pests http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3171/all en-US 8 Problems Home Sellers Must Disclose to Buyers http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-home-sellers-must-disclose-to-buyers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-problems-home-sellers-must-disclose-to-buyers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-171572856.jpg" alt="Home sellers disclosing problems to buyers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No home is perfect. When you're selling one, your job is to highlight its best features &mdash; the big backyard, the renovated kitchen, and the bright sunroom &mdash; while downplaying the too-small master bedroom or the cramped first-floor bathroom.</p> <p>But there are certain negatives that you shouldn't hide. If you keep these problems secret &mdash; anything from a leaky basement to past termite damage &mdash; you might face a future lawsuit from your former home's new owners.</p> <h2>What is a disclosure agreement?</h2> <p>When you're selling a home, you'll have to sign a disclosure form asking you several &quot;yes/no&quot; questions about your house. The form might ask whether your basement has leaked, if your home has suffered termite damage, if your property sits in a flood zone, whether past construction work has been done without the proper permits, and whether your home has suffered past sewer backups.</p> <p>You'll have the option to answer &quot;yes,&quot; &quot;no,&quot; or &quot;I don't know&quot; on these questions.</p> <p>If you lie on this form, it could lead to trouble. State regulations vary, but you could be responsible for what you do and don't disclose on this form for up to 10 years. If you lie on your disclosure form, the new owners can hit you with an expensive lawsuit.</p> <p>Keep in mind that every state has different rules when it comes to disclosures. California, for example, has some of the strictest disclosure regulations for sellers to follow. Here, sellers must disclose any possible hazards relating to floods, earthquakes, and fires in what is known as a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. Sellers in the state of California must also provide buyers with a form that alerts them to a state database of sex offenders living near the home.</p> <p>Other states typically require less. It's best to work with your real estate agent on the required disclosures in your state and municipality.</p> <h2>1. Lead-based paint</h2> <p>Under the federal government's Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, if your house was built before 1978, you must disclose all known examples of lead-based paint in your home. You must also provide buyers a pamphlet prepared by the EPA titled &quot;Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home,&quot; which offers them tips on how to keep their children and others safe from lead paint.</p> <p>Under the federal law, buyers also have 10 days to test the house for lead paint.</p> <p>Don't try to skip out on this disclosure. Under federal law, buyers can sue you for triple the amount of damages that they actually suffered because of lead paint if you fail to follow the disclosure rules.</p> <h2>2. A leaky basement</h2> <p>Even if you are not legally required to disclose all the problems with your home, there are some that you're better off listing. For instance, if your basement floods during heavy rain, don't hide it. Your new owners will find out when the next big storm hits, and you can bet they won't be happy. If you're unlucky, they might file a lawsuit against you for hiding this information.</p> <h2>3. A leaky roof</h2> <p>Disclose a damaged or leaky roof, too, if you haven't repaired it. This is another issue that can only remain hidden for so long &mdash; until the next rain, or until the home inspector discovers the problem. This can create all kinds of headaches right before your home sale is about to close.</p> <h2>4. Termite damage</h2> <p>Let potential buyers know if you've treated your home for termites or other dangerous pests. This is a problem you don't want showing up during a home inspection. It could scuttle your sale.</p> <h2>5. Damaged foundation</h2> <p>Repairing a damaged or sinking foundation is a big expense. You might be tempted to keep your home's foundation problems a secret, but don't. Potential buyers who order a home inspection will certainly uncover this major issue. Buyers, scared off by big future repair bills, might walk away from the sale.</p> <h2>6. Radon</h2> <p>Radon is a toxic gas that rises from the ground and up through the basements of some homes. Prolonged exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. Before you list your home, you should test its radon levels. If they are too high, you should pay for remediation services before listing your home.</p> <p>Many states require that you disclose high radon levels. If you know that your home has high radon levels and you haven't paid for professionals to solve the problem, disclose this fact. Hiding this information could leave you open to a future lawsuit.</p> <h2>7. Asbestos</h2> <p>We all know that asbestos is extremely toxic. Breathing it in can cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. Many older homes still have asbestos in them, usually as insulation wrapped around pipes or even in floor tiles. If you have asbestos in your home, your state might require you to disclose it. (Not all do.) Not doing so when legally required could open you up to an expensive lawsuit.