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Pet Problems: Summer Edition:

Well, it’s that time again! We love the summer down here on the bayou, but it can get dang messy, can’t it? One of the hardest things to stay on top of is y’all’s pets. Our furry little friends shed like bejesus, and that’s only the beginning of the problem. I don’t know about where you live, but down here, when the crickets are chirpin’, that means the fleas are jumpin’! You’ve got fur to handle, dirt getting tracked in, fleas biting your pets, and by gosh it can get overwhelming! Here’s some of my tricks to help you out.

-Brush outside every day! Brushing is a good excuse to have some snuggle time with your best friend, and it majorly cuts down on the indoor shedding problem so it’s kind of a win-win. Plus, if you’re brushing, all the fur comes off in clumps, so it’s super easy to nab. Even if it doesn’t look obvious, you’re also getting rid of odor! Yep! All that fur you brush off is fur your dog isn’t wearing inside. So, he sweats less, and stinks less too! And that brings me to the most important reason to brush–less hair means less places for those nasty little fleas to hide. Hunt them down wherever they are!

-Get your friends a flea collar. These things really do work, I’ve become a big fan in the past few years and they’re safer than those little shots. You can also use lavender! My grannie taught me that back at the ranch. You can make a little necklace out of lavender, and that’ll keep them away.

-Get yourself a real vacuum. Now, maybe this is the OCD cleaner in me, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a weak vacuum. I want a vacuum that sounds like a Harley and feels like Dorothy getting swept of her feet! If y’all are dealing with hair, you want a cyclone to suck all that stuff right up without you having to run around all day chasing it out of the corners. Make sure y’all get attachments, too, if you’ve got lots of furniture. I know I struggled for years and years with that hose end suction thing, but I got a new tool with my last vacuum that has little rubber things to magically take fur off cloth. I always tell my friends to check out, where they have everything from big house vacuums to these neat little hand ones: 

P.S. if you want some other tricks for getting fur off the furniture, my hero made this amazing video:,d.dmo

Plus, if you’ve got fleas, you can’t kill them without being able to get the eggs, and they’re all deep in the floorboards, or especially in carpets. And what’s more, a real powerful vacuum can kill fleas, so they can’t escape and come back out to haunt you more. Now, I know y’all have different houses and floors and all that, so I’ve just got a few little suggestions that you should always follow. Get a vacuum with an air filter, because that really helps with allergies. I also realized when I started using a HEPA vacuum that the smelly dog scent from the carpet in the living room got a lot better. That always seems to get a lot worse in the summer when it gets all humid and sticky, but it wasn’t too bad this year. Ok, second tip: get one with a vacuum that has bags. I know they’re old fashioned, but y’all gotta be able to freeze flea eggs if you really want to kill the buggers. If anyone’s in the market, I found my most recent vacuum on THIS SITE, which has super good reviews of quite a few new machines. I read a few different pages, but this one had the most helpful things about pets that I found.

To deal with smelly carpets or dog beds when your filter doesn’t do the trick, you can do a couple things. I like to make a spray with water and some essential oils. Lavender or peppermint are really good for covering up sweaty pooch. You can also sprinkle baking soda and let that sit for a few hours when  Fido is outside. Just vacuum it up, and the smell with usually come with it.

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Fruit Fly Fiascos

One of my least favorite parts of summer is those pesky fruit flies. God, they just seem to come out of nowhere, don’t they? I left for a weekend last year, and when I got back, there was a whole swarm of them living on who knows what in the drain. That sharpened up my fly control skills in a hurry!

Here’s one trick that will absolutely annihilate a fruit fly colony! This seems a bit hippy-dippy, but I have to say it’s one of my all-time favorite things to do. You set it up before bed, and by the time you’re up in the morning, you’ll see dozens of dead fruit flies all in an easy container!

Get a little dish, bowl, or jar, and put in 1/4 dish soap to 3/4 vinegar. You can even use pickle juice (I was a bit frantic the first time I tried this one). And…that’s it! You’re done! Just leave it! The flies smell the soap, which they think is sweet, and then the vinegar kills them once they land in the mix. Y’all are gonna come back to a jar chock full of dead flies! It’s so easy, and you can make these traps in about 30 seconds. How’s that for clever?

P.S. It’s also worth getting some of those screens that you can put over bowls, to stop them laying eggs in your fruit to begin with! 

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Cleaning Drains:

There’s nothing on God’s green earth more annoying than a clogged or stalled drain. I know y’all’s first instinct is to pull out the Draino, but hold that thought! You don’t need it!

I know, I know, Draino is easy. But that stuff’s not so good for the earth, and it’s better to keep it out of your water supply. Just google it, and you can see a hundred different things it does to the environment. Plus, you don’t need to spend all that money. There’s a better way!

Here’s my secret trick! Get some boiling water, in as big a pot as you can find, and pour it down your drain at full steam. You want that water rollin’! Think Proud Mary! Now, if your drain isn’t too bad, one or two pots of boiling water might do the trick by itself. So, maybe try that before you get to work with the more elaborate trick. If it’s a serious clog, keep reading!

What you want to do now is wait for the boiling water to pass through. That might take some time, y’all, but it’s doing good down there! It’ll at least loosen up whatever’s in your pipes, even if it doesn’t look like it’s making a difference. Then, get yourself about half a cup of baking soda. Once the water’s gone, pour the soda right down the drain. Use a funnel if you have one, because you want it as far down as it’ll go. Then, get yourself about a cup each of vinegar and warm (not hot, but super warm) water. Get ready, and pour that straight down the hatch. Make sure you stand back! That stuff can shoot right up and getcha! Give that ten minutes to bubble away, and meantime get more water boiling. Once it’s done working, you want to flush everything with as much boiling water as you can muster.

Nine times out of ten, that’ll clear a clog, no matter what it’s made of. Of course, there might be that odd time when you just HAVE to get out the big guns, and that’s fine. But before you do, give this a try!

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