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.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attract Bluebirds for Natural Insect Control and Beauty

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

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ultrasonic Bark Control in a BirdHouse

Question about the Petsafe Ultrasonic Bark Control Birdhouse .

Q: "My neighbor is very sensitive about his dogs whose barking can drive me to screaming. I've tried to talk with him about them. I suggested bark control collars, the ones that use ultrasound or citronella. His response is that it is the nature of dogs to bark. I've reported him to the police for violating the noise ordinance. I'd like to try an ultrasonic bark control device but don't want him to be aware of it. Would the Petsafe unit work? Thanks." Steve.

Answer: Steve, this unit has been quite successful if properly positioned. The trick is to mount it low enough that the barking activates the unit but high enough that the sensor is not blocked by a tree or fence. Ultrasound is more like light rays than sound waves so it bounces off hard surfaces.

There are three sensitivity levels. If your neighbor's yard is large, the dogs may learn to stay away from your side of their yard. At least the barking will be more at your neighbor's door than yours. Our experience is that several weeks may pass before the dogs realize the bark yields the unpleasant sounds.

Thanks for your question. Good luck.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Geraniol, A Safe Outdoor Mosquito Repeller Can be Used with Mosquito Traps

Question about Using Geraniol as a Mosquito Repellant and with Mosquito Traps.

Q: "We entertain outdoors and want to keep the mosquitos away from our guests. I've been told that geraniol is a safe option to yard sprays or applying Deet to exposed skin. What is it? How do you use it to keep mosquitos away?, etc. I see you sell wristbands, pillar candles and bucket candles. How do you combine these products with a mosquito trap?" Thanks. Sara

Answer: Geraniol is a safe option to Deet and insect sprays. It is a natural essential oil, a “green” product that uses oil extracted from plants such as lemon grass that have a natural ability to protect themselves against feeding insects. There is no known toxicity to the environment. Jerry Butler from the University of Florida, in Gainesville developed this insect repellent after 15 years of tests on more than 3,900 compounds. Geraniol protects people and pets against everything from mosquitoes and ticks to tiny “no-see-ums.” It was tested to be more than 400% more effective than citronella.

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.
Koolatron recommends that you place the candles about 8 feet apart for maximum no-see-um, mosquito, biting fly, etc. protection. To improve the odds you won't get bitten by mosquitos, we also 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. We also sell Koolatron UV 12 volt DC Biting Insect Traps that can be used with AC adapters, are inexpensive and can be placed just beyond the "candle range" to attract biting insects.

Candles may also be burned inside. Do remember the dangers of leaving candles burning unattended.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy a summer with fewer bug bites. For those that get past, try an Itchsoother.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting Rid of Yard Moles, Gophers and Voles Without Poison, Traps or Noise

Question about how to get rid of yard moles without poison or noise.

Q: "Once more the moles have invaded my yard and garden beds. The burrows are going everywhere. What suggestions do you have to get rid of them without using traps, poison peanuts or noise?" Thanks. Jack.

Answer: Getting rid of yard moles, voles and gophers is faster if you use several methods simultaneously. Gophers are the most difficult to evict if they've established extensive underground tunnels over some years. Moles eat worms and grubs while they tunnel at grass level. Gophers eat the roots of your plants and shrubs. Voles eat vegetation and snails, etc. All burrow.

Treatment options include liquid sprayed castor oil, known as Scoot Mole, granular repellents like Mole Scram and inserting vibrating metal mole chaser stake or the Original P3 green PVC mole chaser stakes into solid ground, not the tunnels or burrows themselves. (The noisy Weitech tunnel units are no longer available.) There are also solar powered mole stakes for flower beds in sunny climates as you cannot mow over them. P3 International mole chaser stakes operate on alkaline batteries (4 D cells), are waterproof (screw on top), are almost silent except for the hum when they cycle on and can be buried deep enough that you can safely mow over them. (To replace batteries, you unscrew the watertight top, remove the battery sleeve and replace the batteries. Batteries last 4 to 6 months on average.) Initially the pests can mistake the currents of vibration/sound as food source so there may be more activity at first..

Using a grub killer on your lawn as a preventative helps get rid of the moles and also save your lawn from destruction if you are not opposed to chemicals on your yard.

Using both the liquid or granular and the stakes at the same time has the best results. Moles eat their body weight every three days or they dehydrate and die. After a few unpleasant meals plus being irritated by the vibrations or ultrasound, the mole pests begin looking for a fresh food supply. In 1 to 2 weeks, they typically are gone.

Scoot Mole comes in a liquid with or without a sprayer. Refills are available. The downside to this liquid is that you need to have a very long water hose or a several long water hoses connected together to be able to reach all of the area to be treated if it is large. Dragging hose around and spraying is not easy if you have a large area. "BANDING" is recommended i.e. treat a small strip (10-20 feet wide) around the perimeter of a mole-free area.

Mole Scram is a granular formula containing Castor Oil: 15% , Citronella Oil: 0.4997%, Garlic Oil: 0.0003% and Peanut Hulls 84.9%. Depending upon your yard size, you can either sprinkle or put into a rotary lawn spreader. The plan here is to first spread the granules on the area closest to your home. For example, treat the half of the yard closest to your house or garden. Water in for 20 minutes or apply before a storm. (Hopefully you have an irrigation system,lawn sprinklers or have occasional heavy downpours). The next day do the second half and again water in thoroughly. This treatment typically lasts 3 months. The manufacturer states, "Mole Scram has higher concentrations of castor oil that its competition. Plus MoleScram adds garlic oil and citronella oil to the mix. Moles cannot tolerate the garlic odor. The citronella oil helps get rid of bugs, an alternative food moles love. The carrier is ground peanut hulls which releases the oils faster than similar granular mole repellers on the market."

Simultaneous to these topical treatments, insert mole chaser stakes in your yard, once more inserting first those closest to your home or the area you wish to protect. Remember that in heavy clay soils, vibrations are intense in a small area. In sandy soils, the vibrations are less intense. Insert mole chasers accordingly. In a laboratory test, moles typically were gone within 1 to 2 weeks.

My personal experience with the P3 units is 100% positive. We've used the same units for the past 5 years, just replacing batteries. One warm January, the moles tunneled from the woods to the front yard: the batteries were dead and who would expect warm weather in January!

I hope I've given you enough information to decide how to fight your battle.

Thanks. Barbara

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Attracting Toads to a Toad House for Natural Garden Insect Control

Question about how to use toad houses or toad abodes to attract toads to a garden.

Q: "I am interested in maintaining an organic garden. I understand that toads are one way to keep the insect population controlled. What products do you suggest to attract them?

Answer: Each toad can eat about 10,000 insects in one summer. For "green" gardening, place one or more toad houses in areas of your garden that get lots of water. That keeps the soil cool: toads look for a break from the summer heat and sun! Keep a small dish of water near your Solar Toad Abode, Solar Toadstool Abode or Ceramic Toad House. That daily soak keeps permeable toad skin moist.