</p> <p>Remember, not all asbestos is a problem. If it is hidden away in areas that you nor the buyers will ever access, you probably won't have to pay to remove it.</p> <h2>8. Mold</h2> <p>Mold problems are another big issue when selling a home. Most mold is harmless, but there are some varieties that can cause illness or respiratory problems. Because of this, many states require that you disclose past mold issues. If you've paid to have mold removed in the past, you should disclose this. You could again face a hefty lawsuit if you don't.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-problems-home-sellers-must-disclose-to-buyers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money">4 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt">Don&#039;t Let These 6 Home Décor Flaws Ruin Your House Hunt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2-things-you-must-know-about-the-new-mortgage-rules">2 Things You Must Know About the New Mortgage Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-decide-when-to-sell-your-house">My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Decide When to Sell Your House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying house damages disclosures home repairs lead leaks legal issues pests roof selling house termites Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1918282 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_swimming_pool_000020952491.jpg" alt="Learning surprising things homeowners insurance doesn&#039;t cover" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've never read the entirety of your homeowners insurance policy, you might believe you're protected against any kind of problem with your home or property. But the truth is, many things are specifically excluded from most policies. Most of us know flooding and water damage is not generally covered by standard policies. The rest, though, may surprise you.</p> <p>Does your homeowner's policy cover any of these 10 items? If not, consider getting special endorsements or riders to make sure you have the proper level of coverage.</p> <h2>1. Pools</h2> <p>You might think the liability insurance tied to your policy will suffice, but it's probably not high enough to protect you against many pool-related injuries. A typical homeowners policy covers about $100,000 in liability insurance &mdash; but if you have a pool, you'll probably need greater protection. The Insurance Information Institute recommends bumping your liability insurance to $300,000 or even $500,000.</p> <h2>2. Termites</h2> <p>Pests can pose a big threat to your home, but don't assume damage from the little critters is covered. That's because most insurance companies consider damage from termites and other pests to be preventable. Pay attention to moisture around your home, and closely examine any wood for possible pest damage. Also be sure to keep plants and wood piles a good distance from your house.</p> <h2>3. Tree Houses</h2> <p>Many insurance companies place treehouses in the &quot;high-risk&quot; category along with trampolines. Check your policy for exclusions before constructing that clubhouse in the old oak tree.</p> <h2>4. Earthquakes</h2> <p>What's interesting here is that damage from a volcanic eruption usually <em>is</em> covered by most homeowners policies. Earthquakes are a different story, and that also goes for earth tremors, landslides, and mudslides. If you live in an earthquake-prone area &mdash; Californians, I am talking to you &mdash; consider buying extra earthquake insurance.</p> <h2>5. Trees Damaged by Wind</h2> <p>If a tree gets knocked down during a storm and damages your house, the repairs to your home are covered. But <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-when-its-okay-to-drop-insurance">insurance won't cover</a> the actual removal or replacement of the tree itself. This goes for any other shrubs and plants. In general, homeowners insurance only covers damage to plants and trees caused by fire, theft, lightning, and car crashes. So if a car crashes into a tree, you're covered (up to $500.) But if the wind knocks the tree over, tough luck.</p> <h2>6. Expensive Jewelry or Other Personal Property</h2> <p>You may think your wedding ring is covered under your homeowners policy, but unless your hubby bought you a cubic zirconia, it's probably not. Most policies cover personal artifacts up to $1,000 or so. After that, you'll need a separate rider. But don't worry, such riders usually cost less than $100 a year.</p> <h2>7. Your Home Business</h2> <p>It's logical to assume that if you're running a business from your house, that business is covered under your homeowners policy. But that's not necessarily true. If you run a catering business from inside the home and someone gets food poisoning, you're not covered. If you are giving an art lesson and a student breaks a toe, you're not covered. This is especially true if your home business is located on your property, but in a separate structure from your home.</p> <h2>8. War</h2> <p>What's worse than having your house blown up by the enemy? Knowing that insurance won't cover the repairs. Most policies will not pay you back for damage caused by war, terrorism, or nuclear dangers. However, civil unrest, riots, and vandalism may be covered.