Eliminate smells naturally with “What Odor?”

There are dozens of different brands of air and carpet fresheners on the market. the majority of them don’t really get rid of a “bad” or lingering smell. They simply mask it, and not always well.

When you have a pet, the problem can be even worse. Sadly, statistics show one of the top reasons people surrender or get rid of their dogs is due to household “accidents”. Besides the mess, the lingering smell in your home can drive you up a wall and create real issues within families.

Nelson Grist, President and CEO of For the Earth Corp., wondered if there was some way to create a true odor eliminator that could make the difference. The result of his research is What Odor?.

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Step ‘n Soak 4 Feet – easy relief for aching feet

Tired achy feet can get relief from a 20 minute daily foot bath

TV host, author and cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz is a firm believer in soaking your feet. He’s done numerous TV segments on different foot baths – from simple baking soda to citrus, tea and vodka, America’s doctor recommends the benefit of a daily 20 minute “foot-bath”.

For those who love the idea of soaking their feet but not the hassle or mess, the StepnSoak 4 Feet is the perfect solution.

Ready to use out of the box, the Step ‘n Soak foot soaking system eliminates spills and requires no tub.

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Natural Remedies can help defeat flea season

Flea season 1Spring brings a double edged sword – winter’s end and flea season.

2009 saw an increased number of adverse incidents reported from using over-the-counter and prescription flea and tick products. After first blush, it appears a percentage were due to improperly applying those products.

But pet owners are looking for alternatives.

After researching and testing, I’ve narrowed the field to three easy, effective flea remedies.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth is used regularly by veterinarians, farmers and ranchers. There are two distinct grades or types of DE – the kind for swimming pools and the food or human grade power kind. Look for the ground-up, Food or Human Grade powder.

What makes DE effective, says Steve Bessette, founder and President of EcoSmart Technoligies, is it dries insects exoskeletons, killing them within 72 hours.

Like any pest control product, spread this powder around the floorboards and outside the house foundation and any barriers to your home. Use a mask as inhaling it can cause serious breathing problems.

You can carefully dust your dog or cat with diatomaceous earth. But, says Steve Chaplin, a science writer and journalist who works with researchers at Indiana University, don’t create a dust cloud in front of the pet’s face.

To control pests, Chaplin fills a metal kitchen sieve with DE. Then, like sifting flour. tap it all over your pet, work it into their coat and leave it in.

Keep your pet dry afterwords to maintain the DE’s effectiveness. It fails when it gets wet. Dry times of year (when fleas are worst) are the best times to use DE, Chaplin says.

DE’s a safe bet for indoor use, but test beforehand to protect the colors of your furniture. Chaplin sprinkles DE on their middle Eastern rugs, couches and chairs.

With indoor use, keep pets away from it, especially at night, as DE is toxic for pets to breathe in. Vacuum thoroughly the next morning before letting them come in.

One other effective use of DE is to add it into your pet’s food. Carefully follow instructions for this to avoid overdosing.

20 Mule Team20 Mule Team Borax

We all know the next remedy – 20 Mule Team Borax. This white powder destroys fleas reproductive systems.

“There’s silicate in borax,” says Chaplin, just like in DE, which is why it works well.

Sprinkle borax lightly throughout the house and gently work it in with a broom. Keep pets away from this as much as possible. Leave it for 24 hours, then vacuum thoroughly.

As when using DE, if your vacuum uses a bag, dispose of it immediately after vacuuming. Spray the bag and your vacuum cleaner’s insides with a flea spray. Or buy cheap flea collars, cut them up and put pieces inside each bag before you vacuum. Remove them each time you toss the bag.

A word of caution. Vacuuming causes any eggs in your carpet to hatch. You’ll want to vacuum again in a few hours, to ensure you got this new infestation. Do NOT put borax directly on your pet.

EcoSmart 2EcoSmart

EcoSmart products, the third choice use essential oils from plants that mimic a nerve receptor only insects have. They won’t have any adverse impact on people, pets or the environment.

I’ve successfully used a number of EcoSmart products, many of which are effective in repelling or eliminating fleas.

Their Lawn & Landscape attaches to a garden hose, mixing with water as it sprays the yard. Using this on my backyard, the fragrance wasn’t overpowering, unlike traditional pesticides, and one bottle covered the entire area.

EcoSmart Granules 2Their Organic Insect Killer Granules for Lawn and Landscape also does the trick. It comes in two sizes: a 10 pound bag you put in the spreader and spread across the lawn and a 2 pound shaker package for perimeter treatments.

Like DE or borax, EcoSmart’s Lawn and Landscape fails when wet. Their granular product releases its active ingredients into the soil when wet, providing protection against fleas, ticks, ants and many common pests.

“It kills on contact and repels for residual on-going (effect),” said Bessette.

It’s the oils that kill the insects, Bessette said.

EcoSmart products are designed in a water solution to settle down, eliminating airborne drift. And they’re around 1,000 times less toxic than malathian, Bessette said.

Being plant-based, the company recommends applying them at least once a month.

Many pest control companies, including Clark, Orkin and Western, use EcoSmart products.

Russell Phillips of Clark in Redding, California said you have to have a little more patience when using “green” products like EcoSmart for fleas.

