Calvin Finch: How to select and best grow shade trees in your San Antonio garden

Now is a good time to plant shade trees in San Antonio.

When you live in a climate like we do, shade trees are an important part of the landscape. Temperatures of 100-plus degrees are difficult to tolerate in the shade and are even more unpleasant if there is no shade.

Among the important issues to consider when selecting a shade tree species are its ultimate size, growth rate, appearance, drought tolerance, soil preference and susceptibility to pests and diseases. Quite often area gardeners remind me that we describe live oaks as “evergreen,” but they do, in fact, lose their leaves for a short time each March.

Live oaks are relatively slow-growing shade trees when compared to other choices, but they are held in high regard for their appearance, drought tolerance and longevity. If your landscape includes a 50-foot live oak, it may be 100 years old and is probably adding $30,000 to the value of the property.

A lot of attention is given to the live oaks susceptibility to the disease “oak wilt,” but it is recognized that the disease is relatively easy to detect and prevent if a homeowner does a limited amount of research and is alert to the situation with the trees in the surrounding neighborhood. One of the most effective ways to protect the value of live oaks and other shade trees is to establish a relationship with an arborist.

This week in the garden

 It is prime time to plant your winter vegetable garden. Prepare the soil by incorporating 2 inches of compost into the planting area. Also enrich the soil with 10 cups of slow-release lawn fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed. Plant broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chard, kale and Brussels sprouts with transplants. Use seeds for carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and lettuce.

 The fall tomatoes should be setting fruit. Support their production with side dressing with a winterizer fertilizer.

 Zinnias and other summer annuals will continue to bloom but the winter annuals such as snapdragons, dianthus, stocks, calendula and petunias can also be planted.

 Fertilize the lawn to prepare it to tolerate winter cold and to prepare the grass for a green-up next spring.

Texas red oak is like a live oak in its size, attractive shape and drought tolerance. It is different in its faster growth rate and that it is a deciduous tree, meaning it loses its leaves every winter.

Depending on the soil, it is not unusual for a Texas red oak to add 6 feet of growth each year for several years after it is planted. Texas red oaks also are susceptible to oak wilt as individual trees through wounds, but they’re not susceptible through the roots like live oaks.

Deer are common in many San Antonio neighborhoods and are a factor in successfully growing a shade tree. Bucks in their rutting season rub their antlers on the smooth trunk of young shade trees, often girdling the tree and greatly reducing its growth rate. The girdling involves damaging

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New upscale Stone Oak Mexican restaurant Cuishe Cocina Mexicana opening Tuesday in San Antonio from Toro Kitchen + Bar team

At special events and festivals around San Antonio the last few years, co-owner Gerardo De Anda of the popular Spanish restaurant Toro Kitchen + Bar has made no secret that the food of Mexico would be his next quest.

Tuesday, Oct. 6, that quest becomes a reality with the opening of Cuishe Cocina Mexicana in Stone Oak, just a few doors down from where he opened the first Toro in 2017. A second location of Cuishe is coming Nov. 3 in St. Paul Square near downtown, close to the second location of Toro, according to Cuishe’s Facebook page.

Named for an agave plant used to make mezcal, Cuishe (pronounced KWEE-sheh) will feature more than 150 bottles of spirits distilled from agave, including tequila, mezcal, sotol, raicilla and bacanora, served straight up or mixed in a wide variety of cocktails served not just in glasses, but also in clay cups, gourds and even hollowed-out jalapeños.

The kitchen, overseen by Toro executive chef Juan Carlos Bazan, will showcase food from Central Mexico, with familiar dishes like Wagyu steak arrachera, enchiladas, sopes, street tacos made from an al pastor trompo and wood-fired snapper and less-familiar specialties like huitlacoche quesadillas, ant-larvae “caviar” called escamoles, flame-roasted octopus and “bichos,” an assortment of toasted scorpions, grasshoppers and worms served with guacamole.

