Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How Did I Get All These Chigger Bites

How Did I Get All These Chigger BitesIf you live in chigger country you do not have to venture far to find the likes of chiggers. Asking where chigger bites come from is a pretty obvious question. From Chiggers of course.

However, it can go a bit further than just chiggers. As common as chiggers are and their ever present itch a lot of folks know very little about this little creature with the not so little itch. It seems even those who are long time dwellers in the land of chiggers make some pretty obvious mistakes or at least some oversights as to where and how they are getting chigger bites.

There are basically three areas of concern when it comes to getting chigger bites when you have not been out in the field where a body would obviously expect to get infected with chiggers and ticks. These are areas that are easy to over look or to just plain forget about until something happens to give you an ah-ha moment.

The following are what the author believes to be the major sources of chigger infestations in the home that can leave the home owners scratching their heads for weeks on end wondering where these pesky chiggers are coming from.

Chiggers like it where it is warm, moist and not too much sunlight. You can tell this from where you usually end up getting chigger bit. Chiggers like old rotting and decaying organic piles as it is naturally warm and moist and not much sunlight.

Do you have stacks of old wood or leaves or where grass or shrubs have growing up around the house? That would be are they laying against it and growing on it. If so there is a better than even chance chiggers are living there and migrating into the house. Remove everything up against the house that can be chigger haven and keep it away.

Do you have Pets that live in the house or are let in the house frequently after being outdoors and allowed to play where chiggers can be found. If so they can and most likely are guilty of carrying chiggers into the house where they drop off onto the carpet or get brushed off onto furniture. And just as importantly, if you are petting them and hugging them after they have been out and about, you are guilty of transference and could be carrying chiggers into the house your own self, even if the Pets never go into the house.

You use an insect repellent on your pet to keep chiggers off them. Also brush and comb them before letting them back indoors. Best bet is to keep them outside for the chigger season. However, care should be taken of the pet because they can get chiggers worse the people do and suffer miserably.

How much precaution to you take when you get back into your car or get home after having been out in chigger country? Yup, you guessed it. If you do not brush yourself off before getting to the car you will be leaving the little devils right there in your seat where they anxiously await your return.

What do you do with your clothes when you get home? What do you do when you get home? Where do you sit? What are you habits when you return? If you are not taking the proper precautions when you get home you are inviting these unwanted guests to stay with you for a long time.

How do you wash your exposed clothing? If you do not wash and care them correctly you could be storing them in your sock drawer for months on end. You could get chigger bites all winter long.

So how do you wash and care for your field clothes?

It best to get rid of them where chiggers will do the least damage. Do not sit down in your favorite chair or on the bed to undress. The laundry room is a great idea. Wash your clothes in HOT water with a dab of bleach. Dry on HIGH heat or hang to dry in the sun away from any place chiggers can access the clothes. This is one of the best ways to get rid of chiggers ever.

Do you have house plants? If you have an infested house your house plants be a host for these intruders. If you have house plants move them out doors and spray them with a dish soap and water solution and do so for three weeks to all the life cycles of the chigger is exhausted before taking them back inside.

All of these are innocent but obvious way chiggers could be finding their way into your life and causing you a great deal distress and discomfort. So you if you find your self scratching until you bleed and then scratching some more, you may consider chiggers have made your home their home and will until you make some life style changes and do some house cleaning so you can get rid of those chiggers.

Monday, December 3, 2018

How Can I Have Fleas But No Pets In My House

How Can I Have Fleas But No Pets In My HouseYou can ask yourself 4 questions, that may help you figure out, how you can have fleas but no Pets in your house?

Having fleas in your home when you don't have Pets is really not that uncommon. Some questions you can ask yourself to try and figure out where the fleas came from are:

1. Do your neighbours have Pets that are commonly seen outside?

2. Is it your first summer in a new home with carpeting left from the previous owners?

3. Are there a lot of dry dirt patches in your back yard?

4. Do you have sandy areas in your yard?

If you can answer any of these questions with a, "yes", then you have the answer to your question. Let me explain why these questions being answered yes, would give you fleas in your house, even though you don't have Pets.

Lets look at the questions again and find your answer to your flea dilemma:

Q 1: If your neighbours have Pets and you often see them outside, especially if you've seen them in your yard, it's very possible that they are the flea carriers. If the Pets have fleas then they would have flea eggs dropping off of them.

