News From Our Blog

Prevent Bed Bugs from Infesting Your Home

No two ways about it. This is gross. But, it can’t be ignored. Bed bugs are becoming prevalent throughout the country. Recently, three subway trains were taken out of service in New York City, because they were infested. What can you do to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home?

Bed bugs tend to be “hitchhikers,” so be sure to check your luggage and clothes before bringing them into your home after you have traveled. Change and wash your bedding often. Also, don’t bring in any second-hand furniture until it’s been thoroughly inspected.

When traveling, inspect your hotel room’s mattress and bedding upon arrival. Don’t put any luggage on the bed — place suitcases on a luggage rack. When you return home, unpack clothing directly into the washing machine for cleaning. If you can’t do wash immediately, seal your belongings in plastic bags until they can be cleaned.

Bed bugs are not harmful, but they also don’t discriminate. They can be anywhere. The most important thing you can do is be cautious, and act fast. The sooner you spot an infestation, the better. You want to deal with the problem before they have the chance to multiply.

Some of the products you use around the house may contain pesticides and harm children. Know what can be dangerous.

Keep your home free of summer pests without pesticides

Summer temperatures can be pleasant, but the warm weather is also attractive to insects and rodents.

This is the time of year when ants, roaches, mice and other pests make their way into your home, especially if they find the right living conditions. All they really need to get comfortable is water, food and a place where they can hide or reproduce.

You can fight these pests without pesticides if you follow these suggestions:

Restrict access to food sources

  • Tightly close any food packaging, like boxes and bags of cookies, chips, cereals or candy, so that ants or roaches can’t get in.
  • Store items such as flour, sugar, rice or pasta in airtight bags or plastic containers.
  • Clean any food spills or stains off the countertop, floor, and other areas throughout the kitchen.
  • Do not let crumbs sit in pet dishes, as this can attract cockroaches, ants or rodents.
  • Remember to take out the kitchen trash frequently, preferably every night.

Limit access to sources of water or liquids

  • Try not to leave water drops or other liquids in the kitchen or anywhere else around the house. Roaches can’t live more than a week without water.
  • Wash and dry your dishes immediately after each meal.
  • Repair leaky faucets or pipes in the bathroom, kitchen, backyard and any other area of the house.
  • When gardening or watering plants, don’t leave puddles or excess water. Standing water encourages mosquito reproduction.
  • Open the bathroom window after bathing to clear out the steam; these tiny drops are drinking sources for cockroaches and other insects.

Limit entry access to your home

  • Seal cracks around pipes, doors and windows to stop insects from getting inside.
  • Repair holes or tears on screen doors and windows.
  • Close off the spaces underneath doors.
  • Before coming home from a shopping trip, make sure there are no roaches hiding inside bags or grocery boxes.
  • Throw away or recycle unwanted boxes or wrappers.

Put mouse traps inside and outside the home in areas where children or pets can’t access.

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The Condition of Your Home Could Impact Your Health

This winter, much of the country has been in a deep freeze. With all the snow and ice, many people have spent a great deal of their time in the house. Besides just causing cabin fever, the condition of your home itself has a great effect on the health of you and the members of your family.

Here are some everyday things that could be causing health problems in your home.

  • Smoking inside can cause asthma and respiratory issues, and can even lead to cancer.

  • Radon, a gas which is odorless and tasteless causes lung cancer.

  • The presence of too much moisture or mold (which can come from over-use of humidifiers in the winter) may lead to asthma and respiratory problems.

To prevent these sort of issues, don’t allow smoking in your home, and be sure to install smoke detectors and regularly change their batteries, just in case a fire should occur. Test for radon, and install fan systems that remove radon vapors. Fix water leaks to prevent excess moisture from being present in your home, and keep it well ventilated.

Simple steps like these help ensure your family’s health, especially when mother nature doesn’t allow you to go outside.

For Your Health: Test Your Home for Radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is estimated to be responsible for 15,000-22,000 lung cancer deaths each year. 

You can’t see, smell, or taste radon. It’s a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in soil and rock. 

Radon can be present in both outdoor and indoor air, but you’re likely to get most exposure in your own home. 

To help protect your health, you can test your home for radon and take measures to lower radon levels if needed.