Mosquitoes – How To Stop Them From Getting You

Mosquitoes are annoying, nasty little insects that bug us to no end. Especially in the summer months, they cause many itchy, annoying bites, and their bites hurt, too! Not only are they irritating, but mosquitoes can also carry the deadly West Nile virus or malaria. Here are some ways you can stop mosquitoes from getting you.

Wear Insect Repellent

When you’re outside, insect repellent is an excellent defense against mosquitoes. While you can take many other measures to help keep yourself from being bit, wearing insect repellent all over you is what’s going to actually help keep the mosquitoes away from you altogether. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you wear an insect repellent that contains either DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also keeps a list of recommended mosquito repellents on its website.

Cover Your Skin

If you can’t avoid being outside, it’s a good idea to wear protective clothing that will cover your skin, such as long sleeves, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and hats. At the same time, mosquitoes are attracted to warm bodies, so don’t wear very heavy clothing that’s going to make you sweat and overheat. Wear thin, cool clothing with light colors to help yourself stay cool.

Avoid Mosquito-Prone Areas

Mosquitoes prefer certain types of environments, so it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Mosquitoes are attracted to water, especially standing water, so avoid wetlands, pools, swamps, etc., and also eliminate any standing water on your property, such as bird baths and puddles. Mosquitoes also like the woods, grass, and bushes, so stay out of wooded areas and places with high grass or a lot of overgrowth. Hot, humid environments attract mosquitoes.

Sleep Under a Net

If you’re on a camping trip or sleeping outside for any reason, it’s a good idea to bring a mosquito net to sleep inside. A mosquito net can be put over a tent, for example, and it will help prevent mosquitoes from flying in and biting you while you’re asleep and defenseless. Mosquito nets save lives in malaria-infested areas of Africa, and they’re excellent ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes while you’re outside or if you’re unable to keep the pests out of your home.

Be Careful at Night

Mosquitoes do most of their biting when it is dark outside, in between when the sun goes down and when it comes up again. Their activity increases once dusk begins settling, and they remain active through the dawn. When you’re outside at night, be extra cautious against mosquito bites.

Educate Yourself

You should also educate yourself as much as possible about mosquitoes in your area. Some areas and some times of the year have much more mosquito activity than others, so watch the news in your area for reports about mosquito activity and West Nile reports. You’ll know when it’s especially important for you be vigilant outside and can protect yourself with your knowledge.

Feds Reverse Approval on Palcohol

When I heard about Palcohol on the early morning new, I could not believe something that could be so dangerous could even be considered for the marketplace. In fact, someone on the news made the comment that Palcohol could even be snorted.

How insane is that?

I was so glad to hear the Feds reversed their decision and withdrew that approval they had given in an obvious error.

I had to wonder how a person could even be tested for influence of this product. Would it show in a blood/alcohol test? I can’t imagine it would even register on a breathalizer!

Did you see the reports of this product yesterday? What were your thoughts?

5 Cool Kitchen Gadgets for Cooking

When it comes to cooking, there are plenty of newfangled gadgets out there that can make the job easier. Some of them allow you to multitask, some allow you to do things quicker, and some are just plain cool.

Rather than forcing yourself to cook the old fashioned way—you know, with a stove or oven—why not invest in one of these five nifty gadgets to simplify your cooking.

1. The Power Pot

You never know when you’re going to be in need of a stove top when you don’t have power. It happens. The Power Pot is an electric generator that is not only portable, but acts as a cooking pot. Using thermoelectric power generation, The Power Pot can cook all your favorite stove top items (including Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup) without being connected to a power source. Whether you’re suffering through a power outage or camping in the middle of nowhere, this pot is a must-have for you.

2. The Breakfast Toaster & Griddle

The Breakfast Toaster & Griddle may just be the best thing since sliced bread. This combo pack looks like a toaster, allowing you to toast your bread, English muffin or bagel. But that’s not all. Hidden on the side of this fancy toaster is a flip-down griddle. The griddle will heat up to 450 degrees and is even removable for easy cleaning. Now, you can have your eggs, toast and bacon and only dirty up one appliance.

3. Electrolux Laptop

This makes cooking and reading recipes extremely simple. The Electrolux Laptop is a laptop that doubles as a cook top. Instead of an actual keyboard, the bottom half of the laptop is the cook top, and you can place your pots and pans directly onto it in order to heat them up.

But wait. Where’s the keyboard? This laptop is actually a touch screen, so there is no need for a physical keyboard. Seems like a good idea, but we’re seeing a good number of burns occurring in the future.

4. Amco No Fuss Silicone Egg Cracker

Oh the peril of trying to crack an egg. Cracking it isn’t the hard part, it’s cracking it so that we don’t end up with shell that’s the hard part. The Amco No Fuss Silicone Egg Cracker changes that. This nifty gadget allows you to easily crack an egg and get all the gooey inside without dropping eggshell into your mixture or even touching the egg itself, minimizing the risk of bacteria.

5. Edwin Self Stirring Electric Pot

Have you ever burned a recipe because you simply didn’t have enough hands to get the job done? Now, you can put your burning days behind you with the Edwin Self Stirring Electric Pot. This pot contains a spatula located in the bottom that continuously stirs your ingredients. Being located at the bottom, you no longer have to worry about food sticking and  burning to the bottom of the pot. And with different temperature settings, you can use the pot for all types of cooking techniques.