When the weathers warm and the flea egg hatches it's going to look for a source of food. Fleas eat blood so if you happen to be walking by, your going to be the source of the food.

You also could have brought the flea eggs in your home from outside on your shoes, clothes or skin. Flea eggs are the size of a grain of salt, you never would have even noticed it!

Q 2: If you just bought your home within the past year and this is the first time the weather has gotten warmer, your first summer for instance, then the flea eggs were most likely laying dormant for the winter because they didn't have a host.

When a flea egg senses a host is near, they will hatch and feed, you will be the host if there aren't any animals for the flea. Within 24 hours after feeding, the flea will lay approximately 50 eggs.

The eggs can hide in your carpet, furniture even your bedding. Anywhere a grain of salt could go undetected, a flea egg can do the same. The adult flea will lay approximately 5000 eggs in her lifetime, of 3-4 months.

Q3 & Q4: If you have dirt or sandy patches in your back yard, the flea is very well known for being found in these types of areas. Have you ever heard of the "sand flea", they have their name because they are commonly found in sandy, dirt patches.

Again, the fleas would be getting into your home probably by you or anyone who lives in your home. People are very good at being the taxi driver for the fleas and all of the flea life stages.

If none of these scenarios could be possible for you and you still can't figure out why the fleas are in your house when you don't have Pets, it's possible that someone brought them to your house while visiting you. Or you could have brought them back from someone else's home.

You will need to kill the fleas in your home immediately. Fleas reproduce at an incredible rate and if the problem is ignored you're going to end up with a major flea infestation. The fleas only need blood to survive, they will feed off of humans if a canine host isn't available.

Don't wait until the problem gets out of control, rid your home of fleas immediately!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Home Office Alternatives for Freelancers

Home Office Alternatives for FreelancersFreelancing provides all kinds of exciting opportunities. When youre your own boss and you make your own rules, nothing can beat the freedom you feel in your career. The only problem with freelancing is that you need to work from somewhere. Working from home sounds great until you feel your walls start to close in on you. If you dont get out of there once in a while, youre going to lose your mind. Rather than confining yourself to your home office, experiment a little bit. Getting out is good for your sanity.

Travel while you work remotely

This option is the most expensive, but it allows you to scratch some things off your bucket list. One of the greatest advantages of freelancing is that you can do it from anywhere. If youve ever wanted to travel, you dont need to take an unpaid vacation. Bring your work with you. Live like a local in a foreign country, or even explore parts of your own country that youve never been to. Not many people have the ability to collect an income as they travel. If you do, youd be a fool not to take advantage of it.

Share space with a startup

How much networking do you accomplish when youre trapped in a room by yourself? Many startups, small businesses, or collectives of freelancers share office spaces. Youll be able to rent it out for a fraction of what youd pay for your own office, and youll be around other people. If you can find people in the same industry that you are (or at least a similar one), this can easily turn into a career building experience thats advantageous for everyone involved.

Get a small space of your own

Have you ever considered doing the obvious and renting your own office space? Yes, it costs money, but it may be worth it if youre dying to get out of your house and you miss the experience of getting up and dressed for work every day. If youre working by yourself and you prefer to stay that way, you wont need a ton of room. Theres no reason to rent out an entire building, but you may be able to find one room in a combined office space for a relatively low price on a site like Gumtree.

Work from the pub

This is a strange choice, but youd be surprised how well it works. If youre stressed out with a current project, you can always take your work for a well-deserved night out. Order something small to munch on and enjoy a pint or two while you work. Drinking on the job is okay when you dont have someone else to report to. As long as you know your limits and you dont get too wobbly, you may find it eases your stress levels a little while youre ironing out the tedious details of a complicated job. Just make sure you review your work after the pints have worked their way out of your system.

Theres always coffee shops

Its a little bit of a clich, but thats because it works. Freelancers love coffee shops. Enjoying a pastry and your favorite latte makes work a little more enjoyable, and you arent stuck by yourself. Theres always light, ambient noise and people coming in and out. Its a great cure for the isolation blues, and youll be able to reward yourself with small pick-me-ups as you complete each portion of your work assignment.

