Archive for February, 2011
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
A recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) revealed that bed bugs are alive and well in the U.S. The study revealed that one in five Americans has either had an infestation themselves or known someone who has.
In order to deal with the growing numbers of bed bug infestations, the association has issued a guide for industry professionals and consumers working to eradicate these blood-sucking pests.
"Bed bugs are extremely difficult to control, let alone eradicate, which is why it's so important that we share these Best Management Practices," said NPMA's Missy Henriksen.
The guidelines contain information on detection, disposal of personal items and furniture as well as methods of controlling the bugs.
While there are several ways to rid homes and businesses of bed bugs – including using chemical pesticides and heat – many say a two-part bed bug treatment method consisting of a silicon dioxide powder and an oil-based pyrethrin spray can be effective.
Bed Bug Killer powder can be applied around the mattress or directly on it. When the bugs encounter it, they dry up and die.
Following the powder treatment up with a Bed Bug Spray can help combat re-emerging problems. It can be applied on mattresses and other places bed bugs hide, such as on wall-ceiling joints and baseboards, as well as behind and underneath furniture, cushions and furnishings.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
While many people view the recent increase in bed bug infestations as a problem predominantly in low-income or unsanitary environments, experts say that's not the case.
"You could go to a flop house or a five-star hotel and find bed bugs in there," entomologist and pest control specialist Jim Dill told the Kennebec Journal.
Dill says the recent "explosion" of bed bugs in the U.S. is due in part to increased international travel. These blood-sucking nocturnal pests come into people's homes on their luggage or clothing and can be extremely difficult and costly to get rid of.
"You think you can be invincible or immune, but everyone is vulnerable," Maine resident Neil Fogg told the news provider. The bugs left him and his girlfriend with red, itchy bite marks that took weeks to heal after a trip to Europe.
U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist Rich Hansen suspects his home was infested after staying in a hotel, although he can't pinpoint when or where.
"[We] travel and stay in hotels, so that's our suspicion, that we picked them up," he told the news source.
Experts say travelers should be vigilant to avoid the pests. Inspecting hotel rooms and reporting any signs of the bugs is important, as is washing and drying clothes with high heat when you arrive home.
Using a Bed Bug Mattress Cover on all beds in your home may also be helpful in keeping these pests away, as they provide total lock-tight protection against bed bugs.
Using a bed bug treatment, consisting of a powder and a spray to kill the bugs, is also believed to be effective.
Monday, February 21st, 2011
According to CNN.com, bed bug infestations in North America have increased between 100 and 500 percent in recent years.
Pest control experts say that infestations have been reported in homes, hotels, schools, hospitals, movie theaters, offices, college dorms and ambulances, leading them to employ a variety of methods to get rid of these blood-sucking bugs.
Some experts have resorted to "baking" the bugs, CNN reports. British pest controller Mark Astley tells the news provider that he uses heat to eradicate them, keeping infested homes at 134 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours. Other experts use chemical pesticides.
While many people turn to experts to eradicate these pests, hiring a professional to take care of a bed bug problem can be pricey. Some estimates range as high as $5,000.
Individuals can save money and still ensure success by using the same bed bug treatment techniques used by professionals.
Bed Bug Killer is a powder made from silicon dioxide that can be applied around the mattress or directly on it. When the bugs encounter it, they dry up and die.
Experts also recommend following this treatment up with a Bed Bug Spray, which is an oil-based pyrethrin product that helps get rid of the pests.
The spray helps combat re-emerging problems and can be sprayed directly on mattresses, wall-ceiling joints and baseboards, as well as behind and underneath furniture, cushions and furnishings.
Friday, February 18th, 2011
Whether you're inside or outside, stringing brown wire light sets around the venue can set your party apart from the rest.
This inexpensive lighting method can enhance any type of gathering – from small, intimate get-togethers to loud, crowded and raucous affairs.