</p> <h2>9. Many Popular Dog Breeds</h2> <p>Most dogs are covered under your homeowners policy, but only if they are not considered &quot;aggressive&quot; or &quot;risky.&quot; And you'd be surprised how many breeds of dogs are basically uninsurable. The American Veterinary Medical Association lists the dogs most likely to bite humans, and appearing on that list is often a black mark for insurance companies. Blacklisted breeds include Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Akitas, Rottweilers, and even Chow Chows.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-the-right-rv-and-vehicle-insurance-protects-your-summer-fun">Here&#039;s How the Right RV and Vehicle Insurance Protects Your Summer Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance">3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance dogs earthquakes flooding homeowners homeownership liability pests pools Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1626816 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden_ants_000018275537.jpg" alt="How to get rid of household pests" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have a pest problem? It&rsquo;s time to take control &mdash; pest control. Commercial traps and poisons costs can add up quickly and be less than effective, and calling in the professionals can easily exceed your budget. (Note: if your infestation is totally out of control, then <em>definitely</em> call a professional.) To rid your house of unwanted visitors the DIY way, try the following cheap and effective techniques. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests?ref=seealso">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a>)</p> <h2>1. Clean Up</h2> <p>The best way to keep pests out is prevention. I know, I know, you already have pests. But preventative measures can help keep the problem from escalating, and actually help get rid of existing pests. The best way to keep unwanted bugs and rodents away is to keep your house extra clean and in good repair. Pests tend to be attracted to the unsightly elements of a house, like unsealed or old garbage, leaky pipes, and food residue. They can also enter your home through cracks, rotted wood, and be attracted by overgrown plants and piles of firewood or debris nearby. Keeping things tidy will help keep pests out in the first place, and a good clean up can help make your home less than hospitable to current invaders.</p> <h2>2. Spritz With Vinegar Spray</h2> <p>If your pesky problem is ants, then try a <a href="http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-ants-apple-vinegar-74243.html">vinegar and water spray</a>. Mix roughly one part water and one part vinegar in a spray bottle. Track down the ants to find their trail and see where they are entering the house. Spray at their entrance and along the baseboards, door, and/or windows. Follow the trail and spray its entirety. This will kill the ants sprayed, and more importantly, it will ruin their scent trail. Keep an eye out for more ants, and spray wherever you see one hanging out. Let sit before wiping up dead ants with a cloth, and repeat when you see more ants. Even if they don&rsquo;t come back right away, repeat a few times the first week to keep them at bay.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Bait</h2> <p>Vinegar spray isn&rsquo;t enough to get the job done? Create a <a href="http://creeklinehouse.com/2013/05/the-very-best-homemade-ant-killer.html">homemade ant bait</a> to rid your house of the pests. Rather than buying costly traps, make a Borax and sugar mixture and put in small containers. Place them in the ants&rsquo; path and let them feast. These ants will take the mixture back to the colony to share, killing more ants. This process could take a few days, as more ants come to grab the mixture and take it back to their hiding place. Depending on the time of year and the type of ant, they may be more into fatty foods, so something like peanut butter would make a better bait. If the sugar fix isn&rsquo;t working, try mixing Borax with something oily or fatty.</p> <h2>4. Diatomaceous Earth</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not into organic gardening, you might be scratching your head. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00025H2PY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00025H2PY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=Q3NI5LWHBBHARRFB">Diatomaceous earth</a> is a powdered substance made up of fossilized remains of phytoplankton. It&rsquo;s non-toxic, harmless to mammals, and lethal to bugs. Some farmers feed it to their animals to help ward off pests, and some people include it in their diet for various potential health benefits.</p> <p>To get rid of pests in your home, sprinkle food-grade (not the kind for swimming pools) diatomaceous earth along baseboards and in corners &mdash; anywhere you typically find bugs. Use enough to get a good dusting, but do not pile up the powder, or bugs will just crawl over it. It may take a few days to work, but it will eventually kill the bugs in your home, and keep future bugs at bay. Diatomaceous earth can be effective at killing ants, spiders, and even bed bugs.</p> <h2>5. Less Water</h2> <p>It seems too simple, but if you&rsquo;ve got tiny little gnats flying around your house, your plants could be the problem. Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil, and will happily have babies in your potted plants. An easy way to get rid of these tiny insects is to let your plants completely dry out on the surface before watering. This will kill the larva and prevent new gnats from reaching maturity. Make sure your plants have good drainage, and clean up any standing water. Not only will these techniques solve your gnat problem, they are also good for your plants.</p> <h2>6. DIY Traps</h2> <p>Fruit flies and cockroaches can be a real annoyance, and while setting traps won&rsquo;t completely rid your home of an infestation, they can help catch stragglers and keep your living areas bug-free. To create a <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-2-liter-soda-bottle-wasp-t-43290">homemade bug trap</a>, cut off the top section of a plastic soda bottle. Invert it, and tape or staple it to the bottle opening, making a funnel into the bottle.</p> <p>To catch fruit flies or gnats, pour apple cider vinegar in the bottle. If you don&rsquo;t have a huge population of the little flies in your house, using this trap for a few days can take care of the problem. For cockroaches, fill the bottom of the bottle with soapy water. Cockroaches are attracted to water, and will crawl in and drown. If a wasp made it&rsquo;s way in your house, or they are ruining your picnic, pour some honey or other sweet into the trap to attract them.</p> <p><em>How do you ward off pests &hellip; naturally?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home ants bugs household infestations pesticide alternatives pests Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:30:31 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1540832 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garden_pest_snail_000015689543.jpg" alt="Learning how to deter garden pests on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we moved out of our urban neighborhood last year, we had no idea how our summer gardening efforts might change. Almost immediately, we discovered that living slightly closer to the country meant critters &mdash; lots of them. So, we've had to bulk up our pest-control efforts considerably. Here are some friendly ways to keep the fruits of your labor from falling prey to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">bugs</a>, bunnies, deer, and more.</p> <h2>1. Insect Spray</h2> <p>Try this <a href="http://anoregoncottage.com/homemade-garlic-mint-garden-insect-spray-really-works/">DIY insect spray</a> on your plants and you'll see a huge difference in just a couple weeks. You may even have all the ingredients on hand. Combine two cloves of garlic with three cups of mint leaves, cayenne pepper, and biodegradable dish soap. This mix repels bugs, and it's best to spray on the leaves of your plants on a cloudy day so it doesn't burn them.</p> <h2>2. Soapy Solution</h2> <p>Are deer cramping your style? You can cut up bars of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KTB19K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KTB19K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PCTRMYSS5AKFY5NF">Irish Spring soap</a>, attach to stakes using scraps of fabric, and scatter throughout your garden. The benefit here is that you don't need to reapply anything after rainstorms like you do with sprays and other methods. Plus, your yard will smell amazing.</p> <h2>3. Cornmeal Wonder</h2> <p>Get rid of ants and weeds with a simple <a href="http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/organic/cornmeal-in-the-garden.htm">cornmeal application</a>. Stow this tip away for next year because the gluten works against seed development, so it's best to sprinkle in the early spring before the weeds actually sprout up. If ants are your bigger issue, you're in luck. They will carry the cornmeal back to their homes. It disrupts their digestion, but it will take about a week to fully work.</p> <h2>4. Bunny Banisher</h2> <p>We were most surprised last year to find an entire family of bunnies nesting underneath our tomato plants. This season we're hoping to keep them away with this <a href="http://premeditatedleftovers.com/gardening/inexpensive-organic-rabbit-repellent/">organic rabbit repellent</a>. This frugal mix of garlic, red pepper, water, and dish soap works best after it has soaked in the sun for a couple days. Apply to your plants once a week continuous control.</p> <h2>5. Hair Helper</h2> <p>Save money by cutting your hair at home. Then use the clippings in your garden to keep deer and other animals out of your plants. This method is one I learned from my mother-in-law, and it's surprisingly effective. It should help <a href="http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/blogs/is-human-hair-good-for-your-garden">repel deer, rabbits, and snails</a> all while acting as a mulch and natural fertilizer. Summer is a great time for a shorter style anyway. Hair that isn't heavily shampooed works best.</p> <h2>6. Bird Netting</h2> <p>We can't forget birds in this list. Keeping them out can be as easy as installing <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RA0P/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00004RA0P&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4WTVACWGDOBFZATM">bird netting</a> atop your raised beds. You'll need a staple gun to make the process go faster, but just secure the netting to the side of your box, stretch over your plants, and secure on the other side. Alternatively, you can use stakes to secure the netting in the ground if you don't have raised beds.