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Mosquito Madness Mosquitoes are everywhere from gardens to picnic sites to decks and unfortunately indoors too. Long sleeves, bug repellant and citronella candles can protect you from bites, but did you know certain plants can as well? Lemon balm or horsemint can be planted in a planter and moved throughout the yard where various activities are taking place. This particular perennial gives off a strong odour similar to citronella which repels mosquitoes but not butterflies and bees. Marigolds are often used in vegetable gardens to ward off various insects with their pungent aroma. However, they also work great at repelling mosquitoes. Plant them around the deck or in planters by the gazebo; anywhere you want to be mosquito free. Basil (especially the cinnamon and lemon varieties) produce a scent that will drive mosquitoes away. Consider rubbing a few basil leaves onto your skin for a natural bug repellant. Additionally, peppermint, rosemary, garlic, clove, eucalyptus and tea tree are also effective mosquito repellant plants. Travel Tip Before heading out this summer, whether to the campground or overseas, take a few minutes to make copies of your important papers such as itinerary, health care cards, passports, insurance info, credit card numbers and contact info, etc. Have a trusted friend or family member keep the copies in case you lose your wallet in the lake, accidentally leave your passport at a destination or something similar. Knowing you can obtain these copies will help ease your peace of mind. Lightening Facts It is the season for thunderstorms once again and with thunder comes lightning or technically the oth- er way around because thunder is simply the sound lightning makes. Since light travels faster than sound, we see lightning before we hear thunder. The study of lightning is called fulminology and the fear of thunder and lightning is called astraphobia. Lightning can occur from clouds to the ground, be- tween clouds and within clouds. Only about a quar- ter of all lightening is from the cloud to the ground. When lightning does strike the ground, it takes the shortest path to something with a positive charge; typically tall trees, buildings, lightning rods and sometimes people.
Automatic Lighting Imagine walking into the laundry room with an overflowing laundry basket of dirty clothes occupying your arms. How will you turn on the light so you don’t trip over the soccer gear your son left in the middle of the floor? The answer might be as easy as installing a sensor switch that turns on the lights in the room as soon as it senses movement. Much like the motion sensor lights many people use to light their yards or driveways in the dark, these light switches make the lights already installed in your room turn on when motion is detected and turn off either after a specified time or when motion is no longer detected. They can also sense daylight so when there is sufficient daylight in a room, they will not turn on even though motion is detected saving power and money. Great for closets, pantries, bathrooms, basements, children’s play rooms and anywhere else you would benefit from having a light turn on as you enter the room and off again as you leave.
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