If you have hostas, remember that toads eat slugs, too.

Use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers in your garden as they are toxic to toads.

Toad Specific Hints:
  1. Toads can poison. Keep dogs away from toads and do not handle a toad if you have cuts in your skin. Domestic dogs can die within 15 minutes of eating a toad. Toads are a common cause of poisoning in dogs. The toad can poison cats, too but this is not very common. Toads exude a milky white toxin from poison glands behind their eyes. They squeeze this poison onto the surface of their skin when they are under threat. Toads do not spit or squirt the poison as commonly believed, and they don’t bite. Dogs and cats are poisoned when they mouth the toad or sometimes when the toad’s poison gets into their eyes. The toad’s poison is also dangerous to humans and deaths have occurred. Some adults have even been affected when they absorbed the poison through cuts in their skin after handling a toad.
  2. Let a young toad find your toad house: adults have already chosen a home so don't try to relocate them
  3. Lure toads in spring and early summer. Bring the toad house inside in late fall and winter.
Thanks for your question. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!


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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Help, Barbara, I Need Pantry Moth Traps!

Question about Contech Pantry Moth Traps.

Q: " "Barbara, this is Mom. I have a great idea for a product you should sell, Pantry Moth Traps. " This is what my 87 year old Mom told me two weeks ago (March 23, 2009) when she phoned me. After living for over 50 years in her home, Mom had pantry moths for the first time. She suspected they were either in birdseed or dog kibble stored in her kitchen pantry closet. She thought they were clothes moths for the first few days but then realized, not.

Answer: Guess what Mom! I've been selling pantry moth traps for the past year as well as fruit fly traps,yellow jacket and wasp traps and fly traps!

Being a good daughter, I promptly sent her two sets of traps. Mom responded that within the first day she'd already captured 11 moths!

What are pantry moths? How do we get them? And how do we get rid of them.

Pantry moths are found in bird seed, flour, dog food, biscuits, pasta, cereal, dried beans, bread, spices, cookies, etc. Store birdseed, dog food and similar products in sealed containers. Birdseed is especially inviting to pantry moths so its better to store that outside on a screened porch or in the garage.

Pantry moth larva are very small, about the size of a grain of rice. When I had an infestation years ago, they came into my house in a box of crackers. I didn't notice them until they literally had eaten into a bag of rice. When you spot moths or larva, increase your search. If you find them or webbing or larva, get rid of that food fast!

The Contech Pantry Moth traps are non-toxic and use pheromones to lure the moths. Each package contains two lures and two sticky pads. The lures attract moths for 4 to 8 weeks. When the sticky pad is full of moths, discard and open another trap. Our moth traps catch 4 times more moths than comparable traps used by the commercial pest control industry.

Use one trap per room: you don't want to confuse the moths by giving them more than one option! Mom put one trap in the pantry closet, one in the kitchen and one in each bedroom on the first floor. Also clean out your cupboards, vacuum them thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents outside into a sealed bag that goes immediately into the garbage. Then wipe out the cupboards with a vinegar solution.

Thanks, Mom, for contributing to my Blog and for being my Mom!
Love, 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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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Which Deer Repellent Products Work the Best in Winter and Summer?

Question about the Deergard, Deer Scram, Scoot Deer, Deer Chaser, ShakeAway Deer and Deer Fortess.

Q: "I have a deer problem and wonder which product or products will be most effective to discourage deer from my yard. Thanks."

Answer: Using several products typically works the best. My suggestions are to use at minimum the Deergard and Deer Scram if it is a winter problem. For warmer weather, the Water Scarecrow is quite effective. The Deergard also keeps out most wandering animals depending upon the height at which it is mounted. Hungry deer will ignore most repellent products especially once patterns of travel are set. And often even if not hungry, they will attempt their old trails even if there is now a 6 ft chain link fence in the way. (I had 500 feet replaced three years after it was installed as the deer butted huge dents in it the first two years.)

In the spring, you'll find the Deer Fortress repellent which is hung on plants, works quite well. Deer Fortress combines a proven deer deterrent (blood) in a weather resistant package. Highly effective, blood based deer repellants are not 100% effective. Best results are seen when Deer Fortress is installed at planting, before existing plants start growing and before deer are accustomed to feeding in that area. If food is limited or a favorite food is readily available, deer have been know to ignore many types of repellents. As with humans, predicting deer behavior is not a guarantee.

Deer Scram, a granular product spread on the ground, is guaranteed to work in winter, too. "Deer Scram works effectively in winter to get rid of deer. No mixing is required: easily sprinkle the granular formula in any conditions. Apply as directed above in late November or before first heavy snow. Works well under up to 18 inches of fresh snow. Can be applied on top of existing snow cover. Re-apply after 100 days. Note: If snow becomes crusted or iced over an application of Deer Scram, break up the crust and re-apply in the loose snow."

Scoot® Deer is a liquid with microencapsulated particles. This new formula is active for up to 30 days and is water resistant. One treatment has full strength effects that last up to15 days and as much as 50% protection for a full month. It appears better to be used on grass and plants and also works for rabbits.

The Deergard has a built-in infrared motion sensor that activates when pests move into the repellent's coverage zone. Use it with the continuous or motion-sensor operation settings and adjust the frequency to keep out other pests like raccoons, dogs, etc. On the deer setting, it is silent. Mounts anywhere with keyhole slot. The Deer Chaser uses an infrared sensor that activates a light and/or a radio (choose your favorite station or your least favorite) to scare off deer.

Do remember that batteries can freeze. So using a unit with an AC adapter means you'll get sounds even in the most bitter cold.

Thanks again for your questions. We stock these products on site 365 days per year except for Deer Fortress which is a growing season product.
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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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

BirdProof Gel or Bird-XPeller Pro 2 for Black Birds?

Question about the Product: BirdProof Gel

Q: "If we put this on the balcony railing, will it be visible on the black wrought iron? When you say transparent, does that mean you cannot see it at all? Will it damage the paint. There are also porous stucco waist-high columns that the birds roost on. What do you suggest we do for that?"

Answer: The Bird Proof Gel is sticky, kind of like a Vaseline type substance. So it won't be “completely invisible”. If your balcony railings are at a height where people might lean on them or touch them, you don't want to use bird gel.

I recommend that you install a Bird Xpeller Pro 2 , that scares off blackbirds and similar birds. You can put it on a timer setting and adjust the volume so it is not obnoxious. A complimentary option that I recommend is to purchase Irritape . These streamers rattle in the wind and dazzle in the sunlight, both of which keep birds away. Since the stucco columns are waist high, installing bird spikes is not an option.

Good luck and thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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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

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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Monday, August 11, 2008

Does the Deerguard Effect Dogs and Cats?

