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Super Handyman: Don’t let mosquitoes bug you

If you are starting to hear the hum of mosquitoes in your yard, then get busy with your prepare-for-summer chores. Mosquitoes are not just annoying – they also can be dangerous, because they carry diseases. Here are some ways to keep them away from your family:

Bear in mind that the average mosquito lives for only a month or two, but can lay eggs continually until death. Some species can go from egg to adult in only five to seven days. They usually don’t travel far from their breeding grounds to feed, so keeping your yard – and maybe your neighbor’s yard – under control is extremely beneficial.

It is important that you avoid supplying them with a breeding ground. Remove trays from under your plants. Clean debris from your gutters where water might collect. Pick up items lying around your yard and patio that would hold water. There are some safe biological aids that you can add to ponds to prevent breeding. Mosquito Dunks is one popular brand.

It’s also important to know that, as a general rule, mosquitoes are more active at dusk and dawn. Try to keep that in mind when scheduling your outdoor activities.

It might not be pleasant on hot days, but wearing long sleeves and socks, and just generally keeping your skin covered up will prevent them from snacking on you, too.

Talk to your local nursery and install plants that are natural repellents, such as the citronella.

You can treat your yard with a spray that will keep them at bay. This is a great thing to do before your next patio party. You also can use repellent candles, torches or incense.

Wear repellents made with DEET. I’m not a big fan of using chemicals, but if I’m working outside where I know mosquitoes are around, I will use it. There are a lot of natural products that you can try, too.

Always read the packages before using any of these products to make sure that your family, pets and home will not be harmed in the process.

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Q: My bathroom sink has a couple of chipped spots in it. Can you tell me how to possibly cover or seal up these spots? – T.H.

A: Check your hardware store or home center for a basic repair kit just for this purpose. The kits have great instructions, and most are easy to do. The hardest part might be determining which color to use. If you can find the name of the manufacturer of your sink, it will be very helpful in finding a good match. You would be surprised at how many shades of “white” there are.

A super hint

If your garage has windows, it might be wise to apply a vinyl covering to them that will allow light in but won’t allow someone to actually see what’s inside.

Shoptalk

Terminix AllClear Mosquito Bait & Kill is a new product that is made to kill adult mosquitoes, stopping the breeding cycle in its tracks. It can reduce the mosquito population in your yard by up to 90 percent in just two to three weeks.

It comes in a ready-to-use package large enough to treat 5,000 square feet. Each application can last up to a month. Although it’s not totally safe to use on every surface, it’s much safer than a lot of standard treatments, and the lasting effects make it more practical to use than a lot of other products. It also can be used around pets, kids and food. To find out more, go to terminixallclear.com, or look for it at your home center or hardware store.

Have a question or a handy tip? Visit thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.