5 Tips for Coping with Daylight Savings Time

In 1964, The Rolling Stones sang “Time is on my side, yes it is, time is on my side.” This is a rather appropriate song to have stuck in your head this week as it’s time to turn those clocks back one hour this Saturday night. November 5, 2016 marks Daylight Savings Time, and while that means one more hour of sleep, it also means that winter is on the way. Because change is difficult for some people (even the smallest of changes), here are some ideas for dealing with “falling back” in time!

  • Wake up at a normal time on Sunday. It’s tempting to take advantage of the extra hour and catch up on sleep, but doing so can actually cause you to oversleep and throw off your sleep schedule for days (like jetlag but without the travel). Instead, wake up at your normal hour and go for a walk or make a nice cup of coffee to get the day going.
  • Try to avoid naps, especially longer than 30 minutes. Similarly to jetlag, the best way to get over the drowsy tired feeling is to get back on your regular sleep routine as quickly as possible. Long naps during the day will make it more difficult to sleep at night, further preventing you from overcoming the time change.
  • Take advantage of the sunshine (if you can). It’s common to feel groggy or out of sorts for the first few days after setting the clocks back. Getting outside in the sunshine can help boost your mood, reorient your body’s clock, and get November off to a better start.
  • Get some exercise! A walk, bike ride, or jog can help shake that lethargic feeling. It can also help you catch some rays and spend time with family/friends before you kick off the week.
  • If you have kids, try to use this week to gradually adjust the schedule back by small increments (10-15 minutes) rather than just taking the large hour jump back on Sunday. Then, keep your kids to the same schedule as usual so that transitioning back into the school week isn’t such a drag.

If you do take this opportunity to spend some extra time outdoors, remember to call your local Mosquito Joe to make your yard a mosquito-free space. Mosquitoes can breed and thrive until temperatures are consistently below 55 degrees fahrenheit, which is weeks away for many parts of the country! And letting mosquitoes breed and then lay eggs to hibernate throughout the winter will make the springtime an itchy nightmare. Contact your local Mosquito Joe for a free quote and information about our services.

Don’t forget to set the clocks back one hour this Saturday!

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Last Minute DIY Halloween Costume Ideas

Here in Virginia Beach, the weather is perfect for pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating which is only a few days away! Oops, did you forget that Halloween is next week? While some people have costumes prepared months in advance, others may be scrambling for things to wear to Halloween parties and trick-or-treating this weekend. And your kid’s decision to be Batman three months ago may have changed a dozen times between then and now, leaving you with some creative sewing to do!

Well, no need to fear, Mosquito Joe is here to help with some last-minute, do-it-yourself costume ideas for everybody! Whether you’re looking for a solo costume, something to wear as a group, or something for the little ones, these costumes are sure to catch some attention for their creativity and simplicity.

Halloween Costume Ideas for Couples/Groups

  • Google Maps – Never get lost again with this hilarious costume that lets you and a partner be point A and point B on a Google Maps route. All you need are cardboard and markers for the headpiece and some yellow duct tape, a printer, and tape to create the street view on your shirt.DIY Halloween Costume
  • Fruit of the Loom – I give full credit for this costume idea to my parents who wore it to a Halloween party a few years ago. The essence of this costume for all members includes balloons, tights, a hat, and gloves of the same color. Apply the balloons to each person with some tape, and you’re on your way!
  • Three blind mice – Perhaps the most famous of nursery rhyme trios, the Three Blind Mice make for a simple and hilarious Halloween costume. Grey long-sleeved shirts and leggings, walking canes, sunglasses, and mouse ears are all you need to complete this look.

Halloween Costume Ideas for Singles

  • Brawny man – It couldn’t get much easier than this costume that only requires a red and black flannel shirt, jeans, work boots, and a roll of paper towels (still in the wrapper).
  • Operation game man – People love Halloween costumes that play on fun childhood memories. And what better way to play on them than to become the subject of a great (and very annoying) board game from the ’60s – Operation! You’ll need a nude colored shirt and leggings, red and white construction paper, and some tongs. The great thing about this is no buzzing sound!
  • Bags of jelly beans – Use sharpies on a clear plastic bag to draw a jelly bean picture or logo of your choosing. Then wrap yourself in the bag, cut out head, arm, and leg holes just big enough to fit through, and fill the bag with colored balloons!

