Dear Heloise: We have orange trees in our back yard, and certain birds poke holes in the oranges to eat the pulp. However, they only eat a small bit and poke holes into numerous oranges, causing waste.
I found that by cutting a couple of oranges in half and leaving them in accessible areas near the trees (like on a wall or feeding platform), it prevents more oranges from being poked. The birds preferentially feed on the "easy-access oranges" and pick the peels entirely clean. Karla Lodge, via e-mail
This might also help with other trees that bear fruit that birds like to snack on! Some readers have sent other hints to try to keep wild birds at bay when fruit is beginning to ripen -- here are a few of them:
UHang several unwanted CDs on branches throughout the tree.
UHang aluminum pie pans in a fruit tree -- this is an old, familiar hint.
UThe most unusual is to use a motion-activated singing fish to deter birds and critters. Heloise
Dear Readers: Deborah Stout of San Angelo, Texas, sent a cute-as-a-button photo of Honey, her Chihuahua, when she was only 6 1/2 weeks old, sitting in an oversized teacup (it's really a planter!).Visit my Web site, www.Heloise.com, and click on This Week's Pet to see this adorable photo. Heloise
Dear Heloise: My three cats love to spend the summer on my screened-in porch. I keep a bowl of dry food there for them, but within a short while it is crawling with ants.
I solved this problem by taking a baking dish or pan and putting a strip of double-sided carpet tape around the sides. I put their food bowls in this container, and now their food stays ant-free. Also, no ant gets caught in the tape, as they seem to know better than to try. Victor Main, via e-mail
Dear Heloise: I have trouble with dogs getting into my trash. Before closing the bag, I pour some ammonia into it.
When they tear it open, the unpleasant smell makes them leave it alone. And they seem to remember and bypass the bag the next time around. A Reader, via e-mail
Or you can spritz some on the outside of the bags or trash cans, but please remember the people who pick up your trash -- you don't want to cause them harm. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I keep my cats' litter box in the garage on the other side of a kitty door. To keep myself from forgetting to scoop each morning, I leave the plastic newspaper bag that the morning paper comes in on the counter.
After I finish reading the paper, the bag serves as a reminder. I take it into the garage, scoop the dirty litter into the bag, tie and toss. Michelle in Texas
XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.
King Features Syndicate