Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How to Use Mosquito Repelling Candles Outdoors or Indoors

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:
  • Geraniol wristbands that use geraniol imbedded in plastic bracelets you can loop around wrist, ankle or bell or place out of reach of a baby on a stroller
  • Geraniol bucket candles. Each weighs just over a pound, is in a silver colored and burns for about 50 hours.
  • Geraniol pillar candles. Each 3 inch by 3 inch pillar candle weighs about 11 ounces and burns for about 36 hours.
Thank you for your question. Enjoy your parties.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Protecting Berry Bushes from Hungry Birds and Rabbits

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

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Choose Correct Bird Spikes for Your Bird Problems

Question about polycarbonate bird spikes versus steel bird spikes and which size to get.

Q: "Birds are perching along the edges of our building. The people on the ground two floors below are not happy getting "bombed" when the bird poop hits them. We are not happy either due to the mess. How do we choose which bird spikes to install?" Sam

Answer: The Bird-X stainless steel bird spikes or polycarbonate bird spikes come in several widths. The widths given are the top widths. The base is what you need to decide upon first. Narrow polycarbonate spikes have a .5 inch base and the standard have a 1 inch base. The stainless steel spikes have a base 0.8 inch base made of polycarbonate with UV inhibitors to keep them from deteriorating.

I recommend you consider these questions in choosing:
  • How visible do you want them to be? The polycarbonate are clear so they hardly show.
  • How wide is the area to be covered? You don't want the spikes so wide that they are crowded into gutter areas or into the walls if they are on a ledge. Standard are the best sellers unless there is a very narrow or very wide ledge. You may need several widths if the widths are not all the same.
  • How long is the area to be protected? This may be a cost issue as well.
  • Do you want to glue, nail, wire or screw them into/onto the ledge or edge? Hint: Most people use a glue gun.
  • How much do you want to spend? The stainless steel are considerably more expensive.
  • How long do you want them to last? The warranty on the stainless steel is 20 years.
  • Maintenance: The polycarbonate have more points are are more likely to collect leaves, etc. than the stainless steel which range from 2 spikes to 4 spikes with spacing between the center 2 spikes equaling 2 inches and the distance between the 1st and 4th spikes ranging from 5 to 7 inches.
The Polycarbonate Bird Spike Specifications:
* Heights: Highest Point: 4.3 inches
: the spikes look a little like tree branches.
* Width (Base) : 1" (Standard) .5 inches (Narrow)
* Width (Widest Point): 4.5 inches(Standard) 2.25 inches (Narrow)
* Diameters: Hole in Base: 0.156 inches, Polycarbonate center spike: 0.125 inches

* Weight: 5lb per 10 ft kit , 16 lbs per 100 ft. kit
* Materials: polycarbonate with UV inhibitors
* Coverage: Each section covers 2 ft, and a spread or width of 7 inches, 5 inches, and 2 inches, depending on type of spike
* Sizes: 10ft , 24ft , 50ft ,100ft (in 2ft strips)
* Color: Clear transparent

Stainless Steel Specifications and Product Details:
* Heights: Highest Point: 4.3 inches

* Widths: Base: 0.8 inches
* Widths: Spikes Widest Points: Regular: 5 inches, Wide: 7 inches, Narrow: 1.5 inches

* Diameters: Hole in Base: 0.156", Polycarbonate center spike: 0.125"
* Weight: 5 lb per 10 ft kit , 16 lbs per 100 ft kit
* Materials: Base: polycarbonate with UV inhibitors, ST302 Surgical Grade stainless steel
* Coverage:Each section covers 2ft, and a "spread" or width of 7 inches, 5 inches, and 2 inches depending on type of spike
* Sizes: 10 ft , 24 ft, 50 ft ,100 ft (in 2 ft.

Another option if the ledges are narrow: Bird-X Bird Repellent Gel. Birds don't like sticky feet and will perch elsewhere. A less expensive option but must be reapplied every few years.

