Dear Sun Spots: I have service for international calls. It was fine last year for calls to South America. This year I only get busy signals when I call my daughter in Paris. I called the hot line and only once got a person who said he would fix it, but didn’t. I have called the state, the Federal Trade Commission and The Better Business Bureau with my complaint. I still have no service. Any suggestions? – Elizabeth Gravalos, Hartford.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots contacted the company and has not been able to receive a response.

However, Sun Spots also talked with Rick Marsh of Phone Cards Etc., in Portland who says you might want to consider using the new pinless cards that use your own land line or cell phone number. Marsh says it’s serviced by AT&T and with this program you should be able to get rates of 4 cents a minute by using your land line number. They also have a $3 credit for using the service. You can find them online at Marsh says the promotional code is 19AG3. However, Marsh notes this program is geared to those with unlimited domestic calling plan programs. If this is something you have, you may want to consider it. In the meantime, if you tend to have lengthy international phone conversations, as Sun Spots is apt to do, you might consider the calling card. This means you can have a lengthy talk at one sitting and deplete the card and any potential maintenance charges. For cards, contact Phone Cards Etc. 634 Congress St., Portland, 04101, (207) 774-2273. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. In addition, Marsh says Republic also carries his international phone cards. They can be reached at Republic Cash, 884 Lisbon St., Lewiston (207) 782-3510. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Dear Sun Spots: I have a serious problem. Last summer I had moles all over my lawn and what a mess they can make!

Is there anything I can use to get rid of them? I would appreciate any help you can offer me. – J.L., Leeds.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, trapping the moles seems to be the best solution. However, Call of the Wild RV Center in Oxford suggests purchasing a plug-in electronic pest repeller from your area department store’s garden or pest care center. An electronic pest repeller uses sonic or ultrasonic sound waves, which are inaudible to the human ear, but drive pests away. After successful trapping and repelling, and you are certain that all moles have been removed, plug any visible entry holes to discourage future moles.

Sun Spots also recommends you contact Animal Control Officer Wendell Strout in Greene (207) 946-2781, to discuss your animal problems. He’d be happy to chat with you and help solve your challenge.

Also, as noted in a previous column, according to Bill Adler Jr., author of “Outwitting Critters,” there are several things you can do to encourage moles to do their tunneling elsewhere. You can apply milky spore or beneficial nematodes to your lawn; they kill the grubs, which are the main food source for the moles. Another approach is simply to water the lawn thoroughly, getting the ground wet once or twice a week for three or four weeks to discourage the moles. Alternately, you can try drying out the soil and forcing the insectivorous mammals elsewhere. Packing the soil with a roller may make it too compact for digging. Sprinkle a castor oil concoction on the ground. To make the mixture, whip two ounces of castor oil with one ounce of liquid dish detergent in a blender until it holds its shape. Add water to equal the volume in the blender and whip again. Fill a sprinkling can with water and add two tablespoons of the castor oil mixture and sprinkle on areas of heaviest concentration of the burrowing. This works best after a heavy rain or watering.

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