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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 January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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