Dear Heloise: Can you tell me why all of a sudden I have ladybugs? They are outside on my chimney stack when it’s warm, and inside my house. Also, how do I get rid of them? Thanks.
Colette, via fax
Dear Colette: While ladybugs aren’t dangerous, they can be annoying if they get inside your home, and it may be creepy to see lots of them outside on your home.
Make sure there are no broken seals around your windows and doors, and torn screens should be replaced. Breezy days may be in your past — closed windows and doors will help keep these the ladybugs at bay.
As far as eliminating them from outside, there’s not much you can do. But rest assured, ladybugs pose absolutely no threat to anyone except aphids (sometimes called plant lice). Ladybugs love to eat aphids, and this is beneficial to the environment, because aphids can really do a number on your garden.
Dear Heloise: Here’s a good way to recycle some newspaper. I crumple up one section (with no shiny advertising pages) and place it in the bottom of my wastepaper basket, then I put the trash-can liner in there and fill up the receptacle as needed throughout the week.
The newspaper will catch any stinks and stains that may soak through the bag and absorb them. This helps keep the basket cleaner!
Harold G., Fort Wayne. Ind.
Dear Heloise: I like to write letters, which means I can easily neglect some necessary chores. I set a “schedule” to get things done: set the oven timer for 30 minutes to clean, 30 minutes to write, 30 minutes to clean, 30 minutes to write.
My friends laugh at me, because if the timer goes off and I’m vacuuming, I leave it and go to the desk to write; same with stopping in the middle of a sentence when writing.
It drives my husband nuts when he happens to be home, but when I’m home alone, I generally end up accomplishing quite a bit by the end of the day.
Brenda R., Fremont, Neb.
Dear Readers: Are you in the midst of spring-cleaning? Here are some items you can add to your vacuum-cleaner bag to reduce the smell of vacuum-cleaner “fumes”: commercial carpet freshener, whole cloves, baking soda, a cotton ball dabbed with almond or peppermint oil or a cotton ball spritzed with your favorite perfume.
Write to Hints From Heloise, Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Or send a fax to 210-HELOISE; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hints From Heloise appears Saturdays.
King Features Syndicate Inc.