Question about the Product: BirdX DEERGARD Electronic Deer Repellent

Q: "Can the Deergard be used against deer without irritating dogs and cats effectively? I need 16 units- is there low voltage units available? What frequency to work on deer but not dogs and cats? Thanks, Alan"

Answer: If you position the units facing out from your property, the Deergard units should have no effect on the dogs and cats on your property. Unless your animals have unusual hearing abilities, the ultrasonic frequency of 15 kHz to 25 kHz (adjustable) or 15,000 Hz to 25,000 Hz of the Deergard should cause no issue at all to any dogs or cats.

The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz, depending on the breed of dog as well as its age. Like humans, dogs can begin to go deaf as they become older. In some breeds of dogs, complete deafness occurs in old age.

The cat hearing range (in Hz) is 45 to 64,000, compared to 64-23,000 in humans. So cats can hear sounds we can't hear on both ends of the spectrum, particularly the higher end.

Precautions per the Deergard instruction manual:

"Even though the top range of the DeerGard, 25 kHz, is above human hearing range (which averages, at top level, about 16 kHz), the intensity is great enough to present a chance of damage to the ear if it is directly exposed for an extended period of time at a distance of less than 10 feet. These units should definitely not be located at or near a place where someone will be located for a long time. Normally, this type of unit is located outside pointing away from a house or structure, and thus presents no problem when located in this manner. We suggest that when you are sitting or working within range of the unit, you turn it off, as human presence will normally deter the pests.

  • As with any electrical device, do not place the unit in or near water and do not mount it while standing in or surrounded by water.
  • Do not aim the product into neighboring yards or public areas, or at caged or leashed animals.
  • It is intended for use on your own property only. Some people with good high frequency hearing will be able to hear the unit at its lower frequencies. If this occurs, select a higher frequency."

    As with other pest control measure, the Deergard works better when used along with other methods such as Deer Scram Organic Granules, ScootDeer Spray , Deer Fortress or protective garden netting.

    Hope this helps. Thanks for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Help! My Attic is Full of Raccoons!

    Question about the Product Code: EP-MB100K PROFESSIONAL Evictor Strobe Light Squirrel Rat Repeller

    Q:"I have had more than six raccoons in my attic since January. They lined up in front of my window so I could count them. How nice! I can't close the opening under the roofline because I can hear babies squealing in the walls and the Exterminating Co. we hired only trapped one and then gave up. I need another method. WILL A STROBE LIGHT REALLY WORK? And how do I get it into the attic without being attacked? As you can see, I really need HELP.. Please be honest as we've already thrown out money for the Exterminating / Trapping company. Thanks, Esther"

    Answer: For raccoons, the Professional Evictor is the better choice of the two Evictor strobe units as it will cover about 1600 square feet of open attic and is 6 times stronger in light intensity than the home unit. If your attic is an irregular shape, you may need two or more of these lights.

    The first challenge is getting an installer and the units into the attic! Raccoons are essentially nocturnal animals but occasionally venture out in the daytime particularly toward evening. So the best time to install the Evictor is during daylight hours. Of course, attics tend to be dark even in the daytime so the raccoons may be moving about during day time. So first you need to get the raccoons out of the area where you plan to install the light.

    Today I received this email from Evictor's sales rep. Here is his suggestion:

    " For this situation, your customer needs at least 3 of the professional Evictor lights. We do not know how long the raccoons have inhabited the house. The large Evictor lights work well to expel raccoons. With that many raccoons and if they have babies, entering the attic is dangerous unless you are a trained professional exterminator/ Evictor installer as the raccoons are likely to attack.

    Not only must the lights be installed but the access holes must be closed and traps set on the outside to catch the raccoons as they leave the premises. The activity in the walls is only temporary as they are exploring their current residence.

    If the homeowner plans the installation himself, it would be best for two people to handle the installation. First, make and continue making a lot of noise before entering the attic. Take with you a radio on maximum volume tuned to a talk show. Leave the radio on and bang on a pan or make similar noise while you set the lights and leave as quickly as possible." Mike.

    This was my original answer:

    "A sonic animal repeller that can be set to be on continuously is the first step. Get a long extension cord, plug in a Yardgard set to the small animal setting, turn the volume to the loudest setting, push the attic access open and place the device on the nearest rafter. The noise should encourage the raccoons to hide or vacate the attic especially if you also have a way to turn on an attic light.

    After a few hours, it should be safe to install the Evictor or Evictors if yours is an attic that has an irregular shape. If you have an electrical outlet in the attic, you can quickly install the unit by hanging it onto a rafter and plugging the cord into a timer. Or if the raccoons have temporarily abandoned the area, have the units wired so there is a switch handy to the access so you can turn it off before entering the attic to clean up after the raccoons.

    Once the raccoons are gone, do remove overhanging tree limbs and other accesses to your roof and close off the entrance points. "

    The only good news is that the damage to your house is probably covered by insurance. At least when this scenario happened to a friend who was then living in Milwaukee, her insurance company paid to have all her upstairs ceilings replaced as the damage was not done rodents.

    Thanks for your question and good luck!



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    Dealing with Noisy Dog Next Door

    Q: "My neighbor's young Lab type dog wakes me up every morning at 4:30 am. when my neighbor puts him out before breakfast. Then he puts the dog out on a tie out when he leaves for work. The dog barks every time he spots movement outside or even when I move in my kitchen. There are bushes between the yards that aren't very dense. The dog is about 20 feet from my house. Please help!"

    Answer: I phoned this customer to get more details. The police are not responsive to his complaints about the almost constant barking despite noise ordinances. He hesitates to bring up this barking issue again with his neighbor because they've had differences about the junk strewn in the neighbor's front yard, the unkempt lawn, etc. The customer is concerned his neighbor may become violent or retaliate.

    We discussed the Super Bark Free Pro , the Super Bark Free and the Super Bark Stop. All three units respond to dog barking with ultrasonic tones that are usually effective in reducing nuisance barking. The range on the units is up to 50 feet.

    Due to the distance, the customer's desire not to have the neighbor know the units are installed, etc. the customer decided to think about other options. We had one customer years ago who actually painted the Bark Free units to match the siding on her house and had great success silencing the next door neighbor's dogs. (She was an order taker for Sky Mall and bought from SHP because our prices were much, much lower!)

    Unfortunately, in these situations, the owner, not the dog, is responsible for the problems.


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    Recommended Devices to Scare Away Dogs and Cats

    Question: "For scaring away dogs and cats, what stationary device is the most effective? Thanks!"

    Answer: The answer is dependent upon whether you want to keep the cat or dog off a particular place like a table or a car or whether your purpose is to keep the animal out of your yard.