Thanks for your question. Send us email or phone if we can help with your decision.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

50 UPF Sunday Afternoons Hats Mean No Sunscreen Drips Into Eyes

Question about effectiveness and comfort of SundayAfternoons Hats versus using sunscreen on your face.

Q: "I am a native Floridian and have paid my dues over the past 10 years as I have skin cancer after skin cancer removed from those many years outside in the sun. Now I never go outdoors unprotected: I apply heavy duty sunscreen after every morning shower. If I perspire a lot, the sunscreen drips into my eyes which is uncomfortable at best. Do you have personal experience with the Sunday Afternoons hats? How effective are they at keeping my face, ears and neck safe from the sun? Would I still need sunscreen on my face?" Thanks. Gail

Answer: Yes I do have personal experience with the Sunday Afternoons hats and had one skin cancer removed from my forehead two years ago. (Who wore sunscreen in the 40's, 50's and 60's?) After day one in Hawaii in October 2008, I concluded I would wear my Sunday Afternoons Adventure Hat (bought in Palm Desert, CA in 2003 at the encouragement of a friend) and not wear sunscreen. (I had a miserable day one due to the sunscreen dripping into my eyes and ended up dumping bottled water on my face to try to wash them out on three occasions.)

I was surprised that I didn't even need my sunglasses most of the day as the darker underside of the hat plus the large brim shaded my eyes . Indeed, these hats are light weight and give 360 degree solar cover from both UVA and UVB rays. In fact the hats were awarded an unprecedented 13 point utility patent fro sun protection. Except for the mesh ventilation inserts, the hats are rated at 50 UPF which is the highest rating given for clothing for ultraviolet protection against solar rays.

The unisex adventure hat and the Sunday Afternoon sports hats are our more popular sellers.

The adventure hat has these features:
# Rear sizing tape for custom fit.
# Hook and loop closure raises veil off neck
# Moisture wicking sweatband
# Down sloped 4 inch brim is flexible and shades entire face.
# Chin strap with cord lock
# 7.5 inch veil for neck and ears.
# Foam core brim floats.
# Dark underside of hat for eye comfort.

The unisex sports hat is similar. Other styles are available and all come in a variety of colors.

Thanks for your question. Stay safe in the sun!
Sincerely, Barbara.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

UV Air Purifiers Help Reduce Risks of Swine Flu, Colds & Virus

Question about portable air purifier units such as the MiracleAir PM 600 and the Air Pura UV600 for waiting rooms, waiting areas in restaurants, etc. that can help reduce exposure to viruses and bacteria.

Q: "For those of us who work in offices, medical clinics, etc, exposure to viruses, colds, etc. is part of every day. What air purifier do you recommend to reduce the "air pollution" in waiting areas from coughing and sneezing? I don't want to wear a mask or stay home. Thanks. Dave."

Answer: HEPA air purifiers with UV germicidal lights are the best proactive option for those areas. Do continue to take those actions recommended such as the University of Connecticut website: cough and sneeze into an arm or elbow, not into hands; wash hands often with soap and water, especially after a sneeze or cough; sing the “ABC Song” while washing to make sure hands are thoroughly washed; use alcohol-based hand sanitizers; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; avoid contact with others who are ill; stay home from work or school and avoid contact with others if ill; get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

We recommend you consider either of these two quality portable air purifiers with UV germicidal lights:
  1. MiracleAir. Made in USA. The Black MiracleAir PM600 or the white MiracleAir PM600 both feature twin double UV lights plus three filters including a potassium permanganate filts
  2. AirPura. Made in Canada. The AirPura Black Air Pura UV600 features the UV light inside the HEPA cartridge. Colors: black, cream or white.
We recommend that one or more units be placed in patient waiting areas, employee lounges, restaurant waiting areas or other areas where groups congregate. This is one of the better proactive measures for maintaining good health.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Safety Edge Padding for Exposed Beams Near Bunk Beds

Question about the Brown Boing Corner Strips BS-CS-48-200110 and Hearth Guard Edge Cushioning in Brown.

