Author: Sue
•2:02 PM

Well this is off track a bit from gardening but I thought I'd let you know what i have been up too!

I have been looking for a job everywhere and every kind of job you can imagine! I haven't worked since November and I'm getting desperate! I have applied for jobs I never would have ever considered years past. I use to scoff at people saying if they really wanted a job they could get one! Now I don't even think I could get a job at Burger King! Not saying anything bad about Burger King in case you are reading this. All jobs look pretty good to me at this point. What I find ridiculous is having to apply online instead of speaking to actual people. You never know if any one is actually viewing your application or is it sitting in outer space somewhere? There is never a response from an actual person and there is no one to talk to about it. Do you wait forever just in case or do you keep applying and hoping for something that will never happen. How do the employers know who is right for the job? They may be hiring a psychopath that knows the system and just what to write down. What happened to the old days of selling yourself? I say we should all have an uprising and revert to the days when people actually communicated with each other. So much for my ranting and ramblings.....

If there is anyone out there in cyberspace preferably in the Merced Ca. area that needs a dedicated hard worker like myself please let me know!

Thank you all for listening! My next post will be back to normal LOL I promise!!

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Author: Sue
•10:00 AM

The Internet is just truly amazing! I got curious so I looked up “The Secret Garden” and found out I could read it for free from Google!

So here it is if anyone is interested!

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Author: Sue
•8:39 AM

401px-The_Secret_Garden_book_cover_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17396 When I was just a kid I read a book called the Secret Garden. I don’t remember exactly what it was about but through the years I always fantasized about having a secret garden of my own.  I would daydream endlessly about this garden. It would be enclosed by Morning Glory Vines for walls. The birds would be chirping in the trees, butterflies could be seen gracefully dancing from flower to flower sometimes landing on me if only for a moment. At night fireflies would light up my garden revealing hidden treasures; my own personal light show. I began to be aware that the times I indulged this daydream most often were times of great stress in my life.  I realize now the immense importance of Gardens in our lives. They are a place to go when the soul needs healing. Having your own garden, no matter how small, creates an environment for our bodies to heal naturally. Perhaps that is why we all try so hard to create the “perfect garden”. My husband has been out of work the last few months. He is a man of little words but I know the stress has been building up inside of him. He has taken it upon himself to water my garden every morning and I  see him pruning the bushes and pulling the weeds. I leave him alone while he works because I know he needs this time for himself to mend.

So no matter what your garden looks like; whether it be a few potted plants on a terrace or a work of art straight out of “Better Homes and Gardens” we are better off for it because we have created a way to heal our minds and bodies through nature.

My next blog will be on “Healing Gardens” with a few tips to help you make your garden into your own private retreat. 

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Author: Sue
•12:02 PM

Photo by Charles Chien



My dear friend Malcom stopped by yesterday. He’s the kind of person that always has valuable information on just about everything! Needless to say I was anxious to show him my new blog and wean any kind of information I could get from him.  First thing he mentioned was Aphids; the reason I started this blog!

He had information I had never heard about that was so interesting I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.

It seems that aphids excrete a sweet liquid called honeydew that the ants just love. The ants rub their antennae against the aphids to make them poop out this succulent honey!

You can actually see this in the great macro above. It seems the ants having discovered this wonderful food supply actually guard the aphids from predators wanting them only for themselves!

ladybug and ant


In this picture a ladybug is being attacked by two ants as she tries to feed on some aphids which happen to be one of the ladybugs favorite foods. This amazing macro can be found at

Antje Schulte is the photographer.

If you see swarms of ants climbing up your trees it is quite natural to assume there are aphids around.  The ants actually herd their aphids much like ranchers herd their cattle. The ants have been known to bite the wings off the aphids in order to stop them from getting away.

“Chemicals produced in the glands of ants can also sabotage the growth of aphid wings. The new study shows, for the first time, that ants' chemical footprints -- which are already known to be used by ants to mark out their territory - also play a key role in manipulating the aphid colony, and keeping it nearby.” More about this can be found here

So bottom line…if you want to get rid of your aphids you need to get rid of the ants!

What a vicious web we weave!

So here are a few suggestions I found on getting rid of ants in your trees!

