Killing insects

Hints from Heloise

Dear Readers: Every

spring, without fail, I receive

numerous letters

about killing insects that

make life miserable. Since

no one likes bugs in their

home, I’m going to address

this problem that many of

my readers have written in

about. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I hate

cockroaches! Here in Louisiana,

we have a real problem

with them because it’s always

damp here. I need to kill these

creepy-crawlies without also

killing the family pets. Is

there a natural way to kill

roaches without harming my

kids and pets? — Toni A.,

Metairie, Louisiana

Toni, there are several

things you can try: Boric acid

(usually found in grocery

stores or pharmacies) can be

mixed with baking soda and

placed where you’ve seen

cockroach activity. There

is also diatomaceous earth,

which is usually found at nurseries

and hardware stores. It’s

nontoxic to humans.

You can also sprinkle peppermint

oil or cedar wood oil

on a cotton ball and place it

where the cockroaches seem

to be. The smell drives them

away. If you have hedgehogs,

pet frogs or lizards, they will

oftentimes drive away or kill

and eat cockroaches.

Personally, I found that

mixing boric acid with a

tiny amount of sugar and a

tiny amount of water, then

pressing this into empty

bottle caps that are placed

in the areas of activity, will

get the job done. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I am terrified

of spiders. How can

I keep them away from my

home? — Lynn G., Tampa,


Lynn, take a spray bottle

filled with equal parts vinegar

and water. Shake well and

spray a spider when you see

one. The acetic acid in vinegar

burns most spiders on

contact. To keep them away,

place cotton balls soaked in

peppermint oil, tea tree oil or

eucalyptus oil. Place them in

areas where spiders are seen

or tend to gather. They usually

don’t care for the smell

of these three oils.

In the south and southwest,

it is especially important to

keep spiders away from your

house. Scorpions often feast on

spiders, and the last thing you

need are scorpions! — Heloise


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