Category: Health

5 Low-Maintenance Plants To Keep The Mosquitoes Away


Mosquitoes can be a real issue, especially during the hotter, more humid times of the year. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy the weather or go about your day than being hassled by blood sucking mosquitoes.

There are a number of things that you can do to try and keep mosquitoes from eating you alive, such as using mosquito repellent, turning on your fans and lighting citronella candles. However, these are all short-term solutions. For a long-term solution, you should consider introducing a few naturally mosquito repelling plants.

The following are five plants that are not only mosquito repelling; they are also easy to grow and to maintain:

1. Citronella


Many people will use citronella-scented candles to get rid of mosquitoes, so it’s only natural that the citronella plant will do the same – except it won’t burn out after a period of time like a candle will. The citronella plant provides a distinctive aroma that covers up nearby smells that tend to attract mosquitoes, which will make it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you. Citronella can be grown wherever frost does not occur. It’s a perennial grass that grows to between roughly five or six feet. If you do live in an area with frost, you can grow the Citronella in a pot or planter and simply move it indoors during the colder periods of the year.

2. Marigolds


The great thing about marigolds is that they will not only provide your home with a natural mosquito repellent, they will also make the area you plant them in look absolutely beautiful. These annual plants contain Pyrethrum, which releases an odor that mosquitoes hate. Pyrethrum also happens to be used often in many different types of insect repellents. Keep in mind that marigolds need plenty of sunlight and fertile soil in order properly thrive. You can also grow marigolds in pots or planters and place them around the home for additional protection from mosquitoes.

3. Catnip


Catnip is a perennial herb that is related to mint, and is also quite easy to grow. According to recent studies, it was found that catnip is actually as much as ten times more effective than the chemical known as DEET, which is used in a large amount of commercial insect repellent. However, catnip only has an effect on mosquitoes within a close proximity. Many people will apply crushed leaves for better protection from mosquitoes. You should also keep in mind that catnip plants do affect cats, which means that if you own a cat you may want to consider using a different plant.

4. Ageratum


Like many of the previously mentioned plants, ageratum contains an element that mosquitoes find incredibly offensive and that is commonly used in insect repellents. This component is known as coumarin. Like marigolds, ageratums boast some especially gorgeous flowers. Its blooms are typically blue, but they come in several varieties that include white, pink and violet as well. Ageratum plants don’t need very much sunlight and can thrive with in full or partial sunlight. You won’t need very rich soil either, which is why they are often used in rock gardens, especially because they are a low-lying plant.

5. Horsemint


Horsemint has the same effect that citronella plants do; they produce a strong scent that tends to mask nearby scents that attract mosquitoes. Horsemint has several positives going for it, including that it grows fast, can grow in the shade, can resist droughts and does well in dryer conditions.

Use some of these plants near your deck, backyard, pool area, or other outdoor areas of your home in order to naturally repel mosquitoes.

Nicole loves her beautiful little home that she shares with her husband. She enjoys learning about anything to do with home improvement, from ways to keep the bugs away to the best decking suppliers in Perth, Australia.

Texas Retirement Communities: The ‘Independent Living’ Option


Texas ranks 7th in the nation as a choice location, among retirees, who wish to spend their ‘Golden Years’ in a state that offers plenty of warm weather and sunshine.

‘Independent Living’ in Texas is as popular as Texas is large!  Throughout the state, a multitude of Independent Living facilities are available.  In the Arlington area, for example, there are 22 Independent Living communities to choose from.   Dallas has 25 locations, San Antonio and Austin have 18, Corpus Christie and its surrounding area has 30– the list goes on!

What Is ‘Independent Living’?

‘Independent Living’, as it pertains to retired individuals, refers to retirement communities designed, specifically, for seniors 55 years and greater who maintain good health and do not require assistance or supervision of their daily activities.  Many Independent Living facilities offer housekeeping and laundry services; and on-site medical-staff are often available to attend to the health needs of residents, if needed.  For individuals who have chosen an Independent Living lifestyle, self-sufficiency is still a very important component in their lives!