“ If you see ants crawling up aphid-infested trees or woody plants, put a band of sticky material (Tanglefoot,etc.) around the trunk to prevent ants from getting up. Teflon products, which are too slippery for ants to climb up, have also been used. (Note: Do not apply sticky material directly to the bark of young or thin-barked trees or to trees that have been severely pruned; the material may have phytotoxic effects. Wrap the trunk with fabric tree wrap or duct tape and apply sticky material to the wrap.) Alternatively, ant stakes or baits may be used on the ground to control the ants without affecting the aphids or their natural enemies. Prune out other ant routes such as branches touching buildings, the ground, or other trees.”

More on this at this site.

So the family is calling for me! I can hear their cries in the other room, enough to drive one up the wall! What would they do if I wasn’t around any more. Honestly it is enough to drive me crazy. The dog is scratching my legs up because he wants attention and I am trying to finish this blog! Yet life goes on another day…….

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Author: Sue
•10:31 AM

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Joy of Arizona.


I was delighted when Craig sent this great new website, having visions of the yard looking like Home and Garden's.   We spend about half the year in cool
 Ariz. high country at 5000ft. elev. Unfortunately the small birds return from their long migration shortly after we do, just in time to feast on the new flowers I put out in 6 packs each spring.   The birds scatter whenever I come outside, thinking I'M the garden pest, SO I made a scarecrow from a broom, plastic bag and my old stocking cap, which worked - for 8 or 10 days - whoopee. The birds are now back for the rest of the flowers.   I can't have the flower bed in our unfenced front yard because of another flower devourer, the South West's feral pig, Javelina, whose odor you wouldn't believe is stronger than a skunk's.   P.U. If there are any solutions, SOS and Mayday! 

Hearing about these Javelinas compelled me to do some searching for them. I thought I had it bad with the deer! These guys stink and destroy your garden!

So in a nutshell here are some suggestions from others like you who have to deal with them. The links below go into greater detail.

1.  Coyote Urine, not the Shake-Away powder stuff that is mostly chemical urea or ureic acid

2.   Fencing

As for fencing, it must be at least 2 to 3 feet tall and not less than 3 inches below ground. Some pet and feed stores sell low-voltage electric or solar-powered fencing, which can be effective. Hang a single strand 8 to 10 inches off the ground around the edge of your garden, the experts suggest.

3.   You can try coffee grounds around your plants. The smell and the texture have been known to keep them at bay.

4.   Some have tried Garlic Water, Cayenne and hot sauce but I’m not sure if they had any success.

5.   Lastly here is an unusual method that this reader uses and claims some success with!

“Here is my Javelina deterrent method: OK, this is really gross but it is free and only for garden lovers who are determined to persuade the neighborhood Javelinas (and rabbits as a bonus) that their garden just isn't yummy anymore. This has worked perfectly so far, and here's what you do. I took several large dog droppings and put them in a gallon of water (I used a plastic pitcher with a top that rotates to open, then you don't have to touch anything that comes in contact with the droppings and liquid mixture), then I just let it sit a few hours to break down and liquify. If you need to mix it up you can use a paint stirrer like you get at a paint store. You want it thin and watery so that when you pour it on the plant you really don't see it, more like dirty water. It doesn't smell as bad as it could because it's so thinned out.

I poured that mixture around the base of the agave and cactus to discourage digging for shoots and poured some on the pads and leaves of the cactus and agave and around the base of the Penstemon so they wouldn't eat the flesh. I have been completely successful, and went from nightly raids where they ripped my new plants out of the ground and dug under my agaves to leaving my plants untouched and my garden pristine for the last two weeks.

At first, I saw hoof prints around my front garden but no damage and after two days of that, now, they don't even set foot in my garden! I used a broom on the gravel to smooth it out to really see if anything was disturbed and it wasn't! The Javelinas and rabbits aren't even walking on my property. And it doesn't smell horrible either to humans because you don't use very much, but the animals can sure smell it.

I am going to repeat this bi-weekly for a while and then space it out to weekly and then monthly.”

One thing I did find out 

is never let your dog near them. They hate dogs and will tear them apart!

This is a story I found from a couple that was very interesting to read. I could just picture them doing all this and it reminds me of all my struggles with my deer and what we go through to have a simple garden!

