options, with wood becoming an increasingly preferred choice especially in the context of the eco-friendly tag it comes with.

In the recent India Wood exhibition held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), WoodBarn India showcased cottages at the Canadian Wood stall. The combination of spruce, pine and fir revealed the use of tongue-and-groove technique in construction.

While the combination of these three varieties were opted for due to their inherent strength and dimensional stability, the interiors hosted other species such as western hemlock for the furniture, and yellow cedar for the door and door frames. Yellow cedar is a high quality substitute for the UPVC windows which keep out noise, dust and water.

Small and attractive

According to Sanjay Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, WoodBarn India, these wood structures can be put up in straight 12 hours. Earlier the time required was 36 hours to have the cottage fully constructed but our tie-up with Lameco LHT Oy has reduced this to 12 hours, enabling us to bring in more energy efficiency.

In short, a typical self-sufficient wood cottage can be put up in a day, from dawn to dusk and would be up and running for use the same night. A point to note here, the wood used here is plantation wood, making it totally sustainable, working towards reducing the carbon footprint with its absorption and storage of carbon dioxide. Besides, when the structure is dismantled, the wood can either be recycled or it goes back to earth seamlessly, making it a perfect eco-friendly choice.

Given its increased thermal performance, a wood-frame construction results in lower heating and cooling costs compared to conventional structures. Besides coming in compact, well-managed spaces, the structure offers greater flexibility to alter the spaces, add in balconies, alcoves, walls or other features with relative ease. This is so in installing electrical and mechanical services too. Contrary to the myth that wood-framed structures are less durable, history shows many wood buildings having lasted over a hundred years.

Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, FII India (Canadian Wood), points that apart from the hospitality industry which is increasingly looking at using wood as building material for its resorts, there is also increased usage of wood in the residential category for villas, country homes, and farmhouses as a lifestyle statement.

Canadian Wood is playing a significant role in offering technical support for building with wood using tongue-and-groove method, post & beam method besides the hybrid structures that use both wood and local bricks and stones.

This is besides the traditional use of wood in interiors, in cladding, doors, windows, pergolas, gazebos, he states.

Research shows that wood products use least amount of energy to manufacture, leaving the least impact on the quality of air and water, resulting in minimum carbon footprint.

The plantation wood which is sourced for the construction, also aids in absorbing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, storing this absorbed carbon dioxide for centuries. In North America, it is estimated that a typical wood frame house stores 29 tonnes of carbon dioxide which is typically the amount emitted by a family car running for five years.

The structures built by WoodBarn, with technical know-how from Lameco LHT Oy, are also designed to be fire-, earthquake- and termite resistant apart from being sound insulated.

The kiln dried and heat treated wood has moisture content of only 15-18 per cent, making it resistant to weathering. The base floor woods are ACQ treated to ensure the structure remains resistant to termites and other insects.

These versatile, adaptable, easy to assemble and dismantle structures are also cost efficient, contrary to expected concerns.

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