eco advocate


Hornets' Sting Factor a Human Threat

It’s August, and the bald-faced hornet queens will be emerging from their nests. These insects, known for their large nests, defensive nature and potent sting, pose a threat to humans. Chances are a person attacked by a hornet will suffer multiple stings.

Left on their own, hornets do not typically bother humans. But when threatened, hornets can signal their entire nest to attack by releasing pheromones, which incite the workers to defend their hives with potent stings. Unlike bees, hornets can sting more than once without dying. An added risk: Some perfumes can be mistaken for pheromones and can send out false alarms to the hornets and cause them to forge an aggressive attack.

Individuals allergic to hornet stings can experience severe, and possibly fatal, reactions if not treated immediately. While a single sting is unlikely to be deadly to individuals without allergies, the danger to even those without allergies comes from the potential of receiving multiple stings. In such large doses, the venom can be deadly.

Be safe. Leave hornet nest removal to a licensed exterminator AND steer clear of toxic chemicals. The eco-friendly residual insecticides and dust treatments Arkadia Eco Pest Control offers will stamp out these harmful pests for good--and all the while be people- and environmentally-friendly.


What’s a Germaphobe to Do?

In our war on dirt and germs, we may actually be causing ourselves more harm than good. Most conventional cleaning products are petroleum-based and have questionable health and environmental effects--more so when we consider how the impact from a combination of products adds up.

Here are some ideas for fall cleaning that will enable you to green-clean your house without breaking the bank.

Back to basics
Baking soda and vinegar mixed with a little warm water can clean almost anything. Borax is also a green cleaning booster. Bring citrus fruit into the mix, some cloves and a little olive oil and you have a dynamite array of products that can work wonders for fall cleaning.

Spice up your indoor air
Boil cinnamon, cloves, or other herbs or bake chocolate chip cookies to create a friendly indoor aroma. Plus, peace lilies, spider plants or any broad green-leafed will filter in-house air.

Deck your walls
If your fall cleaning involves a fresh coat of paint, take care to avoid paint containing volatile organic compounds (VOC). VOCs are chemicals found in many paints that form vapors at room temperature and can cause an array of short and long-term health problems. Check out this list of truly eco-conscious paints: Eco-Spec, by Benjamin Moore; Clarity, by Dutch Boy; Enviro-Pure, by MAB Paint; American Pride Paint; and BioShield Milk Paint.

Leave dirt at the door
Use a substantial doormat or mandate a "no shoe" indoor policy. Trudging pollutants like animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, oil and antifreeze into your house can cause allergy or other problems for your kids and animals as they move about on the floor. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals--and, as importantly, better health.

Till next month.

Barbara Mannino
Eco Advocate Writer/Editor
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