q&a: home security, water filters, and ants (oh my!)

Occasionally, questions come my way and I  just KNOW the answer could help a larger audience. Recently, a listener wrote in with some of his latest housing woes. I’m sure many of you can sympathize!

Hi Tami,

I have been an on and off listener for an extended period of time.  I try to listen to your show whenever I don’t have to work on Saturday.

I recently returned from an overseas assignment and bought an old house in the Renton area.  I need your help on the followings:

  1. Security Surveillance.  I want to buy a set of Security cameras from Costco.  I need a reliable installer that will install those Cameras and doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for them.  I am thinking 8-12 cameras.
  2. House Water Filter.  I want to install a whole house water filter.  I need your recommendation on the filter system and Plumber to install it.  I saw one at Home Depot for around $200.  Like to get your thoughts.
  3. Ants.  I noticed ants were coming into one corner of the house.  I do not believe it was triggered by food.  I placed some ant trap for temporarily solution.  Anything I can do for long-term solution?



Dear Tim,

Welcome back from your travels and congratulations on your new home!

I have a retired Marine, Sal Dena, who can probably help you to find both the electrician for the camera installation and a good plumber for the water filtration system.  It should be stated that I have been informed by the Marine Corps that there is no such thing as a “retired Marine”, rather “Once a Marine always a Marine!”   If you ever meet him then you will understand why we all love Sal.

  1. Cameras: Yes, I like the Costco security cameras and Sal can probably help you find a good electrician to assist you at a reasonable price in order to have the cameras installed.
  2. Water filtration… Oy Vey! You should have a millennial read the data in this link (click here). It provides a good LONG read with regard to water filtration. FYI – the “Top Ten” rating blog has great info, yet I call it ‘Ambien for the DIY’er’.
  3. Ants:  My concern is that you may have carpenter ants.  There are over 1000 species of black Carpenter ants.  They can literally eat your home.  I would call in a professional pest control company if I were you.  If you have these ravenous vermin then you will be best advised to dispatch a lethal blow as these ants can cause catastrophic damage to your home. I recommend Cascade Pest Control.  I have used Cascade for close to ten years and they are experts at killing unwanted critters.  And if you are not yet enjoying your blissful new home ownership, think of the ants as a siren that you have water damage and possible rotting wood.


No need to stress as this is not the Battle for Thermopylae… no, this is just the biggest investment that most of us will ever make.

And always check with the state government on current license, bond and L&I coverage for any and all contractors (resource here).

I cannot guarantee the work of other contractors.

I am always here if you need further assistance.

Kind regards,

Tami Michaels

Comments are closed.

Instagram love @tamimichaels

Instagram love @tamimichaels