The elegant space is divided into rooms with rustic accents, such as Mexican vaquero gear and the farm implements used to harvest agave.


Cuishe Cocina Mexicana, in Stone Oak at 115 N Loop 1604 E Suite 1118, cuishemx.com. In St. Paul Square at 119 Heiman St. Stone Oak hours: noon-11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday. A brunch and lunch combination menu will be served each day, with dinner beginning at 3 p.m. Hours are not yet available for the downtown location.

Mike Sutter is a food and drink reporter and restaurant critic in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. To read more from Mike, become a subscriber. [email protected] | Twitter: @fedmanwalking | Instagram: @fedmanwalking

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San Francisco’s Farmhouse Kitchen opens glitzy Thai restaurant in Menlo Park, indoor dining included | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany

San Francisco Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen has opened a glitzy new location in Menlo Park, offering limited indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

Farmhouse Kitchen has revamped the 4,000-square-foot space at 1165 Merrill St., across from the Caltrain station, decking it out with opulent decorations (including handmade gold Thai chandeliers and flower wall), a private dining room, a lounge area with velvet chairs and gleaming full bar. The restaurant opened barely a week after San Mateo County announced that indoor dining could resume at 25% capacity or with 100 people, whichever is fewer.


The ornate dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen in Menlo Park. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

But the “new normal guidelines” for dining in at Farmhouse Kitchen includes a health screening, temperature check, masks required when diners aren’t eating or drinking and parties of no more than six people with reservations capped at 90 minutes. The restaurant also charges a $3 “COVID-19 sanitation fee” per table.

Kasem Saengsawang, a native of Thailand, opened his first Farmhouse Kitchen in San Francisco in 2015. The restaurant was inspired by the food he ate and cooked growing up in Loei, a rural province in northeast Thailand, but he spent much of his adult years in Bangkok.

Saengsawang now runs five restaurants, including one in Portland, Oregon. He recently moved to Menlo Park so plans to be a frequent presence at this location.


A Farmhouse Kitche appetizer: sesame-crusted ahi tuna with cucumber, seaweed salad, lemongrass and spicy chili lime. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Saengsawang describes his cooking style as “contemporary.” The Farmhouse Kitchen Menlo Park menu spans Northern and Southern Thailand, including dishes like pineapple fried rice, lobster pad thai, 24-hour beef noodle soup and slow-braised short rib served with panang curry, a dish the menu says is “reminiscent” of the large childhood meals Saengsawang would cook in Thailand for his family.


The “Little Lao table set,” a $120 chef’s choice meal set that includes numerous dishes and drinks, is available at the Menlo Park location. Photo courtesy Farmhouse Kitchen.

Desserts include mango sticky rice, Thai tea crepe cake and the very Instagrammable “Thai vacation,” a halved coconut filled with sticky rice, coconut ice cream, coconut cream, peanuts and sesame, garnished with a brightly colored drink umbrella.

The Menlo Park restaurant also serves cocktails, beer and wine.

Farmhouse Kitchen is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 9 p.m.

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A Hyperlocal Array of Talents Make This San Francisco Kitchen Update Shine

A 1921 home in San Francisco’s West Clay Park has been completely transformed for the 2020 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, and the kitchen may be our favorite part. Designed by the S.F.-based Regan Baker, the classic but dated kitchen got a Mediterranean-inspired upgrade with brass fixtures, a moss-gray range, and an array of art, and was completed entirely during quarantine.

<div class="caption">This is Regan’s second year doing the annual Decorator Showcase. “What I like about doing the showcase is that we can feature local artists and artisans, the people that we actually work with all the time on projects,” she says.</div>

This is Regan’s second year doing the annual Decorator Showcase. “What I like about doing the showcase is that we can feature local artists and artisans, the people that we actually work with all the time on projects,” she says.

The homeowners, who are actually Regan’s clients, were excited to participate in the showcase and loved the direction she’d planned. “The way they select the houses is a huge process,” she says. “They have to go through protocols and be okay with people coming in and doing whatever they want.” And though there is some feedback, the designers mainly get free rein to show off their talent.