These fortunate retirees live in attractive, single units, resembling apartments, and are in charge of their own schedules and daily care.   Each complex is occupied by like-minded adults who enjoy the freedom to come and go as each one pleases.   Since the residents are close in age and share a history of many life experiences, a true sense of community emerges and, for many, close friendships develop and become cherished and appreciated.

A variety of planned activities within the communities are enjoyed; and shuttled transportation is often provided so residents can take in the festivities within the surrounding communities.

What Amenities Are Offered?

Independent Retirement Communities are self-contained and though each community may be managed slightly differently, each facility will offer niceties, which could include:

— hair salons


— fitness/ game rooms and spa treatments

— live entertainment

— private movie theaters

—outdoor gardening and craft classes

— walking trails

For the more spirited residents, Poker games and ‘Movin To The Beat’ dance and exercise classes keep  minds strong and spirits high.

Discover the many other programs and activities that are available from any number of Independent Living Communities within the many metropolitan areas of Texas!

Who Qualifies For Independent Living?

If a person is 55 years or better, he or she should be able to easily perform a variety of daily tasks, such as:

— Using the telephone:  Being able to dial numbers, look up numbers, etc.

— Managing medications:  Taking correct dosages of appropriate prescriptions

— Preparing meals:  Planning and fixing meals, safely, and making appropriate, healthy food choices

— Housekeeping:  Maintaining a safe, hygienic living area or being able to arrange hired staff to provide the service

— Shopping:  Ability to purchase needed items, including groceries, and making arrangements to transport purchases from store to home.

— Transportation:  Being able to drive safely or use public transportation for errands or visits to local family or friends

As the passage of time dictates, assessments of your senior’s functional abilities will be on-going to determine any modifications that might be necessary for his or her care requirements.  Assessments will help tailor the care plan to best meet the needs of your loved one.

Independent Living Retirement Communities are dedicated to enriching the lives of their senior population with signature services for those who value their freedom and independence.

Independent Retirement Communities provide an atmosphere for young-minded seniors to develop friendships, maintain a continued feeling of security, feel empowered with a sense of autonomy, and enjoy life to the fullest with others who share common interests.

Miss Carlson is a retired school teacher and grandmother who now writes on the topic of independent living.



Stung By A Scorpion? Now What?


Striped Bark Scorpion Feeding

Striped Bark Scorpion Feeding (Photo credit: DaveWilsonPhotography)

San Antonio, TX is home to the Striped Bark Scorpion. The scorpion is not the deadliest of the scorpion species, but its sting packs quite a painful punch. Their stings can be dangerous to the elderly, the young, and those with susceptible immune systems. If you suffer from a respiratory infection, or any long-term illness, you may find yourself in a more perilous situation. This is the time when the sting is most likely going to kill you.

If you are stung by a scorpion, you may experience any of the following: pain, difficulty breathing, sweating, skin reactions, rapid heart beat, blurred vision, slurred speech, hypertension, and drowsiness. Advanced symptoms may include chest pain, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, one can experience respiratory, cardiovascular, or neurological failure.

If you ever get stung by a scorpion, here are some tips on handling the sting:

Don’t panic. A natural reaction to a scorpion sting is to panic. Remain calm so you don’t add to any of the possible sting reactions that may occur—like hypertension. Remaining calm decreases the blood pressure and heart rate, limiting the spread of the scorpion’s venom.

Get help. If you are experiencing any of the more severe aforementioned symptoms, head to the nearest hospital. Medical specialists can immobilize the affected, keeping the venom from spreading any further into the body. This delays the absorption of the poison. Most hospitals have scorpion antivenom that may save your life. These antivenoms can be pricey, but it’s better to be safe then sorry.

Wash the infected area. If you are not experiencing any severe symptoms, and you wish to treat the sting at home, simply make use of a soap and warm water. Allow the water to run through your wound while you gently rub it with soap. It’s important that you habitually wash the wound until it heals.

Apply an antiseptic. The use of an antiseptic can help reduce the possibility of infection. Rubbing alcohol, Bactine, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine are all acceptable antiseptics you can use to further clean and disinfect the wound.

Apply a cold compress. After being stung by a scorpion, you will likely experience some pain and swelling around the infected area. After washing, apply an ice pack to help minimize these symptoms.