Dont forget to do more than just work when youre out of the house. It can be hard to tell when you deserve a vacation or a day off when theres no boss to award you with one. Getting out of the house while you work can help you enjoy your life while simultaneously being productive. Nothing beats that balance.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Feathered Friends Are Welcomed

Feathered Friends Are WelcomedA brown speckled wren wiggles its way in and out of the screened suet feeder. Every now and then he flies over to the deck railing, shakes his head to remove the fat from his rather long beak and then makes his way back to the suet. Overlooking this wren, are twenty-eight mourning doves perched in a nearby leafless maple tree. There are many daily visitors feeding at the other couple of feeders. These visitors include, gold and purple finches in their winter colors, pine siskins, colorful male and female cardinals, tufted titmouse, black eyed juncos, house sparrows, chickadees, downy woodpecker, blue jays, red bellied woodpecker, and many other types. Most of these birds spend the year here to include winter, nesting and perching in nearby foliage. The foliage provides protection from harsh weather and predators, while the bird feeders provide a source of food, especially during extremely cold temperatures when food sources are limited.

Across the United States there are over 65 million households providing food for wild birds. Is this a good thing? As with most topics, there are always two sides to the conversation. Bird feeders can attract predators, both wild and domesticated. Certainly, hawks or other predatory birds can be drawn to gatherings of song birds. There is a hawk that frequently is spotted around this area of Webster Lake in Massachusetts. He has perched on our deck and feeders occasionally. Other than seeing him, the way we know he is around is everything is quiet and the other birds disappear. Eventually he takes off and seeks dinner elsewhere. Once gone, the birds return. They seem to have an instinct to seek cover when a predator is in the area. The best cover for birds is surrounding vegetation. We can provide protection by planting flowers, scrubs, and trees in the vicinity. These plantings serve multiple purposes for the birds in that they provide food, protection, and a place to nest.

Certain types of birds travel and live in flocks. As with humans, most diseases are spread amongst birds when they are near each other. Various types of finches are known to congregate in large numbers at feeders. In this situation, diseases can be easily spread. The way to reduce this possibility is to keep some distance between feeders. Also, clean the feeders and surroundings on a regular basis. Discard wet and old food. These simple actions will help reduce the risk of spreading disease among your feathered friends.

There are some basic rules to follow for those of us that love to feed our birds. Larger feeders are better than smaller ones. This ensures the birds have a consistent supply of food. Multiple feeders are another solution. Our friends do need to stock up on calories to make it through those long cold winter nights. Nutritious and high energy seeds and suet are great. Suet is considered high energy because it consists of high calorie fat. Same as us, eating fat means more calories. In the case of birds, they burn it off trying to stay warm. Water is critical. Birds still need access to water in the winter and often it is hard to find due to the freezing temperatures. The more water you can provide, the better to keep your visitors from becoming dehydrated.

A lesson learned is that not everyone loves birds as some of us do. I was sitting on our deck one warm spring morning, enjoying the chorus of song birds in the surrounding trees. A visitor of ours commented on how it was never quiet. I understood the point, but my preference is to listen to those beautiful songs. One of my favorite singers is the Baltimore oriole when he drops in for a visit. Last year, they were around for several weeks. Other occasional visitors include blue herons, rose breasted grosbeaks, cow birds, flickers, blue birds, mallards, and others. All of them are welcome in our yard, whether they are here for a quick bite or staying for the long haul.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Family Should Stick Together

Family Should Stick TogetherIt seems times are getting harder and harder. The rich keep getting richer, and the poor well they stay the same or get poorer. More and more families are having to come together and help each other out. Your family should always be the first ones you can depend on. They should never judge you, and should help out in any way they can.

Well really who am I kidding, for most people family is your worst enemy. This is very sad to me. It really amazes me how people brought up in the same home by the same two people can turn out so different. What makes someone turn on their own family? Sometimes it may be jealousy for one reason or another. I am the kind of person that I don't worry about what others have.

I do think to myself sometimes it makes no sense to have things you can't keep up or know how to work. Sometimes people just buy things to say look at what I got. People tell me I am very lucky to be an only child and to not have the worry of having brothers or sisters, well I did not feel that way until recently. I am glad I have a small family, less people to worry about and less people to worry about you.

