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In many parts of the country, mosquitoes can be a real problem. They can cause diseases like West Nile virus and are just a real nuisance. We have some great tips that you can try to keep the population of mosquitoes, and other pests, down to a minimum.

Mosquitoes need water, even a little bit, to breed. Make sure to limit standing water on your property. Areas where you might find standing water are in the trays around flower pots after a heavy rain or watering with a hose; bird baths; low spots on a sidewalk or driveway; or areas in a yard where drainage is poor. Add drainage to these areas, if at all possible.

Special mosquito “dunks” are small tabletlike devices, made of material that contains a biological inhibitor that will kill breeding mosquitoes and their larva. They can be put in standing water and will not harm birds or fish.

Another area where standing water can create a breeding ground is a clogged gutter. Clean out your gutters so they will not hold water.

There are a lot of different insecticidal sprays that you can use. All offer temporary control and are satisfactory for short periods of time when you need to work outdoors.

Citronella candles and oil lamps seem to help a little also. The oils and incense versions won’t blow out in the wind, so they are better in some situations.

The best personal protection should contain DEET. You have to use caution when using it. Read and follow the package directions. They even make clothing with insecticide in the fabric. This is available at some sporting-goods stores.

Wearing protective clothing, like long sleeves and long pants, definitely will keep them from biting, too.

Most mosquitoes seem to be more active at dawn and dusk, so try to work around their schedule, if you can.

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Q: We have a great pedestal sink, but it’s yellow and I want to try painting it. What do I need to know? What type of paint will last the longest? – L.S.

A: Epoxy paint is what you need to use. You need to read the directions carefully first. It’s very important to get the best results. It’s a little time-consuming, but it’s the best option.

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If you have spent a lot of time and money getting a piece of furniture to the stage where it’s ready for a good finish, don’t forget to clean it thoroughly with a tack rag. This special rag will remove any dust left over from sanding or just from sitting in your shop or garage while you work. You can buy tack rags if you like, but you also can make them fairly easily yourself. For instructions, download them off our website, www.thesuperhandyman.com.

Shoptalk

JHandles make carrying sheet materials like drywall and paneling a lot easier. They easily lock on to these materials (without a lot of maneuvering) and create a great handle to make carrying them a breeze – even in a breeze. One handle on each side means, with a helper, you can carry the material in one hand and your tools in the other. The handles keep the load balanced to prevent accidents, and can be used for a variety of materials. To find out more and where you can purchase them, go to www.jhandles.net. JHandles are proudly made in the USA.

Got a question or a handy tip? Send it to The Super Handyman at www.thesuperhandyman.com. Those of general interest will be used in future columns.