Construction began in October 2019 and Feldman Architecture completed the entire demo in just three months. In January, designers were notified if they had received a space to decorate and had until May 31 to finish up.

“It was insane,” Regan recalls. “With COVID, we were completely shut down and had to finish it in two months. Because our area was construction-intensive, we were down to the wire.” But even though the process was quick and at times stressful, the kitchen is now one of the stars of the home.

Location: San Francisco

<div class="caption">The backsplash tile was a collaboration with maker <a href="https://www.yondershop.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Linda Fahey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Linda Fahey</a>. “I like geometric in general, and we took her dog bowl shape and made it a convex shape—playing with dimension—[and added] a rose-gold glaze,” Regan says.</div><cite class="credit">Photo: Suzanna Scott</cite>
The backsplash tile was a collaboration with maker Linda Fahey. “I like geometric in general, and we took her dog bowl shape and made it a convex shape—playing with dimension—[and added] a rose-gold glaze,” Regan says.

Photo: Suzanna Scott

The before: “There was an original butler’s kitchen and the main kitchen was next to it,” Regan says. “The cabinetry was outdated and hadn’t been touched in maybe 20 years, and was in need of repair.” To modernize it and provide views to the central family zone, she kept the existing window spaces, went with a skinny island to fit the narrow space, and mimicked the entryway curvature in the architectural details.

The inspiration: BlueStar was a sponsor for the showcase and Baker chose their amazing soft moss-gray range. “I’d never seen an appliance with a matte finish and we wanted the palette to have a modern Mediterranean feel,” she says. She planned to do a colorful kitchen but gravitated toward classic, timeless elements. The flooring uses a sculptural walnut shelving system between the kitchen and breakfast nook.

Square footage: 544 square feet

Budget: No real budget

<div class="caption">The walnut cabinet fits between two windows of varying heights. Not only does it trick the eye to make the area appear symmetrical, but because the kitchen has no upper cabinetry, it was important to have a functional piece.</div>

The walnut cabinet fits between two windows of varying heights. Not only does it trick the eye to make the area appear symmetrical, but because the kitchen has no upper cabinetry, it was important to have a functional piece.

Main Ingredients

Faucet: Waterworks Dash Three Hole Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet in Burnished Brass

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A Hyperlocal Array of Talents Make This San Francisco Kitchen Update

The before: “There was an original butler’s kitchen and the main kitchen was next to it,” Regan says. “The cabinetry was outdated and hadn’t been touched in maybe 20 years, and was in need of repair.” To modernize it and provide views to the central family zone, she kept the existing window spaces, went with a skinny island to fit the narrow space, and mimicked the entryway curvature in the architectural details.

The inspiration: BlueStar was a sponsor for the showcase and Baker chose their amazing soft moss-gray range. “I’d never seen an appliance with a matte finish and we wanted the palette to have a modern Mediterranean feel,” she says. She planned to do a colorful kitchen but gravitated toward classic, timeless elements. The flooring uses a sculptural walnut shelving system between the kitchen and breakfast nook.

Square footage: 544 square feet

Budget: No real budget

The walnut cabinet fits between two windows of varying heights. Not only does it trick the eye to make the area appear symmetrical, but because the kitchen has no upper cabinetry, it was important to have a functional piece.

Main Ingredients

Faucet: Waterworks Dash Three Hole Gooseneck Kitchen Faucet in Burnished Brass

Hood: ShopFloor Design Brass Clad Hood

Range: BlueStar 48″ Nova Series range in Moss Gray

Countertops: Da Vinci Marble

Drop Zone Bench: Curved Bench by Kristina Dam

Breakfast Table: Sawkille Co. custom table

Sofa: Dmitriy & Co. Dahlem Sofa

Chairs: Crump & Kwash Lloyd Chair

Regan was sourcing art for the project when the Black Lives Matter movement began and decided to use this opportunity to support artists of color, such as Tawny Chatmon, Lauren Pearce, Christa David, and Marie Alexander. The piece shown above is Shura by Lauren Pearce.

