Article originally published September 1st, 2016. Updated October 29th, 2018.Â Itâs a common question around these parts:Â how do I fix my credit?Â And, while credit scores do have a lot of nuances, the answer is actually pretty straightforward: pay all your bills by their due dates, keep your debt levels low, add a mix of accounts… Read More
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DIY Squirrel Repellent
If squirrels are getting into your garden, keep them away with a homemade pepper spray. Take a cup of your favorite hot sauce, add a spoonful of cayenne pepper and a capful of Murphy’s Oil Soap, and mix together. Spray the mixture in whatever areas you want the squirrels to steer clear of, like the borders of your garden. Squirrels don’t like the texture or the smell, and will stay away.
Keep Squirrels Away From Birdfeeders
Wondering how to keep a squirrel off a birdfeeder? If it’s held up by a pole or metal arm, grease it up with petroleum jelly. Squirrels can’t hold on with the slippery substance and won’t be able to reach the birdseed.
Related: How to Keep Birds Away From Your Patio, Pool, and Garden
Protect Your Grill
Make sure squirrels and other rodents don’t chew through the rubber pipeline that connects your propane tank with your grill—reinforce the entire thing with duct tape by applying duct tape in rings around it. This is a good idea for anything else in your yard made out of rubber, as this is a favorite chew toy of rodents!
Keep Squirrels Out of Your Garden
Squirrels can be one of the trickiest garden pests to deal with. They chomp on flower bulbs and other leaves, dig up your favorite plants, and otherwise love to wreck your garden. Protect it by grating some Irish Spring soap around your plants. Squirrels can’t stand the smell of it and will stay away.
See also: How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard
Plant Mint to Repel Squirrels
Squirrels hate the aroma of mint, so plant mint (which grows easily) around gardens and trees that squirrels like to frequent. It smells great (at least, to you) and you can even pick it and use it in drinks like iced tea and mojitos.
Another Great Squirrel Repellent
If you’ve ever bitten into a shred of foil that had gotten stuck to a piece of candy, you know how unpleasant the sensation is. Rodents hate the feeling of foil between their teeth, too, so placing strips of foil in your garden mulch will help deter squirrels and some bugs. If squirrels are eating the bark of your tree, you can also wrap the trunk in foil.
For more ways to get rid of pests from all around the internet, check out our Bug and Pest Natural Remedies board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!
Can’t stop scratching a bug bite? Just place a piece of papaya (the fleshy part, not the skin) on it. Papaya contains an enzyme called “papain,” whose protein-digestive properties helps to decompose insect venom, which will stop both itching and swelling.
That jar of vapor rub at the back of your medicine cabinet isn’t just good for breaking up chest congestion, you can also use it to stop mosquito and other bug bites from itching and swelling. Just dab a little on the spot, and you’ll stop scratching in seconds, thanks to the combination of menthol and eucalyptus.
Covered in mosquito bites? Get some relief with a surprising ingredient: whipped topping. The same nondairy topping that you’d use for ice cream or pies also helps stop insect bites from being so darn itchy.
To help reduce the itchiness associated with insect bites, try applying an antiseptic mouthwash (such as Listerine) to the area with a cotton ball.
See also: How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Naturally
Ease mosquito and other bug bites by rubbing them with some dry bar soap like Ivory. It will provide quick relief from itching!
If you don’t have any bar soap on hand, you could also use hand soap (it’s just harder to keep on the bite!).
Tame that painful bug bite with a little tea. Soak a bag of black tea in warm water and then apply it to the bite. The tannic acid will help reduce swelling and pain.
If it’s bug season and your family has got the itch, apply this solution to the affected areas for relief: Add two tablets of Alka Seltzer to a half a glass of water. Use a cotton ball to rub this into your bites, and let it sit for 30 minutes
Milk of Magnesia
Want to eliminate the itch from a bug bite? Look no further than the milk of magnesia in your medicine cabinet. Dab a little bit on the spot, and the antacid will stop the itchiness in its tracks.
You may have heard that hemorrhoid cream can relieve undereye puffiness, but did you know it could also help your mosquito and other bug bites? Applied topically, it will reduce the pain and the swelling of an insect bite.
We love this quick fix for an insect bite! Just rub antiperspirant or deodorant over the spot and the itch will go away. It contains some of the same ingredients as anti-itch creams.
Related: 6 All Natural Ways to Get Rid of Body Odor
Here’s a clever use for that roll of antacids you’ve got at the bottom of your purse: an itch reliever! Crush one tablet with enough water to make a paste and spread it over any itchy spots for relief, especially mosquito bites.
