Archive for September 28, 2016

Are You Bonkers To Have Tried Conkers?

When I was little, the only thing we did with Horse Chestnuts or Conkers was tie a string through them and then proceed to bash them to bits against your best mates Conker in the school playground hopefully without taking a painful whack on the knuckles in the process.


Funny thing was, my nan always had a ready supply of conkers, I always thought it was because she knew I needed them (I was going to smash Jez Swinglers ‘Niner’ this year!). I did not realise till I was grown up, the reason why she always had a steady supply of conkers on hand, it turns out that she was an arachnophobe and had been using the conkers to scare away the spiders from the house.


Now, being an arachnophobe myself, this time of year is sheer misery, early autumn is when they all seem to migrate to my house and I spend the next few weeks jumping at every imagined corner of the eye movement, jumping out of bed at 3am and stripping the duvet off the bed because something itched on my leg, carefully checking shoes before putting them on because god forbid anything moved while my foot was in it. Spiders are the bane of my existence and you are never more than 6ft away from the nearest one apparently so if there is anything that can keep them away from me, so much the better.

Being a nearly rational person, I decided to do some investigation into whether my old nan was right or simply mixing her pills. After an exhaustive search involving banks of supercomputers, NASA, Google and my mate Geoff who knows everything about everything, I found that while there is no scientific proof or explanation why Conkers repel spiders, an awful lot of people swear that they do.

Just take a look at Ebay at this time of year, there are lots of listings for conkers, why would you pay for them?, they literally grow on trees! mind you, if the closest you can get to a tree is seeing one on television or the kids have already had all the conkers from your local area, then the sellers may be your only option.

Now personally, I prefer the old fashioned way of dealing with those eight legged interlopers but as I am told that a rolled up newspaper or the vacuum cleaner is not sporting, I am forced to rely on other methods to rid myself of spiders. Fortunately, there are many companies that help us arachnophobes out and produce chemical repellents and other more high tech methods involving ultrasound and electromagnetism.

Doff, who are a leading pest control manufacturer have produced The Ultrasonic Spider Repeller. A wonderful contraption that plugs into your mains and emits ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves that spiders cannot tolerate, it also works on rats and mice too.

If you are looking for a more low tech answer, then Doff have also produced Spider Glue Traps. Works like fly paper but you can put it on the floor, the spider crawls inside the trap thinking it is a dark little corner where it can lay in wait and gets stuck to the glue covered sides of the trap, also works on ants and other crawling pests.

If you prefer the idea of just stopping them from entering the home, then No More Spiders will be the answer, just spray the repellent on the door and window frames and the spiders are repulsed and can’t get in. A word to the wise, make sure there are no spiders in the house BEFORE you spray, otherwise they can’t leave and you will be stuck inside with them.

If like me, you just want to get them gone and really don’t care for the casualty rate, then Doff Spider and Crawling Insect Killer is your weapon of choice. Spray the surfaces where you have seen them and wait. Not long before you will be sweeping away dead spiders and other creepy crawlies like woodlice and ants.

Our full range of Spider Repellents can be found here and as always you can click the green links above to go to the product pages directly.

As I said earlier, there is no scientific proof that conkers work as a spider repellent yet people say they do, who is right? Until the end of October, we are going to give you a bag of 10 conkers with every spider repellent product you purchase from our range so you can see for yourself if conkers actually work and I owe my old nan an apology.

New Product From HG Hagesan – Well We Say New But!!

It’s actually an existing product with a new label and name.

Every now and again, a manufacturer will just up and rebrand a product, sometimes to revitalise interest in a slow moving product, other times because they have changed the ingredients or the formula and other times to keep the marketing department from getting bored on a Wednesday afternoon.

Change is a good thing right? it can be. Sometimes it just clicks with the target audience and other times it falls a bit flat (new coke anyone?), who remembers Marathon bars or Treets? they were very successful yet were rebranded by their manufacturers and became even more successful, Snickers and M&M’s are what they are known as now.

As an online retailer, having a manufacturer change a product can be problematic, unlike a supermarket where all you have to do is change a label on a shelf or put up a new poster or banner to show the change, We have to change all the images showing that product, all the pages where that product may appear all have to be updated, the information text may need to be re-written and on some platforms that is not an easy thing to do *cough amazon cough*.

Allow me to present, what used to be called “Bin Fresh”, is now called “Against Bin Smell” (click the link to purchase)


So what has changed? The old Bin Fresh was a Trigger Spray product and the NEW Against Bin Smell is a powder which absorbs the bad smells rather than the previous spray which just masked them.

Don’t Be A Damp Squib This Winter.

