DIY Home Fixes

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Problem: You've Got Ants Marching Through Your Kitchen

Time Commitment: An hour or two

Repair Kit
Cleaning spray
Maple syrup & borax
Black pepper
Cream of Wheat

DIY Solution
Ants invade because they find food. So the first step is a thorough cleaning. Next, caulk visible cracks around kitchen counters and under the sink. You can use ant baits, but why not try some natural deterrents that are likely in your cupboards? Sprinkle dry Cream of Wheat, indigestible (and lethal) to ants, along the room's perimeter, suggests Myles H. Bader, DrPH, author of 1001 All-Natural Secrets to a Pest-Free Property. Use substances ants don't like to cross -- chalk, cinnamon, and ground black pepper are a few -- as a barrier to block their main corridors. Or spray full-strength vinegar near doors and windowsills. Another popular home remedy: Mix borax, a naturally occurring mineral that's toxic to ants, with a little maple syrup (avoid this method if you have pets or kids). With these techniques you should see a major reduction in 30 days or less, depending on the colony size, says Bader.

A Pro Costs: $100 (for a single visit)
Your Cost: $10 ($3 for caulk and $7 for borax)
Total: Savings: $90

Continued on page 4:  Problem: The Toilet Won't Stop Running


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