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Send those garden pests packing

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Use these remedies

By Cheryl Steenerson

You know how there is always this big upsurge in babies being born, after a long, cold winter?

Well, I guess bugs have to keep warm too. They’re everywhere! If the cold really did kill of a bunch of bugs, the survivors are making up for it. In spades!

Now, let’s deal with them.

Starting with ourselves, there are lots of ways to keep insects from bugging us.

There are commercial products with DEET. Not my cup of tea.

There are dryer sheets, when tucked into your pockets and collars, to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Of course there is my favorite skin splash, strong chamomile tea. Hard core sufferers might want to splash apple cider vinegar on their skin.

Our pets suffer from bugs just as much as we do, except we don’t eat them to get them off.

Now is definitely the time to start your monthly flea and tick treatment on your pets.

I’ve found the liquid treatment to be more effective than the collars. Just don’t let the dogs go swimming right after you treat them with it!

Our flowers and garden plants are like magnets to just about anything that crawls or flies.

Some have a natural ability to repel them.

Marigolds not only brighten your borders, they can keep bugs out as well.

Growing onions around borders helps as well. Fresh cut cedar limbs, used as poles for climbers, will also repel bugs.

Laying down small board planks, like a piece of barn siding, around your strawberries, will draw slugs under them. You just have to lift and destroy each morning.

Plain old baby powder will work like Seven dust.

And of course, you have the homemade recipes.

My favorite is my smelly onion and garlic spray. Chop up one large onion and put it in an empty gallon water jug. Chop up (or get a jar of minced) four to six garlic cloves and add them too.

If you use the jar of minced then use 3 tablespoons. Now fill the jug with water and let it stand in the sun for a day.

Strain the liquid into a bottle sprayer. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil or liquid soap.

Spray the entire plant once every 2 weeks or more frequent if it rains. It will smell like an Italian restaurant but you won’t have any critters dining on your plants.

Stinging nettle tea not only adds nitrogen to your plants, it also gives off pest repelling chemicals.

To make stinging nettle tea, pack a bucket with at least a pound of the leaves and stems then add a gallon of water. Let it sit for a week, then strain out the liquid into a sprayer.

Spray your plants every 10 days or so and put the leftover leaves on your compost pile.

To keep your squash from being murdered by borers, wrap aluminum foil around the stem and snug it down into the soil.

Rabbits, squirrels and even cats will stay out of your beds if you sprinkle the soil heavily with cayenne pepper.

Just like the bugs and critters, as summer draws nearer, we tend to eat outdoors more. Inevitably, food gets dropped. So I thought this would be a good time to remind you of what foods are harmful to our pets.

Avocados, grapes, raisins, chocolate, beer, macadamia nuts, onions and garlic are all on the no-no list.

Now, spray down that body and get outside to do those chores. Your troubles will fade and your muscles will grow. How about that for a two-fer!

Happy growing!