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4th of July Safety Tips

Celebrating Independence Day is a cherished American tradition that is the perfect occasion to gather with family and friends for some summer fun. While this 4th of July might look a little different than years past with the COVID-19 epidemic we are experiencing, staying safe while you are having fun is still very important! These safety tips cover a few key summer topics to keep you and your family safe this holiday.

SPARKLER AND FIREWORKS SAFETY

  • Never disassemble or try to make your own fireworks.
  • Never point sparklers or fireworks at yourself or others, especially while they are being lit.
  • Fireworks should only be lit on the ground and in areas that are dry, fire resistant, and clear of trees and power lines.
  • Don’t attempt to light multiple devices at the same time.

Sparkler July 4th

  • Spectators should remain a safe distance from the fireworks being lit.
  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers.
  • Always have a water hose or bucket of water handy. A fire extinguisher is also great to have on hand.
  • If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them. Douse them with water then throw them away.
  • Dispose of all firework materials by soaking them in water before putting them in the trash.

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WATER ACTIVITY SAFETY

  • Always review safe boating practices before going out on the water and check that there are enough life preservers on hand for every passenger.
  • Never consume alcohol while driving a boat.
  • Be aware of your surroundings- the July 4th holiday attracts a high volume of boaters, so be sure to be alert at all times and aware of other boats, swimmers, water skiers, kayakers, etc.

July 4th Boating

  • Make sure your boat is in good condition and has all the required safety equipment. Make sure you are ready for an emergency situation or to help others if needed.
  • Be alert to water conditions, such as water depth and currents. Make sure novice swimmers use flotation devices and children have chaperones.
  • Check the weather before departing. Also pay close attention to sudden changes in wind and water conditions.
  • During daylight hours, protect yourself from excess exposure to the sun. Wear sunscreen and a hat.

Stay safe this July 4th and have fun from your friends at TJ Lewis Real Estate and Capital Title!

A special resource to keep you safe on the 4th of July from Capital Title!

 

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Best Hiking Trails Around Austin

Austin is well known for being an active city – fitness and outdoor activities are a highlight for many locals. One reason is the abundance of trails, paths and hikes available to its residents. While there are too many trails or paths to put together in just one list, here are some of our top trails to check out in the area. We tried to add different trails from different areas all around our city so you always have one close to you and you have ideas of different trails to check out in the area you might not be familiar with as well!

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail

The Barton Creek Greenbelt is one of the most popular and longest trails in the Austin area. Out and back, it is 13.8 miles and heavily trafficked with numerous activity options. Dogs are permitted on this trail and it is accessible year-round.

Twin Falls & Sculpture Falls Via Barton Creek Greenbelt

Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls are part of the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail but are two of the most popular spots along the route. Don’t miss these falls!

Lady Bird Lake Trail

This trail runs next to downtown Austin with numerous bridges and over-water stretches. Ten miles in all, this loop has great views of Austin. It is accessible year-round and pet friendly!

Walnut Creek Trail

Located within Walnut Creek Metro Park in North Austin, this 1.3 mile loop trail includes a river and is accessible year-round. The creek is a common place for dogs to play and people to sunbathe and there are other interconnecting trails to explore

McKinney Falls (1)

Onion Creek and Homestead Loop

McKinney Falls State Park is a popular stop in the Austin area and features the Onion Creek and Homestead Trail Loop. They are good for all skill levels and allow dogs as long as they are leashed. The waterfall is a popular spot but reservations are required during COVID-19 so make sure to check the park’s website before setting out. 

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Great Hills Park Trail

Great Hills Park Trail is a 2.3 mile loop located in Northwest Austin at Quarries Park. The trail is great for hiking, walking and trail running and will allow leashed-dogs with you. 

Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt

Close by Great Hills Park Trail is another great trail, the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail. This trail is 2.2 miles with beautiful wildflowers!

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Lake Austin – 360 Bridge Overlook

The 360 Bridge Overlook provides one of the most popular photo spots in all of Austin. The hike up from 360 is a little steep but short and the views at the top make it all worth it. You’ll probably recognize the Pennybacker Bridge over Lake Austin from postcard and tourism photos – you’ll want to stop to take your own too! There is a gradual path off the top running about 1.7 miles. 

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Mount Bonnell Trail

Mount Bonnell Trail is one of the shortest in the Austin area – only .5 miles. In reality, it is a short climb up the steps to the top of Mount Bonnell. At the top, you’ll find great Austin views and picnic areas to rest or relax. 

Three Falls Hike

Another trail on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, the Three Falls Hike is 7.3 miles out and back with a waterfall and activity options along the way. 

Austin is a great place to live with plenty of indoor and outdoor activity options! Did we list your favorite trail or hike?! Let us know your favorite in the comments below! 

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Managing Your Mosquito Problem

Mosquitoes have been around for millions of years and are one of the most irritating pests known to man. Most mosquito bites result in itchy red bumps that last for a few days. However, mosquitoes may also transmit diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, encephalitis and chikungunya.

Where Do They Live?

The majority of mosquito bites you receive on your property are from mosquitoes living around your home.

  • Foliage – A large portion of adult mosquitoes tend to hide in the foliage surrounding your home
  • Standing Water – Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Clogged gutters, containers or even forgotten toys left outside can produce hundreds of new mosquitoes in just a few days.

Taking the Initiative as a Homeowner

As a homeowner, how do you deal with Mosquitos? There are a number of steps you can take on your own to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your lawn before calling for professional help.

  • Clean and change the water in any birdbaths regularly
  • Remove any cans, bottles or other open containers in your yard that might collect water
  • Remove any tree stumps where water can collect
  • Clean our your gutters to prevent water buildup from clogs
  • Drain any kid-sized wading pools when they are not being used
  • Avoid overwatering your lawn

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Getting Professional Help

Maybe you don’t have the time to deal with mosquitoes on your own or maybe you are ready to take your mosquito treatment to the next level. Professional pest control can address mosquitoes with a number of different treatments:

  • Apply a larvicide treatment to areas where
    there is standing water
  • Provide a barrier application around your
    entire property
  • Apply residual material to all likely mosquito resting areas, such as shrubs, as well as under decks and patio furniture
  • Provide a list of recommendations explaining what you can do to help reduce the population of these pests, beyond what you are doing already

Program Options

Most pest control companies have two different program options for treating mosquitoes. We recommend Massey Services when you are ready to really rid your yard of these pesky insects.

  • Annual or Seasonal Program – This treatment is the most effective plan for your home. It includes a monthly inspection and treatments to reduce the population of mosquitoes around your home and property.
  • One-Time Treatment – This treatment can be useful for one-time events. The entire area will be treated in the days leading up to the event. A mosquito trap will also be provided just before the start of the event to help eliminate these pests throughout the evening.