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In: Health

Comments Off on What You Should Know About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been stirring up quite the controversy within the last year, and their
presence is unfortunately more copious than any of us are comfortable with. Hotel
guests are taking precautions to not take any unwanted souvenirs with them, and home
owners are getting paranoid with each surfaced bite. It is important that we all know how
to properly prevent, identify and exterminate these pesky pests.
Bed bugs are small non-flying insects about the size of ticks. They are reddish brown in
color and thrive off of human and animal blood. Bed bugs can hide in all areas of the
home and tend to reside in cracks and other hidden places such as inside box springs,
behind picture frames and even in popcorn-style ceilings. They earn their names by
concentrating in areas where people sleep and feasting on their blood as they sleep.
The face, neck, hands and arms are common feeding spots of bed bugs. The most
common sign of their bites are small bumps that are sometimes red, swollen and itchy,
much like mosquito bites. A distinguishing factor of bed bug bites is that they are often
lined up in a row. Bed bugs tend to leave dark fecal spots on bedsheets, which is also a
great indicator.
The removal of bed bugs can be a difficult process and usually requires the help of a
professional. For extermination, pest-control experts use sprays, dusts and aerosol
insecticidies, which must be applied in all areas where the bugs can hide. Mattresses
sometimes need to be disinfected or discarded. Mattress, pillow and box spring
encasements can be used trap the bugs with no way of escaping.
Prevention tactics are recommended for all home owners and hotel guests and are
worth not ever having to go through the grueling process of getting rid of bed bugs. In
the mornings open the windows and throw back the sheets because bed bugs do not
like light or fresh air. Change your sheets weekly and wash them immediately using the
hottest water and heat settings. After checking in to a hotel, examine the room for signs
of bed bugs by checking the sheets for stains and lifting the furniture to check hiding
places. Keep all luggage or personal items elevated on racks aways from carpets and
beds. Examine all personal belongings before checking out to ensure you wonʼt bring
any pests into your home.

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In: News, Uncategorized

Comments Off on What you need to know about the radiation leaking from Japan and the effects it can have.

In the wake of the tsunami and 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1990 and the largest ever recorded in Japan, thousands are left dead, over 500,000 are recovering and people all around the world are fearing the release of radiation from four nuclear reactors in Japan.

Those who reside in the 19-mile radius around the leaking plants at Fukushima have been advised to wear masks and stay indoors; however it has been reported that the slightly elevated radiation levels are too small to threaten the community. About 100 times the normal levels of radiation were detected;however, this is still far from being fatal and would only pose a threat after a long period of exposure.

The two main threats of radiation exposure are the release of reactive iodine that can cause thyroid cancer and the release of cesium that is absorbed by the environment and human bodies, staying in organs and tissue. Cesium would be more of a threat on a broader scale because it can travel further being carried by rain and wind and accumulating in vegetation.

Two major groups are most at risk of radiation sickness: the cleanup workers at the nuclear reactor plants and the general Japanese population. Those under 18 are at a higher risk because their body cells
divide more actively.

Thankfully, there is little need to panic thus far. Only a small amount of cesium has been released because the reactors at Fukushima have containment vessels to minimize this dangerous type of radioactive material. Experts have said that for now, America is in the clear. If the states were to be affected, radiation could be detected in California but it’s certain that it would not be dangerous.

At this moment, there is little cause for concern of radiation exposure in America. If a change in this state occurs, it is important to be informed of the serious symptoms linked to radiation sickness. Nausea and vomiting are the earliest symptoms; these symptoms worsen with higher exposure of radiation. Radiation depletes blood platelets, so any spontaneous bleeding is a major concern. Skin that has been
exposed to radiation often has the appearance of a sunburn which may blister or develop open sores. Radiation damages hair follicles and those who received a big dose of radiation lose their hair two to three weeks later. The risks of bacterial, viral and fungal infections become heightened due to the reduction of white cells in the body as a result of radiation symptoms. Hair loss, severe fatigue, fainting,
and mouth ulcers are also serious signs of poisoning.

Anyone at risk should take potassium iodide at a protective measure. This would cause the thyroid glands to use the potassium iodide rather than the reactive iodide.

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In: House Cleaning Tips

Comments Off on Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is good for your home, health and overall well-being! Check out these tips for the deep annual clean.

The first step of spring cleaning is to make a checklist and a schedule of what to clean and when. Try to include the areas of your house that don’t usually get attention like ceiling fans, lamp shades, the space behind your fridge, etc.

Recruit family members to tackle the tough jobs like cleaning out the garage and landscaping the yards. Competition always makes everything more fun, so divide up in teams and see who finishes their chores first! Listening to music is always a great motivator too.

Take pride in your hard work! A clean home is a happier, healthier home and well worth the work. This article from MedicineNet.com lists the benefits a good spring cleaning can have on your health. Here are some of tips we found most helpful:
Thoroughly dust your home and clean air filters, ducts and vents to decrease your family’s exposure to allergens.
Remove toxic trash from your home, this includes old and/or expired cleaning products, paint cans, and batteries. Remember to properly dispose of these items at hazardous waste centers!
Clean mold and mildew from damp areas with non-toxic cleaners.
Also remember to donate any items you no longer need and recycle everything that you can.

After you finish reward yourself with some new green décor, like these eco-friendly accessories from Pottery Barn!

And of course, have us here at Total Home Cleaning come by regularly to maintain your clean home!