</p> <h2>7. Scare Tactics</h2> <p>Pick up a few cheap aluminum pie plates at the dollar store. Then stake them up using some string to create a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScS-cqS0oX0">quick homemade scarecrow</a>. The sound and bright shine should keep birds and other animals away.</p> <h2>8. Easy Eggshells</h2> <p>Slugs and snails will steer clear of this <a href="http://mymerrymessylife.com/2014/06/organic-gardening-use-egg-shells-to-deter-slugs-and-snails.html">eggshell solution</a>. Place the shells in a large bag and crush using your hands or feet. From there, scatter the pieces around plants once a week. Those critters don't like sharp edges, so it should stop them in their tracks. Bonus: the calcium in the eggshells also fertilizes your garden.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite DIY garden protection methods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Snail Free Gardening</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living bugs deer eco-friendly gardening pests plants rabbits repellent Tue, 14 Jul 2015 17:00:12 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1481951 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ants_000019026109.jpg" alt="Learning how to eliminate ants without an exterminator" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ants. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Well, wait a minute. Yes, I can definitely live without ants crawling all over my kitchen floor. So, in the last month I have fought and won the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bees">battle with these tiny beasts</a>. And I am here to share with you how I did it &mdash; sans exterminator.</p> <p>(Note: Though these methods are all natural, you'll want to keep most of these ingredients and mixtures out of reach of children and pets.)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning</h2> <p>First and foremost, try sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping down flat surfaces (counters, floors, etc.) on the daily. Consistent, scrupulous cleaning should at least help the issue by eliminating anything that's attracting ants. Of course, your castle could be neat as a pin and still have an ant highway a mile long.</p> <h2>2. Blocking</h2> <p>Though I haven't personally had wonderful results with this tip, our neighbor reports that she got rid of ants by caulking gaps near her doors and windows. If there are obvious places where the ants are getting in, this idea might work well for you. We did try it, but they found a new path a few feet over in our dining room.</p> <h2>3. Spices</h2> <p>At the first sight of ants, I sprinkle cayenne pepper or ground cinnamon to make a barrier. I learned this trick while researching ways to keep bugs out of my child's sandbox without chemicals. In your home, sprinkle spices close to entry points to deter the ants from crossing the line. I've read that chalk works in a similar fashion, especially on the outside your home.</p> <h2>4. Vinegar</h2> <p>Or you can go with a spritz or five of vinegar mixed with water. The combination helps to get rid of the pheromone trails the scouts leave the lead other ants through your house. This step is pretty easy if you're wiping down floors and countertops regularly (see above!) &mdash; vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso">30 Household Products Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>5. Borax</h2> <p>A friend of mine shared with me that she puts out bowls of powdered sugar and borax. The sugar attracts the ants. When they consume it, they also consume the borax, which eventually kills them by disrupting their digestive systems. You can also make a <a href="http://www.stacymakescents.com/homemade-ant-bait">wet mixture</a> by combining about a cup of sugar with a tablespoon of borax and a half cup of boiling water.</p> <h2>6. Essential Oils</h2> <p>Peppermint is a powerful ant repellant. A simple line of the essential oil at window sills or on the floor near an entry point should make ants scurry in a hurry. If you'd rather create a formal solution, try this <a href="http://www.herbsandoilsworld.com/peppermint-ant-repellent-spray/">peppermint spray</a> that combines the power of peppermint, citronella, and lavender essential oils.</p> <h2>7. Castile Soap</h2> <p>I use a lot of castile soap in my indoor routines, so I love that I can spritz a <a href="http://www.lisabronner.com/it-actually-works/">household cleaning spray</a> on ants to give them the hint. To make the spray, just combine water, tea tree oil, and a quarter cup castile soap in a bottle. Use as needed &mdash; it will kill ants on contact &mdash; and wipe up when you're done.</p> <h2>8. Boiling Water</h2> <p>If you can find the source of the ants outdoors, try pouring boiling water over the anthill. My grandmother swears by this method, and she'll occasionally mix in some dish soap in a 1:1 ratio. Try pouring atop the anthill two or three times in a single day for the best results.</p> <p><em>What natural solutions have you tried to deal with ants?