    Ultrasonic Area Repel Devices for Cats Only:

    • The CatStop by Contech. An ultrasonic cat repeller that is motion activated and uses a high decibel alarm that startles the cats to leave while not disturbing the peace. This unit operates for about nine months on one standard 9 volt battery. (Battery life estimate is based upon 4900 activations over 245 days at an average of 20 per day.) The CatStop protects about 330 square feet (20 feet or 6m in front of the unit in an 80 degree arc). There are no controls or adjustments. Install the battery. Position it in your yard. Turn it on. The ultrasonic alarm is from 21-25 kHz, levels rarely heard by animals other than cats.

    Ultrasonic Area Repel Devices for Dogs and Cats:

    • The Koolatron Dog and Cat Repeller with AC Adapter and the Lentek Koolatron Dog and Cat Repeller, Battery Only. These are identical except for the AC adapter. use PIR (passive infra red) motion sensors, are powered by two 9V batteries (not included) and battery life is approximately 2000 sound releases. Mount no greater than 3 feet as close as possible to the area to be protected. 85 feet range at a 70 degree arc. Waterproof to IPX4 standard. Advanced ultrasonic sirens: Ultrasonic sound: 80 to 115dB; Frequency sweep: 18 kHz to 24 kHz.
    • The Bird-X Yardgard Outdoor Animal Repeller is the most powerful unit (and most expensive) motion sensor activated unit that we sell. The coverage: 4,000 sq. ft. (278.7 sq. meters) , Frequency range: 15,000 - 25,000 Hz (adjustable) Sound pressure: 90 dB at 3 feet . Electricity costs: Less than $0.25 per month or uses 4 "C" cells (not included). Working current: <200>
    • The Animal Away Pro. Power supply: 9V (Two 9V akaline batteries, not included)Power: Standby current: 0.16mA . Warm up time: 30 seconds. Frequency range: 18,000 Hz to 24,000 Hz. Protection coverage: Fan shaped area of 70 degrees, distance up to 40 feet. Material of plastic housing: ABS plastic. Again motion sensor activated.

    Protect a tabletop or car in a garage from dogs or cats:

    • Scat Mats. These are clear plastic static mats that come in large and medium sizes and strips run on either 9 volt batteries or an AC adapter. To extend coverage, you can buy extension mats. The animal/animals don't like the harmless static electricity generated and stay off.
    • The Contech Mini Scarecrow is motion sensor activated and uses a warning sound followed by a puff of compressed air to scare an animal off a surface. Once your pet responds to the warning sound, switch to "sound only" mode and conserve compressed air. The motion sensor and spray are separately adjustable to allow precise positioning. Keeps dogs and cats from scratching furniture and drapes, jumping on counters, window sills, tables; entering a room, etc.

    Please take a few minutes to examine the details on one or more units before you make your choice. We also sell a standard Animal Away unit that is less expensive and less powerful. The advantage of this unit is you can use it inside or buy several units to surround an area.

    Hope this helps. We thank you for your question.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    Does the Cat & Dog Repeller Work on Ducks?

    Question about the product Product Code: =KN-CD01 Koolatron 9 Volt Battery Powered Cat & Dog Repeller

    Q: "Does this product repel nuisance ducks??"-Leslie.

    Answer: No, the Koolatron Cat and Dog Repeller frequencies are not heard by ducks and other birds. What you need to repel ducks and geese are other products designed and tested for this purpose. For ducks, the choices include visual scare devices, taste repellents and the Goosebuster sonic repeller. Using 2 or more devices usually works faster and is more effective.

    Visual scare devices that repel ducks and geese are:

    • Two-dimensional Coyote decoy: Realistic photo silhouettes are portable and easy to set-up or take down. And repel ducks and geese.
    • 3D Coyote replica: The lifelike furry tail that changes positions with a breeze. This gives 360-degree coverage, visible from any angle and guards about 1/4 acre. This works best if you have several replicas and periodically move them around. Combine with the Garden Scent-ry plastic holder and the Shake Away Small Animal or Deer Repellent granules to add predator scent.
    • Gator Guard. The Gator Guard floats in your pond or swimming pool. It is a realistic, floating alligator head that is 25 threatening inches long and moves and bobs with the wind and water. Its life-like eyes flash in the light and scares away ducks, geese and small animals.

    Taste Repeller: GooseChase repels geese and ducks from grass. This is a biodegradable food-grade repellent spray for grass made from grapes. one gallon of Goose Chase treats 1 acre or 1 pint treats 1/8 of an acre. Unfortunately, when it rains, this is washed off and needs to be reapplied.

    Sonic Repellers: Goosebuster is a great choice if you have a lot of ducks and geese, a lot of property to protect and the funds. We've sold this to resorts, golf courses and those with larger properties who are tired of ducks and geese. This unit covers up to 7 acres, has 4 speakers and blasts out predator and ducks and geese in distress sounds.

    Thanks again for your question. Good luck in getting rid of the ducks.



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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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    Saturday, June 28, 2008

    Will the Animal Away work for Rats?

    Question about the Animal Away Repeller P7810 Product Code:ES-P3-P7810
    Q:"Does this work for mice and rats? We need something like this where I work. Thank you!"-Michelle.

    Answer: The Animal Away is designed mainly for outdoor use against larger animals like cats, dogs and raccoons. We sell several different devices for rats and mice. These include ultrasonic repellers that directly plug into the wall, ultrasonic repellers that have a line cord for better placement on the floor, rat and mice zapper traps and a strobe light repeller for attics and crawl spaces.

    The direct plug in units range from small ones with or without nightlights to larger more powerful ones with one or two speakers. For example, the Lentek Pest Contro 600 have night lights. For these to be effective, plug into unobstructed, un-switched wall outlets in rooms to be covered by ultrasonic sound power.

    The corded units such as the Transonic Pro are easier to place and also can be set to repel other animals. These units may be both silent and noise generating. To be most effective, you need to get "bounce" off hard surfaces and also "shoot" the ultrasound down floor edges across doorways, registers and other possible openings for the rodents to enter the rooms.

    The electric traps are powered by batteries. There are two models, one for rats and one for mice.

    The Evictor strobe light comes in two models, one for homes or smaller buildings and the professional Evictor for larger areas.

    Getting rid of mice and rats once they are nested is difficult and requires a multi-faceted approach. Do remember that all foodstuffs need to be in secure containers both for storage and for trash. All openings to the outside should be sealed after you've used ultrasonic or strobe light applications for several weeks. Look for openings in attics and basements, too.

    Professional exterminators may be necessary. Do remember that using poisons means that animals may die in wall spaces, ceilings, etc and the stench can be awful. Glue traps are also effective although some find them distasteful and dealing with live rodents is not pleasant.

    Good luck. Let us know if we can help your employer to get these nuisance rodents out of your building.


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    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Will Supersonic Mole Chasers Affect Dogs or Cats?

    Question about the Product Code: ES-P3-P7907-4, Four Supersonic Mole Chasers

    Q:"Will this product affect dogs or cats in any way?" Bob

    Answer: The Supersonic, Vibrasonic and green standard mole chaser stakes that we sell are powered by 4 D cell batteries and vibrate every 15 to 18 seconds. These are mow over units: to install you dig a hole and bury the unit upright so that only the screw on cap is visible above the ground.