“Actually, Javelinas can show up at almost any time, but they ALWAYS show up for a meal or two in late summer. I don't know where they came from or where they go, but they come in late August and September like clockwork. When they do, expect trouble. Javelinas and any wild pig, being "rooters," can shove their snouts into any kind of ground with enough determination to get under any fencing structure, lift up the fence wire, just enough, to get under the fence, and feast. One has to create a foot-deep trough or so, place the fence into the trough, and keep it covered over with rocks or cement to assure keeping these critters out! But unfortunately, you can't create such structures where it matters most--your garden gate! And it is THERE that Javelinas are most likely to find their entrance into your garden. Even if your gate is thick aluminum or steel at the bottom, unbendable, wild pigs WILL find a way to root and dig under it! And, sure enough last weekend, Saturday morning around 7 am, at least one Javelina (it is rare for Javelinas to travel alone; more likely it was a family) got into the garden and ate a few yellow squash plants, stomped in the dirt where we'd just planted radishes, knocked over some seedlings, and stomped into the ground some greens on the way to the squash. In other words, they only messed up a small section of garden (they could have wiped it out...and I still don't know why they didn't). So, I put some flat, heavy rocks at the fence where it was clear they probably got out and could have gotten in, but of course, they most likely got in under the gate. So for this week we did "Javelina watch," getting up around 7 am to check the garden. So far, so good.

However, this past Thursday (Sept. 19), I got up to use the bathroom at 5:30 am, went out to check the garden and all was as it had been since the last invasion. Went back to bed, and got up again at 7:30 am. When I went out to check, more squash had been eaten! Plus, I noticed that the gate had been pushed up some more! Well, that's enough of that! We are down to our last couple of squash plants, and WILL NOT LOSE ANY MORE!


So this is what we've done: fill up water buckets with water (that can also be used to water the garden); put the buckets right in front of the gate so that Javelinas CANNOT get under the gate without toppling over four water buckets onto themselves (Javelinas do not like water on them! When it comes to water they are as skittish as cats...I cannot vouch for other kinds of wild pigs, however). Further, to make things more interesting, my husband put long, metal fence posts into the buckets standing upward, leaning against the bar that keeps deer from jumping over the gate...that way, if the critters do topple the buckets they will not only get wet. They will also get some heavy metal posts crashing down on them!

The noise enough should scare them away! Plus, the racket will send either me or my husband out to make sure the pests exit pronto!

That is, if you really want to mess with Javelinas! Now, Javelinas aren't mountain lions or bears, but they could, if there were enough of 'em, potentially rip you to shreds anyway. They have somewhat short, but potentially harmful, tusks that act as teeth (sort of like a wild boar or warthog). Make 'em mad enough and they will attack. In fact, if you have a dog that likes to go after skunks, raccoons and the like, you might want to keep it at bay. We had friends once who owned a Rhodesian Ridgeback. These powerful mastiff dogs were bred to hunt African lions. Well, their dog once got into it with some Javelinas and would up going to the vet with a six-inch deep gash in its side! Took at least a month to start looking like it was going to heal. Lesser dogs such as Rottweilers (!), Fila Brasilieros (which hunt jaguars and, formerly, runaway slaves), and German Shepherds are also no match for these porcine pugilists. In fact, if you want a dog that'll take on Javelinas successfully, get yourself a Chihuahua! These little guys can nip the heels off of a bear (provided they don't get stomped on!)


I’m going to leave you with a list of links that I found on the Javelina

This first one is a nice pamphlet from the Fish and Game Department

The following links are from others like yourself that are trying to deal with these critters!

