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How to Get Rid of Rabbits Ruining Your Lawn and Garden

As adorable as these creatures are, rabbits can wreak havoc on a lawn and garden. Garden centers, home improvement stores, and online resources offer commerical products to help gardeners protect their plants from rabbits.

But here’s the problem: commercial repellents are expensive, they require repeated applications, and some of them may contain chemicals that can pose health hazards to pets when ingested.

Cute rabbit bunny hiding in garden

The solution is to find cheaper options that are equally effective to get rid of rabbits that are ruining your lawn and garden.

Rabbit repellents basically work in two ways to keep rabbits out of your flower and vegetable garden and off the lawn—they produce a smell or taste that is repulsive for rabbits but without harm. Homemade repellents are not only less expensive, but a safe alternative to the commercial repellents.

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Questions: Mascara Renewal | Robot Vacuum | Ant Killer | Malfunctioning Oven

It’s time, once again, to reach into my virtual mailbag to read what a handful of my Dear Readers have written. I love to hear from you with your questions, feedback, thoughts, and ideas.

Woman sitting at desk and working at computer hands close up

 

Dear Mary: I am an Ann Arbor News reader—especially on Sunday. Love, love your column. Thank you!

I lost the column from I think two weeks ago, regarding rejuvenating mascara. You used saline solution or something like that.

Please republish the formula if possible.  I have good, not great mascara and it does get clumpy, messy. I’ve thrown away soooooo many mascaras because of that. Sharon

Dear Sharon: First, I should explain to my online readers, that some of my blog posts are syndicated by Creators, and distributed to hundreds of local, independent newspapers such as The Ann Arbor News. I never know which post is going to show up in which newspaper, but I’m pretty sure I know the tip you’re referring to. Here it is:

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11 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Ants

If the heat of summer is bringing ants into your home and yard, don’t panic. You may not require toxic pest control products or a professional service to take get rid of these pesky ants.

In fact, chances are good you already have everything you need to do it yourself. Or if you prefer a commercial product that is eco-friendly and really works fast, I’ve got that for you, too.

Ants in the house on the baseboards and wall angle

Soap and water

If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture. Provided you really saturate those little critters, the soap actually breaks down their exoskeletons, and they die almost immediately. Cheap and easy cleanup, too.

Mop and vacuum

To get rid of sugar ants, start by mopping the floor at least once a day. Mopping and vacuuming helps to remove the ants’ pheromone trails. Cleaning and mopping will also rid your home of the food and crumbs that attract the ants. Make sure you don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink and empty the trash bin regularly.

Black pepper

To deter sugar ants, sprinkle ground black pepper around the home’s entry points to keep the ants from coming inside.

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9 Ways to Wage War Against Mosquitoes—and Win!

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite, they transmit terrible diseases to people and pets, and from what I read, have no redeeming value in the ecosystem.

 

Malaria, transmitted by the female mosquito, infects some 247 million people worldwide each year, and in 2018 killed 405,000 people. Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya virus, and West Nile virus.

If that’s not reason enough to hate them, they can turn a beautiful backyard, deck or patio into a nightmare area not fit for humans during mosquito season. But it doesn’t have to be that way provided you are diligent to take control of your home and property.

Mosquito trap

When I discovered we’d be dealing with mosquitoes here in northern Colorado, my research led to purchasing a Dynatrap.

This insect trap is engineered for 3-way protection. First, a UV fluorescent bulb generates a warm light, attracting insects.

Then a second lure, an exclusive Ti02 titanium dioxide-coated surface, produces harmless CO2, which mosquitoes find irresistible (no wonder they love you so much—you emit CO2, too).

Third, a powerful, whisper-quiet vacuum fan sucks insects into the retaining cage where they dehydrate and die.

Every few weeks I empty my mosquito morgue, I mean trap. A full trap is proof-positive that this thing is very effective. I’ve inspected carefully to see what’s getting trapped and while there are lot of moths, wasps, and flies, mosquitoes win the highest population prize. Dynatrap is definitely not a bug zapper. No sizzle noises, odors or other annoyances. I give Dynatrap two thumbs up and five stars, too.

DON’T MISS: Make Your Own Safe and Effective Ant Spray

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How to Make Non-Toxic Natural Pest Control

Recently, a friend sent me an S.O.S. asking if I knew of any natural pest control to rid an apartment of fleas—a method that would not be toxic to small children.

Treating their pets and animals would be the first step, but surprisingly these folks have no animals. The truth is that flea infestations often occur simply because neighborhood cats or dogs like to lounge near their home or they have purchased an infested piece of furniture from a yard sale.

 

Illustration showing bugs and rodents that can be repelled with natural pest control

I headed right for my collection of pest control recipes and retrieved the perfect solution for fleas. I thought you might enjoy knowing that one, plus remedies for all kinds of home and garden pests.

All-purpose outdoor insect spray

Mix one chopped garlic clove, one chopped small onion, and one tablespoon cayenne powder with one-quart water. Allow to steep one hour, then add one tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap. This all-purpose insect spray remains potent for only one week, so use it up by spraying the exterior perimeter of the house.

Ants

a nasty ant invasion on a light colored wood floor

Repel an ant invasion by with this natural pest control: Wash countertops, cabinets, and floors with equal parts water and vinegar.

Or, if you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50/50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture. Provided you really saturate those little critters, the soap actually breaks down their exoskeletons, and they die almost immediately. Cheap and easy cleanup, too.