Most Insane Splurge: There are multiple splurges in this kitchen makeover, one of which is the Dmitriy & Co. sofa. “We wanted a bouclé, and this form and shape felt so inviting,” Regan comments. “It carries the curvature and concept of Mediterranean but in a modern way.” Another costly detail was carrying the paneling throughout the room.

Sneakiest Save: You wouldn’t know it, but the pantry system utilizes bins from CB2.

The Best Part: In a kitchen this beautiful, it’s tough to choose, but Regan loves the stove area with the motorized spice rack, textured handmade Linda Fahey tile, and moss-gray range. “The screen is insane as well,” she adds.

Something You’d Never Do Again: “I would’ve replaced the existing window carriers with new brass ones for that extra detail,” she says.

Final Bill: Kitchen: $200,000, which includes construction costs. Pantry: $30,000 without accessories.

The breakfast nook is where the old butler’s pantry once stood. Today, it has an artisanal feel with Porter Teleo silk drapery, a Linden Vertical pendant from The Future Perfect, and a custom Paige Glass fluted room divider.

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Larger than life sculptures debut at San Antonio Botanical Garden

SAN ANTONIO – You probably remember making paper planes, boats or even birds as a child with a small piece of paper. Did you ever think about what it takes to make them into life-sized sculptures?

The San Antonio Botanical Garden is inviting visitors to reminisce and explore visual art form through their newest exhibit OrigamiintheGarden².

Origami is the Japanese art of creating decorative art figures from a single piece of paper using intricate folds.

OrigamiintheGarden² features larger than life sculptures at the San Antonio Botanical Garden
OrigamiintheGarden² features larger than life sculptures at the San Antonio Botanical Garden (Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

At the garden, the sculptures are a bit more sturdy, Eliana Rodriguez, marketing director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden said.

“Visitors can expect to see over 20 different sculptures made out of aluminum, steel and bronze medals,” Rodríguez said. “These larger than life sculptures were also created from one single piece of paper from the artist and collaborated with different origami art artists as well.”

The sculptures were created by artists Jennifer and Kevin Box. Rodriguez said visitors will also get a lesson about the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature.

“They’ll be able to discover over 12 different types of plants that make paper,” Rodríguez said. “Some of the plants that they’ll be able to discover that make paper, that we call paper-making plants, are mulberry and papyrus.”

The San Antonio Botanical Garden also highlights the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature through its paper-making plants.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden also highlights the Japanese paper-art form’s connection to nature through its paper-making plants. (Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

In case you missed opening weekend, there’s still a chance to participate in origami-inspired events at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

“Starting Thursday, (September 24) is Origami Nights!, so you’ll be able to enjoy (the sculptures) in the evening from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. and there will be some hands-on origami activities,” Rodríguez said. “Also, (there will be) some guided tours, Japanese-inspired cocktails and beer.”

OrigamiintheGarden² will be on display at the San Antonio Botanical Garden until May 2021.

For more information on Origami Nights!, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Copyright 2020 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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San Franciscans keep legendary Red’s Java House alive


There may be no building still standing in San Francisco that embodies the city’s working class roots more than Red’s Java House.

The beloved shack perched on the corner of Pier 30 has served the city its famous sourdough cheeseburgers and cheap beer since 1955, and despite all the chaos of 2020, it’s not stopping anytime soon.

“San Franciscans own Red’s,” owner Tiffany Pisoni tells me, as we sit out back in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. “It’s an institution. I may have purchased it 11 years ago, but it belongs to the city.”


That back patio feels like an oasis of normality from another era right now. Situated between the looming bridge and a giant COVID-19 testing center that looks like it’s dropped in from a disaster movie, Red’s is somehow weathering the storm.