EcoSmart products are safe because they don’t persist. But, says Bessette, because they don’t persist, you have to apply it more frequently.

Depending upon the flea infestation, apply every 2 to 4 weeks and you probably won’t have to worry about infestations from the yard.

With summer and frequent watering, change your approach.

Apply the product in early morning or early evening so it doesn’t evaporate right away. For the best effect when using the Lawn spray, Besset said to water first, then spray afterwords.

There’s no magic bullet. To really be effective, combine some of these. And don’t forget to wash and brush your pet regularly during high flea months.

“Flea combing your animals is just as important as using DE,” says Chaplin.

These effective choices are safe around pets and children.

EcoSmart can be found at Raleys, Albertsons and some Safeway. Home Depot carries most of EcoSmart’s products and Wal-Mart and Lowe’s carries some of them.

Bug Bam: the DEET-free insect repellent

Giant Mosquito

Though school’s started, there’s still plenty of hot weather ahead for backyard barbecues and lakeside weekends.

Bug Bam - a top quality DEET-free alternative

Bug Bam - a top quality DEET-free alternative

Normally reach for heavy duty insect repellent to deter pesky mosquitoes? Instead, consider Bug Bam. This DEET-free, waterproof and sweat-proof wristband, made with FDA approved ingredients and plant-based essential oils, protects without harsh chemicals. Non-toxic, food-grade, safe for babies, kids and adults, Bug Bam has a pleasant citronella – lemon balm scent.

Bug Bam’s the brainchild of Australian outdoorsman and entrepreneur Joseph Symond, President and CEO of Bug Bam Products.

Symond grew up loving fishing. But he watched his fishing gear mysteriously disintegrate and realized later that DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) bug spray was the culprit.

Considered a neuro toxin, research shows DEET “melts” plastics and synthetic fibers and has is hazardous to skin, with documented cases of skin scarring. Holiday revelers often confuse DEET poisoning symptoms as food poisoning.

Bug Bam’s the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s100 percent natural ingredients have tested safe at independent laboratories in Australia and the U.S.

Originally created in 1998, when the West Nile Virus began springing up, Symond realized: “300 million people in the U.S. now had a mosquito problem.” He introduced the reformulated Bug Bam in 2006.

After being featured on the Today Show twice, Richard Branson tested Bug Bam and bought a truckload, as did the U.S. Navy. Walmart and Big 5 Sporting Goods followed and, says Symond, “it was a vertical line straight up!”

Bug Bam's wristband protects your whole body with all natural essentials oils

Bug Bam's wristband protects your whole body with all natural essentials oils

Bug Bam’s original product – the red wrist band – comes in adult and kids sizes. “It’s considered a personal repellent,” says Symond.

For outdoors, there’s the Bug Bam Grid, a plastic square with star-shaped holes to let air flow through and a built-in hook for a belt, an umbrella, to place near a tent or a

The Grid has 5 times more potency than Bug Bam's wristband

The Grid has 5 times more potency than Bug Bam's wristband

picnic area. The Grid has about 5 times more of what the wrist band has, says Symond.

To ensure top quality and effectiveness, Symond had the Grid tested at UC Davis by one of the country’s top entomologists, who released 750 mosquitoes capable of carrying malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and West Nile Virus into an enclosure.

“It kept mosquitoes from biting both the (simulated human blood) and humans up to 300 square feet for 100 hours,” said Symond.

As to longevity, the warmer (or more humid) it is, the shorter Bug Bam’s lifespan. Store in its resealable bag when not in use. Its shelf life is two years if stored in a cool, dry place.

In an area with lots of mosquitoes? For maximum effectiveness use two wristbands or hang up two Grids instead of one.

Bug Bam's Pet Tag helps protect your dog from heartworm

Bug Bam's Pet Tag helps protect your dog from heartworm

Dog lovers will love Bug Bam’s Pet Tag. It’s 100 percent natural and contains only EPA/FDA approved ingredients – geranium, citronella and lemongrass. It’s been scientifically proven to repel mosquitoes, fleas and ticks without using the harsh chemicals found in flea collars and topical products.

Most dog owners don’t know that mosquitoes transmit deadly heartworm, says Symond. There are no known side effects when using the Pet Tag in combination with other heartworm products.

You should give your pet regular heartworm medicine anyway, Symond said.

The Pet Tag works on scent. When you can’t smell it, it’s time to change it. If your dog reacts to it, just take it off.

A package of two Pet tags lasts about a month.

Symond wanted to get the Pet Tag tested, but wasn’t willing to deal with the “disposal” fee. Laboratories test on dogs and routinely “dispose” (euthanize) of them after testing.

Instead, Symond has veterinarians test the product.

Bug Bam’s popularity has grown worldwide. The United Nations has approved using his product for their “Roll Back Maleria” program. He’s been approached by Madonna’s organization to take it to Malawi to protect its 22 million people.

“Making something that saves peoples lives – that’s the fun part,” says Symond.

Bug Bam’s wristband is available at some Walmart stores (not all). The Pet Tag, which is new, is only available online. Wristbands retail for $3.95, the Grid for $5.95 and a package of 2 Pet tags is $7.95. Order any of these at Bugbam.com or phone 1-888-899-3308.

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