    Because they are almost entirely buried, the units are barely audible to humans. We've never had any reports of any dogs or cats being affected by them. Perhaps a curious animal might pause near a mole chaser and cock their head when the unit first activates. I have two Boston Terriers who roam the fenced in yard where there are 4 stakes. They have never paid any attention to them, at least never in my presence.

    So, the answer is, these devices should not affect a dog or cat.

    Thanks for your questions.



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    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    Can I use the LED flying insect trap outdoors?

    Question about the Product: P3 International LED Flying Insect Trap and Bug Trap

    Q: "Can this be left outdoors (i.e. is it waterproof)?"

    Answer: Yes, the P3 LED Flying Insect Trap can be used outdoors under awnings or patio covers. The unit is water resistant but not waterproof. You can also use the unit indoors.

    This unit, like others we sell, uses UV lights to attract flies, yellow jackets, bees or gnats. These are LED lights which should last about 50,000 hours. This unit sits on a table or other flat surface. Once in range, the vacuum fan sucks the bugs inside where they are captured in the removable collection net. Like all bug attraction/kill units, this one works best when it is the only light source.

    Another popular unit is the Koolatron 12V UV Light Insect Killer. This is a 12 volt unit handy for camping trips that can be used indoors with an AC adapter. These flying insect traps are silent as are the Koolatron mosquito traps. The older bug "zappers" that electrocute the insects and snap, crackle and pop are rarely sold now.

    Please contact us if you have additional questions.

    Sincerely, Barbara


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    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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    Getting Squirrels Out of Attics & Eaves

    Question about the product Evictor Strobe Light Squirrel and Rat Repeller Product Code: EP-MB10K

    Q: "Squirrels have eaten into our eaves, but have not gotten into the house (yet) Will this or a similiar product work in that type of area? We are not exactly sure where they are, but have seen them go in and out."-Debbie

    Answer: The Squirrel Evictor Strobe Light is designed to be used indoors. It is a very large strobe light and will most likely cause the neighbors to complain. You could install one indoors in the attic area in case they do get in. You may want to try Bird Proof Gel or Bird Proof Liquid . You can apply the gel using a caulk gun or the liquid can be sprayed on. This is an EXTREMELY sticky substance and the squirrels HATE it. Once it gets on their fur they can't get it off.

    Thanks for your question. Good luck!

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Getting rid of barn swallows in a pole barn arena.

    Question: "I have a huge problem with barn swallows nesting in my pole barn arena. They make a mess in the rafters and on the arena sand. I worry about disease around my valuable horses. What product would you reccommend that is not cost prohibitive or harmful to the arena structure? I looked at your spray on products but 1 of them said it was not for foam and I have Thermax insulation lining the ceiling right where the birds make their nests. Thanks.-Diane

    Answer: We contacted our manufacturer for advice. This is their response: "Nests need to be taken down if possible. Afterwards, the Quadblaster Ultrasonic bird repeller unit, the QB-4, can be installed HIGH up in the rafters and activated without bothering horses!


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    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    Will the Rat Zapper Zap Squirrels, Too?

    Question about the product Product Code: M240, Victor Woodstream Electronic Rat Trap.

    Q: "We would like to use this in our backyard to kill the rats that are being attracted to our bird feeder, 1st year we have had the problem in 15 years of having a bird feeder. My questions is, we also have squirrls that we do not want killed. Is the opening only large enough for rats???" -Gail

    Answer: The opening of the trap is about 4 inches wide and 3 inches high, tunnel shaped. It is unlikely that a squirrel would venture into this trap. However, anything is possible. Usual bait is peanut butter or peanut butter and bread. Some folks use bird seed. The trap is about 8 inches long and about 5 inches high. A green light goes on when there is a rat in the trap. The unit operates on batteries which should be sufficient to kill about 12 rats.

    These traps work well on rats because there is a double shock on the grid as the rat's heart is harder to stop. Voltage applied for up to 2 minutes to insure death.

    Good luck with your rat problem.



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    Are bulbs replaceable on the Mini E-Trap?

    Name : Lentek Mini E-Trap FT05G Indoor Ultraviolet Bug Zapper
    Product Code: : LK-FT05G

    Question: "Can you change the ultraviolet light or is the product no good after the lights burn out?"-Susan

    Answer: Yes, you can replace the ultraviolet lights on the Mini E-Trap. We suggest you purchase extra bulbs when you place your order for the Mini E-Trap so you save additional shipping charges With all the rain this year, especially in the MidWest, our sales of bug catcher traps is way up. We do offer other models by other manufacturers, P3 International and Viatek and a 12 volt model, too.

    The P3 International LED Bug Trap Model P7880 uses 6 purple ultraviolet attraction LED lights and a fan to lure in the flying insects. It is silent as well.

    Viatek Zap Em doubles as a night light. It also uses an LED ultraviolet light. This is a small direct plug in unit.

    The Koolatron 12 volt Insect Killer plugs into any 12 volt outlet to lure the bugs away from your picnic table or campsite.

    And for the ones that still pester you, the Lentek Racket Zapper is a battery operated swatter that doesn't require smashing the insects against a wall or counter. Just activate and touch the flying insect in mid-air. These really work. The fly or mosquito drops dead.

    Hope this helps with your questions. Sometimes knowing all the options helps.



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    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    Is this product (Bird Proof Liquid) safe for pets?

    Subject: Question about the product Product Code: =ES-LIQ-1
    Bird-X Bird Proof Liquid Repellent GALLON

    Q: "Is this product (Bird Proof Liquid Repellent) safe for pets?"-Jennifer

    Answer: Is your pet a dog, a cat or a bird? Are you planning to spray the interior of a barn or a shed or spray trees, bushes, ledges, etc.? If used correctly, Bird Proof is not dangerous to pets or other animals. Please read on.

    Bird-X, the manufacturer of Bird Proof, states that this liquid bird repellent is safe if used as directed and if pets, livestock, food, water and feed are removed from the area being treated during the spraying. Once the repellent is dry, the only risks would be if a pet ate bushes, plants or trees that you sprayed with repellent. I will go into more detail below. Of course, you would not want to leave the container, the sprayer or clean-up clothes or solvents where animals might choose to sleep or might be tempted to lick or taste.

    Bird Proof is sold in both gel tubes applied with a caulking gun and in liquid that is sprayed on ledges, sills, beams, rafters and other indoor and outdoor locations where nuisance birds may alight or roost. Although Bird Proof is non-poisonous and contains no toxic materials that would harm animals, the Bird Proof spray could physically block and prevent respiration if inhaled during the spraying. The manufacturer recommends avoiding contamination of food, water or livestock feed which could occur if that food, water or feed was not removed from the area during the application or not stored in a tightly covered container during the application.