Q: "Our sons' bunk bed is located near to an exposed stained wooden ceiling beam. What suggestions do you have for padding the edges to keep them from hard bumps on their heads? The bunk bed is a standard twin length plus the head and foot boards. The beam is about 12 feet long. Thanks." Lynn

Answer: First, you have 144 inches more or less in length of the beam. Since it runs the entire length of the room, there is no need for corners.

If you want to cover both sides of the beam using the Boing Corner Strips, then you need to order a total of 8 strips since 144 divided by 39.5 equals 3.65 strips and you have two lengths of 144 to cover. These come 4 to a case with each strip being 39.5 inch long with a 2.25" x 2.25" lip and 1/2" thick

If you want to cover both sides with the Hearth Guard, you need to order 6 of the 54 inch strips (324 inches) or 5 lengths of 48 inches (240 inches) plus another 54 inches (294 total) just to be safe. The longest stick available is 54 inches long. This pad has a 2 3/8" x 2 3/8" lip.

The Boing Corner Strips come cases of 4 or 10 in 10 colors: Red, Orange,Yellow, Ivory, Green, Sky Blue, Indigo, Grey, Brown, and Purple. Matching corners come in 7 colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Sky Blue, Indigo, and Purple. Each corner is 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. There are no corners to match the ivory, grey or brown.

The Hearth Guard is available in ivory, gray, brown, black and taupe. If you want to protect the edges of the bunk bed, the corner cushions that match the hearth guard are 8 inches by 8 inches. Or there are smaller corner cushions and edge cushioning to match.

Use glue or tape to attach to the beam or you can use screws. We recommend the glue as it is easier. We used the hearth guard strips in taupe to protect taller persons from bumping their heads on our stair landing.

Both manufacturers emphasize that these products are fire resistant and non-toxic.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

P.S. This customer phoned later to tell us she had used screws to attach the Boing edge strips to the beams and was very pleased with the results.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BonaKemi Commercial Floor Mop with Disposable Pads or Microfiber Pads

Question about the Product BonaKemi Hard Surface 24 Inch Commercial Floor Mop Kit.

Q: "We have a computer store in a strip mall in a Pittsburgh suburb.Despite floor mats at the door, dirt gets tracked in by our customers. We have a cleaning company come once a week but the floor often needs cleaned every day. Do you think this mop kit would be a good choice for a fast floor cleaning? We don't want to deal with taking mop covers home to launder them." Thanks. Lynn.

Answer: I recommend this commercial floor mop kit for quick cleaning of larger areas. With a 24 inch mop head and disposable covers, this mop cleans quickly and no one has to launder grimy covers. In this mop kit, you also get 25 disposable covers, a sturdy telescoping handle and a 32 ounce spray bottle of commercial hard surface floor cleaner, also from BonaKemi. Additional packages of disposable covers are available in packages of 50 or cases of 300. For those of you who have laundry facilities available, I recommend the Dust Mop Covers and the Microfiber Wet Mop Covers that can be washed and dried hundreds of times.

We also sell concentrated commercial hard wood cleaner and concentrated commercial hard surface cleaner in gallons. That dilutes 8 parts water to 1 part cleaner so you can easily refill the spray bottle and reuse about 36 times. If you have hardwood, select the commercial mop kit with hardwood cleaner instead of the hard surface cleaner.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Which Outdoor Mosquito Trap is Best for Me?

Question about Koolatron mosquito traps, the Bite Shield Mosquito Trap MK14, the Guardian Mosquito Trap MK12 and the Koolatron Champion Mosquito Trap MK05G.

