Dangers in the Garden: Animals

While gardening can be a very rewarding hobby and lifelong learning experience, a garden can be a dangerous place. There are many dangers lurking in the garden including animals and hidden dangers.Some animals seem harmless but if provoked they can lead to human harm. Being aware of these dangers and knowing how to remove or avoid these dangers provides some security.Pests in the Animal WorldMany animals just happen upon the gardens and either use it for a food source or they are predators searching for unsuspecting prey.SnakesSnakes help control a number of pests including but not limited to rabbits, moles and voles, caterpillars and some insects. But they can also pose a danger when they are mistreated and mishandled especially the venomous snakes.Some snakes will immediately try to get away from any human encroachment. But a few will aggressively defend themselves and their territory.There are snakes all around the world. They live in many environments including deserts. While the majority of snakes are smaller than six foot some can get very large such as the Anaconda in South America and the Reticulated Python in Africa.Even the non-venomous snakes can pack a punch. Generally, reptiles such as the snake have bacteria build up in their mouths. When they bite a victim or enemy, the bacteria can get transferred to the bite area and can cause infections.Snake ControlMost snakes avoid humans and will try to get away. Letting them get away is the best bet. Avoid snake contact. Most of the time, getting rid of snakes only invite trouble with their prey. Their prey end up being destructive pests such as rabbits, gophers and moles. But removal of these pests can deter snakes as well.There are professional services that can safely remove any snakes and are usually labeled animal control services. Some specialize in just snakes especially in areas prone to snake habitats.MammalsMammals There are many mammals that can visit the garden. Rabbits, deer even raccoons have been known to visit the garden for the occasional meal.The most common mammals that visit the garden are deer, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, moles and voles, skunks and opossums.o DeerDeer can eat vegetation such as lettuce and peas and other common garden plants. They can become a nuisance to these plants devastating an area in little time.Usually deer are very wary of humans and loud noises. But if in rut season, or mating season, some deer have been known to attack humans.o RabbitsRabbits aren’t usually much danger to humans only to the garden. As with any wild animal, they can be dangerous and harmful if they are handled improperly, are sick as with rabies or if cornered or with offspring, they might fight fiercely.o RaccoonsRaccoons eat just about anything including those yummy plants from the garden. Raccoons generally come out at night and look for easy meals. They mostly dig in the garden looking for earthworms and grubs. But this digging in the garden can harm your garden plants.They generally won’t come around if there is a lot of noise, but some raccoons have become so used to city noise and human activity that it hardly seems to bother them. They will become fierce if they are cornered or have offspring.o GroundhogsGroundhogs love to eat the vegetation around the garden and will sometimes devastate a garden area as much as any animal could. They are generally timid creatures and very wary of human activity and noise. But again with any wild creature they can be fierce when fighting for their lives or the lives of their offspring.o Moles and VolesMoles and voles work underground destroying roots and soil beneath the garden. A cousin to the mole is the shrew. There is a shrew in North American that is considered a poisonous animal. It has a bite that can make a human sick but it is not generally fatal.o SkunksThe skunk is recognizable by its smell. Like the raccoon, it digs in the garden for earthworms and grubs. It can be fierce when fighting. The spray can linger on the body for many days and it can temporarily blind anyone caught in the eyes.o OpossumsThese seemingly timid creature can occasionally show up in the garden. They too can dig up the garden and while this can be great for other pests it can lead to plant damage.The opossums have a mouth full of about 50 teeth and can be fierce when confronted.Mammal ControlSome of these mammals while not inherently dangerous could become dangerous if bothered. Deterring these mammals is the best way to be rid of them. Putting a scarecrow in the garden or using pie pans tied up on a string set around the garden should provide enough deterrent for the most skittish of the mammals.But sometimes traps and bait are necessary. Live traps are best to remove the creature safely and without harm to the natural environment.Some areas have pest control groups that can come out and assess your garden area and needs. Then they can provide pest removal services.While poisons are not recommended as some animals are protected by federal regulations, certain sprays and chemicals can be used to deter these unwanted menaces. Garlic sprays, pepper sprays and other smelly sprays help keep the distance between the pest and garden.

