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Country/Rural Living

Country/Rural Living

Old Apr 6th 2014, 11:43 pm
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Default Country/Rural Living

Hello you lovely lot. Apologies for the long post. Is anyone on here living away from the city? I need some advice on being a country bumpkin, if possible...

We managed to blag moving into a very lovely area (Whitford) and have a teeny little cottage nestled within another property's land. My queries are as follows:

1. Water tanks. We have one of these and so don't pay water rates (hurrah!)... it sounds a bit strange perhaps but I'm finding the water smells a bit weird. When I wash my hands, I can smell it on my skin for a while after. It's not a chemical smell, just sort of like old water. That's been sitting for ages. And no matter how long I run the tap for (whilst trying to be mindful of our finite supply), it still smells a bit... funky. Is this normal?!

2. Bugs. OMG the fricking bugs... I'm trying to be all grown up about this but I seriously need shares in bug bombs etc. We bug bombed before we moved in and I have mozzie nets on the windows (I was eaten alive on my first night; very uncomfortable). Obviously need to be mindful that we have a natural water wastage thing; how do you keep things like white tipped spiders/ants/cockroaches out without damaging the environment?

3. Food storage. Also getting shared in tupperware as there may be rats in the attic and I've developed OCD about being clean and hiding food. Are rodents a massive issue out here? Is that also normal?!

Anywhoo, that's all for now. I'm currently alone in the new house because OH got sent to China for two weeks so he's not here to tell me all of this is normal; so you guys have become my surrogate "it's ok" clan... (or not, if it's not ok).
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Old Apr 6th 2014, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

We live what was rural but is becoming semi-rural.

Get a filter for your tank water or buy in your actual drinking water. Also check the tank water for.......things.

We have the house bug sprayed one a year/18 months. Doors and window sills etc. Does the trick for us.

Sometimes there is a bit of a mouse/rat explosion . All depends on what food is around. We don't have roof space as such so no probs there . We do have a cat. I've not had a problem with vermin at all nor roaches. You won't keep the weeny ants out if they've a mind to pay a visit.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 12:07 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Get a filter for your tank water or buy in your actual drinking water. Also check the tank water for.......things.
Thank you Bevs!
I've not been brave enough to check the tank yet as it involves a trip round the back of the house which needs chopping back a little (wild bush).
I'm also still drinking bottled water, despite what the neighbours have told me

I've laid out some humane rat traps too as I can hear scratching throughout the night (and sometimes in the day).
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Mozzies etc . Get a plug in repellant. That should help .
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 12:12 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
Mozzies etc . Get a plug in repellent. That should help .
Haha - I got called out as a Pommie for having so many bites on my legs!!

I like sitting outside... the mozzies also like that I like sitting outside! I've seen these lamps from OZ that claim to be amazing - UV and carbon dioxide emitting things.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Hi Helen

I would recommend getting the "bug guy" out to spray. We had the whole house done the first time, but since just have the exterior done. Keeps the creepy crawlies at bay.

Mozzies...not a big problem here, but sandflies are! Citronella candles and repellant, if they are inside, get a mozzie net for your bed, it will also make it look very exotic and tropical.

Water...even though we are on the town supply, we still filter it, taste great and good for peace of mind. I have heard all sorts of horror stories regarding what has been found in water tanks..............
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 12:37 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

I wouldn't touch tank water in a rental with a barge pole. We built in rural Hawkes Bay and had the tank water go through 2-stage filtration plus UV treatment before it reached the house. Then you need to maintain the filters and ideally, have gutter guards up, etc., if it is roof fed. Is it roof or spring-fed? If it's spring fed you may find that the 'funky' smell is totally harmless but it still needs a good filtration and UV system (filtration alone not enough). You can take a sample for testing for peace of mind or to force landlord to improve - ask your council where.
Don't drink it unless you are sure - you don't need to do much net research to realise rural domestic water supplies are a bit of a health issue in NZ.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Bourbon - thank you!

