Category: Blog

The Buzz of Spring

The spring season is upon us. Warmer weather, longer days and rain showers help flowers bloom. It’s a great time of year to spend outdoors with family and friends.

 

 

That recognizable buzz of mosquitoes can stop the fun on a dime. Pretty soon everyone will be doing the swat, no, it’s not a dance. Swatting is not useless either, mosquitoes have been proven to learn certain behaviors and tend to avoid changes in air pressure around swatting.

 

Beer = mosquito magnet

 

Most of us feel like we’re singled out by mosquitoes as they seem to only bite us. Studies on why certain people get bit more often have been conducted.It turns out that wearing dark clothing, being pregnant and drinking beer have been shown to make you more attractive to them.

Mosquitoes do deserve a bad rep. They’re responsible for more human deaths than all the wars in human history. Each year they kill around 750,000 humans! Malaria and other diseases spread by them are responsible for the high mortality rate.

So what are we supposed to do? Swat away? Wear white shirts? Avoid beer? Thankfully there are simple things you can do to help. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. They only need an inch to survive! Turning over buckets, tires and anything else that holds water cuts down the chances of newborns flying around.

 

Still water is a perfect environment for mosquito larvae to grow.

 

We offer many solutions designed specifically for mosquito control. Some of our specialty items have the ability to be applied via thermal fogger and has a residual effect, ensuring maximum effectiveness.

Mosquitoes are here to stay. Minimize their impact in your outdoor areas by being aware of standing water and treating your area with insecticides. Take back your outdoors!

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/whr/1996/media_centre/executive_summary1/en/index9.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/group/mosquitoes/

 

History of Cool

We take the cool comfortable breeze of cool air when you walk into your local supermarket for granted. Bundling up under heavy blankets as the temperature reaches triple digits outside. Heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) is one of mankind’s top achievements. Many different components work to pull humidity out of the air, naturally chilling it. It’s a technological marvel that changed the way the world lives.

The first air conditioning unit was designed to remove humidity in a New York City publishing company. The unit that Willis Carrier installed worked well; it also kept the room cool. Employees began eating lunch indoors. They claimed that it was more comfortable than eating outside. Carrier would become a household name in modern HVAC systems.

Impact on Life

American pop culture was changed. Cinemas were the first adopters of this new technology. They were perfect since the units were massive and required a lot of space. Citizens flocked to the theatre to get a break from the heat of summer; the “summer blockbuster” was born. States like Florida, Texas and Arizona saw an unprecedented population boom, shifting the demographics of America. Cheaper land became more desirable since technology was available to keep homes cool.

Maintaining Your HVAC System

Air conditioners don’t last forever. All of the moving parts are bound to need maintenance. Consumers are able do most visual checks themselves potentially saving hundreds. One of the most simple maintenance checks is viewing the coils and ensuring that they are not blocked by debris. AC coils work like an exhaust system, pushing hot air out of a cooled area.

Frozen Roads

For many of us winter generally includes a few chilly mornings sprinkled throughout the season. Our biggest hassles come when we can’t figure out what clothing will keep us both warm and cool as the afternoon sun warms the air. This winter has been remarkable for most.

Houston recorded its second earliest snowfall ever on December 7th 2017. Cold air would return for the New Year, with consecutive nights of hard freezes causing concern for many home and business owners still repairing property in the wake of Harvey.

Preparing For Ice

When you live in an area that hasn’t seen wintry precipitation in almost eight years, it’s normal to worry about freezing. Competitive Choice is always ready for the weather with multiple deicing options from solid pellets to liquid formulas. The goal for all products is the same, yet they both have different methods and uses.

Solid or Liquid?

Solid deicers have been trusted for a while. Often used by municipalities to pretreat roads before a storm, it’s relatively cost effective while being easy to store for when needed. Solid pellets tend to last longer since they dilute slower resulting in better retention and saving you money.

Solid deicers have some disadvantages that should be considered. Using solid deicers before a storm is not recommended since the solids can be bounced off of dry surfaces. Moisture is required to activate the solution, possibly slowing the melting process.

Liquid deicers are growing in popularity due to ease of use and flexibility. A major advantage is the ability to pretreat surfaces easily without worrying about the formula bouncing off. In many cases the liquid residue will work for longer periods of time, often days after application.

Cons to liquids are higher transportation and storage costs due to the mass of the product. They’re also not very effective on accumulated ice and snow. For liquids to be effective, they generally need a higher surface temperature.

Choices

The most important thing for you is maintaining a safe environment for your business. Both types of deicing are effective and have their advantages and disadvantages. One thing to remember, some treatment is better than none.

The Flu Season

The season has been exceptionally bad with no signs of slowing down.  The virus was rampant in southern states, even as they got warmer. Cases are currently reported in every US state and territory including Guam and the US Virgin Islands! Locally the flu is showing no signs of slowing down. According to the CDC 14% of deaths in Texas were flu related during the last week of January. Experts are pleading with the public to get the flu vaccine. Even this late, it can still be helpful.

 

At the workplace

For various reasons, the majority of adults will not receive a flu vaccine. We’re exposed to thousands of germs and viruses in the workplace, about 21,000 per square inch. If you’re around someone who’s sick, or work with children, your chances of catching the flu rise.

Symptoms

Influenza symptoms hit fast and hard, often resulting in missed time from work or school. On average 111 million workdays are lost per year, costing the American economy $20 billion. Symptoms vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are feverish chills, fatigue and a sore throat. Some patients report general body ache. This year’s strain of influenza is particularly brutal. The H3N2 tends to be more severe, we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of influenza.

Stop the Spread

Staying home when you’re sick is the best way to avoid spreading the flu. It’s best to limit contact with vulnerable populations like young children and the elderly. Washing your hands regularly and cleaning common surfaces is beneficial, especially if you’re healthy.

We can help

Competitive Choice offers different products that kill the flu virus on contact. Our Germ Buster line of wipes are designed to be used on many different hard surfaces and are gentle enough to be used on your hands.

The flu season is showing no sign of slowing down. Protecting yourself, families and coworkers should be a top priority. The simplest thing you can do to start protecting yourself is to get a flu shot.