Thousand Island Dressing
We know this one sounds a little goofy, but it actually works. The next time you get a bug bite, try applying a little thousand island dressing to stop the itch.
Have a bug bite that won’t stop itching? Get relief with a dab of toothpaste (the white, non-gel variety works best) and it will take the itch away as well as a dab of calamine lotion does.
A great way to stop mosquito (and other) bites from itching is with a dab of diluted rubbing alcohol. In fact, ammonia is the main ingredient in many of the itch-relief products currently on the market. Just mix four parts water for every one part alcohol. You can also use ammonia in place of the rubbing alcohol.
Caution: Don’t apply rubbing alcohol or ammonia if the skin is broken near the bite! It will sting.
If you’ve just come back from a long weekend camping, you’ll love this tip. Use meat tenderizer to treat insect bites! Moisten a teaspoon of tenderizer with a little water and rub it immediately into the skin. Commercial meat tenderizers contain papain, the same enzyme as papaya. It actually decomposes insect venom, easing itchiness and swelling.
The next time you get a bug bite, crush an aspirin tablet and rub it into damp skin. The active ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid, is an anti-inflammatory, and it will reduce the pain of the swelling and itching.
Just for fun: How to Solve Your Biggest Summer Problems
For more ways to deal with insects and bites from all around the internet, check out our Bug and Pest Natural Remedies board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Obviously, coffee is the best part of every morning. But if your coffee needs a pick-me-up, we've got you covered.
Make coffee more drinkable
If you’re sensitive to acidity in coffee but love the pick-me-up in the morning, here’s a way to reduce the acid level: Just add a pinch of baking soda to the drink! You can also use this tip to decrease the acidity in other high-acid drinks and foods.
Save your cream
If your cream or half-and-half has begun to develop an “off” odor, but you desperately need it for your coffee, try mixing in 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, which will neutralize the lactic acid that is causing the cream to sour.
Before you use the cream, however, taste it to make sure the flavor is still acceptable.
SEE ALSO: Grammar Girl's Why Do We Call Coffee a 'Cup of Joe'?
Perk up your coffee
Make stale coffee taste like it’s just been brewed by adding a pinch of salt and a dollop of fresh water to your cup. Heat it up in the microwave, and you’re ready to power through the rest of your workday. Works for me every time!
Remove coffee stains
These stubborn stains aren't going to get themselves out!
Chase coffee stains
Coffee stains can be frustrating, but you can get them out of your carpet by pouring beer on them. That’s right—one great beverage deserves another! Just dribble a couple of sips onto the stain, and it should vanish. Dab up the extra beer with a paper towel, and if the coffee stain doesn’t go away completely, repeat the task a few more times. This trick works on tea stains, too.
Get creative with stains
If you can’t get a coffee or tea stain out of a white tablecloth, try one last solution. Soak the tablecloth in a bucket of strong coffee or tea (depending on the type of stain) for 2 hours. You won’t get the stain out, but you will dye your linen a lovely earth tone!
RELATED: Who Knew's How to Remove Almost Every Stain
Other ways to use coffee
Who knew that you could use coffee for reasons other than getting out of bed in the morning?
Share some coffee
Here’s an ingenious idea for an elegant-looking decoration that also smells wonderful! Place coffee beans in votive holders or small bowls, then add tea light candles. They’ll cast a pretty glow and make your home smell like coffee.
Try vanilla-scented tea lights if you love the smell of French vanilla coffee.
Surprising use for a coffee bean
To freshen your breath, try sucking on a coffee bean. It’s much cheaper than a breath mint, and tastes great to us coffee addicts!
Reach for a coffee filter
We always prefer to clean our windows with something reusable, like an old rag. But if you like to go the disposable route, try coffee filters instead of paper towels. They won’t leave behind any lint or paper pieces. Coffee filters work great for electronic screens as well—they grab dust without scratching or leaving streaks.
SEE ALSO: Domestic CEO's No Mess Camping Coffee
Perfect wood patch
If you need to repair a hole in a piece of wood, add a small amount of instant coffee to the spackle, or to a thick paste made from laundry starch and warm water. The coffee tints the paste to camouflage the patched-up spot.
Freeze out funk
Add a shallow bowl of freshly ground coffee, uncovered, to your freezer. Leave for a few days and any funky freezer odors will disappear.
Cover up with coffee.
Would you ever imagine coffee stains could be a good thing? For your damaged wood furniture or floors, they are. Just brew a very strong pot, and then use a cotton ball or rag to apply the coffee over the scratch. It works as a stain, and will blend in the scratch in no time!