I got the pictures of the Javelina from these two places


Craig found these links about Javelinas.
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Author: Sue
•8:12 AM
I love the Internet! You can find information on anything you want! I found so many ways to get rid of ants I am just going to list some of them and in the process I may try them all to see what will work! The first thing I tried was to sprinkle baby powder around which supposedly the ants hate, especially the scented kind. To my amazement it seems to be working! Not only are they afraid to cross it but they are scurrying away from it! Vinegar and water sprayed on them works also and doesn't smell as strong as the insecticides which is overpowering me at the moment. 
To repel them use:
  1. Cinnamon
  2. Black Pepper
  3. Mint
  4. Cloves 
  5. Cayenne pepper
  6. Bay leaves
I know in the past I have sprayed them with Windex, Simple Green, anything I could find and it kills them for the moment but they do return so I am going to try these repellents instead.
As for the sprays I may just use Windex and Ivory soap combination to spray them with because it doesn't smell as bad as the Ortho spray. So just so you know the ants have retreated for the moment shortly after sprinkling the Baby powder around! I am delighted to see that something actually worked!
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Author: Sue
•7:48 AM
How dare they! Armies of little ants marching over my keyboard, spilling over my Monitor, crawling through the disarray on my desktop appearing from no where ready for battle. Why not the kitchen? Why my sacred domain? This morning I sit at my computer with the fresh scent of Ortho Home Defense in my nostrils, sipping my coffee and trying to make sense of it all. By the end of my first battle I leave scores of dead ants scattered about my now cleared off space. If nothing else good comes out of it at least my desktop has finally been cleaned. As I sit here typing I see fresh warriors surfacing for battle. I see that those insect repellents you plug into the wall are not doing their job or are the ants simply too clever to be bothered by them? Where are those Ant lions when you need them? I suppose I need to go outside and try to find the source of their entry... but for now I shall try to enjoy my coffee and share some quality time with my new found friends. 
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Author: Sue
•12:42 PM
So I went to the government site on mosquitoes and here are their tips for mosquitoe control.
What you can do to control mosquitoes around the home
  • Remove their habitat (where they live and breed)
  • Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.
  • Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
  • Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating. 
  • Prevent your exposure to mosquitoes
  • Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary and follow label directions and precautions closely.
  • Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes.
  • If there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect, stay inside during the evening when mosquitoes are active.
  • Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight."
  • Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights which tend to attract less mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however.

This information was found at:

  1. Web MD had a fascinating article on why mosquitoes will be attracted 
    to some people over others.
    It can be found at:

    Scientists do know that genetics account for a whopping 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites. They've also identified certain elements of our body chemistry that,
     when found in excess on the skin's surface, make mosquitoes swarm closer.

    "People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface attract mosquitoes," Butler tells WebMD. That doesn't necessarily mean that mosquitoes prey 

    on people with higher overall levels of cholesterol, Butler explains. These people simply may be more efficient at processing cholesterol, the byproducts of which remain on the skin's surface.

    Mosquitoes also target people who produce excess amounts of certain acids, such 

    as uric acid, explains entomologist John Edman, PhD, spokesman for the Entomological Society of America. These substances can trigger mosquitoes' sense of smell, luring them to land on unsuspecting victims.

    But the process of attraction begins long before the landing. Mosquitoes can smell their dinner from an impressive distance of up to 50 meters, explains Edman. This doesn't bode well for people who emit large quantities of carbon dioxide.

    "Any type of carbon dioxide is attractive, even over a long distance," Conlon says. Larger people tend to give off more carbon dioxide, which is why mosquitoes typically prefer munching on adults to small children. Pregnant women are also at increased risk, as they produce a greater-than-normal amount of exhaled carbon dioxide. Movement and heat also attract mosquitoes.

    So if you want to avoid an onslaught of mosquito bites at your next outdoor gathering, stake out a chaise lounge rather than a spot on the volleyball team. Here's why. As you run around the volleyball court, the mosquitoes sense your movement and head toward you. When you pant from exertion, the smell of carbon dioxide from your heavy breathing draws them closer. So does the lactic acid pouring from your sweat glands. And then -- gotcha.

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Author: Sue
•12:30 PM

So my friend Craig went digging looking for the elusive Ant Lion at his house and he found one!
Here are some pictures he took of them. Craig says they are 1/4 inches long. They're not easy to find. He used a can of compressed air and gently blew out the dust in the pit. So if you have nothing else to do today why don't you try to find one at your house!
Personally I have no idea where to start and they look rather frightening! I wonder if they bite?
I'll stick to taking pictures of all the butterflies that have been visiting me lately!