“I thought: We’re going to survive this, we’re going to show San Franciscans that we’re not going anywhere. No matter what.” Pisoni says. “It’s been an amazing feeling knowing that people are coming out and want to keep this place going.”

The tiny diner that veteran Chronicle writer Carl Nolte once called “the Chartres Cathedral of cheap eats” remained open even through the darkest days of the pandemic, that has seen over one hundred S.F. restaurants permanently close.


Red’s shifted to take-out through April and May, but now diners can order inside and take their $10.47 hamburger and beer lunch combo to the tables on the back deck over the water.

The restaurant gets its name from the pair of seafaring redheaded brothers who bought the place in 1955. Pisoni became the third owner, after taking over the restaurant in 2009.


“My father, an engineer, was working on Pier One at the time, and he said ‘I heard buzz that Red’s may be for sale, just go check it out,'” she says. “So I did … and I walked away. A month later he convinced me to check it out again.”



Red's Java House owner Tiffany Pisoni outside her restaurant in San Francisco, California on Sept. 10, 2020. Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE / SFGATE

Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE


Red’s Java House owner Tiffany Pisoni outside her restaurant in San Francisco, California on Sept. 10, 2020.


Pisoni was finally persuaded to invest in the historic spot.

“My thought was I could come in and change it, not the menu, but clean it up, and put my own touch on it,” she says.

“And did you?” I ask.

“I did not.” She laughs. “Within the first month I realized I wouldn’t be changing Red’s.

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San Antonio natives have green light to open new burger and beer garden on East Side

While the empty lot at 2014 WW White Road may not look like much now, two San Antonio natives are hoping to transform it into a new restaurant and outdoor space to bring food, fun and family together.

Owners J.R. Vega and Kevin Koenen hope to open their new restaurant Buckets Burger and Beer Garden next month. The open-space restaurant will include cornhole, volleyball and a playground for the kids — a place where people can hang out, have dinner and feel safe during the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Photos show Jollibee in San Antonio is almost ready

“It’s going to be the whole works,” Vega said. “We want to provide a place where people can be safe and happy … when people leave, we want them to be smiling and we hope this can be like a home away from home.”

Buckets will eventually take up 6-acres of land and will include food and drink specials served in — you guessed it — buckets.

The pair, who have been friends since kindergarten, have always known they wanted to go into business together. Separately, the two have owned a number of bars and restaurants in the San Antonio area. When Koenen saw the space on WW White available to lease, the two jumped on the opportunity. Within a week, they conceptualized their new venture and signed the lease on the 6-acre plot.

READ ALSO: Popular San Antonio food truck moving into restaurant at the Pearl food hall

“There just aren’t a ton of things to do in that area of town and people are looking for things to do to get out and be together but also be safe with COVID-19, so this was perfect,” Koenen said.

While its still in the infant stages, Vega and Koenen hope to open Buckets’ dining room and patio in mid-October, with the full concept finished by the spring. They said don’t want to create problems by rushing to open the full restaurant and are taking their time to make sure everything is right before fully opening.

Patron can expect classics like beer-can chicken, BBQ, big desserts and of course lots and lots of burgers. Vega said they are even throwing around the idea of creating a 12-pound burger challenge.

“We want our menu to be fun and creative,” Vega said. “It is stuff that no one really offers, so we want to take it and run.”

Taylor Pettaway is a breaking news and general assignment reporter for MySA.com | [email protected] | @TaylorPettaway

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CAMPO, San Marcos host transportation open house, survey through Sept. 28 – News – Austin American-Statesman

SAN MARCOS

Transportation survey,

virtual open house set

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, in collaboration with the city of San Marcos, has announced the San Marcos Platinum Planning Study Virtual Open House and online survey, which will run through Sept. 28.

The study aims to identify needs and strategies to support potential transportation and development planning efforts in the community.

