Home remedies to save you thousands - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Home remedies to save you thousands

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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Sometimes you don't need much to make a simple fix that saves you thousands.  Here are home remedies from experts.

Bradley Sprague with Beach Environmental knows how to fix difficult problems with pests and bugs.  He says simple changes can save you money well before those critters burrow or scratch or chomp into your home, causing thousands in problems.

He suggests you pull the mulch back from the house a few inches to avoid direct contact with the wood.  Subterranean termites tunnel underground.

"Just bring it back a couple of inches. You just don't want to pile it up on your house.  I also absorbs a lot of moisture and other insects like that," he said.

At the A/C pipe chase that runs up the side of the house, rats often make their way into your attic.  Once there, they can burrow and chew through almost any material.  Rats will fit through a hole a third the size of their body.  Sprague suggests you fill the end of the pipe, near the ground, with steel wool.

"I've seen it before where people had to get all of their insulation replaced just to because of the amount of damage they've made up there," he said.

When cutting grass, Sprague says you should cut it to be about 3 1/2 inches long.  Slide a block of wood under the blade while the mower sits on your driveway to make sure the mower blade is not too long.  The longer it is, the least susceptible it is to insects.  Plus, you have to do less watering.

"The longer your grass is, the more root depth it has, which essentially makes it easier, so you don't have to water it as much.  obviously, the less you have to water it, the more you conserve water and things like that."

The company says millipedes have been a bigger problem than past years.  They live in old, organic material like mulch.  Sprague says you should scoop out old mulch before putting in new, to take the bugs out with it.

Andrea Pertnoy is Co-Founder of The Bee in downtown West Palm Beach.  She knows lots of products that do double and triple duty.

Coconut oil is Pertnoy's favorite product.

"I use it on everything. I eat it.  I like to cook with coconut oil.  It's the healthiest oil to heat because it has the highest burning point," she said.

She sautés veggies and mixes it into smoothies, but also uses it on her skin.

"I use it as a moisturizer, I don't use anything else.  I have an 8-month-old little boy, Oliver, and that's what he gets as lotion after his bath.  And it's really great for your hair, if you want to do a hair treatment," she said.

To clean surfaces, Pertnoy relies on a simple fix.  She uses one part vinegar to three parts water, plus several drops of essential oil or fresh lemon.  The lemon essential oil has multiple uses.  It smells good and it's anti-microbial, and the scent lifts your mood.

"You can also diffuse it, if you have a diffuser, when you're sick. it's just really great for getting rid of germs," she said.  

Castile soap, she says, can be used with warm water to clean floors, bathe a child or even do your laundry.  

Tea tree oil, when used properly, can have a lot of bang for your buck.

"If you have a blemish, it's good for that. someone also just told me it's also great for dogs, if they have any bites.  or maybe if they have any flea bites, just if they have any on their coat," she said.

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