Dear Sun Spots: I wonder if someone could help me. I have been bothered with ants for more than one year. They only come out at night. The exterminator has been coming once a month for a year. Because he does not see the ants, I don’t believe he believes me. I would appreciate any help I could get. – No Name, No Town.

Sun Spots spoke with a representative from Modern Pest Services about your problem. While she doesn’t doubt that you have a problem, she notes that ants are not nocturnal creatures. She suggests hiring a second exterminator to do a thorough inspection or have your current exterminator inspect, as it may be a different pest causing you problems. Also note that while ants are an easy pest to control, it could take up to two years to completely fix the problem if there is a large nest in the home.

Sun Spots has published reader suggestions that include recipes you can make to get rid of ants in your home. You may consider trying one of the following:

The first recipe calls for 3 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of boric acid powder, which is available at most pharmacies, and at home and garden supply stores. The mixture may be poured into a jar filled with cotton swabs or old pill bottles with cotton in the neck to act as a wick. Experts recommend keeping this mixture out of reach of children. The ants will be attracted by the sugar and then return to the nest with the poison.

Another recipe is to mix ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup baking yeast, and ½ cup molasses together and then smear a thin layer on index cards. Use a rubber spatula to spread the mixture on the cards. Put the index cards in places where you have seen ants.

Also, mix equal parts Borax and powdered sugar. Set out in lids from baby food jars, or lids of similar height, just a teaspoon or so in each bait. It may take a few days, but it works. You may need to place new baits out after a few days in really humid weather. Be sure to place your bait in places inaccessible to pets and children.

Another suggestion is to combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle: 10½ ounces water, 3 ounces Tabasco sauce and 2½ ounces of Dr. Bonner’s liquid peppermint soap (available at health food stores). Spray the mixture where the ants enter the home.

Dear Sun Spots: I read your column in the Sun Journal and it seems you guys can get things done that we, the consumers, can’t. Here’s my problem that I hope you can help me with. I ordered a bunch of plants/bulbs from Burgess Seed and Plant Co. in Bloomington, IL 61701. Of course, the offers were too good to be true but I thought that I might get some half decent plants for the sale prices they were offering. I placed an order totaling $143.10 in June, the bill was posted in July and I received a shipment on Aug. 17. The shipment consisted of three plants (if you can call what I received plants) two were gaillardia, dead, dry, and all of 2 feet of a plant as well as some slips of a “yellow” cactus. I immediately notified the company to cancel my order, as I was not pleased, and to credit my account. Here it is October, at least seven e-mails later and they still have done nothing. I was hoping that you could help me reach whomever I need to in order to get this matter settled. I’m attaching my e-mails for you to read. Thanks for any help you can give me. – No Name, No Town.

: Sun Spots corresponded with a representative from Burgess Customer Care who could not disclose any additional information regarding your situation. They assured us that the information would be forwarded to the appropriate department.

Dear Sun Spots: I’m writing to Sun Spots to see if someone out there has a portable hair dryer. I do my mother-in-law’s hair once a week. She’s at Sandy River Nursing Home; she’s 87. She also has Alzheimer’s. She only lets me do it. She doesn’t like my blow dryer. I’m on a fixed income so if anyone knows or has one it would be great and I would be very grateful. Thank you. – Brenda, Livermore Falls.

Dear Sun Spots: I’m looking for a small recliner that is in good shape. I have a small apartment, if anyone has one to give away, please call 786-2870. – No Name, No Town.

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