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Ants in the House & Warning Signs

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What You Need to Know About Ants

Did you know there are more than 700 different species of ants in the U.S.? These small black insects that are often unwelcome guests at picnics in the park and barbeques at home may be living inside a colony of more than one million! One specific kind of ant that plagues homeowners across the country are pavement ants. Pavement ants can be a major nuisance because these insects forage up to 30 feet from home looking for food and water. Pavement ants sneak through cracks in pavement and a home’s foundation looking for food, water, and shelter. Once inside, they burrow inside walls, insulation, and under floors to build nests.’

Another well-known ant species in the U.S. are fire ants, which can cause painful welts and swelling when they sting. Fire ants build nesting mounds near structures like fences, outbuildings, and a home’s exterior walls. Just like pavement ants, fire ants can enter a home easily through cracks in its foundation and walls, in between doors and windows, and through HVAC and A/C units.

Why Ants Come Inside and Where You Can Find Them

Pavement ants, fire ants, and other ant species come inside our homes looking for food, water, and shelter. The most common areas to find ants inside a home are kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. But ants can also nest inside walls, under floors, and in crawl spaces – making them harder to spot. HVAC and A/C units provide a common entry point for ants to get inside homes. Rising temperatures and longer summer months mean more A/C use for homeowners, attracting ants to the dampness generated inside them and serving as an “open door” policy to come inside for more.

What You Can Do To Keep Ants Out of Your Home

To protect your home against these small pesky intruders, start by identifying and sealing cracks and holes in your home’s walls, around windows and doors, and in paved areas around a home’s exterior, including driveways and patios. To seal off another common entryway, add new caulking around air conditioning and heating units. In addition, homeowners can prevent moisture buildup that attracts ants by ensuring pipes are insulated and not leaking in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, and in between walls.

Keep a Clean Kitchen

Once inside a home, ants looking for new food and water sources often travel quickly to a home’s kitchen and pantry areas. To cut off their food source and reduce ants in your home, make sure you clean kitchen counters and stovetops frequently, take out trash regularly and seal up all food items in airtight containers. Storing items like sugar inside the fridge is another helpful practice during the summer months when ants are more active. If you have indoor plants, make sure they aren’t being over watered, because this moisture can attract ants. Seal up pet food and wash bowls after your pets’ mealtimes – don’t leave it sitting out.

Pay Attention to Damp, Humid Areas

Additional hotspots for ants are bathrooms and basements. Ants are attracted to moisture from leaking pipes and faucets inside these areas. In addition, cracks in a home’s foundation provide a good entry point directly into a home’s basement. If you do see ants in your home, wipe down the areas with vinegar to remove the ants’ scent – which they leave as a ‘map’ to help their friends find their way to new food and water sources. This will help reduce the chance that other ants will follow.

Adjust Exterior Features

Making small changes to your home’s garden and landscaping can also help reduce its attractiveness to ants. For example, replacing mulch or pine straw around trees and within flower beds with crushed stone or rocks reduces nesting areas for ants. In addition, if your home has a fireplace, stack firewood as far away as possible from the exterior of the home, at least 20 feet away. Ants can nest inside stacks of firewood. Finally, sealing cracks in your driveway, pavement, and the home’s foundation can minimize your ‘open door’ policy for ants, keeping them away. 

Remember that ants play an important role in a healthy ecosystem. By fixing cracks and entry points into your home, removing attractive items like food and water sources, and dehumidifying basements and crawl spaces, you can make your home less attractive for these pests. A focus on these less-intrusive methods for getting rid of ants in your home over using pesticides and bait can help protect the environment.

Find out how Groundworks foundation, basement, and crawl space repair experts can help homeowners keep ants and insects from entering their homes with a free home inspection to identify problem areas and offer solutions.

Hey all! Big thanks to Katy Blevins for handing over the reins to me at the end of 2017 to fulfill my new years resolution to write...often! Based in Miami, you can find me blogging about family life as a mother of two young kids. But i'll also continue the Chaos and Kiddos theme of business, fashion, parenting, product reviews, and...well, I could go on and on.

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Six Anxiety-Busting Methods You Can Try From Home

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Anxiety can be a regular part of day-to-day life, preparing you for danger by calculating risks. However, if anxiety becomes more of a struggle every day, rather than in response to an incident, it could be time to combat this emotion. First and foremost, anxiety can be a symptom of a more serious mental health disorder, so always consult your doctor if you’re having issues. If you have experienced difficulties in care from your doctor, you may want to consider contacting a hospital malpractice lawyer.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most natural ways of increasing endorphins in your brain, which reduce anxiety, while simultaneously lowering your stress hormones. Regular exercise can also improve your quality of sleep, with poor sleep being negatively associated with anxiety. By partaking in the exercise you enjoy, such as yoga or running, you may feel more confident in your body, too, further promoting positive wellbeing.

Essential oils

Burning some calming scents, either through essential oils or scented candles, can reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety. Some of the most calming scents are lavender, Ylang Ylang and orange blossom. By regularly using aromatherapy, you can reduce anxiety.

Reduce caffeine

Caffeine has been shown to cause anxiety symptoms in people who consume large quantities of it. The amount varies from person to person, but if you find drinking coffee leaves you feeling jittery, consider cutting back on caffeine-rich foods such as chocolate, coffee, and energy drinks, green tea, and replacing these with decaffeinated versions.

