Beware of Winter Rodents

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The rodents that dash indoors as uninvited winter guests aren’t nearly as lovable as any of the furry friends in popular cartoons, but their sinister plots to take over your home are comparable to the likes of Pinky and the Brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents spread over 35 diseases worldwide, some of which are fatal or have lasting side-effects. Allergens from mice and rats also present health threats in the form of allergies and asthma attacks.
“Mice disperse hundreds of urine micro-droplets as they peruse your pantry and scurry throughout your home, polluting every inch they cross,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). “And if that’s not off-putting enough, think about the allergic reaction that can be caused by the odor of a decaying mouse that died stuck between the walls or in the attic,”
The commonly seen deer mouse is known for transmitting hantavirus, a rare but potentially fatal virus found in North America. Other rodent-related diseases are salmonellosis, tularemia and rat-bite fever — many of which are transferred from ticks or mites living on the rodents. But that isn’t the only kind of baggage mice and rats bring with them — their damage can be twofold.
Rodents don’t just target your health and food, they frequently cause structural damage to your home. Aside from leaving the telltale dark brown droppings, a common sign of an infestation, mice and rats are capable of chewing through wood, pipes, aluminum, cement and sheet rock. Plus, wires-turned-chew toys can lead to electrical shortages and fires.
As colder temperatures spur a rodent migration, seal up any holes or cracks around walls, doors and windows. Deer mice and house mice are able to squeeze through spaces the size of a nickel, such as those found next to pipes and weather stripping. If you notice holes and rips in cereal boxes and other pantry food items along with a trail of droppings, it’s time to call your pest professional.
Learn more about rodent prevention at, including how to find a pest management professional near you.

Take the Bite out of Pesky Mosquitoes

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Mosquitoes are breeding by the billions, and they are more than a minor outdoor nuisance. These blood-suckers can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and malaria. In the United States, West Nile virus is of most concern, which is why most municipalities monitor and sample mosquitoes and treat known mosquito breeding areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. documented 1,021 cases of West Nile Virus in 2010, of which 57 resulted in death.
Because of the ease with which mosquitoes can breed and spread disease, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners to be vigilant about mosquito prevention, especially as excessive rain and flooding experienced by much of the country in recent weeks provides perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Many people may not be aware that mosquito season does not end when summer does, but actually lasts through October. The NPMA recommends the following preventive measures to safeguard you against mosquitoes:
* Prevent mosquito nesting and breeding sites by eliminating standing water and other sources of moisture in and around the home in flowerpots, water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, baby pools, sandboxes, children’s toys and other objects that can collect water. Mosquitoes need only about 1/2 inch of water to breed. To keep birdbath and pond water fresh, homeowners should add a fountain or drip system.
* Keep windows and doors properly screened. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
* Clean clogged gutters, and periodically check them to ensure water is flowing freely.
* Ensure there is no standing water pooling under decks.
* Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
* If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved apparel, dark colors, loose-fitting garments, open-toe shoes and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes. Instead, wear long pants and sleeves, and be sure to use an insect repellant containing DEET.
* If you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact a pest management company or local mosquito abatement district that may be able to treat your back yard, specifically trees and shrubs where mosquitoes hide during the day.
For more information, visit

