How to Safeguard Your Home From Annual Asian Beetle Invasions

iStock
iStock

Autumn means falling leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, and apple picking. And while we're outside enjoying the crisp weather, Asian lady beetles, or ladybugs, are scrambling inside to keep warm. But there are simple ways to safeguard your home, according to Good Housekeeping, which highlighted tips from both pest control company Orkin and the University of Minnesota.

Asian lady beetles, or Harmonia axyridis, aren't native to the U.S. But populations of the bug have exploded throughout the South, East Coast, and Midwest, and households across the country are now annually bombarded by the tiny spotted bugs come fall. They prefer our snug houses to the great outdoors, and are known to congregate on and around light-colored buildings, seemingly by the dozens (if not hundreds). Some prefer chilling in quiet places, like attics, and re-emerge on warm winter day or in the spring.

In addition to being unwelcome house guests, Asian lady beetles exude a bitter, smelly aroma, especially if they're crushed, and can stain light-colored surfaces with a yellowish liquid they secrete from their legs. The good news? Asian lady beetles are relatively harmless, although they do bite and some people might be allergic to them.

The secret is prevention. Seal all cracks and crevices in your house with caulk and other materials, as Asian lady beetles typically wriggle their way inside through these tiny openings. (Keep a close eye on home sections where two different construction materials meet, like brick and wood siding.) Also pay attention to cable TV wires, phone lines, and other wires and pipes that run through miniscule, bug-sized holes.

Repair or replace damaged windows and screens, too. As one final preventative measure, install door sweeps or thresholds to all exterior doors, and line your garage door's bottom with a rubber seal. And if you're not chemical-averse, consider pre-treating your home's outside doors, windows, and roof lines with insecticide. (Don't use these products indoors, as they won't deter bugs from coming in.)

If Asian lady beetles do somehow make their way into your home, the only thing you can really do is either vacuum them up (change the bag regularly to avoid a lingering stench), use insect light traps in dark locations, or simply wait it out. By spring, they'll be frolicking in your backyard instead of on your living room ceiling.

[h/t Good Housekeeping]

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]