Late September, the days are noticeably cooler and the nights are pulling in rapidly and many of you (myself included) have probably reached for the central heating already to check all is well before the weather turns more inclement and to avoid any costly emergency call outs at -5°C.

While you are “testing” the central heating, it is also a good time to closely inspect the walls for signs of damp and to check the exterior damp course is clear of soil and visible. The most destructive type of damp happens when the damp course on the house has been covered allowing moisture to permeate from the outside and effectively rot the brickwork from the inside out. During the warmer periods when the heating is off, the action that draws the moisture into the brickwork is reduced, but come winter and the heating is on full blast, the temperature and humidity disparity can make the brickwork act like a sponge and suck up large amounts of water.

Weathering can also contribute to damp problems, rain on the exterior brickwork driven by wind can also force its way inside the brick and that can happen at any point on the walls surface not just at ground level. If you find that this is happening then you will need to waterproof the brickwork.

Damp proofing can be costly, the average cost to damp proof is around £2500 and that may or may not include labour charges and it is also very messy and may require you to vacate your home while the work is being carried out as the interior plaster may need to be removed to allow access to the interior brickwork.

Fortunately there are less expensive options if you feel up to tackling the job yourself.

The Wykamol Group produce quality damp treatments used by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. For well over 70 years the Wykamol name has been synonymous as the market leader in the field of property renovation and repair. CLICK HERE to visit their website where you can find extensive information to help you combat damp.

If you just want to give your exterior walls a basic water repellency that allows the surfaces to “breathe” We recommend Wykamol Enviroseal Water Repellent. Based on a solvent free silicone/ siloxane emulsion for use above ground on porous brickwork, cement renderings, asbestos, cement/mineral boards, unglazed tiles, cast concrete, roughcast, stonework (including calcareous materials, i.e. those containing limestone), wood, canvas and leather. Surfaces treated with Enviroseal remain permeable to vapour so that moisture within the structure does not remain trapped.

For a more complete seal against moisture, we recommend Wykamol Dry Seal Waterproofing Cream. Dryseal has been formulated to penetrate as deeply as possible into porous masonry substrates and this provides optimal protection against the absorption of water and pollutants as well as frost/salt damage. To show how effective Dryseal is at preventing moisture from penetrating brickwork, here is a video showing it in action.


If it appears that the damp is being caused by moisture breaching the damp course or you find that your damp course has failed over the years then you will need to renew it eventually but in the short term then you can not better Wykamol’s Ultracure Damp Proof Kit. Containing everything you need to provide a safe new chemical damp proof course. Requires no specialist equipment and quick DPC injection.
Non-hazardous active ingredients migrate through the bed joints to form an effective damp proof course. The video below shows how it works.

To view and purchase our range of Wykamol products CLICK HERE.

When it comes to damp in the home, prevention can be easier to deal with than cure and certainly less costly in the long run, so take the time now before the really cold and damp weather set in and maybe prevent any nasty surprises later.


*all videos have been used with permission. © retained to their respective owners.*

No Blogs For A Couple Of Weeks..

I am sorry to say there will be no blogs for the next 2 weeks.

I am taking well deserved vacation, the guv’nor wanted me to take the company laptop so I could still produce content for you all, but relented when I explained it is not waterproof and my other half will definitely throw it into the nearest lagoon.

So while I am sitting on a tropical beach being served drinks with little umbrellas in them, please feel free to peruse the archives and re-read some old favourites and I will return refreshed and full of vigor, or at least with a healthy tan.

mauritian beach

My chair is the one on the right. 🙂

Top Of The Shop – August

Welcome to our monthly countdown of the top 10 best sellers from the previous month. Well summer is officially over and today Sept 1st is the official first day of Autumn. Did the summer end with a bang or a whimper? let’s find out.

Cue *Led Zeppelin – A whole Lotta Love*

Our first new entry at N°10Pure Spa Whirlpool Bath Sanitiser Tablets.

Also new in at N°9Aristowax Wood Silk Lavender Wax Polish.

Another new entry at N°8No More Spiders Spider Repellent Spray.

New in at N°7Laundry Master Metallised Ironing Board Cover XS.

Also a new entry at N°6Windolene Original Cream.

A non mover at N°5Pure Spa Hot Tub Surface Cleaner.

Down 2 places to N°4Original Bar Keepers Friend Bundle Pack.

Also down 2 to N°3HG Hagesan Window Cleaner.


Another new entry at N°2 – Astonish Pro Multi Use Cleaning Paste.


Our new N°1 – Supafix Felt Guard Protector Pads Pack of 27


A new champ reigns supreme. What will Autumn hold? will it be all change again?. Find out next time.