Solutions & Substitutions by Reena: Squirrels in the Garden

By Reena Nerbas

Nuisance Squirrels

Dear Reena,

How can I prevent squirrels from eating the plants on my balcony? Is there something that will repel them? Thank you, Bonnie

Dear Bonnie,

What works for one squirrel will not necessarily work for them all; here are some effective solutions to try. Begin by distracting your furry friends with a bowl of store bought food made specifically for them. Place the bowl far enough away from the pots but close enough that they will see their food. Wrap chicken wire over plant pots and make holes for the plants. They are unable to chew through wire. Or secure large rocks over the soil making sure that they cannot lift the rocks. Human hair, blood meal, dog fur and fox urine are options but seem to lose their effectiveness after a few weeks. Here is one of my all-time favorite solutions for squirrels who like to dig; push the handle of several plastic forks straight down into the soil, squirrels don’t like the feeling of plastic fork tines on their cute little feet.

Marks on Fabric Couch

Dear Reena,

I accidentally cleaned my couch with water and vinegar, not realizing it was Code “S”. Big marks on couch. What to do? Connie

Dear Connie,

Upholstery fabrics typically display a letter on the care label that says either: W, S, W/S or X. Code “S” includes fibers such as cotton, rayon, wool, denim, silk, velour etc. Labels displaying “S” should be cared for with solvent-based cleaners. Apply detergent, clean according to the instructions; vacuum upholstery using the brush attachment. Code “W” refers to manmade fibers such as polyester, nylon and acetate. “W” fibers may be washed with water. W/S may be cleaned with either solvent or water based cleaners. Fabrics displaying “X” cannot be cleaned using any cleaners. Regarding the water marks on your upholstery, clean the fabric with a dry cleaning solvent. If you do not have access to any dry cleaning solvents, consider using shaving cream as an alternative (test on an inconspicuous area first). Wipe the entire chair and remove the excess.

Fitting Sheets

Dear Reena,

It takes me forever to dress my bed with clean sheets. I put the sheets on the bed and they don’t fit so I turn the sheets and fiddle with them until they fit. Is there an easier way? Thanks, Roma

Dear Roma,

Fit the sheets on to the bed with the care label on the bottom left side of the mattress. Manufacturers often sew the care label tag to the bottom left side. If labels no longer exist, mark the bottom left corner with a permanent Sharpie or fabric marker so that you will never again play this “Guessing Game.”

Feedback from Fabulous Reader

Re: Smelly Feet

Dear Reena,

In dealing with the same problem, I have turned to Geox shoes, the shoe that breathes. I no longer have to toss my shoes /sandals out every 6 months because of foot odor. These shoes are fantastic for allowing your feet to breathe, they really do work. B D

Shower Power Solutions

I discovered an easy way to remove mold on grout. Cut an old bathroom towel into long strips half inch wide. Soak the fabric strips into a jug of bleach. Cotton strips like the ones used in hair salons work even better. Set strips onto the grout and leave overnight. Remove strips in the morning, the mold will disappear. Submitted By: Shane

To clean grout in my shower I use either bleach or vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the grout and scrub with an old toothbrush. Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning and never mix anything other than water with bleach. Submitted By: Alfred

My showerhead becomes rusty over time. When this happens I fill a plastic bag with vinegar and set the showerhead inside the bag. Close the bag around the showerhead using an elastic band. Leave overnight and remove the bag in the morning.

Clean you shower grout without feeling dizzy or coughing from commercial cleaners. Make a paste of 50/50 lemon juice and baking powder. Leave for 2 hours and scrub.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

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