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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

How to Use Mosquito Repelling Candles Outdoors or Indoors

by Barbara 28. June 2009 09:13

Question about using Geraniol bucket candles mosquito repelling candles.

Q: "What is the best way to use mosquito repeller candles?" Thanks. Mac

Answer: We recommend that you light geraniol candles at least 30 minutes to an hour prior to your outdoor gathering. Space the candles about 8 feet apart around the perimeter of the area where you plan to entertain. Make sure the Geraniol pillar candles or bucket candle is on a flat, heat resistant surface where it is unlikely to be knocked over. For the best protection, we recommend that you place mosquito traps down wind from your party and keep them running continuously during the mosquito/biting insect season. The best unit is the all propane mosquito trap since you can place it anywhere you choose without an electrical outlet nearby.

Take care when using any burning candle to make sure that it’s on a flat, heat-resistant surface to prevent the candle from tipping over or spilling wax, and never leaving a burning candle unattended.

Among the pleasant smelling geraniol options are:

Remember if you have a pond or other standing water you may need to take more action. Mosquito Dunks are made with natural BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis), Mosquito Dunks represent a major breakthrough for people and the environment compared with the traditional toxic chemical approach to mosquito control. BTI is a live bacteria that's deadly to mosquito larvae, Once a month float a Dunk in the water garden and every place water accumulates around the home. Each Dunk will effectively treat up to 100 square feet off surface water regardless of depth. Dunks may be broken to treat small areas. Mosquito Dunks are an effective biological mosquito larvicid. EPA registered in all 50 states. Unused and dried out Dunks retain their potency indefinitely.

Note: Citronella oil has been determined by the EPA to be a safe substance. When burned indoors, the citronella scent can cause problems in people who are susceptible to health problems from scents.

Thank you for your question. Enjoy your parties.
Sincerely, Barbara

Protecting Berry Bushes from Hungry Birds and Rabbits

by Barbara 28. June 2009 07:28

Question about protecting blueberry bushes from birds.

Q: "How do I keep birds from eating my blueberries? This is the second year for the bushes which are covered with green berries. Would a Bird-X bird repeller do the job? I don't want to deal with bird netting if I don't have to."Thanks. Jack

Answer: Your best choice is not the bird repeller unless you install multiple units of the smaller units, the Bird-X Peller 1 and the Bird-X Peller 2. Each unit has only one speaker. You would have to have at least two units or install the Super Bird-X Peller with four speakers. These are noisy, you would have to have AC power and your neighbors might be unhappy.

I recommend that you either drape the plants with standard 3/4 inch mesh bird netting or build what is called a walk-in blueberry cage. Essentially that is a frame over which you drape the netting. That way you can secure the bird net so birds cannot get underneath. After harvest, which usually takes a few weeks per variety, you can remove the netting. The netting should last for years since it is UV treated.

Remember that rabbits and other rodents enjoy the young branches of blueberry plants. To keep them out in the wintertime, surround the bushes with tall chicken wire fencing

Blueberry bushes require little care, if you are in the right climate zones, keep the soil acidic and provide enough water. In 1964, I gave my dad a half dozen small bushes. Four of them survive to this day in western Pennsylvania and continue to produce huge numbers of berries 45 years later. Each spring the bushes are covered with bird netting that is anchored along the edges with bricks. Rarely a bird will get underneath and need to be rescued.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy those pies!
Sincerely, Barbara

Attract Bluebirds for Natural Insect Control and Beauty

by Barbara 27. June 2009 11:23

Question about the bluebird houses and how to attract bluebirds to my yard.

Q: "My family enjoys bird watching in our backyard. How do we attract bluebirds? We know they are beautiful to watch and we understand they eat a lot of insects, too." thanks. Dave

Answer: Attract and keep bluebirds in your backyard by providing them with houses in which to nest and the foods they love to eat. Bluebirds love insects, especially larva.

Some suggested boxes:

Some suggested bluebird feeders:

  • Song Essentials Bluebird Feeder. Bluebirds soon learn to reach inside this feeder for the meal worms & treats you provide. Designed for easy three step training. 1) Leave the lid open, held by the cable and remove one plexiglas side. 2) Insert plexiglass side. 3) Close the lid so only bluebirds can use the feeder.
  • Protected Bluebird Jail FeederThis feeder is made to discourage larger birds from feasting on meal worms and blue bird food.

Suggested food:

Thank you for your question. Enjoy your bird-watching.
Sincerely, Barbara

Adding a Solar Pump with Solar Panel to a Backyard Koi Pond or Fountain

by Barbara 27. June 2009 08:01

Question about replacing an electric water pump with a solar water pump for a Koi pond.

