Home & Garden

Hints From Heloise: Dim lights to get insects to fly away

DEAR HELOISE: I teach outside in a portable building. Bees are an issue, especially during the hotter months. Sometimes bees would fly into the room as students entered. Here’s how I handled it:

First, I taught my students to stay calm. Then I closed blinds that were opened, turned off the lights and left the door opened. Within seconds, the few bees that entered were able to find their way out the same way they had entered!

Angie C., Schertz, Texas

DEAR ANGIE: I like your first words to the students: Stay calm; don’t start swatting, screaming or jumping up and down! Might as well declare war! Some bees, like many insects, are attracted to light. The open door and sunlight was their yellow brick road out. Good plan!

DEAR HELOISE: I like fresh lemonade but don’t like to squeeze lemons each time. I buy several and squeeze all at once, then put the juice in ice-cube trays and freeze. When frozen, I put them in a sandwich bag or plastic container. For me, one cube will make a 12-ounce glass of lemonade. Just add sugar, water and ice, and enjoy!

Hilda R., Hamilton, Ohio

DEAR HELOISE: I (as well as my husband) have trouble opening bottles and jars. My real struggle is opening a bottle of toilet-bowl cleaner. Safety is great, but if I can’t use it because I can’t open it, what a waste of time and money!

Carol F., Waynesville, Ohio

DEAR CAROL: I hear you! I have trouble with this, too. Try wearing rubber gloves, or use a damp washcloth to help you grip the bottle better. It seems to help me get a good grip to hold and turn the lid.


DEAR HELOISE: When putting something in the microwave, to cover it I use lightweight, pre-cut wax wraps, like those used to pick up baked goods in a bakery. Paper towels are too absorbent. The wraps are large enough to cover most plates or other microwave containers. I buy them at the membership club.

Ellen H. in Louisiana

DEAR HELOISE: To thread a sewing-machine needle more easily, spray a dab of hair spray on your fingers. Pull the thread through two fingers, then give the thread a fresh cut with scissors. The thread will go right through.

Helen E., Seneca, S.C.

DEAR HELOISE: Here is my mom's tip for packing for a vacation: Take twice the money, half the luggage and enjoy!

Dennis Z., via email

DEAR DENNIS: How true, especially on vacation! Check your bag when home. How many clothes did not even get worn?


DEAR READERS: Billie N. wrote that she was having problems with her front-load dryer. A piece of material would catch on the door, then twist all around. She said she contacted customer service (she did not say if she wrote, emailed or called). Billie, call, call and call again until you get a live person to talk with. If you don’t get the answer you want to your question, hang up, call back and speak to another representative.

Send a money-saving hint to Heloise P.O. Box 795000 San Antonio, TX 78279-5000.