Question - My son, who lives in Indianapolis, has problems with birds roosting under his motor-operated deck awning when it is retracted. What do you suggest for a repellent? - T.E., Evansville, Ind.
Answer - Repellents don't work in every situation, so sometimes we have to improvise. Have your son install a close-knit mesh netting under the awning when it's opened. When the awning closes, the netting will hang loose and discourage would-be nesters.
Question - Our problem is green-like moss growing on our brick front porch. The sun does not reach this part. I cannot use bleach or muriatic acid to wash it off because of nearby shrubbery. - S.C., Madisonville, Ky.
Answer - Copper sulfate, purchased at pool dealers, can be an effective anti-moss control agent. However, the sulfate may leave a bluish tint on the bricks. The sulfate should be diluted with water at the rate of 10 parts water to one part copper sulfate.
Wear rubber gloves and protective clothing when working with any cleaning agent or household chemicals.
Before cleaning the entire porch, try testing for outcome by using just a dab on a small area. Use a stiff scrub brush to apply the solution. After the brick is cleared of the moss, do follow-up cleanings with household bleach and warm water. Check for any discoloration.
The bleach, when diluted with large volumes of rinse water, should not harm the nearby plants.