Q: "Summers are miserable in my backyard because of mosquitoes. My land drains well so there are no standing water issues. But the mosquitoes just swarm. My yard is about 1/4 acre. Which mosquito trap would be most effective? What are the pros and cons of each unit?" Thanks. Fred.
Answer: All three mosquito traps would reduce the mosquito population in your yard if run continuously throughout the season. Performance is better if you replace the optional octenol attractant, every 3 weeks. Also you need to get the unit running at the start of the season. If you live in town, I recommend that you encourage your neighbors to drain standing water and install traps, too.

I recommend that choose a mosquito trap based upon these factors: Availability of electricity in an area downwind from your home. Physical ability to carry and attach a 20 lb. tank of propane. Willingness to keep tabs on the propane tank's level and change out the tank with a filled one every few weeks. Optimizing performance by replacing the octenol attractant every three weeks.

Both the MK12 and the MK14 use propane and are effective for up to 1 acre. The MK05G uses only electricity and is effective for up to 1/2 acre.

The most expensive and newest premium mosquito trap is the MK14 that uses only propane. Needing no electricity, this mosquito trap with wheels is easily moved for best placement depending upon prevailing winds The best placement for all traps is 30 to 40 feet down wind from the area to be protected and near busy and leafy plants without strong odor. The propane needs replaced about once per month.

The MK12 uses both electricity and propane. Remember that propane is a major attractant. A female mosquito senses the CO 2 and moisture from the gas burner from up to 40 ft. away. The mosquito flies toward this "breathing" creature. At about 15 ft, the female mosquito senses temperature like a living creature (thermal imaging), tried to "bite" and gets sucked into the unit by the fan. I've been using this unit in my Iowa backyard for over 4 years. My placement of the unit is not the best yet the mosquitos are a non-issue most of the time. I have an outside outlet on my patio so I don't use an extension cord. (I have about 1/3 acre fenced plus the hillside behind the house which is another 1/2 acre.)

The MK05G Mosquito Guardian is the smallest and least expensive unit and uses only electricity. Set it to operate only after sundown or throughout 24 hours. It uses 71 watts, is UL Listed and is about 12 inches in diameter and about 11 inches high. Again, this unit works better with octenol. My son in Minneapolis has used his for several years with no operational issues and with very good but not excellent results for mosquitoes and biting flies since no one around him has a unit.

I hope this has helped you make your choice.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Attracting Bats to Backyard Bat Houses for Insect Control

Question about using bat houses to attract bats to backyards to control insects.

Q: "I am looking for a "green solution" for insect control around my home. We have a wooded lot. How do I attract bats to my yard? Are bats dangerous? Are some bat houses better than others?"Thanks. Lloyd.

Answer: Bats are greatly misunderstood: research shows that one bat can consume more than 600 mosquitoes per hour. Bats eat other flying species of insects such as corn borers and cutworm moths. So, yes, this is a cost-effective organic pest control method you should pursue. You can make your own bat house if you'd like. Buying a kit or pre-constructed kit may be cost effective when you consider the tools, time, etc.

How to Attract Bats:
  • Install bat houses.
  • Have water nearby: a lake, a pond, a bird bath, etc. where insects gather. (How about a backyard koi pond with solar water pump?)
  • Plant night-blooming flowers.
Bat House Instructions:
  • Most bat houses are made by a rough, nontoxic wood (such as plywood or cedar): a rough surface makes it easier for bats to climb in and out of the house.
  • Size of the house: at least 2 feet tall, 1 foot wide, and 3 inches deep.
  • Mount your bat house is in the fall or winter. This lets the wood of the house to age and odors dissipate.
  • Install facing south, preferably where sunlight reaches the house most of the day.
  • Mount on a pole, tree or under the eaves of a house, garage or barn about 12 to 15 feet above the ground.
  • Be patient: it may take up to a year to attract a colony.
Like any mammal, bats can catch rabies: the risks are low and you are unlikely to handle a bat.