Don’t Let Pests Chew Away Your Holidays

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – For those who look forward to dusting off their Christmas decorations and unpacking strand after strand of twinkling lights, discovering a nest of mice or other creatures can be alarming.
“Rodents, spiders and other pests can find their way into homes and nest in boxes of holiday decorations that have been stored in attics, basements and garages since last season,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Holiday decorations that sit in boxes, undisturbed for long periods of time in the attic, basement or closet, provide the perfect hiding spots for pests. The usual culprits are beetles, mice, spiders and weevils. Mice will make nests out of cozy stockings, spiders will spin webs into your wreaths and weevils will burrow into your potpourri.
In order to keep your decorations free of pests and prevent nasty surprises this December, NPMA recommends these prevention tips:
* Avoid storing decorations in cardboard boxes. Cardboard boxes can barely keep out dust, let alone hungry pests. Instead, keep wrapping paper and ornaments in large plastic totes and containers. The containers should have tightly sealed lids to keep the contents dry and secure.
* Keep cloth or wool items in sealed plastic bags. All stockings, tree skirts and other cloth decorations should be washed and sealed in plastic bags. Damp or dirty table linens can be a pest haven and also harbor germs and bacteria. Plastic bags will help keep items fresh and safe from insects.
* Inspect decorations each year for mold or damage. Not all decorations are meant to last forever, and some should be thrown out after one season. Remember to go through your collection and check for moldy or damaged articles. Since mold and moisture can attract more pests, it’s best to discard those items.
If you’re faced with a real infestation, consult a pest management professional to figure out the best course of action. To find more preventive tips or locate a pest expert in your area, go to

Jennifer Grey Joins Forces With Partners Against Pain

Movie icon, dancing star, and patient advocate Jennifer Grey is one of the millions of Americans who has lived with chronic pain. According to the Institute of Medicine, over 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain conditions. Grey’s journey with this complex medical condition began more than ten years ago, and it has impacted her personal life and career.

Now she is sharing her experience to inspire others to become ‘communication experts’ about pain. Grey understands how important open and honest dialogue is to developing an individualized treatment plan with your healthcare professional.

Jennifer Grey Promotes Effective Communication About Pain

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Movie icon, dancing star, and patient advocate Jennifer Grey is one of the millions of Americans who has lived with chronic pain. According to the Institute of Medicine, over 100 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain conditions. Grey’s journey with this complex medical condition began more than ten years ago, and it has impacted her personal life and career.
Now she is sharing her experience to inspire others to become “communication experts” about pain. Grey understands how important open and honest dialogue is to developing an individualized treatment plan with your healthcare professional.
Grey has joined forces with Partners Against Pain to launch a national initiative called A Hands On Approach for Pain Management. The goal of the program is to empower pain patients and healthcare professionals with practical information and tools to communicate more effectively with each other.
“Pain is part of life, but suffering doesn’t have to be,” says Grey. “No one should suffer in silence. I want people to know that communicating about pain is an important first step to identifying the best treatment options for you.”
To get the most out of a medical appointment, Grey suggests preparing in advance by following the “Three R’s”: Research, Record and Rehearse:
* Research and learn all you can about chronic pain so you’ll know what to ask during your next medical appointment. Be sure to write down your questions and take them with you.
* Record how you’re feeling day-to-day in a pain journal. Write down what your symptoms are, their severity, and any steps you’re taking to relieve pain.
* Rehearse with a loved one or caregiver to organize your thoughts and key points to communicate to your healthcare professional.
To learn more about A
Hands On Approach for Pain Management, please visit Partners Against Pain ( The web site offers practical information and tools to help improve the way patients and healthcare professionals share information about pain, including a downloadable pain journal; guides with tips for getting the most out of each medical appointment; and a video feature with Jennifer Grey on communicating effectively about pain.

