Dear Sun Spots: Volunteers of America would like to provide “back to school” care packages to the youths we serve. If anyone would like to donate new items such as pens, pencils, three ring binders, notebook paper, Post-it notes, rulers, markers, folders, etc., please contact us. We can be reached at (207) 783-4317 for drop-off or pickup.

Readers might be interested in noting that our organization helps tighten the net that catches youth at risk of breaking the law. The programs are designed to divert youth from at-risk behaviors. By providing our clients with the necessary supplies to begin the school year, we believe they will start off with a good feeling about school and have a more positive attitude.

Won’t you please help?
– Dawn Mills, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: I am having great difficulty finding someone who can professionally re-grout my shower/bathtub area. A local tile store did give me several names, but they have not returned my calls. Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated. – No Name, Lewiston.

Dear Sun Spots: Would you or any of your readers know of anyone who would come to your house and cut large trees at no cost or at a reasonable price and keep the wood for themselves? – No Name, No Town.

Answer:
In addition to responses from readers, each of these No Names readers may want to contact handyman Dean Hinkley of Wales who does odd jobs such as repairs, mowing, tree trimming, painting, snow plowing and painting. You can reach him at (207) 375-6163.

Dear Sun Spots: Once again I turn to you seeking help. You do offer help to so many. Hopefully you will be able to assist me with the following – Japanese beetles.

We are being invaded. They eat blossoms and leaves. We tried a recommended pesticide to no avail. Now we are using a Dawn dish detergent solution two to three times a day. I think it’s doing some good. Then, when we next check we find many, many more. They attack grapes and leaves as well as flowers. I do hope you’re able to come up with a solution. – No Name, No Town.

Answer:
In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots spoke with Sun Journal columnist Jody Goodwin who says the very best way to get rid of Japanese beetles is to handpick them twice a day if you have the time. Early in the morning and late, late in the afternoon or early evening. At those times, they are less active and easier to get. Goodwin also recommends you fill a small container with soapy water. Look on leaves and flowers, etc. When you see them, put the container under them and simply nudge them. They fall straight down and into the water and die.

It is NOT advisable to get Japanese beetle traps. All those do is invite all the beetles for several acres around to come and visit. There are sprays, but along with the beetles they also kills the bees, ladybugs and just about any other living, breathing thing they come in contact with.

The best long-term solution for getting rid of Japanese beetles is either a grub-control product or beneficial nematodes in the spring. Grub controls are chemicals and need to be used very carefully. Nematodes can be purchased online or through several different gardening catalogs. You might also check with Longfellows Greenhouse in Manchester. These are very very small organisms, which are applied to lawns in early spring through mixing them with water and then applying through an applicator. They basically eat the grubs (which are baby beetles) but do not harm anything else.

Goodwin says you might also want to consider going online and checking out www.gardening.com.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Inform Us section under Press Release.


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