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Author: Sue
•1:52 PM
To all my Dear Friends
I know everyone reading this is trying to support me and this new blog venture I have started on but make sure you are not just clicking on ads to help me out. Google has questioned my account because it believes someone may just be doing that! I love this blog and want it to become very successful someday. I was horrified when they contacted me about it! Thank you for the love but let's let my blogs be worthy in itself and someday I will have the traffic I have dreamed about!
So just drop by my blog and enjoy it for what it is. If you find a link interesting then by all means click it but only if it interests you!
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Author: Sue
•1:37 PM
This morning I was watching Good Morning America and they did a report on Mosquitoes. Yes, it is that time of year! Ugg! So I got busy and looked up sites that had more information about Mosquitoes. A wonderful site to go to is:
They always have useful information on everything! I read somewhere that if you took
B-12 vitamins it would repel mosquitoes. I don't actually know if it is true but I take
it anyway just in case! We have a swimming pool at our new house. Since I have
never owned a swimming pool before I don't know if it attracts mosquitoes or not. 
Mental note...Look that up as well. Later today I will post useful tips on mosquitoes.
Right now I'm going swimming!
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Author: Sue
•6:44 PM


On my continuing war on ants, I have searched for allies and I know of only one.

Unfortunately there has never been enough of them to make any difference.

They make these pits in fine sandy soil:


Here's a close-up from: , the author has some interesting techniques for macros.

They also look like this when they are an adult:



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Author: Sue
•8:48 AM


Now that summer is here it seems that I have been invaded with flies! They are everywhere; especially in my kitchen! I do not want to share my recipes with them nor my food so I got busy this morning looking for ways to get rid of them without harming my cats or my dog. If my dog sees me using anything, spraying something or laying something down he has to lick it, smell it, or steal it!

Here is what was a “buzz” on the Internet this morning!
If you have done all the normal things like putting your food away and keeping your counters clean; closing screen doors and using fly swatters and you still have flies then here are some suggestions found on the Internet.
Bags of Water

One of the most effective home remedies to get rid of flies involves hanging clear plastic bags of water near outdoor entryways. This might sound like a ridiculous way to get rid of flies, but people who live on farms, and those who operate fruit stands use this home remedy to get rid of flies on a regular basis.
There is more than one theory behind this home remedy, and the first theory hinges on the natural instincts and the poor eyesight of flies. Clear bags of water are said to cast images that to a fly resemble spider webs, and flies steer clear of anything that resembles a web. The other theory claims the reflection of the water disorients flies, and this illusion is said to be an effective way to get rid of flies and greatly control their numbers. Whatever the reason is, this home remedy is said to really work.

Simply fill gallon size bags of water about halfway full, and hang the bags outdoor areas where flies are a problem. Suspend the bags near entryways, garage doors, and anywhere else files seem to graze. According to this home remedy, you’ll notice a great reduction in the fly population almost immediately.

Found this article at

Found out they also don’t like basil! So have a basil plant sitting in your kitchen window. Fruit flies find this a repellent too! Citrus peels are another deterrent.

Found out how to make fly paper on a few sites:

Homemade Fly Paper
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1. Cut 4 or 5 long strips about 2 inches wide from brown paper bags. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and spread it on the strips with a knife. Hang the strips over a bowl to catch drips.
Hanging Herbal Repellents
Hang a pine bough in the kitchen: flies dislike pine oil.
Whole or ground cloves in a small muslin teabag make a good fly-repelling hanging sachet.
Here is a suggestion from a reader.
Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with water, the juice of an orange. Lime and lemon then add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the mix. Shake it and spray it! This also keeps away ants and stray cats!
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Author: Sue
•11:33 AM
Funny video about a snail!

MINUSCULE - Snail Dream - Funny bloopers R us
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Author: Sue
•5:19 PM
Ok A few tips did come in and they sound pretty good!

1. One person fills a sprayer with 3 tablespoons of salt and 2 gallons of water. When the salt gets on the leaves it kills the slugs and snails!

2. Put Copper line around your plants. Encircle your plants with copper and the snails won't cross the wire!

3. What about a spray bottle of water and diatomaceous earth. You are to spray the plants and the ground so that the snails get dehydrated!