Journals

Journals not only give you the chance to write down and release your emotions from a day but also provide a wellness map of how your mood has been over time. You could find that your mood decreases at similar times of a month or due to the seasons, which can help your understanding of anxiety and how to deal with it.

Spend time with friends and family

By having frequent and secure social connections, visiting friends and family may help you get through anxious periods in your life. Studies have shown those with less social ties were more likely to suffer from anxiety. Being a part of a friend network can give you a sense of belonging and improve your self-worth, raising oxytocin in the brain, a natural stress reliever.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is best described as an anchoring you to the present moment by reconnecting your body with the sensations they experience, to reduce anxiety symptoms that come with negative thoughts. This practice can come in a variety of activities, through yoga, breathing exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, or meditation. Regular use of mindfulness will lead to you becoming more aware of the present, helping you to enjoy the world around you, and understanding yourself better. You can find lots of mindfulness tutorials on YouTube.

By being aware of your anxiety and the symptoms it displays in your body and mind, you will be able to respond quicker by using these techniques to reduce tension. These small steps can help day-to-day in combating anxiety.

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Make a House a Home. Adapting your Home for a Child with Disabilities

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As a parent, you want what’s best for your children. And if your child has a disability then your drive to give them the highest quality of life possible is paramount. This means that changing your home and adapting it to meet the needs of your little one makes absolute sense.

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

The disability or condition that your child has will determine what kind of adjustments you may need to make to your home, to make it accessible and beneficial towards their development, progress and most importantly, their happiness. Your home should not only be a safe space but also somewhere they can do what they want, feel free and not feel restricted by their limitations or fear of getting injured. It can bring a lot of comfort for parents too!

Whether your child suffered an injury at birth – discover this cerebral palsy lawyer, Greensboro if you’re looking for a personal injury lawyer – or their life has been changed due to an accident or an illness, there are plenty of ways you can adapt your home for a child with a disability. Read on to find out more.

Make sure your home is wheel friendly!

If your little one requires a wheelchair to get around, then creating access for their chair, such as a disability lift and other mobility devices is essential. A regular home can quickly become a prison if it’s surrounded by steps that may prevent access from the property or even from other parts of the house. The following adaptations are a good place to start:

  • Install ramps where possible 
  • Replace the carpets in your home with hard floors to help with traction 
  • Consider having light switches and even door handles lowered for easy access
  • Consider widening doorways so the wheelchair can easily move through

Reimagine your bathroom

The bathroom can prove challenging for a child with disabilities. Thankfully there are plenty of solutions.

  • Have your sinks lowered and install push/pull taps rather than ones that twist or require great strength to operate
  • A walk-in shower
  • A seat for the child to sit on whilst in the shower
  • A lift to raise the child in/out of the bath
  • Install support rails 
  • Better lighting

Other little touches

Sometimes the smallest of modifications can make a huge difference to your child’s life. 

  • Automated lights
  • Handrails in various areas of the house
  • Automatic doors 
  • Lowering an area of the kitchen so they can use it

Keep your child’s needs in mind. Ask them what they might need to make life easier. And if possible, involve them in the process so they can have their own input. 

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Keeping House With A Baby Inside Of It

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When I bought my first little bundle of joy home, I realized a few things very quickly. My husband and I had never been clean freaks, but we found that with a teeny baby in the house, we were putting in three times the cleaning effort for half of the result. We wanted to make sure our house was as free of toxins as possible but that we got some powerful cleaning accomplished. In so many ways, I wish we’d had Aroma Bio-Enzyme products to help us out. If I were to tell a new mom my top cleaning priorities, they’d be the following.

Cleaning nappies

So. Many. Nappies to change. My husband was supportive and always helped, but I always found myself washing my hands constantly. And that was before there was a global pandemic afoot! A friend of mine who was a nurse suggested to me, as my hands were cracking from overwashing, that I use hand sanitizer four times for every in depth soap and water wash. Lucky for everyone, Aroma makes a brilliant hand sanitizer that can be used beyond pandemic cleaning.

Keeping smells out

There is no smell like that of a baby. When one of my best friends first visited us with a newborn, she entered our daughter’s room and said, “It smells like a baby lives here.” Of course, you always want that new baby smell without the associated smell of wee, poo, or puke. How do you get that when all of those substances are all coming out of the baby all the time? The Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner can assist with that. You want your home and your child to smell like that beautiful baby, not nasty chemicals, so this is a big step in that direction.

Laundry, laundry, laundry

Once a baby enters your life, every day is laundry day. Not only will you have to change your clothes several times, but you will also have to keep baby clothes in constant rotation. Onesies are important, but so are burp cloths. With a newborn at home, a burp cloth is necessary at all times. You might even start showing up to the grocery store with one on, or even more embarassingly, at work. Swaddle cloths have to be constantly cleaned, as well. One tried and true cleaning tip you can use to keep a variety of baby cloths clean is to add a half cup of baking soda to every load.

Keeping yourself clean

It’s not selfish to take time to keep yourself clean, your room tidy, and your clothes smelling good. Sanity for mum is sanity for the entire family. Make sure that you and your partner take time to clean your own spaces, as well as the baby room. It takes a lot of effort, but it is well worth it.

No solutions will work for every family, even for every set of first time parents. But if you keep these tips in mind and some Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner nearby, it will get easier.

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