Some suggested bat houses:
  • Heath Bat House BAT-1ADimensions: 11.5 inches by 12.8 inches by 2.5 inches deep. Meets guidelines from Bat Conservation International.
  • Schrodt - Colony Bat House:A triple chambered nursery capable of accomodating dozens of mature bats and their offspring. Etched brass moon and branded bat design. 17 inches tall.
  • Songbird Cedar Large Bat Chalethis large bat house has grooves on the inside front and back so bats can "hang out" in comfort. The Songbird Cedar Bat Chalet has two compartments, room for a colony of bats. Mount 15-20 feet high on pole, structure or tree. Install now for next summer. Dimensions: 18 inches by 4 inches by 13 inches.
There are many other options. Remember that bats do not chase away birds nor do they suck the blood of humans!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Will a Bird-X Critter Blaster Get Rid of Backyard Rabbits?

Question about the product Bird-X Critter Blaster Pro

Q: "Hello, I am very interested in purchasing your Bird X Critter Pro. However, I am concerned whether or not this will get rid of the rabbits in the neighborhood that congregate in my yard at night and chew bare spots into my lawn. I know that the ad for this product claims this works against birds and other unwanted animals, but I am specifically interested in rabbit deterence. If this does work for rabbits, can you tell me which sounds to program this unit with to ward off rabbits? Thanks for your time. Wes"

Answer: We double checked with the Bird-X experts. Their response confirmed that this is not meant for animals that hop and are low to the ground like rabbits. The best choices for rabbits are Rabbit Scram, Deer-Rabbit Repellent, the Yardgard or the Animal Away Pro units.

Applying a wide perimeter barrier of the Rabbit Scram or Deer-Rabbit Scram plus using one of the ultrasonic animal repeller devices would give you the most effectiveness. Certainly the most permanent choice is a low fence lined with green chicken wire buried a few inches into the inside of the fence.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Effective Area for an EVA-DRY Dehumidifier

Question about the MO-EDV500 EVA-DRY EDV500 Dehumidifier

Question about the product: "How big of an area does the EVA-DRY EDV 500 work in"?

Answer: It is difficult to be specific because of the many factors involved that can cause higher or lower humidity.

Some variables include:
  • Location: Is this in Florida or Pennsylvania? Is this in a bathroom, basement or bedroom?
  • Season: Is it summer in Pennsylvania or winter?
  • How well sealed is the area? A safe or a closet with vented doors?
This dehumidifier is made for small areas like a clothes closet, a gun safe, a small travel trailer, a boat or other small enclosed space. The Eva-Dry humidifier adsorbs about 10 ounces of moisture within 3 - 8 weeks depending on humidity level present. Once adsorbed, moisture cannot leak or spill. What adsorbs the moisture is a specially engineered crystallized silica gel that is odorless, non-toxic and completely safe.

What is handy about this unit is that no power is needed during the adsorption of the moisture. When indicator crystals turn pink, flip out the plug and plug the dehumidifier unit into a power outlet in a well-ventilated area (bathroom with extraction fan, garage, outside, etc.). A built-in heater warms the crystals which expand and release the moisture as water vapor into the surrounding air. A renewal cycle takes about 12-14 hours. When completely renewed, the indicator crystals are blue. Replace in closet, drawer or vehicle and the unit is ready to adsorb another 10 ounces of moisture.

If you have an electrical outlet and want more capacity, I suggest you purchase the Eva-Dry Petite Electric Dehumidifier. We have one running from April through October in our main office. It keeps the printer paper dry so we don't have paper jams. And the water collected keeps the plants watered. It is silent. The capacity is 2 cups and we empty it every other day.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Lentek Yard Contro+ Animal Repeller and Goldfish

Question about the product Product Code: =LK-YC12G
Product Code: : LK-YC12G

Q: "Is this item safe for the gold fish in my pond? I would be buying it to keep the raccoons away. "

Answer: The water in your outdoor fish pond will reflect the ultrasonic sounds from the Yard Contro+ and water will dampen any sounds from the sonic sounds if you choose that mode. Remember the units will be facing away from the pond for best results. Or you can shoot the sound waves over the pond surface depending upon how large your pond is. You may need more than one unit to keep your fish safe from the raccoons. The motion detector range is about a 3o ft diameter.