In a family I feel like everyone should be given the same opportunities. But sometimes this does not happen. You may have had to help your family when you were old enough or even at a young age. This does not mean anyone owes you anything. Not your parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, or anyone else in your family. What you do for your family should make you feel good about yourself. There are so many things you may do that no one shows appreciation for. But you know you should appreciate yourself.

Your own self worth should come from you, not family, friends, spouse or anyone else. I know people who have abandoned their family and people who have been abandoned by their family. It is very hard to cut ties with family because they should be the ones you can always depend on. But it happens and no matter what your situation is have faith in yourself and know you can make it whether they are behind you or not. Your affirmation of self should come from you and no one else.

A family is a very important bond between people and should never be taken for granted. You should always be there for each other no matter what happens. There will be times when you don't always like each other but you should never stop loving and supporting each other. You can surround yourself with tons of people but no one can replace your family. Family should always stick together because they may be the only ones on your side when you need someone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Engineered Hardwood Floors

Everything You Need to Know About Engineered Hardwood FloorsEngineered hardwood is an improvement of natural hardwood. The features are enhanced through laminate construction. This refers to the use of several layers of wood planks that are glued together and treated under extreme pressure and heat. This results in tiles that are stronger than what you would get with natural wood. These planks are also rigid and light in weight. 

Typical engineered hardwood comes in three layers, with the core being a high-density fiberboard. At the bottom is hardwood that is expertly treated to make it moisture resistant. A veneer top layer is also included, made of real hardwood to give your floor the classic wooden feel. This is the layer that allows sanding or refinishing once or twice whenever your floor wears out. This process allows you to re-engineer the floor and renew its appearance. 

Variety of styles and textures

Like natural wood, engineered hardwood comes in a variety of designs and styles. The colors and finishes depending on the wood species, with manufacturers offering incredible choices to their clients. There are incredible domestic choices that include oak, maple, cherry, and walnut, among others that are unique and therefore less common. There are other options that are used to spice your floor by giving it an exotic feel. They include acacia, sapele, and tigerwood, among others. 

Pre-finishing using polyurethane-UV is common for most hardwoods. You may also get woods that are finished with aluminum oxide, which gives the surface a longer lifespan and makes it tougher. However, this kind of finishing may bring a problem in future when you need to renew the floor. Not many technicians can handle the aluminum oxide coating during refinishing. A contractor who does not understand this finishing will damage the floor during renewal. 

Installation of Engineered Hardwood

Engineered wood can be installed using either nails or glue. This is similar to what you get with natural wood. These installation procedures are facilitated by the design of edges and end such that they snap together, eliminating the need for nailing. You require a foam cushion underlayment over which you snap your tiles in place using the DIY guide that is usually provided. Engineered wood can be installed on practically all floor types, except thick carpets. With an easy DIY installation procedure, you will save a lot in labor costs without compromising on the quality of your floor.

According to some manufacturers, the engineered hardwood tiles can be installed in areas with high moisture because they are resistant. However, the engineering does not achieve 100% moisture resistance. This means that the planks will succumb to water when installed in areas with high moisture content like the bathroom or kitchen. The label of moisture resistant is not a reason to do a poor quality drying job below the surface. The sub-surface must be dried completely and protected from water coming from underground or any other seasonal flooding. Small amounts of water over time will lead to complete damage.

Maintenance of Engineered Hardwood Floors

The integrity, as well as natural appearance of engineered hardwood floor, is preserved through ordinary maintenance procedures. There are steps recommended by manufacturers and experts that will keep your floor looking divine. Proper care and maintenance will also prolong the life of your floor. Here are maintenance tips to consider in order to maintain an impressive floor that delivers long-term value for money. 

Keep a mat at the door

This is a common practice for floors whose surface can be scratched by stone pebbles and debris. The mat collects the debris from shoes and feet, ensuring that it does not end up on the surface. Stones and other coarse materials will scratch the surface, causing damage and leaving it coarse. This means that your two refinishing procedures will be carried out too soon, reducing the lifespan of your floor. 

Vacuum the floor twice in a week

Sweep and vacuum the floor twice or three times in a week. However, this will depend on the nature of activities taking place on your floor. Vacuuming is aimed at removing the dirt and grit that may have settled on the surface. Allowing it to remain leaves the floor open to scratches as people walk on it and other activities take place. 

