Declare War Against Fire Ants

<b>Declare War Against Fire Ants</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When fire ants invade, these aggressive insects can inflict pain on people and pets without warning. Similar to a wasp or hornet sting, the fire ant’s wrath can cause pain, itching and swelling, and in some cases, death.

Every year, more than 10,000 people seek medical attention for fire ant stings.

The best way to prevent fire ant stings is to eliminate these dangerous insects. Identify fire ants by their reddish-brown-to-black color, their size — measuring one-eighth to one-fourth inch long, and their stingers.

Fire ants build mounds of soft soil, which can be more than 15 inches high, 15 inches in diameter and up to five feet deep. Each colony can contain one or more queen ants and between 100,000 and 500,000 worker ants.

When anything disturbs their mound, fire ants become very aggressive, inflicting hundreds of stings in a matter of seconds. Although these fierce ants began wreaking havoc in the South, they have migrated across the country.

Homeowners can choose from a few different methods to destroy fire ants. Many insecticides are “broadcast products,” which cover a wide area and unfortunately kill beneficial insects in addition to fire ants. Local retailers offer several chemicals, including bait compounds and drenches, which are often environmentally unfriendly. Check the labels, since most chemicals may be harmful to pets and children if ingested.

Some natural alternatives include using dry ice or lye soap; however, patience is essential as these techniques may require several applications. These measures also may cause blisters and burns when they come in contact with the skin.

Another option is to choose from a new generation of insecticides designed not to create a toxic build-up in the environment. For example, RESULTS Fire Ant Killer is an odorless product that kills mounds — including the queen — in 15 minutes or less. The active ingredients break down quickly, so there is no re-entry wait time.

The ingredients in RESULTS Fire Ant Killer include an extract from the African Daisy, a synthetic sassafras oil and Diatomaceous Earth.

For more information about winning the war against fire ants, visit

Refueling the Tanks: Learning to Value Time Off

<b>Refueling the Tanks: Learning to Value Time Off</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Why do many Americans suffer from burnout, reduced productivity, diminished creativity, failed relationships, stress, depression, heart disease and stomach ulcers? The answer may be as simple as a failure to rest and relax.

America’s puritanical work ethic emphasizes effort and extra hours, but overscheduling can destroy creativity, not to mention mental and physical health. Consider Denmark, the world’s happiest country, according to independent studies from the University of Leicester and the University of Michigan. Danish workers receive 31 days of paid vacation each year — the most in the world.

American workers, on average, only accumulate 10 paid vacation days per year, which many employees skip. According to a Harris Interactive research group, Americans failed to take 438 million paid vacation days in 2007.

Working nonstop doesn’t make workers more productive. Instead, it hurts effectiveness. Relaxation clears frenetic energy from minds and bodies, dramatically improving mood and attitude. Taking time off helps workers regain their bearings, so that, when they return to work, they feel more focused and productive.

Darren Hardy, publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS Magazine, offers these tips to Americans who need to recharge their batteries:

* Rephrase “time off.” If you can’t handle the idea of taking time off, call your down time something else. Hardy calls his time off “Rejuvenation Time,” which sounds purposeful, productive and worthwhile.

* Schedule time for yourself. Mark vacation time on your calendar, then treat it like an unmoveable appointment with Oprah or the Queen of England. When you do take time off, turn off your e-mail and Blackberries.

* Declare when you’re going on vacation. Tell everyone what your doing and that you won’t be available.

* Measure your time off. Measure the number of times you eat dinner with you family, take naps, meditate, read for pleasure, watch movies and engage in activities that you enjoy. If you only have fun every once in awhile, concentrate on building more time for yourself into your busy schedule.

For more tips about balancing your work and personal life, visit