4. So I was informed that I was not setting my beer traps correctly. I should use something like a jelly jar and sink it into the ground so it is flush with the soil. Then fill it with beer ¾ th’s full. Wait for them to fall into your trap! You can also use ½ tsp. baking yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in water instead of beer!
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Author: Sue
•4:42 PM

Macro photography of Snail, taken on the hills...Image via Wikipedia

The snails are taking over! They hide by day and formulate their attacks then creep out in the darkness and feast on all my plants! Someone told me to put beer in a pie tin and leave it for them. So I stole a can of my hubbies beer and hid bowls of it in the bushes. Maybe they didn't like the brand but the beer was still there and my plants were leafless much to my horror! Not to mention my husband is wondering who is drinking all his beer! LOL So tell me anyone what works for you!
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Author: Sue
•12:36 PM
So I decided to see what all the "twittering" is about and joined Twitter! Supposedly my blog is going to update on Twitter so more folks can find me. I need all the help I can get to try to make this a cool place to go to for information! So folks once again I need those tips to keep pouring in!
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Author: Sue
•8:02 PM

I am so happy tonight! I just got some wonderful information from my friend Craig again!
He has ants! Don't we all... and this is the way he deals with them!

I dislike ants, especially the argentine sugar ants.
I find the most economical means of doing them in, is using a Boric Acid Sugar solution.
There are commercial products that supposedly work faster, but the solution I use is cheap and effective.
It is slow acting (4 to 5 days) but it works.
Boric Acid is a poison but is one of the less toxic types and actually has some medicinal properties.
It's less toxic than aspirin and it's available at most drug stores.
I start by boiling the water in the microwave or stove top, then mix the boric acid powder and sugar slowly.
 When it's cool, it's ready to use.
I find plastic lids to containers work, but if one has pets or small children, one should use caution and keep it out of reach.
Might be good to use sealed containers with small holes to let the ants in and out.
I have a 10 ounce container I use for the mixed solution and it's about right for my needs.
10 oz. 
5 tablespoons (2.5 oz.s)  Sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons Boric Acid Powder
7.5 oz.s (.94 Cup) Water
1 cup
 1 teaspoon Boric Acid Powder
 3/4 cup Water
 1/4 cup Sugar
2 cups
2 teaspoons Boric Acid Powder
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart:
1 cup - Sugar
1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon - Boric Acid Powder
3 cups (1 1/2 pints) -  Water
(The above recipies may make slightly more than the total quantity indicated)
Tip: One can use a Recipe Quantity Calculator to convert to different quantities.
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Author: Sue
•2:14 PM

Not all bugs are bad; like my friend the Praying Mantis who just paid me a visit! I let them hang out with me because I am fascinated by their looks and behaviors! This one was perched on our Kirkland Brand Chicken Wraps Box! This prompted me to snap a picture of him and share it with everyone.  So now I must ramble on about Good Bugs!


Praying Mantis love to eat moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies and other bugs I don’t know about! They have even been known to eat each other! Yuck!

Lady Bugs

We also have my friend the Lady Bug! Not only do they bring us good luck but they devour those nasty Aphids I hate and they are cute!


Spiders are your most important predators on insects. They kill more insects than all the other predators combined.


They pollinate all our flowers!


They eat mosquitoes, aphids and other pest bugs.


I know there are many other bugs out there that are good for our Gardens but I need you to tell me and our fellow Gardeners who they are!

So be careful who you spray they may become your best friends

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Author: Sue
•7:13 PM

Bleeding Heart
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Northern Red Oak

Thank you Karen N. for submitting this to me!

I shall proceed to plant some of these and I'll keep everyone informed of my progress! At present we have 4 Bucks on the property and 8 Doe and an unknown number of fawns. They always seem to be multiplying! If any of them survive a whole month I shall declare a miracle and give them an official stamp of approval! The only one I see possibly surviving are the strawflowers. They might tickle their fickle tongues! LOL

By the way I borrowed the picture from this site! I thought it was a wonderful picture so here is the link to his site.
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Author: Sue
•8:20 AM

Just had to share this picture with everyone! My very talented friend Craig took another awesome picture yesterday! He has an amazing Canon DSLR. He used a 60mm macro lense to shoot this! Enjoy!
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Author: Sue
•8:07 AM

Found This on Care2:

A little off track but we don’t want the bugs biting while we are outside enjoying Mother Nature!

Insect Repellent
Here is an easy repellent to make that has a shelf life of around six months. Label jars “mosquito,” “tick,” etc. for quick identification.

10 to 25 drops essential oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive oil is fine)
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel (optional)

Combine the ingredients in a glass jar. Shake to blend. Dab a few drops on your skin or clothing.

Here are some suggestions for your choice of essential oils:

Bug Repellent Essential Oils 
Caution: Pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using.