Q: We are working to reduce our dependence upon the power grid. Our electric pump for our backyard Koi pond is aging. Continuous aeration of the water keeps the koi healthy. We'd like to replace with a "green" solar pump. What choices do we have?

Answer: We recommend that you size your solar powered pump to your pond. You may need two pumps if your pond is oversized. Decide how many gallons per hour you want your pump to move.

Below are some pumps we currently offering including a floating fountain with pump:

  • Unique Arts Large Solar Pump for Ponds: For a larger fountain or pond. The separate 8 x 11 inch solar panel is staked into the ground. The 16 foot long cord means the panel can be placed in direct sunlight and the angled solar panel head easily adjusts to receive optimum sunlight. 130 GPH (gallon-per-hour output) with up to a 48 in spray. 18V DC brushless pump means no rotating brush to wear out, eliminating the need for replacement parts. Easy installation: complete and ready to go. A/C Jack and adapter is included to continue using the pump on rainy days. Three fountain nozzles are included.
  • Natures Foundry 26 Inch Solar Water Pump Kit:This solar panel operated pump has a one year pump and five year panel warranty. Solar panel capacity: 1.5 watts. Motor requirements: 6 volts with recommended panel of 1.5 watts. Water Flow Rate: 45-55 gallons per hour. Head Size: 26 inches. Outlet Hose: 1/4 Inch interior diameter. Solar Panel Size: 16 inches.
  • Natures Foundry - 14 in Solar Pump Kit Pump Dimensions: Physical size of pump: 3" x 4" x 5-1/2", Includes Garden Stake, Nozzle Kit, and 12 ft Extension Cord. 5 Year Solar Panel Warranty. 1 Year Pump Warranty. This unit is probably too small for your needs.
  • Floating Solar Pond Lily Fountain:. This fountain is 10 1/2"L x 10 1/2"W x 3 1/2"H and made of ABS Plastic, polyresin and polystyrene floater. The water sound is low: just float on your pond. Powered by an integral solar panel with an integral low voltage pump with filter. 3 different fountain heads. Maximum fountain height up to 17 inches. Water flow capacity: up to 50 gph. One year warranty.
  • Toskana SunJet 150 Mini Solar Pump Kit Create your own water feature in pond, bird bath or fountain. Powered by a separate solar panel (supplied). Low voltage water pump with filter. 3 different fountain heads. 16 ft cable to solar panel. Maximum fountain height up to 10 inches. Water flow capacity: 33 gallons per hour. Note: Fountain bowl not included.
Thank you for your question. Enjoy your pond.
Sincerely, Barbara

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garden accessories | garden products | solar water pumps

Choosing a Cervical Collar to Ease Whiplash Neck Injury Pain

by Barbara 27. June 2009 07:00

Questions about cervical collars

Q: "I suffered from whiplash in a car accident. I understand there are several types of cervical collar. The one I have is not comfortable. Could you explain the differences and suggest how I choose one?'Thanks. Matt

Answer: We recommend that your physician and/or physical therapist help you choose the best cervical collar for your needs. Physical therapists often are the better choice as they can measure your neck accurately and share experiences with other patients' comfort. Cervical collars or neck braces help support one's spinal cord and head after surgery or trauma. A cervical collar can also help realign one's spinal cord as it relieve pains. Usually cervical collars are not worn for long periods of time. For example after a cervical spinal fusion, a patient may need the support of a neck collar during recovery.

After suffering a whiplash injury, a person may need neck support until the neck injury is healed.

Currently, we offer these types of cervical collar:

  • Philadelphia cervical collars: adjustable neck height from 70mm (2 3/4" in) to over 100 mm depending upon size (medium, large and extra large). Each size fits necks 16 inches to 21 inches around. Molded "Ethafoam" for comfort, this cervical collar provides very high immobilization, is anatomically shaped and has a preformed chin and opening for a tracheotomy.
  • Soft Foam Cervical Collar: Made with a firm density PU foam to provide cushion and comfortable cervical support. Covered with aesthetically pleasing Nylon stockinette and a cotton sleeve. Sizes: small, medium, large, extra large. Fit necks beginning at 12 inches through 23 inches around.
  • Deluxe Foam Cervical Collar: Medium density, 1" thick foam collar covered in natural stockinette. Contoured design features chin cutout. Velcro®-type closure.
  • Adjustable Cervical Collar: Height adjustment from 1"-1.25" for perfect fitting. Made with Ethafoam for more cushioning. Well-ventilated for comfort.
    Available in Medium (16 to 21 inches), Large (17 to 22 inches) and X-Large (18 to 23 inches).

