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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

          Indoor Plants Top 10 Indoor Plants for The Winter Season Four Hacks to Gain The Upper Hand Over Garden Pests

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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