Prevent colds & flu

With kids going back to school, it’s time to talk about ways to prevent colds and flu. Germs are most often spread from person to person contact. Germs can be spread through inanimate surfaces such as keyboards to our hand and then from our hand to our mouth, etc.. Some germs can live on dry surfaces for several hours and moist surfaces up to three days!  When people cough or sneeze, germs can fly everywhere.

The two most important ways to prevent colds and flu are hand washing and cleaning surfaces in the home and office.  Hand washing is the best strategy for keeping germs from getting inside your body.  You should do it often and thoroughly. First wash your hands and then add soap. Rub vigorously for 20 seconds. Make sure to rub your wrists, between your fingers and under the fingernails.  Rinse all the soap off and use a clean paper towel or air blower if possible.

Cleaning your home and office can also help you stay healthy.  You can’t see disease-causing germs.  Cleaning with proper disinfecting reduces the spread of disease. Cleaning products remove dirt and food particles where microorganisms can grow, and disinfectants actually kill the germs. Cleaning can also help control allergies and asthma.

Safe ways to avoid those pesky mosquito bites

Mosquitoes are found all over the world.  They have brown bodies with thin wings and six long, thin legs. They typically lay eggs in still water, so they are often found near lakes, swamps, ponds, marshes and tidal areas. They are especially active during spring and summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The favorite food of the female mosquito is blood from humans and animals to provide nutrients for laying eggs. The adult males eat nectar from flowers.

Mosquitoes carry and transmit diseases like malaria, encephalitis, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and heartworm, a serious disease for dogs. The red, itchy, swollen spot that occurs if you are bitten is the body’s reaction to mosquito saliva.

It is possible to “manage” mosquitoes without using DEET. First of all, control your environment. Be sure you have good screens in your windows or keep them closed. Drain any standing water in your yard (to prevent breeding), and keep your grass short. Apply a natural repellent such as lemon eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and citronella oils. Also mosquitoes are weak flyers, so bring an oscillating fan outside, and keep those bugs away!

 

You Found Meal Moths in Your Cupboard!

Meal Moths love rice, pasta, cake mixes, dried fruit, cereal, flour, crackers, nuts, dog/cat food, and more.

So how do you get rid of them?

1.  Clean through the entire cupboard where they were detected.

2.  Toss away any packages or containers with the larvae or moths.

3.  After everything has been cleared out and removed, vacuum and wipe the shelving down with hot, soapy water.

4.  Then it should be clean and safe to return items to cupboard.

Get Rid of Ants with Natural Ingredients

Find their entry points and seal them with caulk or petroleum jelly.  Natural ant repellants include cream of tartar, pure cinnamon, coffee grinds, garlic, chili pepper, paprika, cloves. or dried peppermint.  Leave a sprinkling of one or more spice at entrances where ants enter the house to deter the critters from crossing into your home.  Lemon juice and peel are also useful.  The commercial non-toxic ant repellant Orange Guard is harmless to humans and other animals, and drives ants away without harming them.

Kitchen Sanitizing Tip

Sanitize the Sink: It’s hard to believe, but your dirty kitchen sink has more bacteria than your toilet seat. Use a product labeled as an EPA-registered disinfectant, or make your own. To disinfect, clean your sink with soap and water first, then spray a mist of vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide, and let air-dry. (Don’t mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together—spray one after the other.) If your sink is stainless steel, make it sparkle afterward by putting a few drops of mineral oil on a soft cloth and buffing. This prevents water buildup, which deters mold and keeps the sink looking clean longer.

Do Dishwasher Duty: Once a week, shake baking soda on a damp sponge and wipe around the machine’s edges to remove stuck-on food or stains. To clean the inside, run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic, a product designed to kill bacteria like E. Coli. During cold and flu season, add a quarter-cup of bleach to the regular dish cycle to kill bacteria. The dishes will be safe and sanitized after the rinse cycle is finished.

Crumple Paper Towels…Forever: Use microfiber cloths instead. When wet, they sanitize and clean floors, counters, glass and tile, and eliminate the need for other cleaning products. They’re reusable (machine-wash, hang to dry) and cost about $5 for a two-pack.