Healthy Home Pacific Coast JulyAug 2017

When it comes to pest control, it often feels like we at Moxie have seen it all. From ticks and jumping spiders to voles and earwigs, we’re experts at eliminating any pest problem. But we’ll be the first to admit that there are a few pests out there in the world we’re glad don’t live here in Orange County. Take the Japanese giant hornet , for example, a thumb-sized yellow monster with a 2.4-inch wingspan and stinger a fourth of an inch long. One entomologist described the sensation of being stung as feeling “like a hot nail being driven into [his] leg.” Each sting injects a large amount of dangerous venom, which attacks the nervous system of its victims. The poison also contains a pheromone cocktail that sends a signal to hornets within range, calling them to join them in their stinging frenzy. Over 40 people in Japan die each year from these yellow beasts. Decidedly, they’re not to be messed with. On the other hand, there’s the human botfly , native to South America, which might not be a vicious, powerful little bugger, but it has one of the most disturbing reproductive cycles on Earth. The fly will lay its eggs and attach them to a horsefly, mosquito, or tick. When the host lands on human skin, the eggs hatch, and the larvae burrow into the top layer, feeding just below the surface. It then incubates for eight weeks, using the human body as a food source, and then it drops out of the wound to pupate. If that doesn’t make your skin crawl, I’m not sure what will. Then, there’s the innocuous tsetse fly , an insect that inhabits tropical parts of Africa. This fly survives by feeding on the blood of vertebrates. So far, not so bad — that’s like a horsefly, right? — except for the fact that they carry trypanosomes. Trypanosomes are microscopic organisms, that, after being transmitted by the tsetse, causes a deadly disease in humans. Symptoms first seem flu-like, but they can soon lead to a coma. Infected patients often die within months. The disease is a real problem in the region, affecting between 250 and 300 people every year. These bad bugs don’t mean you have to be thankful for your earwig infestation. Give us a call today, and we’ll kick out the freeloaders, giving you the peace of mind to get on with your life — hornet-, botfly-, and tsetse-free. Bad Mother Buggers Be Glad These Pests Don’t Live in Orange County

You may not be ready to hear this, but it’s that time of year again. That’s right — it’s time for spring cleaning! Like so many other yearly rituals, you’re probably going to hear about spring cleaning for the next few months, at least until the season changes. Until then, we have a couple of tips to ease your cleaning burdens — particularly for those things that often get forgotten in the rush. Here’s what you can do to have the freshest … Freshen Up Your Spring Cleaning Two Tips for an Even Cleaner Home … Garbage Disposal . How regularly do you clean your garbage disposal? It tends to be one of those appliances that gets forgotten until that smell starts to invade the kitchen. While you can find specialized cleaning capsules at most home stores, they aren’t something you’d typically keep around. What I bet you do have on hand is citrus: oranges, lemons, and limes. Whenever you peel an orange, juice a lemon, or find yourself with some leftover lime wedges, toss them into the garbage disposal with a few ice cubes. Then turn on the appliance for 20 to 30 seconds. Once the disposal sounds clear, run hot water for another 30 seconds to rinse. Done! Not only will your garbage disposal be nearly as clean as the day it was installed, but your kitchen will smell citrusy-fresh! … Pillows . No, we’re not talking pillow cases. This is a tip for the actual pillow. In the past, you may have washed your bed pillows only to be left dissatisfied with the results — that is, if you’ve ever actually washed your pillows. No matter what you do, they stay lumpy and dingy. They’re just plain gross. Well, no more! Add a little extra cleaning power to your regular laundry detergent: powdered dishwasher detergent, bleach, and borax. As a general rule of thumb, add about one part of each ingredient. Then, run the pillows on a cycle with hot water. To dry, you’ll get the best results from leaving your pillows under the sun for a few hours. However, if you’re crunched for time or the weather isn’t on your side, you can put your pillows (but no more than two at a time) in the dryer. Just be sure to toss in a couple tennis balls to avoid lumps!

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