EP114: Natural Mosquito Repellent, Cool Paint Tools, & Dad Stories


Segment 1: Natural Mosquito Repellent

We’ve started hearing it again: it’s going to be a bad year for mosquitos! And the thing is, not everyone wants to go around doused in a chemical bug repellent and not everyone can deal with the smell. With that said, there are some natural alternatives that may work just as well, if used correctly. It’s not good enough just to plant these. You have to release the essential oils to make them work. Just roughly chopping and spreading on the lawn or patio should work.  Here’s a list of some plants that will go in my garden this year, along with some warnings and ways to use them.

  • Citronella
    • A Florida A & M study debunked the myth that simply planting these repels mosquitos. You have to crush the leaves, release the essential oil and put it on your skin for it to work.
  • Marigold
    • Contains pyrethrum which is natures insecticide
    • Used in organic insecticides
  • Catnip
    • It’s invasive in a garden bed. Consider using a pot.
    • Often more effective than products containing DEET
    • Cut the flower and boil in water
  • Lemon Grass
    • Plant in a pot because we are above zone 8
    • Keep away from pregnant women and new moms
  • Citronella Geranium
    • Has a small amount of citronella oil in it
    • Oil can be used to help remove scars
  • Bee Balm
  • Lemon Balm
    • Is invasive so use a pot
  • Lantana
    • Lantana flower extract in coconut oil provides 94.5% protection from mosquitos for an average of 2 hours
  • Mint
    • Spreads like wildfire! Plant among rocks or in a pot
    • Is toxic to mosquito larvae
    • Can be used in tea as well
  • Lavender
    • Can be rubbed right on skin
    • Beautiful purple flowers
  • Rosemary
    • Use on the grill with food. The smoke drives away mosquitos
    • OR use 1 cup of dried rosemary to 1 quart of water and boil for 20-30 minutes
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
    • It has to be crushed and who wants to smell like strong garlic???
  • Basil
    • Toxic to larvae
    • Thai basil is the best with a slight cinnamon scent
  • Thyme
  • Sage
    • Throw some in your fire
  • Pitcher Plant
    • Carnivorous plant that eats mosquitos among other things. Move over Venus Fly Trap!
    • Put in a basket or pot on your porch

If you are interested in making your own essential oil bug repellent, you can try a recipe from The Organic Goat Lady!


Segments 2 & 3: Cool Paint Tools

Larry Schwartz from Wooster Brush Company is back to discuss some great painting accessories! Everyone knows about roller covers and brushes. But what about an extension pole? Or a Pelican Paint Bucket? These things will make your painting life a lot easier!


Segment 4: Dad Stories!

It’s Father’s Day weekend and we ALL have them; Dad Stories. Like the time Dad took Mom squirrel hunting but forgot to tell her she was going to have to hold the squirrel while he skinned it…..

We share our stories, as well as a great story from the manager of our Plainfield store, Bob, who’s dad found a creative way around New York City traffic. Pull up a seat and enjoy the laughs!

EP113: Thermal Tracking, Finding Color with Jennifer Butler Design, Home Improvement Wedding Gifts


Segment 1: Thermal Tracking or Ghosting

A listener wrote in and described a strange situation in his home: dark shadowy spots in the corner of his ceiling. He wondered what was going on. Well, while it could be something as simple as actual shadows, or as frustrating as mold or mildew. . . there’s a good chance it’s something called Thermal Tracking or Ghosting. We discuss what that is and what you can do about it!

Segments 2 & 3: Choosing Colors with Jennifer Butler Design

Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates from Jennifer Butler Design join us to talk about how they go about helping their clients create unique, personal spaces. If you’ve ever struggled with color and design, listen in! They have a lot of great advice!


Segment 4: Home Improvement Wedding Gifts!

Yes, it’s Wedding Season. And, yes, there are lots of different gifts you can give the newlyweds. But . . . we’ve got some home improvement-themed gifts that are perfect! And, we also have a video of a dancing lamb.

  • Orbital Sander
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver Set
  • Drill Driver / Impact Driver
  • High Quality Drill Bits
  • Jig Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Levels
  • Clamps
  • Tool Box — Milwaukee’s modular storage solution
  • Battery powered tools — might be smart to look at a system with a wide ranging number of tools and accessories that will work with the same batteries. Milwaukee tools has an incredible area of items all using the same batteries
  • Push broom
  • Leaf Blower
  • Weed Whip
  • Wet/Dry Vac
  • Socket Set
  • Flashlights
  • Extension Cords
  • Snow shovel
  • Corn Shovel
  • High Quality Garden Hose
  • Spade
  • Potato Fork
  • Extension Pole Trimmer with “Lopper”
  • Pruners
  • Loppers

EP112: Themed Gardens for Kids & Fern The Bus


Segments 1 & 2:

Ian Warnock, Lead Horticulturalist at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, has some GREAT ideas for themed gardens kids will love! Who wouldn’t want a pizza garden? Or a salsa garden? Or even a sensory garden?

Ian also discusses some of the things going on this summer at Frederik Meijer Gardens, including the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden Un-Birthday Party.

Segments 3 & 4: Fern the Bus

Fern, the bus, is in our parking lot and her owners, Ben and Mande Tucker, are in our studio to discuss the drastic transformation from big yellow school bus to tiny house on wheels. We have never seen anything quite like it and we are excited to follow Ben and Mande’s adventures with Fern.

To read more about the Tuckers and Fern, check out their website and blog or follow them on Instagram @fernthebus.

EP111: All About Shellac, Selling a Home with Pets, Bird Exclusion


Segment 2: Selling a Home with Pets

Sue and Ginger Prins from Sue Prins Group 5-Star Real Estate are in the studio with us, talking about some little things we pet owners can do to get our homes read to sell for top dollar!

Segments 3 & 4: Bird Exclusion with Rose Pest Solutions

David Popp and Dale Hodgson from Rose Pest Solutions are here to talk about birds. Yes, they’re fun to watch. Yes, they’re beautiful. But they can also be a nuisance when they build nests in our eaves trough or our dryer vents. What do you do if you have geese that are continually threatening you? What about a nest of starlings in the fancy sign hanging over the door of your business? David and Dale have the answers!