Brown wire light sets are ideal for use on any brown-colored surface, as the wires won't stand out. Common outdoor places for the lights include tree limbs and trunks as well as on decks, railings, sheds or other brown structures. Indoors, these lights are ideal for use on mantels, moldings, curtain rods or above doorways.
While light sets can easily be secured by wrapping them around structures or other items, individuals hanging these lights are encouraged to use plastic hooks rather than nails or staples to secure them to other surfaces.
"Metal nails and staples can puncture the wires," John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), told Real Simple magazine.
Experts from the magazine point out that outdoor light sets can stay outside for up to three months, but should be stored indoors when not in use.
Brown wire light sets are available in sets of 20, 50 and 100 lights per strand.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
You don't need to have a reason to throw a party! One popular theme that easily lends itself to any type of celebration is dessert.
Throwing a dessert party is a fun way to get your friends together to enjoy some quality time and delicious treats.
Since the theme of the party is dessert, make sure you have a lot of different varieties of sweets and treats to satisfy everyone's tastes.
Baking your own cakes, cookies and bars can be time-consuming, so consider getting a little help by buying some items from your favorite local bakery or asking friends to bring a platter of their favorite after-dinner item to share with the crowd.
Make sure to have drinks to complement your sweet menu as well. Milk is a necessity, but dessert cocktails like chocolate martinis may also be appreciated.
Displaying items on doilies or on tiered platters can help make the presentation pop.
According to Real Simple magazine, the atmosphere can be enhanced by using paper cupcake liners and white wire lights to decorate.
Simply poke a hole through the center of each liner and string the lights through. These can be placed around the house, around the edge of the display table or on a mantle.
White wire light sets are available in sets of 10, 20, 35, 50, 70, 100 and 150 lights per strand.
They are approved for both indoor and outdoor use.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
If the season's frigid temperatures have resulted in high energy bills, it's not too late to make some changes. Taking steps to winterize your home can have an immediate impact on your energy costs.
Real Simple magazine offers tips for saving money on these money-saving measures.
Perform a do-it-yourself energy audit to find air leaks by using a thermal leak detector product and then seal drafty spots. This is one maneuver that can save homeowners hundreds of dollars they would have spent on hiring a professional.
Installing a whistle on your furnace that alerts you when it's time to change the air filter can also help ensure the efficiency of your system.
The magazine also suggests saving money by opting for a weatherproofing kit rather than individual products.
Turning your heat down and supplementing with a portable infrared heater such as the iHeater or the Sunheater is also a cost-efficient way to survive the winter cold.
The iHeater is a quartz infrared heater that uses infrared technology to heat up to 1,500 square feet. Infrared heat does not dry out the air, and it heats rooms evenly from floor to ceiling.
These units are available in black and wood grain and can cut heating bills by 50 percent in a safe, ultra quiet and energy-efficient manner.
Sunheat heaters feature replaceable high-end components to extend the life of the product.
These infrared space heaters can heat between 800 and 1,000 square feet and are available in four different colors including black, mahogany, black cherry and golden oak.
Thursday, February 17th, 2011
While research hasn't proven it, many arthritis sufferers say the cold weather can worsen symptoms of joint pain and discomfort.
According to Prevea.com, those suffering from the condition can alleviate pain during the winter months by taking a few preventative measures. These include dressing in layers to protect body tissue, avoiding rapid temperature transitions, staying active, stretching and eliminating caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Taking warm baths or using a heating pad can also help ease pain, while cold treatments like ice packs can reduce inflammation and swelling.
Individuals with arthritis may also benefit from using an anti-fatigue floor mat such as a Gel Pro Chef's Mat.
Gel Pro Mats are manufactured from a proprietary shock absorbing gel, which helps displace the body's weight evenly over the entire foot, effectively reducing the strain associated with prolonged stationary standing.
They are available in several different patterns and colors to match any décor.
Gel Pro Chef's Mats can be used anywhere they're needed including the kitchen, office, bathroom, laundry room or garage.