Aphids

white aphids on a green leaf

Mix 1-gallon water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent. Spray on plants where aphid damage is evident.

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Make Your Own Natural Non-Toxic Ant Spray

If you’ve ever had to deal with an invasion of ants, you may know the meaning of exasperation. While the kids think ants are so cute the way they march in formation, stop to help one another, and work hard to prepare for their own life challenges ahead, it’s better to study these amazing creatures than to wake up to find a million or so feasting on that last piece of pie someone left out on the counter last night. While commercial ant sprays work well, most brands are expensive if not toxic.

 

Team of ants constructing wooden house in forest, teamwork, ant tales

Of course there are dozens of homemade remedies for dealing with ants—from poisoning them with boric acid, borax, or ammonia, but even those ingredients can create toxic situations for crawling babies, pets, and that salad you’re about to make on the counter where you just dealt with an ant attack.

Other methods, like one that promises to blow up their digestive systems with cornmeal—while perhaps better to use than harsh chemicals—can create a new challenge when the solution turns out to be messier than the problem.

All natural option

Today, I want to tell you about an effective recipe for an all-natural DIY ant spray made from ingredients that are toxic to ants but perfectly safe for pets* and people.

This recipe is safe, quick, natural (did I say that already?) and highly effective. And so handy. Just grab and go whenever you see a problem. You are going to love it.

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14 Ways to Use Dryer Sheets That Have Nothing To Do with Laundry

Perhaps you’ve seen the list of uses for dryer sheets floating around the Internet. Who knows where that list came from. What we do know is not all of the alternative uses can be verified as true.

box-of-dryer-sheets

 

 

For example, we have no confidence at all that Bounce or any other brand of dryer sheet will repel mosquitoes. We’ve tried and nope, those suckers seem to enjoy dry sheets! But spiders and flies? Or how about stinky shoes? Read on.

Pests

Many of our readers have confirmed that dryer sheets will repel both spiders and flies. Keep a few extra sheets in clothes hampers and around the laundry area and you can kiss all those spiders goodbye.

 

Active house spider

Luggage

Slip a dryer sheet into your suitcases while they are in storage and they won’t smell musty when you take them out to use.

Blinds

Wipe down your blinds with a dryer sheet to prevent static electricity and to keep dust from collecting. Grab that dryer sheet with a pair of kitchen tongs and use that to quickly run over each slat. It’s quick, easy and will even pick up the dust.

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Get Rid of Bugs and Crawling Insects Fast and Easy Without Poisons

Got creepy bugs and crawling insects like ants, centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish or bedbugs trying to take over your home or garden? Need to know how to get rid of bugs? Don’t call an exterminator quite yet. I’m confident this is a problem you can fix yourself with diatomaceous earth—cheaper and faster!

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Food-grade DE

If you want to treat your home for insects, but you don’t want to poison yourself, your pets or the earth, your very best option is to use food grade Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of centipedes, spiders, ants, silverfish, cockroaches, fleas and all other creepy crawlies.

Non-toxic, highly effective

Diatomaceous Earth (DE), an off white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. If you could take a look at it through a microscope you’d see that it resembles shards of glass. When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (centipedes, ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, and fleas) or placed strategically so that bug crawls into it, the DE cuts into that bug’s exoskeleton, which causes it to dehydrate and die.

MORE: How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Natural Pest Control

Only option for bedbugs

Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed on blood. They’re a nightmare. Bedbugs can enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items.

 

Two fullly grown bedbugs burrowed in the folds of a mattress

Typically bedbugs hide in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night. Fully grown, a bedbug is about the size of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a US penny. Foggers are useless against bedbugs because those ugly critters are so good at hiding in places the fog can’t reach. Bedbugs are even resistant to expensive professional chemical fumigation!

Diatomaceous earth is the only effective option. It is all-natural and safe to use around you and your family. DE acts like shards of glass to puncture insects’ exoskeletons. It then absorbs their internal fluids dehydrating them quickly and effectively. Full instructions for how to treat bedbugs with DE here.

Safe around pets, kids

Here’s the most amazing thing about DE: It kills bugs but doesn’t hurt mammals. You and your pets could eat it without harm. In fact, many people add DE to their daily diet to promote good health.

How to apply

Using a flour sifter, fine mesh strainer, a salt shaker or this Pest Control Bulb Duster, lightly dust the powdery DE in cracks and crevices, along baseboards, windowsills, door frames and beneath and behind appliances, in the garden, yard—anywhere you see those little pests. This is a non-toxic and environmentally safe treatment for bugs and insects, but please wear a face protector because it is fine as talcum powder.

Person apply diatomaceous earth long perimeter of a room using a hand duster

DiatomaceousEarth.com

For flea invested carpet, dust the carpet well with the DE and then pound it in with a broom. Leave it to do its job then vacuum the carpet very well after 24 to 36 hours, emptying the bag or dust collector often.

MORE: 10 Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Ants

Resource

Food-grade DE is readily available at garden centers and hardware stores. You can get a 10-lb. bag of Diatomaceous Earth from Amazon that includes a bulb duster here. Just make certain you are purchasing food-grade diatomaceous earth, not the variety of DE used in swimming pools, which has been chemically altered and will not work as a pesticide. It must be food-grade and Harris is a brand of food-grade DE you can trust.

One last thing: To do its job as the most effective pesticide ever, DE must be dry. If it gets wet, clean it up and then reapply.


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