    Bird Proof is a long lasting tacky bird repellent that is transparent and can effectively discourage nuisance birds fromroosting or returning to a treated area for up to one year. To remove Bird Proof, use Bird-X Safety Solvent Cleaner, mineral spirits, naphtha or powder type cleaning agents. If cleaned immediately, spills may be washed off with water. Bird Proof should be applied when temperatures are at least 40 degrees F in calm weather so that drying is facilitated and spray drift is minimized.

    Coverage varies with the object being treated and the spray equipment. Generally, 1 gallon treats an average of 125 square feet or an average tree with a 5 inch diameter trunk or about 6 three-foot high shrubs.

    I hope this answers your question. Please contact us if you need more information.



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    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Keeping Feral Cats Out of Window Boxes and Yards

    Question about products to keep feral cats out of my yard and flower window boxes.

    Q:"I live in Washington D. C. where feral cats are not only protected but indulged by my neighbor who is viewed as a hero for feeding them. Not only does he feed them at his house but he trespasses on other properties to leave food. The rats are attracted to the food, too. I've even seen the cats and rats playing together! I've complained to the city but no one will take action. What choices do I have to keep the cats out of my yard? The amount of feces left by them is incredible. I have a 7 foot wooden fence around my back yard and thought about bird spikes because I think the cats would back off if they felt the spikes. I have dogs that go out into the yard and a cat who is always inside.

    Answer: Upon some research, I learned that bird spikes make an excellent barrier for climbing animals such as cats, raccoons and even snakes. The spikes would have to be put on top and on your side of the fence however unless your property line is beyond the fence line.

    I have a supplier for wide stainless steel spikes and am working on another supplier who has actual animal barrier spikes. This is not an inexpensive choice but you shared that you are willing to spend quite a bit to eliminate this problem.

    My customer service staff reports that the bird gel is another deterrent you might use on the top of your fence or as a second line of defense around your plant boxes.

    The Cat Stop and the Water Scarecrow are both effective in getting rid of pest animals. The CatStop frequencies are inaudible to humans and dogs. The WaterScarecrow would shower the cats with just enough water to have them remember to leave your home alone.

    Please report back on your results.



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    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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    Wednesday, May 14, 2008

    How to Deal with Thousands of Flies in a Garden

    Question about the product: The Contech Outdoor Fly Trap CT-FLY152

    Q: "We have a 20 x 30 foot garden. When we water, the flies swarm the ground. Nothing we have seems to help. We have one bag trap now that has picked up just a few flies. We are talking about thousands of flies that seem to swarm the area. They mostly look like deer flies with multi-colored tails. How many would you suggest we put out in our garden area?"

    Answer: Unfortunately, these traps are not designed for use with horse or deer flies. I am referring you to a link with some information about flies.

    Customer: "thank you so much for writing back . From your description, ours may not be a deer fly, ours has yellow and black circles around the body of the tail section. We did find that Purex non allergenic laundry detergent sprayed on the ground and around the plants has done the job. We do not know how long this will last but so far so good."

    Thanks again for trying and we will definitely keep your site for any future products we may need.

    Sincerely, John and Donna

    Thank you for your interesting question and thanks for sharing how you solved it, even if it turns out to be temporary.



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    Does this Bird Feeder Have Drainage Holes?

    Questions about Frisky Friends Brass Wakefield Bird Feeder

    Q: "Does this feeder have drainage holes in the seed tray? How does it come apart to fill? What are the dimensions of the seed tray and the cover at the top? Thank you.-Carol"

    Answers: The seed tray has no drainage holes. Remove the top of the unit to fill with see. The top of the bird feeder is about 12 inches across and the bottom is about 8 inches.

    Thank you for your question. Remember that if you have trouble with squirrels feeding from your bird feeder, we do sell two bird feeders, the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus and the Brome Classic Squirrel Proof Feeder that work very well. Also we sell the Squirrel Stop , a device on which you hang your bird feeder that spins when a squirrel tries to eat from the feeder.

    Hope this helps and you have lots of birds in your yard this summer to control the bugs and entertain you!


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    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Can I Use the Cat Stop to Keep Cats Off My Car?

    Question about the Catstop Ultrasonic Cat Repeller Device.

    Q:"Can the Cat Stop P7810 be used as an overhead device to chase/keep cats off my car? I have a Firebird and park it under a carport that is about 8 ft tall. Please advise. Thanks. Fred"

    Answer: The Contech P7810 mounted overhead as long as it is pointed down toward the car. Another option is to mount it in front of the car at hood height. You might have to re-position it a time or two to see what works best, but it should be effective.

    Directions for Use:
    Place the Cat Stop facing the area you want to protect. An animal entering the area sets off the built-in motion sensor. The ultrasonic alarm is from 21-25 kHz. Humans hear sounds between 2 kHz and 20 kHz so this rarely disturbs people. Note: Most dogs hear at frequencies between 40 kHz to 100kHz.

    Thanks for your question and hope this works wells for you.


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    Will ShakeAway Effect Feral Cats?

    Question about ShakeAway For Small Animals?

    Q: "Will household animals like cats and dogs be able to smell ShakeAway? Will it be upsetting/disturbing to them if they can smell it? I feed a colony of stray and mostly feral cats. I want to get rid of the possums and raccoons that keep eating the cat food without disturbing or frightening the cats. Please let me know if you think this product can accomplish that. Thank you."

    Answer: Shake Away Small Critter uses a combination of garlic oil and urea to scare off animals. The odor of Shake-Away Small Animal Critter Repellent granules signals danger to small critters like squirrels, rabbits, skunks, chipmunks, woodchucks, gophers, possums, prairie dogs, groundhogs, porcupines and more garden pest critters.

    The Shake Away could potentially bother any animal that comes in contact with it. Any method you use to rid the area of one type of animal could potentially affect all the animals in the area. You may want to look for a timed outdoor feeder for your cats. Our suggestion is the Ergo medium pond feeder which requires electricity but has a rainproof cover and empties the food onto the ground. If you have an area sheltered from the rain, you can use the standard Ergo Pet Feeder units, small, medium or large.

    Thank you for your question. Please contact us if you have other questions.



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    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Can this Wasp Trap Stop my Paper Wasp Problem?

    Question about the product Contech Yellow Jacket and Wasp Trap CT-WASP152.

    Q: "Will this product work for paper wasps? My County Extension Agent says traps won't work for paper wasps. Do you agree? We live in West Texas--Lubbock. The paper wasps were so bad late summer that we couldn't get in the house."

    Answer: Your County Extension Agent is correct. This trap is designed to lure yellow jackets and wasps away from outdoor areas where food is being consumed. The trap will not rid you of a paper wasp colony.

    To get rid of paper wasps, you must remove the nest completely and then spray and then spray an insecticide to kill any surviving wasps. Otherwise the surviving wasps will return to the same spot and build another nest.