Thanks for your interesting question. Good luck.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Bed Bugs in College Dorm Room Beds?

Question about the product, BugLock® Allerzip, Bed Bug Encasement Mattress Covers .

Q: "Today on the CBS Early Show there was a segment called "Bed Bugs at College." My daughter starts college in a week and I am concerned about how to protect her and her mattress (an extra long twin) from bed bug bites. What do you suggest? Thanks."

Answer: I suggest you purchase a Protect-A-Bed zippered pillow encasement for her pillow and two extra long twin Aller-Zip BugLock® encasements and recommend that her roommates do the same. Ask for the depth of the mattress and box springs. Most in college dorms are 9 inches for the box springs and 9 to 11 inches for the mattress. Your goal is to have the cover fit tightly but not so tightly that the zipper might separate. These covers are comfortable to sleep on. However, we recommend that you add a regular Protect-A-Bed cover over the encasement in case someone spills something on the bed: you want to leave the encasement on the bed always. In fact, abandon the encasement at the end of the school year just in case there are bed bugs in the dorm.

There are many articles on the internet about mattress and box spring encasements. The main points seem to be:
  • Use encasements proactively: prevent the bed bugs from getting into the mattress and box spring
  • Encasements can help control bed bugs in an infested dorm by keeping them inside the mattresses and box springs, letting the exterminators do their work in the rooms.
  • Use only encasements tested and designed to be effective against bed bugs.
  • Leave the encasement in place: use another mattress cover on top if desired.
  • Protect the encasement from tears or punctures from the bed frame by padding rough edges before putting the mattress and box spring back on the frame.
From the article recently in US Today, "Ohio State University has seen "several incidents" over the past 15 months, spokeswoman Ruth Gerstner says, including an outbreak in May 2007 in three rooms of a high-rise dorm. Workers treated 114 rooms."

And "At the University of Florida's 4,000 dorm rooms and 980 apartments, "bad" infestations are limited to a couple of times a year, says Wayne Walker, who supervises dorm pest control. The school treats the problem with extreme heat, steam cleaning and pesticides."

What is advised is letting the experts treat bed bug infestations that do it yourself treatments usually fail and just cause the bugs to be more resistant to pesticides.

Thanks for your question and we wish your daughter the best!

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Kirks Bath Soap. No Animal Products, Won't Melt Fast.

Question about availability of long lasting, all vegetable based bar soaps.

Q: "I'm looking for a bath soap with no animal products and will not get soft after a few uses." Thanks. Henry

Answer: You've found it! Kirks Original Coco Castile Soap is a bath soap with no animal products that stays firm. It is also hypoallergenic and lathers generously in hard and soft water. I began selling Kirks soaps in 2000 as my late father shared it was no longer available in Western Pennsylvania supermarkets. One Illinois customer who'd been exposed to Agent Orange claimed Kirks is the only soap that doesn't irritate his skin.

Kirks Bath Soap Advantages:
  • Luxurious lather in hard or soft water.
  • Use as a body soap, facial soap or for shampoo.
  • Gentle hypoallergenic soap.
  • Biodegradable
  • No animal testing
  • No animal by-products
  • Horse and dog owners use as an animal shampoo.
  • Ultra gentle with no drying residue.
  • No synthetic detergents.
  • Longer lasting than most supermarket soaps.
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite.
  • Bar weight: approximately 4 oz.
We sell it in 6 bar packages, 12 bars packages 24 bar half cases or an
48 bars
full cases. Both the cost per bar and the shipping cost per bar goes down as you buy more. We also sell Kirks in a liquid form that is the original formula.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Is There a Bona Kemi Spray Mop for Laminate Floors?

Question about the product: Bona Kemi Spray Hardwood Floor Mop with Cartridge.