Thank you for your question. We wish you a speedy recovery.
Sincerely, Barbara

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medical products

Automatic Outdoor Dog Water Fountain for Summer & Hot Climates

by Barbara 25. June 2009 12:13

Question about the Contech Outdoor Dog Water Fountain.

Q: My labs enjoy staying outside in our fenced yard despite the summer heat. The trees provide shade but it still gets into the 80's or low 90's most days. We'd like them to have fresh water and the option of cooling off. How does the automatic water fountain work? How hard is it to train dogs to use it?" Thanks. John.

Answer: Learning to use the Automatic Dog Waterer is like learning to use a dog door. If the dog is thirsty, he or she will learn faster. When we trained our Bostons to use the dog door, we gave them dog cookies the first few times and pushed them through the door. That was all it took.

Similarly, your dogs should learn quickly to use the waterer. If you want them to get cooled off, my suggestion is to purchase a Contech Water Scarecrow. This will dump about a cup of water on them each time they approach it which should help to cool them off.

Meanwhile, these are the specifications for the automatic waterer:

* Runs on 4 "C" Batteries: Battery life: Up to 1 Year.
* Low battery indicator: when light flashes red, change batteries.
* Ultra sound based concept: Operates unattended and "activates" the fresh stream of water when your pet approaches.
* Detection Range: 40 degrees angle out to a distance of 1 meter (approximately 3 feet).
* Operates 24/7: Cool Clean Water on Demand for your dog at any time.
* Simple Installation: Installs easily on any outdoor spigot.
* Emergency Lockout: If an object remains in front of the WaterDog for more than 4 minutes, the Water Dog will shut off until the object is removed.
* Pipe Splitter Included: Flow Through Tap Connector allows you to connect another hose or sprinkler without having to disconnect the Water Dog.
* DO NOT use if there is a risk of freezing.
* Maintenance:
o Daily: Place your hand in front of the WaterDog sensor. When the light flashes green, it is working correctly.
o Monthly: Inspect the sensor area to make sure that it is clean and free of any debris. Wash the screen with soapy water.
o Yearly: Replace the alkaline batteries for maximum performance.
* Most dogs will understand how to use the WaterDog immediately. More timid dogs may need some training. When introducing your dog, make sure he is thirsty. Remove regular source of water and exercise first.
* Dimensions: Unit: 6.5" high x 3" diameter. Metal Hose: 23"
* 2 Year Limited Manufacturers Warranty.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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pet products | dog water

When to Change Filter on a CWR Sports Water Filter Bottle

by Barbara 24. June 2009 14:10

Question about the product ES-CWR-SB Sports Water Filter Bottle for Safe Water .

Q:"I bought the bottle years ago & used it a lot but how do I know when the filter no longer filters out junk?? I wasn't using town water so if I buy another filter how do I tell when it's no longer working? I don't want to get sick just to find out it doesn't work anymore.I travel from country to country all the time is there another inexpensive safe portable water filter I should be using instead of this one? thanks." Danielle.

Answer: Danielle, it's time to change the water bottle filter. The filters currently cost about $25. The recommendation is to change them every 12 months or sooner if you use it often. Each filter life is about 160 fillings with municipal water. The bottle holds 22 ounces.

Here are some additional features:

* Removes lead and heavy metals, chlorine, industrial chemicals, dirt, other contaminates, and bad taste.
* Eliminates parasites like cryptosporidium and giardia, and bacteria like E.Coli by 99.99%.
* Laboratory tested by State and EPA accreditied laboratories to meet EPA & ANSI/NSF (snd 53) protocol and requirements.
* Not intended for use with salt water. Do not allow unit to freeze.
* Filter has a shelf life of 50 years.
* Six (6) month limited manufacturer's warranty.

If you want a better unit for any emergency situation anywhere, consider this unit, Travel Size Stainless Steel Gravity Feed Water Purifier This one uses a single Doulton Ceramic Filter Element: One 7" Ceramic Candle with Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). The ceramic filter lasts for approximately 2,000 gallons between filter changes.For intermittent filter use: Clean, dry thoroughly,then store. Filter may last several years. This is lightweight and compact as it nests to 7 .5 x 3. 25 inches. This unit has a 1 year warranty by CWR. Although currently selling for about $150, this Doulton ceramic filter unit is superior to the bottle unit.

Thank you for your question. Enjoy your travel.
Sincerely, Barbara

Wheelchair Foam Cushions and Gel Skin Protective Cushions to Help Avoid Pressure Sores

by Barbara 24. June 2009 11:52

Question about the product:Total Chair and Wheelchair Cushion , Skin Protective Gel Cushions and other cushions that help to prevent pressure ulcers.

