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Wildlife whispers:

Summer Solutions

by Dee Walmsley,
Clever's nature writer


Eunice looked through her window as the neighbour's dog began to squat.  She ran out into the yard hoping to divert its attention and forthcoming endeavours elsewhere. 

“Go home” she shouted quickly followed by “Skunk!”  

Alas too late the air was pungent with the scent of skunk and poor dog, the target, sat perplexed and stinking. Eunice quickly disappeared into the house slamming shut the windows racing the breezes of summer and skunk perfume.

I rounded the corner just as the harried skunk raced across my path seeking shelter under our cabin. Diane, the dog’s owner, emerged from her house, sized up the situation and quickly scooped mud into an ice-cream bucket half filled with water and began the chore of ‘mudding’ Shadow, the agitated   cocker spaniel. She assured me that when the mud dried and was peeled from the dog’s coat that most of the skunk’s spray would stay in the mud, and it did work but the poor dog was banished to the great outdoors for the remainder of the night and was not a happy camper.

It wasn’t until upon returning from my holidays that I recalled a much simpler and more effective solution to the skunk problem.

Skunk Solution

1 quart hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda
1 teaspoon of any liquid dish soap

Either spray on dog or apply with a washcloth. The odor disappears instantly. And if your clothes are ever sprayed, soak the clothes in this solution then wash them. It's a wonderful recipe and your dog will ‘sparkle’.

This episode got me to thinking of other summer solutions like using Bounce or mint to ward off mosquitoes bites. Simply rub a sheet of the fabric softener on your skin or do the same with mint leaves. Avon Skin so Soft works too.

Keep ants out of pet dishes and hummingbird feeders by apply cooking oil or Vaseline to the receptacle. Placing a mixture of Borax and sugar around the ant’s nest will rid the area of these creepy crawlies. A line of chalk or talc will also divert them elsewhere. To keep them out of your sugar bowl try placing a piece of lemon peel inside.

Bees do not like mint so place a bouquet on your picnic table or plant some in your yard. A word of caution, mint does spread so plant in pots rather than in the ground.

Got fleas in your carpet?  Sprinkle salt throughout, leave for a week then vacuum thoroughly. Be sure to throw away the used vacuum bag. You can also try leaving a dish of ammonia on the carpet at night. The fleas seem drawn to the scent and are drowned. If all else fails remember to spray the perimeter of your room with a professional spray, treat the animal and wash all its bedding.

It's summertime: Remember to feed the birds, keep the feeders and ground clean, change the bird bath water daily and enjoy the outdoors.

Dee Walmsley is Clever's nature writer. She would love to hear from you.

To contact Dee: deew74@shaw.ca
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