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Herbs act as natural bug repellents

By Heloise Cruse

King Features Syndicate

DEAR READERS: Here are some easy ways to take care of many uninvited pests in your home — and the secret weapons are as close as your herb garden.

Did your grandmother ever put a bay leaf in her flour canister or rice bin?

Or hang a small bundle of sage in a cupboard?

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Many herbs act as natural bug repellents. Here are a few old wives’ hints to use in your kitchen:

• Keep ants away by hanging a small bundle of fresh sage wherever you store food. You can also put crushed peppermint leaves on shelves where ants tend to travel.

• Cockroaches won’t want to stay around if you "paint" oil of peppermint on surfaces in problem areas (test first if you are concerned about putting the oil of peppermint on wood or another surface that it might stain).

• Herb sachets might help to keep moths away from clothing. Simply fill the center of a 4-inch square piece of muslin with dried rosemary and tie into a bundle with some ribbon or twine. Place one in the bottom of each clothing drawer, and also tie a couple around the necks of hangers to help protect hanging clothes. — Heloise

Heloise shares household tips from readers. Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to heloise@heloise.com.

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