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AT HOME Q: Is there anyway to get rid of !@#$%^#x0026;; Asian lady bugs? They crawl around my house all fall, in the winter and in the spring.

A: Now that's one way of looking at them. Another is that they are cute and harmless unless you are an aphid. Apparently it depends upon your tolerance level and how patient you are.

Most of us have to weigh whether control attempts are more work then the nuisance involved.

Lady bugs die within two or three days in the house because they can't feed or breed in the house.

When the weather warms up they'll all try to get outside and you won't have a problem until the weather starts to turn cooler in the fall.

A battery-powered hand vac will suck them up without squashing them and you can release them outside. For a shop vac, attach a knee-high nylon stocking with a rubber band on the end of the hose plugged into the machine to keep from squashing them. No squash, no odor, no stain.

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Caulk nooks and crannies where they can get into the house. This also works for cluster flies and box elder bugs as a bonus. Install tightly fitted screens.

Paint your house a dark color. This may be extreme, but lady bugs are attracted to light colors.

Black out all the windows in your house except one or two on a warm sunny day. The lights attracts the beetles and you can open the windows and sweep them outside with a broom or brush.

The time for control is in the fall, when the beetles are seeking a winter home. That is the time to use camphor and menthol to repel them. The chemical apparently irritates their taste buds. Put a camphor cake or crystallized camphor in a nylon sock and hang it on the outside of the house near a known entry point or put cotton balls with a few drops of camphor essential oil in the corner of windows. Reapply often.

Q: I'm planning on putting up some new base shoe, door and window trim in my basement now that I have gone through all the effort to remodel it as a family room. The trim boards are expensive and I have trouble with splitting when I nail it up. What to do?

A: Buy a nail spinner. This handy, dandy tool chucks into our portable drill. The finishing nail fits head-first into the tool which holds the nail point out. Drill the nail into the molding and into the board you want to fasten it to. The nail spins into the wood so you can hammer it home and punch the head beneath the trim surface with a nail set.

If you have a question or comment About the House, send it to About the House, 18 First Avenue S.E., Box 6118, Rochester MN 55903. Or, e-mail it to reising@postbulletin.com . You can also call (507) 285-7739.

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