    The University of Minnesota extension service recommends June as the best time of the year to control wasps, after the queen has established her colony and while the colony is still small. Do this at night when wasps are less active as they have trouble flying at temperatures below 50° F. Never seal a wasp nest until you are sure there are no surviving wasps inside. Sometimes doing this drives the wasps to nest inside a building.

    There are no insecticides that repel wasps. Apply a ready-to-use aerosol "wasp and hornet spray" into the entrance of the nest during late evening according to label directions. If no activity is observed the next day, the nest has been successfully exterminated. If live wasps are still observed, repeat the treatment at three-day intervals until they are all dead.

    Please contact us if you have additional questions.



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    Can a PestChaser PC1000 get Rid of a Rat in My Wall?

    Question about the Woodstream PestChaser PC1000 for Rodent Control.

    "I have a rat in my wall. Can I plug this into an outlet on this wall and will it work?"

    Answer: No, if the unit were placed inside the wall, aimed at the rodent, it might repel the rat. Ultrasound is more like light rays than like audible sound waves. This means the sound cannot penetrate walls or objects. The ultrasonic sound waves project only out from the speaker which is at the front of the unit.

    Rats come into homes through small openings in the foundation, where the foundation meets the siding and through attic spaces.

    To discourage rats:
    • Take away their food supply: keep pet food and human food in sealed containers.
    • Destroy their homes by removing trash, old boards, weeds, etc. and store wood and building materials at least a foot off the ground.
    • Close off their holes and entryways by covering windows with screens, sealing floor drains, caulking around pipes and cables where they pass through walls, and stuffing holes with stainless steel mess.
    If you own your home, have done the above steps and you find evidence that the rats are in your attic, consider an Evictor strobe light repeller . We have had only positive comments about the effectiveness of this unit for squirrels, rats and other varmints in attics when the unit/units are correctly installed.

    Thanks for your question.


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    Monday, March 24, 2008

    How much bird seed does this feeder hold?

    Question about Product Code, the Frisky Friends Wakefield Bird Feeder, PS-704701-05

    Q: "How much bird seed does this hold?" Carol

    Answer: 85 ounces or about 5 lbs. Most bird seed is packed in 5 lb and 10 lb bags.

    This is an attractive bird feeder because it is clear glass with brass. If you have a squirrel problem, we suggest either the Squirrel Buster Plus or the Squirrel Buster Classic feeders. Both have a cage that comes down to cover the bird seed openings when a squirrel or other animal attempts to raid the seed. Both also dismantle so they can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. The Squirrel Buster Plus has a capacity of about 3.5 lbs. while the Classic holds about 1.3 lbs. Both are easiily filled by removing the top cap.


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    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    How the Lentek bug racket works

    Question about the Lentek Electronic Racket Zapper, Product Code:LK-RZ02

    Q:" Can you please tell me if the "triple mesh" feature for this electronic fly swatter means that all three are actively charged for zapping bugs, or is it just the center one with two protective screens on each side?"

    Answer: Only the center mesh is live: the outside two mesh layers are offered as protection from accidental "shock" if you should touch the mesh with your hand as you might with a tennis racket. Single mesh units will shock on contact with your hand or other body part. Still handle this insect zapper with care.

    Using this electronic swatter means no more chasing after annoying flying insects and then having to hit them against a hard surface, splattering bug parts on walls, table, etc. Just push on the button to activate the grid and release to turn it off. Once you make contact with the fly, bee, etc. the insect dies and drops to the ground.

    Thanks for your question.



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    Saturday, February 16, 2008

    Will a Yardguard Effect an Indoor Cat?

    Q: Re: YardGard Electronic Animal Repeller. "I want to get rid of the neighbors dog, but will this product effect my INDOOR cat? We do open windows, so please advise."

    Answer: If you aim the unit away from your home into an open area, the YardGard will not effect your indoor cat even with windows open. Ultrasonic sound waves behave more like light rays rather than sound waves. So they will be absorbed into solid fences, walls, etc. The bounce back is virtually zero.

    I do suggest that you use the AC adapter if possible, at least initially. Use the "on" always position. Mount the unit at approximately the head level of the nuisance dog. To be a good neighbor, aim the unit so that the coverage is only of your yard.

    Thanks for the inquiry.

    Sincerely, Barbara


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    Friday, February 15, 2008

    Material in the Coyote Decoy

    Q: What is this COYOTE Decoy Replica Goose Repeller by BirdX made of ? Does it fold up or can it be carried easily ?

    Answer: There are two different coyote decoy goose repellers. Customers report high levels of success with both types. The 3 D unit gives 360-degree coverage as opposed to the flat, two dimensional one.

    The foldable coyote replica is made in the USA from durable coraplast, a plastic. This i2 D units is waterproof, weatherproof andUV coated for no sun fade. Folds to 10 inches by 10 inches. When set up, the coyote is 22 inches by 26 inches.

    The 3 dimensional coyote decoy version also folds for easy portability. The coyote body is made from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) while the stake is polypropylene. Average coverage is 1 to 4 acres of open area.Coyote Dimensions: Life-sized 37” head to tail, 8” at widest point of body, 16” tall (based on stake placement). Weight is 3 lbs.


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    Friday, February 1, 2008

    Strobe operation of the Squirrel Evictor

    Q: "Is the strobe from the Professional Evictor Squirrel and Rat Repeller on constantly or does the unit have a motion sensor?"

    Answer: Yes, the strobe light must on continuously and there is no motion sensor or on/off switch. The 1,000,000 Candlepower strobe light strobes 90 times per minute. Best results occur when the Squirrel Evictor operates in a dark, uncluttered space where its strobe is the only light source. The instruction manual recommends leaving enter/exit holes unsealed for at least one month. Squirrels, rats, raccoons, etc. are trained by the strobe to hate the protected areas and can leave that area while holes are open.

    Please contact us if you have additional questions.

    Sincerely, Barbara


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    Sunday, December 30, 2007

    Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller Coverage Area

    Q: "What is the total square footage that one Woodstream Commercial PestChaser PC 600 covers?"

    Answer: Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question. Ultrasonic frequencies are sound above the normal range of human hearing and act more like light than say sound from a radio or television. See my answer below after you read why the answer is not absolute.

    Characteristics of Ultrasonic Sound:
    • Is Highly directional like FM radio waves.
    • Reflects from hard surfaces like bare walls, doors, etc. like light from a mirror.
    • Is absorbed and dampened by soft surfaces such as carpeting, drapes, furniture and cardboard boxes.
    • Can be effected by the humidity of the air.
    • Creates a "shadow" of silence behind an object it hits, a sheltered area for pests. Place traps or poison bait in that "shadow" or aim additional PestChasers be aimed at the back of the object and eliminate the "shadow."
    So under ideal conditions, each PestChaser can deliver sound up to 1000 square feet of space for up to 10 years or more. The PestChaser Commercial has a constant "on" swept frequency mode of 32 to 62 kHz with a sound pressure level of 110dB@ 1 meter. Do remember that best results come from treating the entry points and the perimeter and being patient. Field tests show that 6 to 9 days' is the average time to force rodents out of an infested area.

