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In This Issue:

  1. Home Remedy Jokes

  2. May Lawn Tips

  3. The Slippery Slope of Home Remedies

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In the spirit of this month's newsletter, here's a couple of good home remedies I found on the internet:

Home Remedy Jokes

  1. If you are chocking on an ice cube don't panic. Simply pour a kettle of freshly boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage is almost instantly removed.

  2. If you have a bad cough take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.

  3. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep when you hit the snooze button.

  4. You only need two tools in life: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

May Lawn Tips

The Slippery Slope of Home Remedies

Summer is just around the corner - picnics, backyard bar-b-ques, camping, outdoor fun and...mosquitoes! Those pesky little buggers that have a habit of wrecking a fun summer evening in the back yard.

When faced with the task of defending ourselves and our property against invading pests - it's easy to be sold on the latest home concoction dubbed as a natural or chemical-free solution. It's what I call the "Quest for pesticide-free pesticides".

The following email recently forwarded to me - describing a mosquito home remedy - was the inspiration for this article.


Mosquito spray.....

I can't wait to try this in the summer!

I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it.....Pass it on.

OUR FRIEND'S COMMENTS: I tried this on my deck and around all of my doors. It works - in fact, it killed them instantly. I bought my bottle from Target and it cost me $1.89. It really doesn't take much, and it is a big bottle, too; so it is not as expensive to use as the can of spray you buy that doesn't last 30 minutes. So, try this, please. It will last a couple of days. Don't spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house.


A quick google search will show you that this is an urban legend. Yes, the alcohol in Listerine will kill skeeters that are actually sprayed - hairspray and body spray will also kill them. The claim that Listerine is a mosquito repellent that will last a couple of days is false. The only pest Listerine will repel is halitosis.

Getting to the point of this article...home remedies cause people to fall into the trap of thinking the brew they are mixing is safe. Safer for their children, pets and the environment and definitely safer than commercially produced products. This is the slippery slope of home remedies. When you use commercial household products intended - and labeled - for another purpose unintended consequences might arise. You are also exposing yourself to legal and liability issues.

If you mix a home brew with the intention of using it to kill or deter a pest - that concoction has now become a pesticide that is not labeled or registered as a pesticide. Commercial pesticides are highly regulated materials that have been extensively tested - homemade pesticides are not. Additionally, many states have laws against using pesticides that are not registered.

The chemical cops won't arrest you for squirting skeeters with mouthwash. But think about the liability issues you've exposed yourself to when you mix a home remedy and then spray the playground at a picnic. What if your brew makes one of the neighbor's children sick?

It is also important to remember that ALL pesticides contain a chemical (active ingredient) that is a poison meant to kill or deter the target pest (the poison in Listerine is alcohol). It doesn't matter if the chemical is from a natural source, a home concoction or produced synthetically in a lab - the active ingredient is still a poison and the toxicity in in the dose.

I'm not knocking home remedies. Some work and some don't. Just be aware of what you are doing before mixing and going around willy-nilly spraying the latest home brew.

~ Remember to keep your mower blades sharp ;)

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Lawn Care Questions and Answers

Daniel Olsen ISA Cartified Arborist

Lewiston Lawn Care ECA Member