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-stain-removers-that-actually-work">5 Homemade Stain Removers That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-surprising-uses-for-vinegar">21 Surprising Uses for Vinegar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY Green Living all-natural ants bugs eco-friendly pests Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:00:15 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1477259 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Rid of Bees http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-rid-of-bees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bees.jpg" alt="Beekeeper with bees" title="Beekeeper with bees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bees are very important to our food supply; <a href="http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/inf10.html">cross-pollination is necessary</a> for many plants to fertilize and grow. Still, the insects can be a major annoyance around the house. There's nothing worse than a bee sting, and many people have allergic reactions to them.</p> <p>The good news is that there are some specific things we can do to keep bees away and deal with them if they do pop up. The best way to avoid bee stings is to never have bees around the house to begin with, so if you see them on your porch or backyard, it's time to take action. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a>)</p> <p>The best thing to do is to get a beekeeper to take the bees away. In most cases, they'll do this as a free service (they want bees!). Check your area for a <a href="http://www.beeculture.com/content/whoswho/">local beekeeper</a>. If there isn't anyone who will take them away, you can always call an exterminator to do the job for you. But if you're careful, you can take care of the problem yourself for little cost.</p> <h3>How to Get Rid of a Beehive</h3> <p>With the wind at your back, simply spray insecticide directly at the beehive, ensuring that it makes contact with all the bees. The best and least risky time to spray a beehive is during the day when all the bees are out looking for nectar,&nbsp;because you're least likely to get stung. Some say that spraying at night when all the bees are there is a good time because you know they'll get hit with the insecticide. Insecticide&nbsp;products can spray up to 25 feet and kill on contact, so spraying in the evening when the creatures are home is definitely an option.</p> <p>The next day, spray the insecticide again, and after a few days, if you don't see any bees in or near the hive, you've successfully killed them.</p> <h3>How to Keep Bees From Returning</h3> <p>Killing the bees or destroying their nest while they are away can be just a temporary solution if you don't take the proper steps to make it last.</p> <p>In order to keep the bees away, you must fully destroy the nest. If the bees built a nest in a crack or hard-to-reach spot, you should block it off with cement or sealant so they can't reach and continue using it.</p> <h3>How to Handle Wasps and Hornets</h3> <p>Unfortunately, bees aren't the only pests that can ruin a picnic. Hornets and wasps are other creatures that should be taken care of if they're flying around the house. Techniques for dealing with wasps and hornets are the same as for dealing with bees, except that you can't call a beekeeper in on these guys. But a can of wasp, hornet, and bee spray (and some good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-without-music">running</a>&nbsp;shoes just to be safe) should do the trick.</p> <p>Bees, wasps, and hornets can be very distracting and frustrating to deal with. However, having these nasty creatures at home doesn't mean you're stuck with them forever. These steps can help get rid of bees around your house and let you enjoy your summer bee-free!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home bees pesticides pests summer Tue, 19 Jul 2011 10:00:05 +0000 Daniel Packer 624516 at http://www.wisebread.com Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/zipperhead_ants.jpg" alt="Fake ants on a building" title="Fake ants on a building" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we first moved into our apartment last autumn, I noticed a few ants in the kitchen. They went away by themselves in a few weeks though, so I didn&rsquo;t think anything of them. This spring, they came back in force! I was horrified to find ants crawling over my counters and cabinets, feasting on invisible crumbs of sugar. Not wanting to buy toxic ant poisons, I did a search on natural solutions to my ant problem using common household products. Here are a few of my findings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a>)</p> <h3>Keep Surfaces Clean</h3> <p>Ants are attracted to bits of food, so if you keep your counters spick-and-span, they&rsquo;ll go elsewhere.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t have huge numbers of ants (thank goodness), but I was determined to nip the infestation in the bud. The first step I took was to wipe down my counters and floors with white vinegar. &nbsp;This erases the trails of the &ldquo;scout&rdquo; ants, so that more ants won&rsquo;t follow. Vinegar is also a cheap and effective cleaner and made my counters gleam like never before. For several days, I kept a bottle of vinegar within reach so that I could wipe down my counters immediately after cooking.</p> <p>I learned that soapy water, or water mixed with a detergent (such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Dawn</a>), is also an effective way to keep ants off your surfaces. Wipe your counters with a soapy sponge, and then dry them. The residual film helps keep ants away.