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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 August 20, 2018

          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

          35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

          Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

          But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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          The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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          While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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          While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

          If You’re Staying In

          1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
          2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
          3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
          4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
            • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
            • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
            • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
            • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
              • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
              • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
              • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                If You Want to Get Away

                1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                  • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                  • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                  • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                  • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                  • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                  • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                    • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                    • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                    New & Exciting Experiences

                    1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                    2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                      experience.
                      • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                      • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                      • Experience white water rafting.
                      • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                      • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                        • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                        • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                          • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                          • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                          • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                          Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                          Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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