Ticks First Choice: Rose Geranium 
Other: Palmerosa, Bay Leaves, Eucalyptus, European Pennyroyal
Lavender, Tickweed (American pennyroyal)

Mosquitoes: Pennyroyal, lemon balm (citronella), thyme, lavender

Blackflies: Sassafras, lavender, eucalyptus, pennyroyal, cedar, lemon balm (citronella), peppermint

Head Lice: Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, rose geranium

Fleas: Orange oil

A note about wasps and yellow jackets: Don’t wear perfume, hair spray, or scented
deodorant. Avoid wearing bright colored clothing.


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Author: Sue
•7:40 AM

Well I was just sent a great picture of a caterpillar which I wanted to share with you all. We don't know what kind he is but he sure is beautiful! Too bad they feed on all our plants! So now I want to know how everyone deals with caterpillars in their gardens
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Author: Sue
•8:42 AM

Just in ... my friend Craig just sent me this picture of these nasty weevils attacking his garden!
So now I need your help. Send me your tips on how to get rid of them!
Great picture by the way! Thank you for sending it.
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Author: Sue
•12:34 PM

About Me

Let me start by telling you a little something about myself. I have been working on creating a "beautiful garden" for some time now. My first attempt was a flower garden in the town of Mariposa, Ca.
This was to be a dream garden just like I saw in books! I put in hundreds of hours of hard labor into preparing the soil, which was basically red clay and a lot of rocks. I even had my husband get me truckloads of dirt in his Toyota truck. 

Next came the actual planting of the flowers. What to plant, where to put them, seeds versus bulbs versus six packs of flowers already started. After careful consideration I chose six packs because I could see my magical garden transform before my very eyes into the garden I had always dreamed of! 

Then began my battle with the bugs, the deer, the gophers and the snails! The very next morning following this magical transformation I ran outside to see how all of my plants were doing and to my dismay alot of my plants had just disappeared! Then right before my eyes I saw one of them get sucked down into the ground and in an instant it was gone! I ran back to the nursery I got them from and they explained that i must have gophers. There was many ways to get rid of them I was told and before long I had tried them all and still I had gophers!

The plants that managed to survived met their doom from the cute deer we had on the property.

 The same deer that inspired us to buy this wonderful house in the woods! Why did I ever cry for Bambi? They came in droves and ate everything in site but the weeds! They left the weeds for me to gaze upon. I built 9 feet tall fences to keep them out. Ugly green plastic fences to imprison my plants so no one could enjoy them unless you cared to peer through the holes. Still the deer came through. They went under and over. They looked for weaknesses in the fence and I would awaken once again to a garden stripped bare by these poor little deer. Finally we moved away from Mariposa to a town called Merced, CA.; no deer but a whole lot of bugs. I got my dream garden and now all I had to do was take care of it and watch it grow. So no more gophers or deer but it is bug heaven! 

So now you know why I have created this site! I want a place to go where we can get answers to all our bug questions! With the help of all you folks out there I am hoping to put all the answers in one place. I have a dog and three cats so I have to be careful what chemicals I put down because my dog just goes behind me and injests everything he can find. I found out the hard way when he almost died from eating my snail bait!

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Author: Sue
•11:46 AM

So I decided to start out with Aphids since it begins with the letter "A" and everyone has problems with Aphids!
So far I have discovered these "cures"

·         Inspect your plants every day! One little aphid can produce 80 in a week! Be sure to check the underside of leaves as well as the buds.

·         Spraying them off with water is a good way to knock them off your plants. You can use a hose attachment called the “Bug Blaster”.

·         Don’t use too much fertilizer aphids love all the new growth. Use slow release fertilizer.

·        Prune away the colonies when you see plants that are covered with aphids. Make sure you dispose the clippings away from your garden.

Home remedies for aphids.


Use dish soap and water.  Spray the leaves with a solution of 2 teaspoons of dish soap and a spray bottle of lukewarm water. Make sure to spray the underside of the leaves.

You can also add some vegetable oil to the mixture; 3 parts water, one part oil and a few drops of dish soap, this will clog the respiratory spiracles of aphids. Spray once a week, taking turns with the solutions.  Don’t spray on hot sunny days as the oil can magnify the sun and damage the leaves.

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