I remember it like it was yesterday, walking through our soon-to-be home, rounding the corner through the swinging door and spotting our backyard for the very first time. It was perfect, with lush green grass, a huge oak and maples and a cedar fence lining the perimeter of the property line. We had hoped for a yard, but didn’t expect one, considering our modest budget and desire to live in the city.
There’s nothing quite like sitting down to enjoy my morning coffee and hearing a blood-curdling screech coming from the kitchen. I flash back to my superhero daydreams of childhood and jump up, adrenaline pumping, rushing out of the sunroom to save the day. Sprinting into the kitchen, I see the perpetrator: A dark black cockroach in the middle of our kitchen floor. Unfortunately, this has become a regular occurrence in our home.
As a first-time homeowner, the number of new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Continue Reading
Amy found out that most citronella candles don’t contain even a bit of real citronella essential oil, but only a synthetically produced scent with none of the bug deterring benefits. She carefully whipped up her own batch using real citronella java essential oil (not the citronella oil sold for Tiki torches), and created her own jazzed up jars to give them some style. She used a little melted crayon for soft colors. Of course, you can skip the whole bug candle thing and just add some drops of your favorite scent to make delicious smelling indoor candles. Continue Reading
Some old candles or block wax + citronella oil + recycled food containers + a few tools = homemade citronella candles. Keep them buggies away with your own DIY citronellas, which, apparently, are only basic wax candles scented with citronella oil, a plant-based insect repellant, from a species in the lemongrass family.
I can't bear to turn on the AC yet, despite the 90-degree afternoons, so often, our doors are wide open to elements. And with the breezes comes the bugs, and lately we've been visited by some decidely complex looking creatures that my Biology-teacher mother didn't teach me as a kid.
Enter WHAT'S THAT BUG.COM, a charming database dedicated to, you guessed it, all your entymological inquiries, and some beautifully photographed from the insect world.
I had used soapy water as a pesticide for indoor plants, but a few years ago, while kvetching about an outdoor infestation of box elder bugs (an example of the nasty things is pictured above), my next door neighbor Buzz, a retired bricklayer and WWII vet, suggested I use the stuff to tackle my buggy problem.
Any liquid dishwashing soap will work. Simply mix a couple of teaspoons to a gallon of water and hose the little bastar …I mean, buggers. Continue Reading