Dear Heloise: How do I get rid of MICE without poisoning my pets? We have a cat and a dog, and I worry about using rat poison. Any suggestions? I haven't tried an exterminator yet, but that might be an option if there's not a better alternative. -- M.B., via email
I do have a few hints that might help. Use resettable live-catch mousetraps. They can be used again and again, depending on how many rodents you have. The first step, though, is to do a thorough inspection of your house. Mice and other small creatures can squeeze in through the tiniest of spaces. Check your doors and windows, foundation, siding, vent openings and crawl spaces. Look for any cracks, gaps or spaces where they might be getting in. Fill the gaps with steel wool, and seal any other openings. Then set your traps by where you think they are coming in and out.
Try to deter rodents by keeping all food in sealed containers. If this doesn't work and you are worried about using other methods, your best bet may be to call a professional. -- Heloise
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Dear Heloise: Please remind your readers that when traveling by car, no matter how long the drive, they should not put their feet up on the passenger-side dashboard. If you were to get in an accident, the air bag could deploy and break your legs. Not to mention the dashboard could be pushed in as well. -- G.M. in Texas
Keep the air out
Dear Heloise: During some of the record-breaking cold snaps we had in Colorado this winter, I could feel cold air surging through the doorjamb of our (closed) front door with bonus security door. On our way to bed that night, I took a roll of packing tape and taped the door shut, cutting off most of the cold air! After a few nights, we discovered that if I only taped the "leading edge" of the door, it could stay on day or night while the door was in use. It was just like a large, clear piece of weatherstripping. I wouldn't recommend this for doors with delicate paint. -- Lisa C., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Lisa, this is a good temporary solution for the summer, too, to keep the hot air out. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: I bought a small cosmetics bag for my purse. I fill it with snacks and keep it in my purse. That way, whenever my son and I are out, I always have something on hand if he gets hungry. -- Beverly S. in Texas
Dear Heloise: I was shopping in a thrift store and ran across a pair of house shoes. They had lines of clear silicone caulk across the soles of the shoes. I realized that they were to add traction. Many house shoes are relatively smooth on the soles. I wanted to pass it on as a safety tip. -- A Reader, Little Rock, Ark.