</p> <p>I also washed all of my containers of sugar, flour, cereal, honey, and syrup, making sure that they were tightly closed and that there was no sticky residue on the outsides. I moved fruits and vegetables to the fridge.</p> <h3>Herbal Ant Repellers</h3> <p>After I had cleaned all my surfaces well, I still had the odd ant or two looking for a snack. I realized that ants were getting into my home through numerous cracks behind my counters. I looked for natural ways to keep them away and learned that ants don&rsquo;t like spices such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mint, bay leaves, black pepper, cloves, and garlic.</p> <p>I sprinkled a little cinnamon into the crack beneath one counter and <em>voilà</em>! No more ants on that counter. But there were still a few wandering here and there elsewhere in the kitchen, so I placed a few bay leaves strategically around food items to deter them.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve also read that ants are repelled by cucumbers and used coffee grounds. I did notice that ants stayed away when I was cutting up a cucumber, and that they stay far away from the coffee machine.</p> <h3>Get Rid of Ants Outdoors</h3> <p>One way to make sure ants stay away from your house is to make sure they&rsquo;re not being attracted by aphids in your garden. Aphids secrete a sticky-sweet substance called &ldquo;honeydew&rdquo; that ants love to eat. Ants will actually protect aphids from predators in order to preserve their honeydew source! Hose off your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">garden</a> plants to wash off the aphids, or apply natural aphid repellents (like soapy water) to your plants.</p> <h3>Kill Ants with Borax Solution</h3> <p>If your ant problem is too much for the aforementioned methods to handle, you may need to resort to the big guns. Mix some Borax powder (a natural mineral) with an equal amount of jam or syrup and place where ants congregate. Ants will be attracted to the sugar and will feast on the mixture, but the Borax will get into their systems and kill them. This method means you&rsquo;ll have a lot of ants for a short amount of time, but it should get rid of them for several months.</p> <p>Borax has low toxicity to humans, but if you have small children or pets, you may wish to avoid this option.</p> <p>Even if you have only a few ants, it&rsquo;s important to get rid of them quickly before they become a bigger problem. A friend of mine didn&rsquo;t notice that ants had gotten into her maple syrup until one day she served pancakes and noticed a strange amount of black &ldquo;pepper&rdquo; in the syrup she had poured over them. Looking closer, she realized that they were little ants. Unfortunately, that was after she and her guests had already eaten half of their pancakes. Don&rsquo;t let it happen to you!</p> <p><em>If you&rsquo;ve had ants in your kitchen, what worked best for getting rid of them?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fnaturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FNaturally%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Ants%20in%20Your%20Kitchen.jpg&amp;description=Naturally%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Ants%20in%20Your%20Kitchen" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Naturally%20Get%20Rid%20of%20Ants%20in%20Your%20Kitchen.jpg" alt="Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-break-even-with-solar-panels">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With Solar Panels?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-wasting-electricity-without-realizing-it">8 Ways You&#039;re Wasting Electricity Without Realizing It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter">10 Frugal Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home ants natural pest control pests Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Camilla Cheung 584988 at http://www.wisebread.com Snail Free Gardening http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/snail.jpg" alt="Photo by mozzercork" width="224" height="146" /></p> <p>Green gardening should be cheap. Organic gardening was the way of the world before chemical companies found ways to create compounds that could destroy pests quickly and effectively. The thing that makes organic gardening less-favored than, say, using pesticides, is that it&#39;s not as efficient. You have to put more effort into organic gardening.</p> <p>But it&#39;s worth it. It&#39;s cheap, it&#39;s fun, and you can protect your water supply. Remember, whatever <a href="/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">we spray on our lawns</a> and gardens ends up in our drinking water.</p> <p>I haven&#39;t had too much luck with critter control where I live. Seattle is a very snail and slug-heavy area, and I have one very serious problem:</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/snails/">I love snails</a>.</p> <p>I think snails are beautiful. I grew up in an area where there simply aren&#39;t any snails, and I was so taken with the little guys when we used to visit my grandmother in Pasadena. I was heartbroken when my father announced the ingredients to the escargot that I had just sampled while dining at my very first French restaurant. When I take my dogs out for their last walk at night here in the Pacific Northwest, I often have to tiptoe through the streets because the snails come out in droves and line the sidewalks - I can&#39;t bear to step on one.