Halloween Costume Ideas For Kids

  • DIY Halloween CostumeBoxes of candy – You are what you eat, right? So why not transform the kids into their favorite candy for the night? Find a cardboard box large enough to comfortably fit your child, and color the outside according to whichever candy wrapper you’d like. Then cut head and arm holes into the box, and you’re done! A matching pair of tights and gloves adds a nice finishing touch.
  • Stick figure – A white shirt and pants, black electrical tape, a piece of paper, string, and a marker are all you need for this one. Draw a simple stick figure face on the paper, cut it out in a circle, and tie it around the head to cover the face. Then place electrical tape on the shirt and pants to create a stick figure image. It’s best to do the last step while your child is wearing the outfit so everything lines up accordingly.
  • Carl from “Up” – This costume idea is a real crowd pleaser as Up is one of the most beloved Pixar movies ever made. A brown sweater, white shirt, red bow tie, brown pants, and square glasses will be needed to make the outfit. You can make a small walker by using pvc pipe and placing tennis balls on the end. To complete the look, tie a few colored balloons around your child’s waist. Don’t worry, they won’t float away!

We could go on and on about creative Halloween costume ideas to fulfill your last minute needs. If you’re still stuck, you can even ask Siri! That’s right, the new iPhone update will provide DIY costume ideas when you ask Siri what you should be for Halloween. My personal favorite: dress in all black, and stand in front of people all night. You’ll be an eclipse.

Happy Halloween from your friends at Mosquito Joe! We’d love to hear about your costume ideas, so don’t forget to comment here and post on our Facebook page. And if you are still in need of mosquito control services this year, call your local Mosquito Joe for service. Many of our southern locations will continue to operate for weeks to come!

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5 Tips for Pet Wellness This Fall

The changing of leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween costumes may be the first thing you think of when the calendar shows October has arrived. But did you know it is also National Pet Wellness Month? That’s right, there’s a whole month dedicated to the well-being of our beloved pets, and for good reason. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with keeping a pet happy and healthy, and we’ve got five tips for you to follow this month to make sure you’re on the path to more wagging and purring and less barking and hissing.

5 Tips for Pet Wellness

  1. Annual Wellness Exam with your Veterinarian. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but taking your pet for regular checkups with your vet is extremely important. Our dogs and cats can’t tell us when they are sick, so it’s up to us owners to schedule regular checkups. Preventative care is vital to the health of your pets.
  2. Pet vaccines. While at the vet, discuss your pet’s vaccines. They can effectively prevent potentially serious canine diseases like distemper, rabies, and hepatitis.
  3. Oral Hygiene. Oral hygiene is an often-overlooked but important factor in your dog’s overall health. Just like humans, dental hygiene should be a part of routine and yearly care for your pet. It doesn’t have to be too tricky at home either. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque and dirt, and most dogs are happy to comply. Natural choices include rawhide or a knucklebone. Knucklebones are a softer bone that’s gentler on the teeth. To brush your pet’s teeth, make sure you purchase a special toothpaste that can be swallowed by dogs and cats. Human toothpaste is harmful! You can however use a human toothbrush, just make sure the bristles are soft.
  4. Exercise. Exercise your pet on a daily basis! Different breeds of dogs require different levels of exercise, so make sure you know how much activity your pet needs. Of course, our feline friends sleep 23 hours a day, so good luck there! You can also exercise their little brains with fun activities like the Muffin Tin Puzzle. It’s an easy activity you probably already have most of the supplies for!
  5. Check for fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can cause serious problems for your pets. Ticks can cause Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease while fleas can cause anemia and the annoying side effect of itching. Mosquitoes cause problems for pets as well as they can transmit heartworms. The good news is that heartworms, fleas and ticks are all preventable with medication your veterinarian can recommend. As an added layer of defense, Mosquito Joe services can help protect your pets, too with a barrier against mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

A healthy pet is a happy pet, so make sure you have a good relationship with your vet, stay vaccinated, and go for more walks! Even though it’s officially fall, outdoor pests are still very active until temperatures stay consistently below 55 degrees.  Getting a Mosquito Joe spray now will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space for a little bit longer while keeping your pets safe from harm.  Contact your local Mosquito Joe office for more information, so we can help you make outside fun again!

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Let Us Do the Work This Labor Day

It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to a close and back-to-school supplies have replaced barbecue paraphernalia in the grocery stores. But before you put away the grills and cover the adirondack chairs, there is one last long weekend to soak up the sunshine before you have to think about early morning bus stops and packed lunches.

Labor Day can be bittersweet; it wraps up a time of relaxation and leisure while also giving us an extra day off and time spent with loved ones (hopefully outside)! So today, we’re going to focus on the sweet – how to make the most out of outdoor plans this holiday. If you’re hosting a get together at your house this weekend, keeping guests entertained can be stressful, especially the little ones! Here are some unique ideas for backyard activities to give everyone lasting memories long into the new school year.