It is a roof-fed one as far as I'm aware as they've told me it's fed from rain water. I've also got a little filtered tap in my sink to 'drink' from. I might get the onsite dude to double check the tank for me (mainly coz I don't know how). He was the one who put in the filters too.

I'm now terrifying myself by 'googling' said issues... the house was empty for a while before we moved in and I'm scared I'm now going to find a dead thing in there...
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 1:08 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Also; mozzie bites *after* they'd been treated... (don't know if this will work)

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Old Apr 7th 2014, 1:11 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Originally Posted by Catchafire View Post
I would recommend getting the "bug guy" out to spray. We had the whole house done the first time, but since just have the exterior done. Keeps the creepy crawlies at bay.
This certainly works. But, interestingly, one of the places that sends out "the bug guy" on Auckland's North Shore - also sell the same chemicals that the professional uses - to the public. Their office is a little hard to find - it's in a '3 of 9 units' off Ellice Rd somewhere, but they will also offer advice and even little 'how-to' pamphlets along with your bottle of chemical purchase.

I discovered them when buying a little something to kill a wasps nest once - I think I bought the product off Trade Me even, but the pick-up offered was this company. As I was there I had a little browse of their wares and saw the bug spray product, and for around $30 had enough supply to spray inside and out three times.

Incidentally, the wasp-nest-powder I bought killed a whole wasps nest the size of a beach ball in three puffs. Strong stuff. And, the whole house bug spray is powerful stuff too. I wear a mask and goggles, but even so, you can feel it getting down your throat for a couple of hours afterwards, even with all the windows opened to air it. Blooming works though. I haven't used it since we got our cats though - not sure they would be too flash around it.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 1:23 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Thank you Bearskin! Hubby mentioned, just as he left for China, that he also thinks he spotted a wasps nest on our roof... (thanks for that, darling!). I shall go check your recommendation out
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 1:28 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

No worries - these are the people - Flybusters.
http://www.flybusters.co.nz/shop/DIY...DIY_Flies.html

DELTAFORCE is the whole house spray product - you'll need a basic sprayer (even just a mister bottle will do for inside). And the PERMEX dust is the wasp slaughterer.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 2:27 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

If your house is surrounded by native bush you'll find rats a pain. Rats will climb trees,leap onto your roof and start nesting in the house - especially with winter on its way. We keep all trees near our house well pruned to prevent this happening.
If you haven't encountered a possum yet please be warned that they will on occasion enter a house, we used to find them in our chimney. Possums can sound terrifying to the uninitiated. If you hear a rasping,cackling almost human sound outside your bedroom at night it's more than likely going to be one. Anyway I'd rather tackle a possum than a rat. I'd fork out the cash and get a pest control person over to assess your situation.

Last edited by Hokey-pokey; Apr 7th 2014 at 2:31 am.
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 3:01 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Hokey-Pokey (best flavour) - thank you!

The electrician has just been to fix the lights in the lounge and had to pull out the built in things in the ceiling... followed by a heap of poo. He had to also check the space in the roof to make sure no wires were chewed and lots of poo in the hatch there too. Mice/rat poo he said. And now the whole house smells like a rodent cage.

I've got rat poison down around the perimeters, foolishly bought one of those electronic high pitched thing (doesn't work) and had all the gutters cleared.

I went round the back of the house and there doesn't seem to be any overhanging trees etc but there are a lot of pipes from the water tank to the house (which I'm currently too short to climb up to open the hatch and look into).

I've been reading online that if you can hear them during the day, have grease marks in areas, can smell poo; it's a pretty bad sign.

Also, hubby told me via email that he didn't want to scare me but he found one when he looked in the hatch that had been eaten by other rats and was very badly decomposed. Nice.

....so I'll be calling out pest control for that one then without feeling too much like an over-sensitive fruit loop!
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Old Apr 7th 2014, 3:19 am
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Default Re: Country/Rural Living

Is it a rental? Cos honestly the landlord should be sorting this out for you.

Also if you're near a reserve let your district council know. They are supposed to do pest control around parks/public land, waterways etc.

I'd ask for the full works from your pest man. Spiders, wasps, rats - everything!
Good luck!!
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