The study will focus on evaluating three transportation corridors: Guadalupe/Texas 123, Texas 80/Hopkins Road, and a potential new north-south connection east of Interstate 35. It will suggest improvements for transportation users including motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The study will also examine several activity centers to create concepts for transportation and connections to housing, jobs and services.

Participants may attend the virtual open house by visiting smtxstudy.com to see an overview of the study and complete an interactive survey.

AUSTIN

Deadline nears to apply

for redistricting panel

The city auditor has less than three weeks to recruit Austinites to apply for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The panel will be responsible for redrawing the City Council districts and shaping Austin’s future. The Applicant Review Panel will select 60 of the most qualified applicants for the redistricting commission. Three independent auditors with CPAs will be selected to serve on the panel.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 30. To apply, visit redistrictatx.org.

AUSTIN

ACC hosts session

for DACA students

Austin Community College and American Gateways will host a virtual information session from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday for students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

This is the opportunity to ask questions or express concerns for DACA recipients. The presentation is open to all, not just DACA recipients. Attendees will be asked to respect the presentation, as it is intended to be an open and safe space.

To register: bit.ly/3mayYVS.

TRAVIS COUNTY

Registration open

for lake cleanup

Registration is open for the 26th annual Lake Travis Cleanup, which will be Oct. 18-24 at beaches and areas of Lake Travis.

The cleanup this year will feature various ways to help clean safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can work from home by becoming a community ambassador and cleaning their own neighborhoods; virtually by watching videos, lessons, panel discussions and history lessons; in the parks with small groups of eight to 10; and in the water with dive groups.

To register: eventbrite.com/o/lake-travis-cleanup-30352955734.

American-Statesman staff

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San Jose woman bedeviled by fleas in her house

DEAR JOAN: I had to put down my dear feline companion recently and am now, along with suffering from his absence, suffering from a flea explosion.

Being very chemically sensitive, I have tried repeated washing, vacuuming, fragrant oil spraying and more, but am still getting bitten every day.

Can you recommend any methods of flea extermination for my home that are not toxic? Sheltering in place is pretty miserable in this condition.

Kathleen Eagan, San Jose

DEAR KATHLEEN: Please accept my condolences on the loss of your cat.

I have some suggestions to help with your flea infestation. The first step is to use a powerful vacuum cleaner on your carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture and mattresses. Use the narrow crevice wand attachment to make sure you get into the corners and creases of the furniture.

You’re not only looking for the fleas, but also the eggs, larvae and cocoons, which make up 95 percent of an infestation and is why you keep getting bit.

Take the entire vacuum outside to empty the bag or canister, and make sure the vacuum is cleaned out well.

Next, use a steam cleaner on your carpets and upholstery. The combination of high heat and soap will kill fleas in all stages of life.

You’ll need to wash bedding and curtains in the hottest water they can stand, and dry on the highest heat setting that won’t ruin the fabric. Heat is critical in killing the fleas at all stages.

Normally, I’d recommend next using an aerosol flea killer sprayed throughout your house, under beds and furniture and into corners, but with your chemical sensitivity, you probably don’t want to do that. If you should need to try it, however, look for an insecticide that will kill both adults and the eggs and larvae. It likely will contain both permethrin and methoprene or pyriproxyfen.

To help prevent making yourself ill, you might ask a friend to spray while you remain safely outside the home for a couple of hours until the spray has dried.

To avoid having to use chemicals, even the less toxic ones, you can purchase some flea traps that are odorless and harmless to humans. You plug it in and the combination of an attractant, the light and warmth lures fleas in, where they are trapped on a sticky pad. I’ve used these and they work well. You’ll probably want to get one for every large room in the house, and they cost about $20 each.

You also can create your own flea traps by filling a plate or bowl with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. It doesn’t have quite the same attraction as the electric sticky trap, but it works pretty well. You need to replace the water and soap at least once a day.

Neither of those will work on the eggs and larvae, however.

A popular homemade herbal flea spray is made with 4 parts vinegar, 2 parts water and a little lemon juice and witch

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