  • Sand Jar Art – What’s backyard bash without some arts and crafts? All you need for this activity is salt, sidewalk chalk of various colors, containers or jars of your choice, paper plates, and construction paper. This craft will keep the kids busy and give them beautiful artwork to take home that reminds them of summer. Follow the link in the title for specific instructions.
  • Lawn Twister – A new twist on an old favorite, all this lawn game requires is some spray paint and circular stencil. Simply paint the Twister circles onto the grass and play away! The paint should wash away easily with the rain or hose.Outdoor Pictionary
  • Bean Bag Ladder Toss – Label each rung of the ladder with points on a large index card in descending order. Then have players throw bean bags between the rungs for highest possible scores. Easy setup!
  • Frozen T-Shirt Race – This is a fun (and fast) way to cool off if Labor Day weekend ends up being a scorcher. Grab a bunch of t-shirts, soak them in water, and ring them out. Place wax paper between each shirt and freeze overnight. Make a game out of it by passing out the t-shirts and seeing who can unfold and put it on the fastest.
  • Outdoor Pictionary – Another new take on an old favorite, outdoor pictionary let’s families bring this classic game outdoors to enjoy on a bigger scale. You can either buy a large chalkboard to use in the backyard or build one of your own.

There are hundreds of ideas out there for backyard games and activities that the entire family can enjoy. Check out our Labor Day blog from last year for even more ideas! To ensure that your Labor Day celebration goes off without a hitch, call your local Mosquito Joe for mosquito control services. There is no bigger distraction at an outdoor party than the constant swatting that mosquitoes bring. Mosquito Joe’s barrier spray services will help your guests stay focused on winning the games rather than itching. We’ve got room on the schedule, so make sure you call now and ensure you’re a stop for the infamous yellow van!

From all of us here at Mosquito Joe, we wish you a happy Labor Day! Be sure to let us know your own ideas for backyard games and ways to spice up a summer barbecue.

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Back to School Tips for Kids and Your Yard

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start buying school supplies and picking out new lunch boxes for the upcoming school year. August and September bring new teachers, new friends, new school supplies, and maybe even a new haircut! In the spirit of new beginnings, and to help you get your school year off to a great start, we have some tips for you and your kiddos to make the transition from lazy days to school days as smooth as possible. Here are some things parents can do for themselves and their kids to ensure a smooth transition into the school year, too.

Back to School Tips

Tour the School! If there is an open house, definitely make plans to be there. Meeting the teacher, walking to their classroom and touring the school can cut out some first day jitters for the little ones. It helps them feel more comfortable with their surroundings, and the teacher is a friendly face and not a stranger on the first morning!

Set up a bedtime and wake-up routine in advance. To make that first morning of wakeup smooth sailing, start school bedtimes and wake-up times two weeks in advance of the start of school. By the time the first school bell rings, kids will already be on the right sleeping schedule and it will be one less worry for your family.

Plan healthy lunches and snacks. The better you plan out the meals in your home, the healthier choices you will make for your kids. And who are we kidding? It saves you precious time during those hectic mornings when you’ve got it planned and ready All you have to do is grab the lunch box!

Ask your kids about their concerns. The start of school is exciting, but can also cause anxiety in kids. Take a few minutes to ask your kids what they are most looking forward to during the school year, and what things may be worrying them. By giving them a forum to express their concerns, you can help them work through any worries in advance of school starting and clear up any issues that could lead to a bumpy start to the year.

Mosquitoes: Too Cool for School

While it’s tempting to cut back on your mosquito barrier treatments because the kids aren’t out in the yards, you definitely want to think twice about that. The treatment effectiveness remains high because of consistent treatments throughout the summer months. If your kids are anything like I was in school, after a long day, they’ll be itching for some outside fun at home. Make sure that’s the only itching going on around your house.

Mosquitoes can be tricky creatures. They lay eggs, hibernate, and can survive some pretty frigid temperatures while in hibernation. So don’t be too quick to end your mosquito control treatments! All the eggs that were laid can also survive the colder temps and only need water and temperatures above 55 degrees to hatch. If you end your season of mosquito sprays early, it gives female mosquitoes a chance to not only make your yard a home, but lay more eggs before the first freeze. Those last few mosquito treatment sprays are vitally important to make sure technicians get rid of those last mosquitoes and mosquito larvae. Mosquitoes will stay active until the first freeze and temperatures stay below 50 degrees, so make sure your backyard remains an oasis until the summer isn’t officially over. Because we know all too well, mosquitoes didn’t get the back to school memo and they’ll hang around.

Wishing you all a fantastic 2016-2017 school year from Mosquito Joe!

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