Lurking in Tall Grass, a Hidden Danger Awaits

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Hiking in the woods is a fun activity for many people, and it increases in popularity when the seasons begin to beautifully change. But being outdoors brings with it an increased risk of tick-borne illnesses. Different species in different regions of the country are responsible for a variety of extremely serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and tick paralysis.
Lyme disease is typically the most worrisome as nearly 20,000 Americans are diagnosed every year, according to the Infectious Disease Society of America. Most cases of Lyme disease occur in late summer and fall months when people are more active outdoors. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a non-profit committed to the protection of public health, food and property, urges families to take extra measures to protect themselves and their pets from tick bites. Blacklegged ticks, often called “deer ticks,” can carry the Lyme disease bacteria.
As people take part in outdoor activities, the risk of being bitten by a tick increases. Avoid tick bites by following these preventive guidelines from the NPMA.
* When in an area where ticks are common, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light-colored so ticks will be easy to detect.
* Tuck pants into socks.
* Use a tick repellent.
* Upon returning indoors, inspect clothing and your entire body, including your head, for ticks. Don’t forget to check your family members who may have been out with you and/or your dog as well.
* After spending time in a tick habitat, it’s a good idea to take a shower because it will afford you the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your entire body.
* Wash clothes immediately.
* Keep grass cut low, including around fence lines, sheds, trees, shrubs, swing sets and other difficult-to-cut locations and remove weeds, woodpiles and other debris from the yard.
* Inquire about lawn tick treatments; especially those that focus on the edges of the lawn where it interfaces with natural areas. This method has the greatest chance of preventing ticks from establishing themselves in your back yard.
* Pet owners should speak to their veterinarians about preventative flea and tick treatments, as these can help to deter pet pests and kill ticks on contact/upon being bitten.
For more pest control and management tips, visit

Integrated Pest Management: Pest Control Made Easy

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Small household pests are no small problem. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns families that cockroaches are a leading trigger of allergies and asthma attacks. The pests’ saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergies and increase the severity of asthma symptoms, especially in children. Small rodents can chew through electrical wiring, increasing the potential risk of fire. And ants, which are not only unsightly, can contaminate food.
One of the best ways homeowners and pest professionals can work together to prevent and control pest infestations is to employ a method called Integrated Pest Management, also referred to as IPM.
IPM is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for controlling pests. The focus is upon finding the best strategy for a pest problem, and not merely the simplest. Pest professionals never employ a “one-size-fits-all” method in IPM but rather utilize a three-part practice: inspection, identification and treatment by a pest professional. Treatment options in IPM can vary from proactive measures like sealing cracks and removing food and water sources to reactive measures, such as utilizing pest products, when necessary.
The “integrated” in Integrated Pest Management does not merely describe the three-part practice of inspection, identification and treatment. It reflects the joint commitment between homeowners and pest professionals to stop pests before they invade. The two parties work together to identify the causes and risks of invasions and to devise treatments for when they do.
When it comes to IPM, prevention can be as important to pest control as treatment. It’s important to find a qualified professional that can identify and point out a home’s vulnerabilities and offer prevention tips for homeowners. Here are a few pest prevention techniques in an IPM program:
* Repair any leaky pipes, especially in areas under sinks where pests can often go unnoticed.
* Seal up cracks and holes around pipes and wiring.
* Keep all foods in sealed containers, including pet food.
* Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
* Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
* Wipe counters, floors and other surfaces frequently.
* Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
* Vacuum often.
To find a pest professional, or to learn more about IPM, visit

Yoga, Acupuncture and Massage: All Can Help Relieve Chronic Pain

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many people who take medications for chronic pain sometimes wonder whether there is more they can do to manage their condition better. More and more, medical research is showing that the answer is a resounding yes.

While prescription and over-the-counter medications can be useful in treating chronic pain, efforts to manage pain can often be enhanced by using an integrative approach to care that combines traditional medicine with complementary and alternative therapies.

Integrative care can include a variety of methods such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, tai chi and meditation. Many experts agree that integrative care must be tailored to the patient, as not every treatment will be effective or appropriate for everyone. Each patient should have a plan that meets his or her individual needs.

“A pain management plan that utilizes an integrative approach yields the best results for many people with pain. In combination with medication, alternative and complementary therapies can help patients better manage their pain and lead more fulfilling lives,” says Robert Bonakdar, M.D., of the American Academy of Pain Management. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so people with chronic pain may need to try different therapies to find the best approach to pain management. Communicating openly and honestly with your healthcare provider is essential to finding the right approach.”

Today, integrative care is becoming an increasingly popular pain management strategy. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that 38 percent of adults in the United States (about four out of 10) use some form of complementary or alternative medicine to treat common problems such as back, neck or joint pain.

