Software & Hardware Reviews

Educational, Business and Entertainment Software Reviews

August 2015 . Vol. 21 No. 8

Recent Software Reviews from Software Exchange LLC

May 2015--Game of Drones: Laws, Legal Issues and What to Buy
April 2015--TurboTax® Personal & Small Business 2014 Federal & State Returns plus Federal E-File
March 2015--Vipre® Internet Security 2015 from ThreatTrack SecurityFebruary 2015--Presence: A Fee Free Home Security System with Video Monitoring from People Power
January 2015--The Incredible Foldscope(TM)--an Orgami-based Optical Microscope from Prakash Lab, Stanford University
December 2014---The Best Paranormal Apps for Your Apple or Android Device
November 2014--Royalty Free Stock Photos and Images from US Government Sources
October 2014--Best Free Streaming Music/Audio/Video Apps for iPhone and Android Devices
September 2014--Some of the Latest and Greatest iPad/iPhone/Android/iPod Touch Apps

BoreScope: A  mini camera on a cable for home inspection and much more

By Howard Berenbon LLC Member/Manager
Software Exchange LLC

Technology has come to my aid when I sadly discovered a carpenter ant infestation in the corner of our first floor master bedroom.  One half inch size ants had been occasionally marching through our bedroom, and I couldn’t guess where they were coming from. We’ve been seeing ants in our bathroom for about a year, but we didn’t discover the nest until August 2015.  Unfortunately, it was enough time for the ants to take permanent residence in the outside wall of our bedroom.  After discovering dozens of ants underneath fiberglass insulation in the corner of our basement ceiling, marching into a hole in the wall, that was likely their nest entrance, I had a bright idea.  I’d buy a miniature camera to insert into the hole and see if that was their nest.  Then I did a Google search on miniature cameras and found dozens on Amazon and eBay perfect for the job, and priced right—averaging from $10 to $20 with free shipping (on eBay).  Several companies, most from China, were selling 5 to 6 mm diameter USB cameras attached to 16 foot or longer cables, with 4 to 6 led lights for illumination.  I checked the feedback before choosing “max_buy” and then purchased their 5.5 mm HD 640x580 BoreScope (Endoscope) camera for just $14 with free shipping.
See photo below.


The camera arrived a few days later and I attached the USB cable to my laptop.  It included an installation diskette, but it wouldn’t load, so I e-mailed “max_buy” and they e-mailed me the installation program.  Fifteen minutes, or less, later, I had a working camera that I could push through the ant nest opening.  In fact, it was just the right size. Below is a photo the ceiling in my basement with a hole in the top corner where the ants were entering into the outside the wall.  I then inserted the camera into the opening, and it fit!   I watched the monitor for a minute, in shock, seeing ants moving inside the wall.  Then I activated the video record feature and recorded a short video.   It was like watching a science fiction horror film when the ants marched up to the camera and down the wall apparently entering their nest.  They looked like giant ants invading. For effect, I added the famous Wilhelm Scream used in over 200 movies since 1951.



I decided not to use an extermination service because they won’t come out just once, but require you to sign a year’s contract which can cost up to $1,000. I thought I’d try to rid the creatures on my one, first spraying boric acid powder into the nest entrance, one method that gradually kills ants after ingestion.   I also bought some ant bait traps and placed one near nest the entrance and more on the basement floor.  Unfortunately, they weren’t interested in eating the bait.   I also did a perimeter treatment of my house using ant poison granules and sealed all outside possible entry points to the bedroom.  On inspection, I found large gaps in my vinyl siding that probably allowed water to enter into the structure, which attracts carpenter ants.  I then caulked all the openings, and later found several ants trying to enter underneath the siding, but the caulking stop them.  I was on the road to success. I then sprayed boric acid powder into the nest one more time.  A few days after the second application, the ants entering and exciting reduced to just two.   I also found some outdoor nests and treated those directly with ant killer, and removed several rotted railroad ties used for landscaping.  Ants love rotted wood for their outside nests.  Only time will tell if my cleanup worked.  If not, I am ready to use the ant killer chemicals and bait again. HB

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