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6 Tips to Keep Pests From Harming Your Health

6 Tips to Keep Pests From Harming Your Health

Depending on how squeamish you are, finding a bug or rodent inside your house may cause your stomach to turn or it might cause you a minor inconvenience while you squash the pest or usher it outdoors. Either way, there are some pests whose presence indoors goes beyond annoying. In fact, they can cause serious health problems. Read on for a list of six tips for keeping pests from harming your health.

Keep Your House Dry

    Having standing water around your home is a major attraction for certain pests. Mosquitoes need water to breed. By eliminating bird baths, lingering puddles, and other standing water, you’ll reduce the number of these biting pests. A bite from a mosquito is annoying for most people, but can cause an uncomfortable reaction in some people. In addition, these insects are carriers of the sometimes-fatal West Nile Virus, which can be transmitted through bites. Reduce mosquito breeding grounds around your home to cut back on these health risks.

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    Take away the moisture in your basement to get rid of most spiders. Running a dehumidifier and frequently removing webs slashes the spider population in spaces of your home that are below ground. Taking these steps also makes it less likely you’ll suffer a nasty spider bite, some of which develop serious infections.

    Seal up Holes

      Don’t give pets an opportunity to slither their way in or scurry through a small opening. Mice push their way through tiny openings; in some cases, they make it through a hole the size of a dime. As they move in and out of your home, these creatures carry with them viruses and bacteria that cause serious and even life-threatening illnesses. Hantavirus, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis are just some of the diseases that arise from human contact with mice droppings and urine.

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      Block mice from your home by sealing up areas around pipes and lines that come into your home. Ensure the weather-stripping around windows and doors is secure and thoroughly covers the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.

      Get an Inspection

      Each year, have a professional inspect your home. This pest inspection is a good chance to identify problems and create a plan to tackle them. A thorough once-over of the inside and outside of your home lets you get a handle on how pests may be impacting your health. Your pest management professional knows which pesticides, traps, and other strategies are safe for your family, pets, and the environment. Be sure to work with a company that provides proper training to its staff and has the certifications and licenses required under state and federal guidelines.

      Make a Clean Sweep

      It’s easy to overlook the daily chore of sweeping up the kitchen, dining room, and any other area of your home where people eat. However, this is an effective way to reduce the appeal your home has to ants and roaches. Besides being gross to have around places where you eat, roaches also carry allergens that cause reactions in some humans. For example, cockroach allergens may trigger asthma attacks and rashes. Be diligent about cleaning up crumbs to mitigate your family’s exposure to cockroaches.

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      Remove Piles of Stuff From Your Yard

        Snake bites cause pain, can transmit diseases, and have a high risk of infection, not to mention the possibility of coming in contact with venom. Reduce your exposure to health risks associated with snakes by ridding your yard of wood piles, scrap metal, or any other debris that could provide a cool damp place for them to live. Eliminating their habitat options decrease the chances they’ll take up residence in your yard.

        Guard Against Tick Bites

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          Ticks transmit Lyme disease; an illness that’s very debilitating for some people. Protect your health by avoiding wooded, weedy areas altogether. If you do ventures into tall grass, make sure you wear long pants with tall socks. Adults should use an insect repellant containing DEET, as long as they follow the repellant’s instructions for proper use. Wear light-colored clothing to increase the chances you’ll see the tiny black insects if they do get on you.

          Check your body after you’ve been in areas where ticks tend to live. Ticks tend to move toward your armpits, groin, and your hair. By being diligent about fending off ticks, you’ll avoid Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis.

          By protecting your body and home from pests, you’ll nearly eliminate the chance of contracting an illness or condition caused by insects, rodents, and snakes.

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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