Rather than fuss with your old appliances or try and maintain more than one at a time, why not invest in these handy cooking gadgets? Each one has its own benefits and can easily save you time (and headaches) in the kitchen.

First Aid for Bug Bites-How to Keep the Itch Down

Getting bitten by a bug, no matter what kind it is, can be painful and irritating. The initial bite can hurt, and the lingering bite can irritate your skin causing it to itch. Most of the time, an itchy bug bite will cause you to scratch at it, but this will only further irritate your skin and make the bite take longer to heal.

If you really want to cure an itchy bug bite, then you’ll want to use the following remedies.

Put ice on it.

As soon after the initial bite as possible, you want to make sure that you put ice directly on the bug bite. Not only will this help to reduce swelling, but it will also help alleviate the itch. The numbing effect from the ice will also keep you from scratching at it once the ice has been removed.

Use deodorant.

Look at the label of your deodorant. If it contains aluminum chloride, roll it across the area of the bite. The aluminum chloride in the deodorant will help reduce the swelling and the itching of the bite, and you can apply it whenever the bite starts to itch.

Use hydrocortisone cream.

There are many different types of hydrocortisone cream, and any of them will be very effective in helping to reduce the itch of your bug bite. Simply place some of it on the bite directly and rub it in.

Use calamine lotion.

Calamine lotion is a tried and true method for the chicken pox, and it can also help with regular bug bites. Like hydrocortisone cream, make sure to apply calamine lotion directly on the bug bite and rub it in.

Make a baking soda mix.

Combine baking soda and water to make a paste and place the paste on the bug bite. Although you’ll want it to sit there, the baking soda is a great cleaning agent and can help keep the area from becoming infected and help reduce the itch.

Use vinegar.

Place a dab of vinegar on a cotton ball and press it against the bug bite. Vinegar contains ingredients that will reduce the swelling and redness of a bite as well as reduce the itch.

Break out the honey.

Honey is a natural antibiotic, and placing a dab of honey on a bug bite will keep it from itching. This can get messy, though, so you may want to place a bandage over the honey to keep it from getting on your clothes.

Use toothpaste.

Peppermint flavored toothpaste is also a great remedy to alleviate the itch of bug bites. Put a tiny dab on the bite and allow it to harden.

Cut your nails.

You’re going to be tempted to scratch, and if you have long nails, you could end up cutting the skin around the bite, allowing it to become infected. If you think that you will succumb to scratching the area, make sure to cut your nails. This will make it hard for you to scratch, and it will keep you from infecting the area.

Dealing with Environmental Allergies

Asian girl sneezing in a handkerchief

The sure way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen. However when an allergen trigger is part of your environment, this is easier said than done. You find yourself staying indoors when you would prefer to be outside, or feeling miserable in your own home surrounded by your indoor allergens. While avoiding an allergen is a goal to strive for, there are other means, tips and tricks for handling those evil environmental allergies!

Hypo-allergenic bedding

Never underestimate a wonderful night of sleep. Many allergy sufferers achieve this with the help of hypoallergenic bedding, which is inhospitable to dust mites, and will not trigger feather-related allergies. Many hypoallergenic bedding collections are free of chemicals that can trigger asthma and allergies.

Hypoallergenic beauty and cleaning products

But just as important as the bedding, are the cleaning agents you use to wash those sheets every week. If you are having problems with allergies these may be triggered by the very products you are wearing on your skin or washing your clothes and sheets in. From your face wash and shampoo to your laundry detergent, you may just notice a difference when you switch to hypoallergenic options.

Keep a clean home

And while we are are on the topic of cleaning products, one of the surest ways to cut down on the indoor allergens in your home is to keep it clean. Use mold-killing cleaning supplies especially in your bathroom. And not to insult anyone’s house-keeping skills, but even the most frequently cleaned home needs a deeper dive into its cleaning routing periodically. When is the last time you washed off that layer of dust on the baseboards, or got the duster between every blind, for example. If you are looking into a home remodel, hardwood floors are much easier to clean than the carpet counterpart that can be vacuumed and still manage to trap unwanted dust.

Symptom remedies

You probably already thought to purchase some eye drops, but a cold compress can be soothing on itchy, watery eyes, too. And while you were picking up eye drops perhaps you located the nasal spray, too. Antihistamines are available over the counter as well, and some people may need to carry an EpiPen with them as a further precaution.

Breath clean

Help keep the air you breath clean and at a comfortable level of humidity (below 50% to prevent mold growth) with air purifiers/ filters, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and vaporizers. These tools will help you breathe easier by breathing cleaner air. Be sure to clean these devices and change filters as directed. You should also be cleaning filters and air ducts in your home at least once a year. Running the air conditioning – instead of the fan (which can stir up dust) and instead of opening the windows (which can invite pollen into your home) – will help keep you cool while minimizing allergens.

Enjoy the outdoors, and then wash them off

Avoid being outside on high pollen days; but a mask and quickly showering upon your return home can help fight many outdoor allergens. Wearing a mask while mowing the lawn will help prevent you from breathing in very freshly cut grass, and if you jump straight into the shower afterwards then you help remove the outdoor allergens that collected in your hair and on your clothes. Finally, don’t hang your clothes to dry outside; you may just be re-collecting all those allergens.

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