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Four Hacks to Gain The Upper Hand Over Garden Pests

Four Hacks to Gain The Upper Hand Over Garden Pests

There is absolutely no reason why anyone should spend over ten bucks getting rid of seasonal garden pests.  Big business makes big dollars off of our collective ignorance, but nevermore!  With the procurement of a few simple ingredients, environmentally sound pest control is achieved.  Take a look at these ten handy hacks to gain and maintain the upper hand in the war against garden pests.

1. Mosquito Repellant

First off, protect yourself from pests.  Mosquitoes are known for carrying a wide array of nasty illnesses, and those mass produced sprays do not smell or feel the best on the skin.  For a homemade mosquito repellent, gather together a few essentials.

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    1. 4oz spray bottle
    2. 2oz of distilled water
    3. 1oz of witch hazel
    4. 50 to 75 drops of essential oils

    There are several different essential oils to choose from when deciding which oils to use.  As one may expect, different oils have different effects and fight against certain pests.  To relieve the skin of unwanted mosquito bites, utilize a mixture of tea tree oil and lavender.

    2. Aphid Repellant

    The second pest control remedy will relieve beautiful roses of their aphid nemeses.  Aphids can quickly rob rose bushes of their rich color and regal aesthetic.  To allay the invasion, use these household ingredients.

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      1. 1qt spray bottle
      2. 1 tbsp. of canola oil
      3. 5 drops of Ivory soap
      4. Water

      Fill the spray bottle with water.  Add the canola oil and soap.  Then shake the mixture vigorously.  Spray the affected plants from the top and the bottom to assure full coverage.  The oil and soap in the mixture will snuff out the aphids and do no harm to the surrounding environment. This will assure the roses (or other flowers) have plenty of pest-free room to bloom.

      3. Nematode Repellant

      Third, there is a simple solution to naturally negate those pesky nematodes.  Nematodes live in the soil below the garden and feed on the roots of other plants.  They are small, worm-like creatures, and they are not a friendly species to house.

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        The best way to repel these troublemakers naturally is by planting a thick section of marigolds in the affected area of the garden.  The marigolds will snuff out the nematodes.  Turn them under the soil and the next year it will be safe to plant whatever looks best in that area of land.  The nematodes will be gone.

        4. Ant Repellant

        Finally, ants are one of the worst pests to battle throughout the year.  Ants not only cause problems in the garden, but they invade our homes as well.  This is simply unacceptable.

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          To fight off an array of insects such as ants, termites, and roaches, purchase a small container of boric acid powder.  This ingredient will kill insects.  It is absolutely harmless to humans and pets (unless you have an ant farm, of course).  Here is a list of the components needed to complete this simple formula.

          1. 12oz container
          2. 2 tbsp. of boric acid
          3. 8oz of mint jelly
          4. Small cardboard squares

          Mix these ingredients together in the chosen container.  Place the mixture on top of the cardboard squares, and place them in the common path of the insects.  When the ants walk through the mixture, the boric acid will stick to their legs.  The affected ants will bring the powder back to the colony.  Through grooming, the powder will spread, and the ants will die upon ingestion.

          Household pets like cats and dogs should be fine around the remedy.  Just make sure they do not intentionally ingest the substance.  It will not kill the pets, but it will make them very uncomfortable for a few days depending on how much boric acid they ingest.

          Featured photo credit: Mick Talbot via flickr.com

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          April Ryder

          Freelance Writer/Nature Enthusiast

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          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on the small tasks.

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

          2. Take a break from your work desk.

          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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          3. Upgrade yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a friend.

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

          7. Read a book (or blog).

          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

          8. Have a quick nap.

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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          9. Remember why you are doing this.

          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

          10. Find some competition.

          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

          11. Go exercise.

          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

          12. Take a good break.

          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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