Tackle fruit-fly prob­lem at the source

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NER­BAS

QUES­TION: I have three pairs of pants that say “dry clean” but I am hop­ing that they can be washed (per­haps in cold wa­ter or hand washed) and hope that you can pro­vide some as­sis­tance or ad­vice. The fab­ric con­tent is as fol­lows: 64 per cent polyester, 34 per cent rayon and 2 per cent span­dex, 57 per cent cot­ton, 32 per cent polyester, nine per cent rayon and two per cent elas­tane, 54 per cent vir­gin wool, 30 per cent vis­cose, 15 per cent polyamide ny­lon and one per cent elas­tane. Thank you.

— Dar­lene, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: It is al­ways safe to fol­low care la­bel in­struc­tions and if the la­bel says “dry clean” that is what you should do. With that said, the last time I was in­side a dry clean­ers was about 18 years ago pick­ing up my wed­ding dress. When I pur­chase dry clean fabrics un­less they are non-wash­able silk, I hand wash them in cold wa­ter and hang or lay them flat to dry. What­ever you do don’t put rayon, wool or vis­cose into the dryer.

AN­SWER: Noth­ing will work if you don’t be­gin by tack­ling the area in which the flies are breed­ing. If you have fruit sit­ting on the counter or rot­ten pota­toes in the base­ment, you will ex­pe­ri­ence an end­less sup­ply of fruit flies for weeks or months. The next step is to use ap­ple cider vine­gar and dish soap in a cup, this works great to catch fruit flies. How­ever, some peo­ple want a faster cure, es­pe­cially at this time of the year when flies are at their

QUES­TION: I have a huge prob­lem with fruit flies. How can I get rid of them quickly? Thanks.

— John, Thomp­son peak. First plug all drains (they hatch in­side drains); re­frig­er­ate all fruit; if weather per­mits, put plants out­side.

The fastest way to get rid of flies big and small is quite sim­ply with a fly swat­ter, you will lo­cate sev­eral if you look at your win­dows. If you can’t hit them fast enough, spray them with hair­spray, this freezes their wings and then you can swat them. Get them now be­cause they mul­ti­ply at enor­mous rates!

QUES­TION: For the first time in my life I bought an ex­pen­sive bra. The prob­lem is that the clips on each strap con­stantly slide onto my shoul­ders in­stead of stay­ing put where I want them. Any sug­ges­tions?

— Anony­mous

AN­SWER: Have no fear ,su­per glue is here! Squirt a tiny dab of su­per glue un­der­neath each clip and the clips will never move again. An­other op­tion is to sew each clip into place.

QUES­TION: I’ve now gone through your third book twice; there are so many great ideas. Read­ing your in­ge­nious ideas for var­i­ous uses such as tooth­paste gave me the idea to try it on two prob­lem ar­eas.

First, it did an ex­cel­lent job on the in­side glass of my oven door. Se­condly, I had al­most given up on the badly dis­coloured floor of my base­ment shower, and then I tried tooth­paste and a stiff brush. Presto! It looks great once again.

I love your tip about putting an un­lit wooden match in your mouth while chop­ping onions, works ev­ery time! Also, when I know a fab­ric is colour­fast, Head and Shoul­ders Dan­druff sham­poo has now be­come my first line of at­tack on stains. It some­times takes more than one wash, but al­ways works in the end (an­other one of your gems).

Can you please give me a great recipe for home­made play dough? Thank you for ev­ery­thing.

— Jan, Win­nipeg ter! I love that you are brave enough to not only try out house­hold so­lu­tions but that you take the time to re­port your own find­ings!

The key to a great play dough recipe is to use sea salt in­stead of ta­ble salt. Play dough recipe: Boil half cup sea salt in two cups wa­ter un­til dis­solved. Add one pack­age Kool-Aid for color, two tbsp. veg­etable oil, three cups flour, two tbsp. alum (avail­able at gro­cery stores). Knead un­til smooth. Store in a cov­ered con­tainer in the fridge.

QUES­TION: I just got mar­ried, what is the best way to clean my wed­ding dress?

— Va­lerie

AN­SWER: Take the dress to a drycleaner who spe­cial­izes in car­ing for wed­ding gowns. Ask about guar­an­tees and clean­ing meth­ods. Next get your hands on a pH-neu­tral box and acid-free tis­sue paper. Make sure that the con­tainer is free from peek-a-boo win­dows. Light causes yel­low­ing over time. Store your dress in a dry en­vi­ron­ment and at a steady tem­per­a­ture (not a garage, at­tic or base­ment).

Place cu­cum­ber peels on kitchen win­dowsills to keep ants out. Sub­mit­ted by: Kara

I en­joy your ques­tions and tips, keep them com­ing!


Don’t leave any fruit out when you are at­tempt­ing to get rid of fruit flies.

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