Q: "I am interested in your bona kemi spray hardwood floor mop with cartridge, but am wondering if you make one for laminate floors. I'd like to use this on laminate. Would it hurt the flooring? Thank you for your help."

Answer: We contacted Bona Kemi. Their reply: Bona is now making a stone, tile and laminate replacement cartridge for the Bona spray mop. Their rationale is that the hardwood floor cleaner can safely be used on stone, tile and laminate, the Bona spray mops are initially being produced with the hardwood cartridge. The difference in formulas is that the laminate formula contains more degreaser.

Do remember that the spray mop cartridges are not refillable. We recommend the standard Bona MicroPlus mop with two mop covers, the MicroPlus mop with one wet pad and a dusting pad or the Bona large based mop with two microfiber mop covers . You can use your own spray bottle or buy Bona hardwood or hard surface cleaner in a 32 oz. spray bottle , gallon or concentrate , each of which makes 32 oz. of cleaner. This is more economical and about as fast when you have larger areas to clean.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Getting Rid of Roosting Robins in a Tree

Question about the Product P3-P7830, P3 Passive Infra-Red Sonic Birdchaser Repeller

Q: "Will this product scare away roosting robins in a tree? I will mount it in the tree and need to run it at night starting at dusk when they arrive. Please offer your repy and any guarantee that it will work. Thanks. Franco"

Answer: This is not the unit for you: it won't work at night because it has a photo electric cell that won't let it operate.

The photo cell of the BirdChaser disables the unit when it gets dark as that is the time birds tend to be less active. The BirdChaser does have two modes, infra-red and Auto. The infra-red motion detector mode in which the unit activates if a bird flies in the detection area or any warm blooded animal is detected within the covered area. The Auto mode activates according to the setting of the time interval, 5 to 30 minutes. So during daytime hours, the BirdChaser broadcasts predatory calls of hawks and owls every 5 to 30 minutes.

Better choices:
  • Spraying the tree with Birdproof liquid: birds won't roost if the roost is sticky. Lasts a few years in most climates.
  • Hanging Holographic Irritape in the tree: wind makes the tape rustle and sun glare scares the birds away.
  • BirdXpeller Pro 1 : This sonic bird chaser can be set to operate at night as well as during the day. Set switch 3 and switch 4 to on and it will operate at night. Or set switch 3 off and switch 4 on and it will work 24/7.

Getting rid of birds and keeping them away is easier and more successful if you use more than one bird control method at the same time.

Thanks again for your question. Good luck.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

How Can I Keep Bears Out of My Yard?

Question about animal repellers for bears.

Q: "I have several bird feeders in my back yard and a garden. Bears are coming and eating the food and/or destroying the feeders and garden plants. Do you have suggestions for how to keep the bears from my yard?" Thanks.

Answer: Unless you install an electric bear fence around the yard perimeter as zoos, garbage dumps, etc. do, the best choice is the Critter Blaster Pro , a powerful sonic unit with four speakers and requires AC. Coverage is up to six acres. You'd have to install that at the edge/edges of your property as it will also repel birds. My other suggestion is to install Yardgard units around the perimeter of your yard.

Yardgards will also scare away your birds. Thus the perimeter placement. Continuous operation is possible only with AC. Motion activates the units if run on batteries. Overlapping the coverage will increase the battery operated units effectiveness.

Good luck. Contact us if you have more questions.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Refills for the Contech Fruit Fly Trap

Question about the product: Contech Fruit Fly Trap and Lure

Q: "Do you have the refills for these? How would I order those at the same time?"

Answer: We do sell fruit fly trap refills. There are two lures and two sticky pads in each refill. Since the refill weighs very little, we recommend that you add these to your initial order to avoid additional shipping charges.

A natural attractant entices fruit flies into the decorative trap, where a disposable sticky pad ensures they don’t escape. These traps are safe, effective, and 100% pesticide free. This is an easy and effective way to eliminate fruit flies from your kitchen, without using harmful sprays or chemicals. Included in each kit are two jars, two lures and two sticky pads. Each lure combination lasts about 5 days.