Do not do any of the following:

Don’t handle the scorpion that stung you. The odds are pretty good that the scorpion still has the ability to sting some more, even if it appears to be lifeless.

Don’t cut open the wound. A common myth when dealing with insect bites is to slash the wound allowing blood to flow to the infected area. This actually increases the likelihood of an infection.

Don’t suck out the poison. Don’t allow other to suck out the venom either. Venom can be transferred from person to person, and it can lead to ulcers in the mouth.

It is rare that a person actually dies from a scorpion sting, but it is still advisable to avoid contact with scorpions. If you have been stung by a scorpion, follow the above tips. If you do not want to be stung by a scorpion, contact a San Antonio pest control professional today.

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706

San Antonio Chimney & Wildlife Control
333 West Olmos Drive #123
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 607-0347

Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX
(866) 713-9979

Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes Continues Across Texas

Mosquitoes and West Nile

Much of Texas, including the city of San Antonio, is under a summer-long mosquito attack. These attacks have many San Antonio residents fearful of the deadly West Nile Virus which is at its highest levels ever. Over 75 percent of the country’s West Nile cases stem from the state of Texas which has led to President Obama to assess the situation and declare a state of emergency. Texas health officials say that more than 50 percent of the confirmed cases are “neuroinvasive,” the most severe form of the disease resulting in a confirmed 30 statewide deaths.

Combating the Mosquitoes

One effective way to combat the disease carrying mosquitoes is with aerial pesticide spraying, but it does raise many questions and concerns among the general public. Airplanes have been spraying many portions of the state with a pesticide designed to eliminate the mosquitoes and control West Nile outbreaks. The pesticide being aerially dropped is called DUET. It’s safe for the general public, but some my suffer reactions. The most common reactions to DUET include: burning sensations, prickling sensations, tearing in the eyes, blurred vision, and respiratory irritation.

If You Have Any of The Following You May Be Vulnerable To Reactions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Allergies
  • Lung disease
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory infection
  • Hypersensitivity to chemicals


If you are concerned about having possible reactions to the aerial counterattacks, Texas health officials urge residents to take precautions. During the spraying, bring your pets indoors. Make sure to stay inside for a couple hours until the pesticide settles. Afterward, wash patio furniture, vehicles, children’s toys, and any garden vegetables. Make sure to wash your shoes as well before returning inside the house. If you feel like you may be hypersensitive to these pesticides, you may want to consider leaving town for a day or two.

Pest Control

We’re still a long way away from the end of West Nile season. We’ll be dealing with the virus outbreak through at least the end of September. If you are worried about the DUET pesticide, the West Nile Virus, or mosquitoes on your property, contact a local pest control professional today. They can offer safe, non-toxic solutions for all of your concerns and needs.

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706

Mosquito Nix
12500 Network Boulevard
San Antonio, TX 78249
(210) 699-7700

Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX
(866) 713-9979

Ants at Dallas Cowboy’s Training Camp

The city of San Antonio, TX is buzzing with excitement as Dallas Cowboy football is in the air. Another thing

Dallas Cowboys Training

Dallas Cowboys Training (Photo credit: C. Strife)

that was buzzing, or crawling for that matter, was a Cowboy player’s pants earlier this summer.

Dallas Cowboys’ Fullback, Lawrence Vickers, was stretching just before the special teams period when he felt a stinging in his pants. Rushing off the field, grabbing his groin, he noticed two big red ants in his pants.

“I was just holding myself, and you don’t just be grabbing on yourself because ants are on you. People are gonna make fun of you. I don’t care as long as they got off me. I don’t care about people knowing about ants in my pants.”

Although Vickers is allergic to ants and breaks out in hives when bitten, he was able to return to practice the same day after taking some Benadryl and washing the bitten area.

Ant Allergies

Stinging ants can inject venom that can cause irritation, burning, and even blisters on the skin’s surface. People that have ant allergies, like Lawrence Vickers does, can suffer from more dangerous reactions or even death. The allergic reaction comes from chemicals produced by the body’s immune system while fighting the venom, not actually the venom itself. Insect stings are responsible for 40 deaths per year in the United States.

