Natural Ways to Repel Summer Insects

Natural Ways to Repel Summer Insects

Summer time is here once again. Unfortunately, with all the good that summer brings, the warm and humid weather also brings unwanted insects.
Here are some natural and safe remedies to help get rid of these pests and enjoy your summer.

Wasps. Wasps come back as soon as the warm weather turns. The colonies are getting bigger and this results in more aggressive and hungrier insects. These insects have a good quality of eating other dead insects, however they are a huge risk to anyone who is allergic to them. Wasps do not like any type of mint, so growing mint in your garden will be a deterrent. Mint is safe and non-toxic to any pets or children who may accidentally get into it.

Ants. Warm and damp weather is a recipe for ants to come out. Ants can be attracted to anything that spills in your kitchen or on your floors. Once you see one ant, you can bet there are more hanging around. You can make a natural repellent out of white or apple cider vinegar and water. Simply put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray the affected areas.

Mosquito’s. Mosquito’s are a pest that can put a damper on the mood of any party or gathering. They seem to come out of nowhere and keep coming back. A safe and effective way to reduce the mosquito population around your home or yard is to reduce standing water if possible. Standing water is the mosquito’s preferred breeding ground and will bring them into any yard that has standing water. You can also grow mosquito repelling plants such as basil.

Ticks. Ticks are one of the hardest insects to get rid of. They dig into your skin and your pet’s fur and stick. A single adult female can have as many as 4,000 eggs in one sitting. Planting basil can help repel ticks along with a solution of tea tree oil and water. However, be aware, cats can be sensitive to this mixture.

Do you have any suggestions for repelling summer insects? Share them below!

Happy Summer!


Backyard Safety

Backyard Safety

Homeowners often aspire to have attractive backyards that look like they belong in a magazine. While these can be picturesque and functional for adults, they may not be entirely practical for homeowners who have young children, especially when the majority of the yard is covered with paving stones and concrete.

When young children are part of a household, homeowners may benefit by designing yards that are both functional and fun. Incorporating safe play areas for kids is one way to unlock the potential of both, big and small backyards.

When considering playground equipment for the yard, parents need to make safety a priority. Follow the “five S’s” when considering your next purchase:

Surface: Parents should assume children will fall. Be sure to buy equipment that is made of a material with a grip to it such as rubber.

Structure: Be sure that the equipment you buy is made of a sturdy material. Cedar wood works great if you are building your own equipment.

Site: Be sure to place your playset in a safe area. Avoid overhanging trees and area of the yard with direct sunlight.

Safety: Follow directions for installation and don’t cut corners to save time. Make sure to anchor down all posts into the ground and check your equipment often for rusty spots and wear and tear.

Supervision: Place your play set and play area in a place where you can easily monitor what is going on.

Backyard playgrounds should be built with safety in mind. Not only for your children, but for others too.


Spring Season vs. Seasonal Allergies

Spring Season vs. Seasonal Allergies

The beautiful spring weather is finally here! However, for some people, the spring season is the start of allergies. Allergies are nothing to sneeze at, but you can make your home more comfortable for people who do suffer from seasonal allergies.

Cleaning some often forgotten places can help improve the air quality in your home.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Vacuum once or twice a week to draw up any dirt, dust or pollen.
  • Clear your clutter. Stacked old boxes and other lingering items hold unwanted dust and allergens.
  • Keep your bathroom free of mold by scrubbing counter tops, toilets and shower tiles regularly.
  • Clean your sheets in hot water at least once a week to remove dust and allergens.
  • Do not air dry your laundry. Leaving your laundry out to dry will cause your clothing to pick up pollen.
  • Be sure to clean your outside entry ways to avoid pollen, dirt and other allergens from being tracked in.
  • Indoor air quality can make a big difference when it comes to someone suffering with allergies. Regular housecleaning can get rid of many allergy triggers and help relieve symptoms.


Cut Your Energy Costs

Cut Your Energy Costs

It’s a New Year, and now is the perfect time to cut back on your energy costs. Taking the steps to cut your energy costs will not only save you money, but it will save our resources and the planet.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Make sure your home is sealed during the winter to avoid wasting heat. Close all fireplace dampers, windows, and make sure any cracks are sealed.
  • Cool your home naturally in the summer by opening windows on cool nights.
  • On nice days, hang your laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer.
  • Replace regular incandescent light bulbs and fixtures with Energy Star qualified fluorescent lights.
  • Unplug any appliances or devices that you are not using. Although they are not on, they are still drawing energy.
  • Replace your old refrigerator. Refrigerators made before 1993 could be costing $140 a year in electricity. Even refrigerators built between 1993 and 2001 cost about $60 a year to run. By comparison, a new Energy Star rated refrigerator runs on about $20 a year.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it is completely full to avoid running it multiple times in a day.

Everybody wants a little more money in their pockets. Attempting to save on energy will help you! You could save over $900 a year just by doing the basics. Imagine how much more you could save by finding more ways to save on your energy.


Breaking Bad Habits in the New Year

Breaking Bad Habits in the New Year

With the New Year right around the corner, many people will be setting their New Year Resolutions. Is kicking bad habits to the curb on your list for 2017? If so, here are some helpful tips and strategies to help you stay on track of your goals.

Make the commitment – making a commitment to your goal is number one. Whether your goal is to lose weight, start eating heathy or quit smoking; make sure you are 100% committed.

Create a roadmap – create reasonable monthly goals. Not only will these goals help you stay motivated and on track, but you will feel accomplished after reaching them.

Identify your triggers – we are all humans. We all have urges and weaknesses. Be sure to identify them before the start on your goals. Avoiding temptations will help you stay on track.

Evaluate When You Fall off Track – we all make mistakes. Maybe you just had to have that double bacon cheeseburger or just one cigarette while you were out with some friends. Evaluate when you come off track and be sure to get back on track.

Use these four strategies when achieving your goals this New Year. We wish you the best of luck for a prosperous new year.