    Please contact us if you have additional questions.

    Sincerely, Barbara


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    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Ultrasonic Pest Repellers and Pacemakers

    Q: "I am looking for an ultrasound product for a very large dining room area to repell flies. I am familiar with the use of ultra sound for larger animals. Would the use of about 15 of these Lentek units,3 Pack of Lentek Ultrasonic Pest Contro 600 Model PR35 in a room have any effect on heart pacers? Thanks. Richard"

    Answer: We checked with the manufacturer. Their response: "There have never been any health problems reported associated with the technology utilized in Lentek electronic pest repellers such as the PC series, ex. PC01. The ultrasonic sound waves produced for pest control should not be confused with the ultrasound utilized in imaging equipment, as they are very different in intensity and application. The ultrasound from a pest repeller will not penetrate solid material, including people.

    OSHA states that the ultrasonic sounds produced by this type of product have 'little effect on general health' and that there is no exposure safety limit needed for sounds above 20 kHz. If you have further specific concerns, please contact your doctor."

    Richard, we do want to clarify that this product is sold for repelling mice and rats. We have no information that this unit or any similar ultrasonic pest repeller units work for repelling flies.

    We do sell several different electronic insect traps. Lentek-Koolatron units include the Mini-E-Trap, the 12V UV Light Insect Killer with AC adapter, We also sell the Viatek Indoor Bug Zapper for flying insects. For flying insects that get away, we sell a very effective electronic flying insect racquet by Lentek-Koolatron.

    Please contact us if you have additional questions.
    Sincerely, Barbara


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    Monday, July 23, 2007

    Question about Animal Away Repeller and Birds

    Q:"Does this product, the Animal Away Repeller P7810 bother birds? I have a cockatiel inside my house and I am concerned that this might bother him?" Thanks. Beth

    Answer: The Animal Away is a directional ultrasonic animal repeller device that is used primarily outside to get rid of stray dogs, cats and other small animals. If the bird is inside and the device is outside, there is no problem. Even if the bird is outside in its cage and behind the device, you should be fine as long as the device aims out into an open area away from the bird. I hope this helps.

    Note: The Animal Away and Animal Away Pro are both ultrasonic pest control devices for small animals. They operate on batteries with an option for a power adapter for the Pro model. Usually these units are placed on stakes at the animal's head level.

    If you have other questions, please contact us.
    Sincerely, Barbara


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    Friday, July 6, 2007

    Staying Dry Using a Water Scarecrow

    Q: "I want to buy a Water Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler (ES-CRO-101) to keep deer, dogs and cats out of my yard. I have to go through a gate to turn the water supply on and off. How can I avoid getting sprayed? What is the cost of shipping?"

    Answer: You probably would get sprayed unless you aim the unit in such a way that you can sneak behind it. The good news is that it would only be a few cups of water. The sensor detection zone for the Scarecrow is 35 feet deep and 45 feet wide. Shipping costs vary according to your zipcode and how you want it shipped.

    Another option is the L. R. Nelson Remote control water shut off that uses a pocket remote control. It works up to 100 ft. Costs $45 to $50. We don't sell these at Safe Home Products. You can find them in hardware stores or on the internt.

    Please contact us again if you have more questions.




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    Thursday, July 5, 2007

    Molechaser Stakes

    Q: "Now in my 3rd summer of using a molechaser stake in my garden. I have been very pleased with the results although now it seems the gophers may be getting used to it and no longer are repelled. I am thinking of buying a second unit. Do you have other suggestions?" Ken

    Answer: Multiple units are always good. You may want to get the Supersonic Molechaser to add to the Vibrasonic molechaser as it makes a noise rather than vibrating. It also helps to move the stakes around a bit. Hope this helps.

    Comment from Customer: "Thank you for your quick and helpful reply. Based upon the information you sent, I have ordered a "supersonic" from your company. Thanks again, Ken."

    Comment from Barbara: We sell several mole chaser products. These are also helpful in getting rid of gophers and voles. Gophers are more difficult to chase away as, once established, they have an elaborate network of tunnels under the ground while moles stay near the top where they can eat grubs.

    Some suggestions to get rid of moles:

    • Install molechaser stakes. Multiple units work best especially if your soil is mostly clay and rocks or mostly sand. Sound is contained in a smaller area and more intense in heavy soild and is dispersed farther and is less intense in sandy ones. We sell green PVC plastic ones, vibrasonic molechasers, solar mole chaser stakes and supersonic molechasers.
    • Spray grass with Scoot Mole.
    • Use grub control granules in mid summer.
    • July 17, 2009 Note: MoleScram is a granular products we've sold now for almost 2 years. The advantages are that the product can be spread with a lawn fertilizer spreader, a much faster application than with Scoot Mole liquid which requires walking with the sprayer turned on and dragging perhaps hundreds of feet of hose behind you plus you treat one half of your yard on Day 1 and half on Day 2. Water in well or apply before a storm. You'll move the moles back out of your yard!
    Good luck with your gardens and grass.

    Sincerely, Barbara

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    Sunday, August 8, 2004

    Question about Transonic Pest Repeller & Electronic Devices

    Question about the Product Transonic PRO Pest Repeller (DUAL SPEAKER)

    Q: "I have a couple of computers and a cordless phone. Do these ultrasonic repellers have any effect on my electronic devices? Adverse effect? Thanks for your help." Kristina

    Answer: What is the hz of the phone? I have a unit on the floor that is on continuously. In this room are two computers plus servers and there is no interference at all.. The frequency range of this unit is 3,000 - 45,000 Hz. I don't know of any phones that are over 900hz but then I am not current with all the phone techology.

    Response from Customer: "My phone is a 2.4 GHZ giga range. I don't know if that's the right thing you wanted. How does your unit work for you by the way? I just found a mouse in our house and don't want them. Is it good for that?"

    Answer: My son the electrical engineer says that 2.4 gHZ and 3 KHz are far enough away in frequency that there should be no interference. Yes, these work for mice on the rodent setting. There is some "chatter" on the higher settings that can be annoying. But then mice are more annoying than that.

    Remember to discourage mice, keep all foodstuffs like dog kibble, etc. in closed mouse-proof containers, seal around pipes and exhausts, install new door seals, etc. A cat works, too!

    And if yours is an older home, no matter what you do, you may have mouse visitors in the winter. The Victor Woodstream Electronic Mouse Traps kill the mice quickly and humanely. With the old fashioned snap ones and glue traps, you may be dealing with live mice.

    Thanks for your questions.

    Sincerely, Barbara


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