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Cleaning is essential for roach control.

COUNTRYSIDE: I grew up in New York City where roaches were abundant. Although they can live on almost anything, it seems they like people and pet food best. Keep all food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator, including bread, cereal, rice, pet food, etc. Never leave dirty dishes or food laying around. Wipe down your kitchen counters and sweep the floor everyday. Even the smallest morsel of feed is a roach feast, so get the crumbs out of your toaster, and vacuum under the cushions if you eat on your couch.

Another thing roaches need to live is water. You will probably find most of them near your kitchen sink and bathroom. Place sticky trays such as "roach motels" under your sinks and behind the toilet. Change these every week or so. Sprinkle boric acid powder, available in your pharmacy, along the inside edges of kitchen and bath cabinets. When roaches walk over the boric acid it gets on their thin bodies and is later ingested and poisons them. They also bring the boric acid back to their nests and spread it to other roaches. Lastly, whenever you see a roach, stomp it!

If these suggestions don't help your problem, you have a very serious infestation and should call in a professional exterminator. You can arrange to spend a night away from home with kids and pets if you need to. Also check with any neighbors close by to see if they are having problems, so you can share this info. Their roaches may be coming over to live with you.

Even after the exterminator has gone, be diligent about keeping your home as clean and food-free as possible to discourage unwanted guests!

On another note, I've "worked a deal" with my sons' piano teacher, bartering lessons for yard work and painting. We trade evenly, hour for hour. The teacher, an elderly lady (but don't call her that to her face!) is very happy to have me cut down brush, rake eaves and grass, trim shrubs, etc. I also worked on her family room for several weeks stripping wallpaper, spackling/sanding, and finally painting. I am equally happy to get free piano lessons for my boys (at $30 a week), that would be very hard for me to afford otherwise. I'd love to hear other people's bartering "deals."--Caroline, New Hampshire

COUNTRYSIDE: What I have found is that roaches do not have any method of eliminating gas. So, since they can not burp I encourage them to need to burp. How do I do it? Simple. I take a lid from a mayonnaise jar (cleaned of course) and remove the cardboard and then put some powdered sugar and bicarbonate of soda mixed with the major ingredient being the bicarbonate of soda. What happens is the creature is attracted to the powdered sugar and eats the combination and then instead of burping, he explodes and dies. This is quite harmless to any animal or child that may touch it because with the exception of the roach germs there is nothing there to harm them. If you do not want to encourage the sugar ants then use cucumber skins and change it daily. Use anything that causes us/them to feel gaseous.

Another article in the same issue addresses the issue of Internet scams. I have been receiving the "spoof" emails and must admit that I have been almost fooled. I went to the auction site and asked how to find out if I am in receipt of a "real" e-mail and while the instructions where not exactly the easiest thing for a retired person that has been on the computer for around two years, I did finally figure it out and was told on each occasion that they were indeed spoofs. I also got one from Citibank with the same results--spoofs.

Finally, I look forward to your little words of light at the top of the pages. We call them "palabras de luz" (words of light) because if you will memorize them and then follow them in your dealings with each other you will find that your relationships are more agreeable and with less misunderstandings. I have one to share from the island of Puerto Rico where I lived for many years and had five acres with the goats, chickens, pigs and a couple of cows. "A paid musician does not play very well," author unknown.--George T., Florida;

COUNTRYSIDE: My brother told me that hedge apples will get rid of roaches. I went to my mom's and got some hedge apples. My brother told me that you are to cut them into fourths, and put them around the house (away from kids, they are poison) where the roaches are and they will leave. I have had them down for two days, and so far they are working.

There is a web site about hedge I just love reading COUNTRYSIDE. I learn so much and I read every issue from front to back. Keep up the good work.--Debbie P.
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Title Annotation:Country conversation & feedback
Author:T., George; P., Debbie
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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Next Article:Use caution when feeding dried leaves.

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