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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 September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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