Q: "My mother is in a memory care nursing home and cannot walk or move herself. She is getting pressure sores on her bottom from the sitting. She has lost so much weight and it's just skin covering bone. Will this pad help? I have tried every cushion on the market that I can afford and nothing works. Am looking at this pad or maybe sheepskin pads. Also, will this fit in a recliner chair? Thank you very much. Bonnie"

Answer: There are several cushions and cushions designated as skin protective cushions that might help your mom's comfort. One is the total wheelchair cushion that one of my employees gave her grandma for her 100th birthday last year. At that time Grandma weighed only about 70 lbs with no fat: she found the cushion comfortable: the shape allows this cushion to be adjusted for any chair.

A better option is a gel cushion made especially for wheelchairs and to prevent pressure sores. We can suggest two cushions at this time.

The first is the Lumex 17 inch gel cushion, 3 inches thick. This seat cushion pad is pre-filled with a non-toxic gel and surrounded by high-density, non-allergic foam with a tear resistant vinyl bottom cover and vinyl top cover that are fluid-proof, antibacterial and fire-retardant. It has a 250 lb maximum weight capacity and a one-year limited warranty.

The second is an 18 inch by 3 inch thick by 16 inch deep Lumex Gel wheelchair cushion, the Lumex skin protection cushion is a gel cushion with foam base. There is a moderate slope from front to back to make the seat more comfortable. This cushion is considered for people who are deemed at moderate risk for pressure sores. This is a non-aqueous gel filled cushion with a 300 lb. weight capacity and a fluid-proof stretch cover. The warranty is 18 months.

The third type are called Akros® Damped Fluid Displacement Cushions. An example of this is the GF-8114250, the Akros® D.F.D. Cushion 811 Series - 16" x 16" x 2" thick cushion. This is made for those who have temporary or chronic conditions that require prolonged seating and increased risk of pressure ulcers or by persons who experience discomfort when seated due to arthritis, lower back pain or other conditions,
Design minimizes bottoming out, reduces pressure and provides an extremely stable and comfortable seating surface.

The gel skin protective cushions come in many sizes to fit various sizes of chairs or wheelchairs. We offer a complete line of these plus we also sell the gel skin protective and egg crate mattress overlays.

I hope this helps with your mom's comfort. Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

Recovery Time Between Alcohol Breath Tests on AlcoHawk Pro Model 11000?

by Barbara 24. June 2009 11:23

Question about the AlcoHawk 11000 by Q3 Innovations.

Q: "What is the recovery time between tests with this product? How many
tests can be done in a five minute period?" Jason.

Answer: The answer is 4 tests in 5 minutes since we recommend waiting 1 minute between each test performed using the AlcoHAWK® unit. The AlcoHawk Pro or unit uses a semiconductor oxide sensor and meets DOT Standards as a breath alcohol screener. A single 9 volt battery can power about 300 tests.

Some AlcoHawk features:
  • Warm-Up Time: 20 Seconds
  • Blowing Time: 5 Seconds
  • Response Time: 3 Seconds
  • Digital Display: 3 Digits in numeric readout.
  • Operating Temperature: 10-40° C
  • Detection Range: 0.00 - 0.40% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration)
  • Air Sample: 5 Seconds
  • Sensor Accuracy: 0.01% at 0.10 % B.A.C.
  • Calibration: Required Periodically. (Send to manufacturer or to designated recalibration facility)

  • Thank you for your question.
    Sincerely, Barbara

    Deck Netting to Block Openings in Picket Fence

    by Barbara 24. June 2009 10:22

    Question about using Black Deck Shield Deck Netting or Cardinal Gates 50 Ft. Silver Deck Netting to keep dogs in a yard.

    Q: "I installed a fence several years ago when I purchased a dog. It is a white plastic picket fence . My problem is I now have small dogs and one keeps getting out in between the pickets. Is there anything you sell for me to put on the fence that won't look too bad. I was looking at the deck netting for children, which comes in 50 feet wide and 35 in tall lengths. Do you think that is o.k. or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help." Barbara C.

    Answer: Thank you for this novel but practical use for the UV treated deck netting. Yes, this should keep your dogs inside and should be practically invisible from both sides. Black virtually disappears when you look at it, at least with deck netting. Attach the net with clear plastic cable ties. This is also a great idea for families with little children. Those openings might be just wide enough for a child to get a head or a leg stuck which could be a disaster. I would recommend the more expensive silver because it is thicker and more resistant to rot than the black as well as being less visible on a white fence.

    Thanks for your question.
    Enjoy your pups!
    Sincerely, Barbara