Dear Readers: Silverfish are wingless insects that live in damp, warm places like the basement. They like to eat anything that contains starch — such as paper products that have been glued, like books, magazines and wallpaper. You'll also find them around certain foods like flour and cereals. They'll even consume starched clothing or synthetic fibers. They can get into your home along pipes or through cracks in the walls and floors. So, how can you get rid of them?
For a natural, safe, pet-friendly solution, you can sprinkle the area with pyrethrum powder, which you can buy at hardware stores. If you don't have pets, use a commercial insecticide or boric-acid powder. Dust windows and door frames, baseboards and around bookshelves. In my 10-page Heloise Battles Bugs pamphlet, you'll find solutions for eliminating the most common household insects, including my Famous Roach Recipe. To receive a copy, send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (63 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Bug, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. FYI: To stop bugs, especially silverfish, from invading your home, keep your basement dry, toss out old magazines, papers and books, and store food in sealed containers. —Heloise
Dear Heloise:Here's a hint for those who travel, stay in hotels and forget their night light, as I did recently. Before going to sleep, turn on your TV, turn the volume to the lowest setting, then turn it off and leave the controls on your nightstand. Turn on the TV if you need to get up in the middle of the night, and there'll be just enough illumination! —Judy Adkins, Burnsville, Minn.
Dear Heloise: Every time I use citrus products in my kitchen, I save the peels. Then I cut them into tiny pieces with my kitchen scissors and pour some in the soapy water to wash the dishes. Afterward, I pour them into the garbage-disposal unit, and like magic, I deodorize not only my sink, but also the kitchen area with a nice smell. —Lilly in San Antonio
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