</p> <p>Thus, I can&#39;t stand the idea of drowning them in beer or setting traps and then throwing them in the garbage (although I don&#39;t suppose I would object to some one actually trapping and eating them - I wouldn&#39;t do it, but I can see why someone would).</p> <p>My mom used to drip some weird, sludgey black poison to protect her roses from slugs. I never liked this, and snail bait can be very <a href="http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&amp;A=1423&amp;S=1&amp;SourceID=42">dangerous to household pets</a>. But I&#39;m happy to report that there are plenty of ways to reduce the damage that slugs and snails do to your garden that don&#39;t involve pesticides. Sure, it take a bit more elbow grease than plain ol&#39; poison, but it&#39;s worth the effort.</p> <p>I should stress that there&#39;s probably <em>no such thing as a snail-free garden</em>, just a garden that snails don&#39;t really like to visit that much.</p> <p>Here are some tips from discouraging those mollusky visitors, courtesy of <a href="http://www.thegardenhelper.com/slugs.html">The Garden Helper</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Pulling the weeds from your garden is something you need to do anyway. As you pull each weed, you remove a potential slug outpost. </li> <li>Keep all decaying matter cleaned out of your garden beds. While leaves make a good mulch, once they begin to compost they become food and shelter for slugs and snails. </li> <li>Prune the branches of any shrubs which are laying on the ground. Keep the old leaves and such cleaned out. By doing this you will have destroyed yet another slug haven! </li> <li>Cultivate your soil regularly to keep the dirt clods broken up, and unearth any slugs which may have burrowed under the surface. </li> <li>The shaded areas beneath decks can be a slug arena: keep them weed and litter free. </li> <li>Keep the lawn edges trimmed. Slugs will congregate under the umbrella of unkept grass. </li> <li>Cedar bark or gravel chips spread around your plant will irritate and dehydrate slugs.</li> <li>Rosemary, lemon balm, wormwood, mints, tansy, oak leaves, needles from conifers and seaweed will repel slugs.</li> <li>Enlist allies... snakes, ducks, geese, toads, and [chickens] would enjoy helping you out as they dine on your slugs. </li> </ul> <p>Here are some other ideas that I&#39;ve gathered over the years:</p> <p><strong>Create as sunny a garden as possible</strong>. Now, this is tough, especially for those of us who live in the Land of Perpetual Rain, but put all of your snail-prone plants in a sunny area. If you have lots of shady areas in your garden, try to keep it free of ground cover like ivy, where the slugs and snails like to sleep during the day. I have a long strip of skinny yard that is VERY shady, and I&#39;m making it into a rock garden with some moss and a couple of tiny Japanese maples. It&#39;s low-maintenance and pretty, and snails just aren&#39;t interested in it.</p> <p><strong>Protect prone plants with copper barriers</strong>. For some reason, slugs and snails won&#39;t cross copper. You can <a href="http://www.glassmart.com/regular_foil.asp">buy copper foil online</a> for pretty cheap. I have a teeny courtyard that I use to grow tomatoes, so I put copper around the base and around the lip of the huge ceramic pots that I use. It looks pretty as an accent if you put it on right. You can also put a loop around the base of a plant.</p> <p>If you are a great big meanie, <strong>traps are easy to construct</strong>. Spray some beer on a board and place it, beer-side down, 1/2 inch off of the soil in a shady area of your garden. The snails that collect under there can be eaten, or thrown into your <a href="/is-this-job-worth-it">evil coworkers yard</a>. You can go out at night and collect them, as well. They are nocturnal, so day time collection is harder.</p> <p>Also, take note: <a href="/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">another use for vinegar</a>!</p> <p>&quot;As you wage your war on slugs and snails, you are almost certain to be &#39;slimed&#39; at least once. YUK! Mix up a little warm water and vinegar, and use this formula to remove the slime from your hands like magic!&quot;</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozzercork/146787892/">mozzercork</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snail-free-gardening">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-deter-garden-pests">8 Cheap Ways to Deter Garden Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-valuable-things-to-plant-in-your-garden-this-spring">10 Most Valuable Things to Plant in Your Garden This Spring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-simple-gardening-skills-anybody-can-master">13 Simple Gardening Skills Anybody Can Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs">The Only 4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter">10 Easy Ways to Prep Your Garden for Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living bugs compost flowers garden gardening organic pesticides pests plants slugs snail-proof snails soap top soil water Tue, 03 Apr 2007 20:17:27 +0000 Andrea Karim 446 at http://www.wisebread.com