Please contact us if you need more information.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Using Soyclean Graffiti Remover

Question about the product: SoyClean Graffiti Remover 22 oz.

Q: "Can this product be used on automobiles without harming the car finish?"- Geraldine

Answer: Soy Clean does not recommend use of this product on a car as damage may occur to the finish. If your car was spray painted, we suggest you take the car to an auto body/paint shop for their evaluation.

SoyClean's Graffiti Remover was formulated to remove graffiti, inks, magic marker and paint from hard surfaces. It works well to remove silver paint, black paint and enamel paints. SoyClean is a 100% natural, soy-based, non-toxic product that rinses away with water. Most other graffiti removers on the market are harsh and even dangerous to users and the environment. SoyClean contains no hazardous ingredients.

Good luck.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, May 19, 2008

What Will Keep Rabbits Out of My Garden?

Question about the Animal Away Pro.

Q:"Rabbits are eating up my garden. Will an Animal Away Pro keep them out? My garden is about 16 feet by 16 feet."

Answer: Our experience at Safe Home Products is that several animal deterrents used at the same time work best. The first line of defense is generally a fence. Usually what is recommended is a 2 foot high fence of chicken wire that is buried in the ground or very tight to the ground. Green vinyl coated is hardly noticable and more easily used than uncoated chicken wire. This option you rejected.

For a single option, the best choice is using Rabbit Scram. Your choices are either to use the Rabbit Scram (2.5 lb shaker) as a protective perimeter strip or spread it around your plants. Rabbit Scream is a granular, all natural organic rabbit repellent that is not offensive to people and is biodegradable and environmentally. Consistently apply every 30-45 days. One 2.5 lb. shaker protects up to 1,350 square feet.

You mentioned your grass is usually no higher than 3 inches and we figured a rabbit was probably six inches high. So you could mount an Animal Pro at the 5 to 6 inch level each side of your garden as a secondary line of defense.

Thanks again for your question. Hope we helped keep your garden growing.


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Sunday, October 28, 2001

Which Dust Mop Covers are Best for My Needs?

Q: "I wish to purchase a Sh-Mop and several accessories from your company. I would like more information about the Sh-Duster dusting covers and the microfiber mop covers. I have read and understand that one is a yarn-duster and the other is similar to a Swiffer, but what is the functional difference between the two? What aspect of these two items would make one a better choice than the other for a consumer? Thank you for your assistance with this. I look forward to a speedy reply because my dust bunnies are about to revolt. Thanks. Karen"

Answer: The yellow duster cover is long strands of acrylic yarn that can get into corners. The Sh-Micro is more like a Swiffer as is the Bona full sized microfiber cover as they have a static charge as long as you don't use fabric softener. The cotton Sh-Duster won't attract as much of the finer grit but will wash cleaner as cotton lets go of dust and particles more easily than the acrylic.

The cotton Sh-Duster works well wet if you have grooves in tile. You can use the Bona microfiber covers or the Sh-Micro cover wet or dry. Both are woven so they will move well across flooring if it is wet or dry.

Comment from Customer: "Thanks for such a prompt reply! I think I will order the yarn mop for everyday collection of the dust-bunnies (actually, they are dust-beagles, and quite large) and get the micro-fiber cloth cover for thorough dust removal before damp mopping. Does this sound reasonable based on your experience? I have hardwood floors all over my house. I noticed the dustmop comes in both cotton and synthetic fibers. Is there a reason to select one over the other? Thanks again,Karen. P.S. I checked many sites and yours had the best prices by far. It was also one of the more professional-looking sites."

Answer: As I mentioned before, I think the acrylic is better at grabbing the bunnies but the cotton will wash "out" better. For hardwood, I'd probably go with the acrylic.Thanks for the compliments. We try to have it be a practical user-friendly site. Barbara

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