How to Find the Best Investment

There is ONE best way to find your best investment in 2013, 2014 or well beyond. If you couldn’t find your best investment option if it was on a short list staring you in the face, investing money is about to be simplified for you.Your best approach to investing money is to have a goal in mind and then compare your investment options, based on YOUR priorities, in terms of: liquidity, safety, growth, income, and tax advantages. The option that ranks highest and best suits your priorities or needs is your best investment option. This simple process has made investing money simple for investors in the past and will work in 2013, 2014 and beyond. Plus, it will help you avoid major mistakes if you invest with a goal in mind — by eliminating choices that don’t fit your needs.LIQUIDITY and SAFETY: If you might need ready access to your money after you’ve invested AND can not afford to take a loss: forget about growth investments like stocks or stock funds, long-term bond funds, real estate, and tax-favored accounts like IRAs and retirement annuities. Your best investment option is to give up the prospect for higher returns, higher income, and tax breaks… until your financial position changes. For now investing money means keeping it safe and liquid in the bank or in a money market fund in case you need it for a financial emergency. Better safe than sorry.Once you are ready to invest with a long-term horizon (like for retirement) investing money for GROWTH should always include stocks and perhaps real estate as well. For most folks the best investment option for stocks is diversified stock mutual funds. The easiest way to invest money in real estate is with specialty real estate equity funds. Either way, the average investor accepts risk to earn higher returns; and mutual funds offer good liquidity if you want some money back. To get a TAX ADVANTAGE invest in funds through your 401k at work or in a traditional or Roth IRA account with a mutual fund company.Over the past 30 years investing money in bond funds was the simplest and perhaps the best investment option for average folks who wanted HIGHER INCOME. These funds earn higher interest (paid to investors as dividends) than truly safe options like bank savings accounts and CDs. For 2013, 2014, and beyond: do not consider bond funds if SAFETY is high on your list of priorities. Interest rates are near record lows; and bond funds will lose money when rates go back up.When investing money always have a goal in mind and rank your options in terms of liquidity, safety, growth, income, and tax advantages. That’s the only way to avoid major mistakes and find your best investment option.

The Best Self Storage Software Programs

Identifying the best self storage software programs can be difficult. This is largely because although many of the features may seem similar, the differences can actually be very large. Another common problem is that the best software for one person may not be the best for you. Fortunately, there are a few general rules that you can follow when trying to decide which self source software program is going to be the best fit for your business.Self Storage Software Programs Minimize Manual TasksOne of the most important things that your self storage software should do is minimize the tasks that are normally done manually. This could range from sending out monthly billing statements to general accounting. For example, a common problem that a lot of people run into is that their software cannot process a certain type of payment that they often receive, such as direct deposits or payments through an online gateway. The whole point of using this type of software is to help you stay organized and minimize the amount of time needed doing these types of manual tasks. If the software doesn’t end up saving you time, then you should definitely be looking into a different option.Software Programs Integrate When NeededAnother characteristic of the elite self storage software programs is that they can be easily integrated with the hardware that you are using as well as other pieces of software. For example, if you are running a newer version of Windows 7, then your software should be compatible with it. If the software developer cannot keep up with recent releases, then there’s a good chance that you will not be able to get support when you need it. Additionally, depending on the type of software that you decide to use, it needs to integrate with your other tools. For example, if you choose a basic software that does not include an online payment gateway, then it should at least be able to integrate with the one you are using now.The Best Software Programs Can Be Self ContainedIdeally, integration will be a minimal issue because the software itself is fairly self-contained. The more comprehensive the software is, the less opportunity there is for an integration problem to occur. Many of the best self storage software programs can now not only manager property, but also send out automatic billing reminders, except payments, and even take care of your general accounting needs. There are many industries where getting the software with the most features isn’t always beneficial, but the self storage industry isn’t one of them.Software Programs Should Allow You to ExpandFinally, the best self storage software programs will have the ability to grow and expand as your company does. For example, there is a lot of software that was designed with the small business owner in mind. They can do everything you need, but once you have multiple properties the software actually becomes more of a hindrance because it wasn’t designed to handle information from multiple locations. A simple solution to this problem that has become popular is to provide you with a web-based platform that can integrate with your local software. This insures that you get access to information provided from multiple locations in a centralized admin area. With this capability, expanding your self storage business will never cause an issue with your software.