Wipe Spills immediately

Spills should be wiped immediately. Engineered hardwood is highly resistant to staining. However, some stains are stubborn and will damage your floor when left to linger for too long. When stains are old, their removal is difficult, raising the possibility of damaging the floor in an attempt to remove it. 

Mop the surface with a soft-dump rag

Mop the surface with a soft-dump rag regularly. Use recommended mild floor cleaning substances alongside soap and water. Ascertain that the substances are labeled for use on hardwood flooring. Ensure that the mop does not leave wet spots or fluff on the surface. 

Monitor the activities of children and Pets

Monitor the activities of children and Pets on your floor. They are the most likely parties that can damage the floor by scratching. Keep the nails of Pets well trimmed. Children should not be allowed to play with rough or sharp-edged toys on the floor. 

Though caution should be exercised when keeping your floor clean, it should not be a cause for worry. Maintenance is almost similar to vinyl because of engineering finish. It is the quality of maintenance that will determine the ultimate appearance of your floor. 

Ensure that all measures are taken to keep scratches and pebbles that may damage the surface away from your floor. This will help preserve its integrity and give it a longer lifespan. It will also ensure that you get excellent value for money.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Enjoy Your Pets Without the Allergy Symptoms

Enjoy Your Pets Without the Allergy SymptomsWe love our Pets. Unfortunately, they can sometimes make our allergy symptoms flare. To live comfortably with your companions, try these six ways to reduce or even eliminate allergy symptoms at home.

Change Your Filters More Often

Most homeowners need to change their HVAC filters once every three months. If you own Pets, you'll need to do this every two months. People who have allergies or asthma need to change out the filters every three to six weeks. For allergy sufferers, it's also important to schedule regular duct cleaning to have a specialist clear out all the dust and dander that has collected in your HVAC system.

Invest in an Air Purifier

Your HVAC filters will catch some pet dander, and you can even upgrade to filters designed to capture more dust mites, dander, pollen, and allergy triggers. Regardless of the filter quality, however, some asthma-triggering particles will pass through.

Invest in a purification system to capture these remaining particles and keep them out of your lungs. You can even find an air purifier with removable, cleanable filters so you don't have to worry about frequent replacements.

Bathe Your Pets

Image via Flickr by cristinabe

Whether you have cats or dogs, regular baths will help remove odors and minimize the buildup of dander. Try to bathe your Pets every one to three months. More frequent bathing may be needed depending on your animals' skin, whether they have allergies, and whether they're prone to producing bad smells. You can use shampoos made just for dogs and cats (or whatever animals you share your home with) or wash them using baby shampoo.

Brush and Groom Your Pets

Between baths, groom your Pets outdoors. This will remove loose fur and dander and keep those harmful particles from ever entering your home. You may be tempted to take your fur babies to a professional groomer, but you can handle this task at home. Purchase a quality brush, and gently brush down and out away from the pet's skin. If you have a companion with thick fur, you can apply a coat conditioner to help work through mats.

Assign "pet free" Spaces in the Home

Allergen levels can be lessened in "without pet" rooms. Sensitivity sufferers might need to keep Pets out of rooms, home workplaces, or different regions where they invest a great deal of energy. They may likewise need to train Pets not to go on the furniture and put resources into hypoallergenic bedding, which has an obstruction that opposes allergens, for example, dander, dust, residue, and shape. Putting resources into a decent air purifier with a HEPA channel will likewise help lessen airborne allergens.

Frequently Deep Clean Your Home

Changing HVAC filters isn't the only chore you'll need to do more often than the average homeowner. Sweep, vacuum, and dust more often, and depending on the severity of your asthma and sensitivity to allergy triggers, deep cleaning as frequently as once per week. Target curtains, drapes, and bed sheets in particular. These fabrics are known for retaining pet dander and are easy to ignore during regular daily cleaning.

Buy the Right Furniture and Dcor

If you have severe allergies but are committed to having Pets around anyway, you can make your life much easier with the right home dcor. Hardwood is much better than carpet for pet owners, and you should go with leather or another fabric with a tight weave when picking furniture. These materials are easier to clean and won't retain dander like chenille and tweed.

Even if you have allergy symptoms, you can live comfortably with Pets. Use these natural, drug-free solutions for cleaning your companions and keeping your home free of dander.