Symptoms of Ant Allergies 

allergic reaction

allergic reaction (Photo credit: :: Wendy ::)

  • Swelling
  • Hives or blisters
  • Irritation
  • Wheezing/ difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Slurred Speech
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

Treatment for Ant Allergies

Antihistamines, like Benadryl, can alleviate most ant bite allergy symptoms. More severe reactions may necessitate an epinephrine injection. Doctors or allergy specialists can also give allergy sufferers weekly injections to reduce venom sensitivity.


Click here for a quick video on ant pest control I you’re worried about ants. Watch a great video on ant pest control by ant guru Adam.


If you have ant allergies, contact a pest control professional today!

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706

Critter Control
San Antonio, TX 78232
(210) 499-4225

Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX
(866) 713-9979



Green Earth – Mother Earth – Green Pest Control

Interesting discussion on one of Raid’s newer pest control products. CLICK HERE

Its all in how you name it right?  If you say its Eco-Earth or Ecological Bug Control, then it has to be environmentally friendly right?  Get the facts.  Just because a name contains the word Eco in it does not mean that it is Eco. Sure it sounds good, but its just like all of your sugar cereals claiming to be part of a complete breakfast. Fortified with vitamins doesn’t make it healthy.  Better yet there are companies whose names today would be illegal, but they were grandfathered in so they are allowed to use terms like “Organic” in their names. Unfortunately most people don’t know how to determine what product are truly Eco Friendly.  Or better yet, what products are the least toxic. 

I was shocked to hear how many “Green Pest Control” companies are still using Diatomceous Earth.  Pest Control operators should understand that this product may be organic and natural but the human body cannot metabolize it.  Further studies indicate how exposure to this “organic” pest product can cause serious chronic conditions.

So above asking if a pest product or service is “Green” is asking how toxic is the product.  The lower the LD-50 the better.  I personally would never use a product in a customer’s home that I wouldn’t use in my own home.  All of the products Bulwark uses are less toxic then toothpaste.  And our trained professionals know how and where to place the products according to the EPA label so that you and your family are not at any increased risks. 

You can count on Bulwark for all your Family Friendly Pest Control Solutions.

What is Green Pest Control?

What is green pest control?  Well after a long week of “Green Washing” many people are on a green rampage.  The green growth reaches as far as the pest control companies.  Excited and ready to move forward these greenies in the green pest control field get all set up for the Green Pest Management Conference in Dallas TX.  And of course, what’s the first question out of the their mouths, “How do I go Green?”.  But wait, shouldn’t we define what green is?  Apparently not.  There is no regulations on “Green” and there is no way to define it. So you can call it what you want.  “You have to decide what’s green to you.” commented one speaker.

So its similar to “Purified Water”.  You can take water from your tap and stick a “Purified Water” label on it and sell it as “purified water.”  There is no regulation on how pure purified water has to be. None.

If your a pest control company then you could be thinking… “So I can take what I am doing now and call it green?”

Yes.  You can call your pest control Green.  Call it whatever color you want since its not regulated. You can call it pink, orange, white, or black. Pest Control can be any shade.  In fact, it doesn’t seem like the “green leaders” are doing much more then Bulwark already does. So you can call Bulwark green.  Or greener then green.  But if it doesn’t mean anything then why?

Why don’t we just forget the whole semantics and go with what’s real.  Improvement.  Whatever shade of green you paint Bulwark doesn’t matter to us.  What matters is that we are getting greener. What matters even more to Bulwark is that the customer is getting more of what they want.  They can call it green.  They can call it clean.  They can call it “worry free pest control”.  We just want them to sleep sound knowing that Bulwark is taking care of it and that we have their best interests in mind.

And how do we continue to improve?  Well we attended the Green Pest Management Conference didn’t we?  We were one of the first to use EcoSmart products were we not?  Improvement is the Bulwark way.

So you define green pest control, What’s Green Pest Control to YOU?- Is it Natural Pest Products?  Is it organic pest control products? paperless?  efficiency? lower risk products? low impact?

We care about serving you our customer.  Tell us what you want and we will deliver.

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