People with pain should ask their doctor if an integrative approach to pain management is right for them. Additionally, Partners Against Pain, a national educational program provided by Purdue Pharma L.P. at, contains an array of information on pain conditions and pain management.

Encountering Barriers on the Road to Pain Management

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Pain is the top reason people seek medical care in the U.S. Despite all we now know about pain, many people continue to suffer needlessly. That’s because there can be “road blocks” to effective treatment. These can come from a variety of sources – including healthcare professionals and even patients themselves.

While controlling pain hasn’t always been a medical priority, the healthcare industry has made great strides in recent years to address this – including the establishment of pain as the “the fifth vital sign.” Nevertheless, people seeking treatment may still encounter healthcare professionals who do not take pain seriously, or who do not understand how to provide proper pain management. This can result in inadequate treatment.

“It’s important that people with pain find a healthcare professional who understands their needs and is willing to work together to determine what treatment option works best,” says Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association. “With the right care and direction, you can live a full life.”

One of the most challenging barriers to adequate pain relief also can come from the people with pain themselves. Some may resist taking pain relievers because of fears of side effects associated with strong prescription medications – it is important to discuss these concerns with a physician. Attitudes toward pain and suffering also may play a role. For instance, some people believe that “good patients” don’t complain, or that pain is inevitable.

Individuals should remember that pain should not be brushed aside or ignored. Here are some steps people with pain can follow to overcome barriers to effective pain management:

* Don’t suffer in silence: report your pain to your healthcare professional.

* Stay involved in your pain management plan: it may take a few adjustments before you are comfortable with your treatment.

* Educate yourself: you will better understand your pain and what can be done to relieve it.

* Learn how to better communicate with your healthcare professional: this may mean keeping a pain diary to illustrate the details of your pain – where it hurts, pain intensity, and what time of day it is worst.

* Don’t settle for inadequate treatment: if your health care provider isn’t successfully treating your pain, ask to be referred to a medical professional who can.

One of the resources available to those living with pain is The site contains a wide array of information on various pain conditions, resources such as pain assessment and measurement tools, and links to pain education and advocacy groups. Partners Against Pain is a national education program provided by Purdue Pharma L.P.

Time Management 101: Make the Most of Your Day, Life

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Procrastination might be the subject of many jokes, but wasting time is no laughing matter. Every person is equal in one thing — a limited amount of time. How people use that time determines their lifestyle and income, separating the Oprah Winfreys and the Donald Trumps from the rest of the rat race.

In an interview with SUCCESS Magazine (, Dr. Mehmet Oz, vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University, writer and a regular on T.V. and radio, said, “It’s not about time management. It’s about energy management. The things you do should give you that zest for life.”

If you love what you are doing, you are far more likely to do your job efficiently and effectively. Darren Hardy, publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS Magazine, suggests approaching time management as an investor, and looking to get the best return on expended energy. “Your management task,” says Hardy, “is to spend more time on what gives you energy and to guard against, eliminate, delegate or mitigate your time on those things that take energy away from you.”

Hardy offers the following advice for Americans looking to use their time more effectively:

– Discern wasted time. According to one study, American employees working 40 hour weeks waste 50 percent of their time on unproductive, low-priority tasks, and then another 37 percent working on personal business, surfing the Internet, eating lunch, taking breaks and chatting. Most people are productive for only 10 hours each week.

Take an honest look at the amount of time you waste, and imagine what you could accomplish with those extra hours.

– Prioritize energy. Urgent tasks are deadline-based, and important tasks are those on which you want to utilize your time. Finish urgent tasks first. If a task is urgent but not important, try delegating it.

– Set standards. Life is a series of trades — we trade time for money, work time for family time, gym time for television time. Define your values, and always trade your time towards those values.

For additional tips and successful ideas, subscribe to SUCCESS Magazine by visiting, or visit Hardy’s blog at