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Thompson: Stop squirrel party with a strobe light
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I admire people who come up with ingenious ways to solve problems. Helen Stell of Lula has provided the first two tips. They are definitely ingenious ...

Do you have squirrels and other critters in your attic? After a lot of trial and error, Helen discovered the perfect way to keep them out. She put a strobe light in her attic. The flashing strobe drives the animals nuts and keeps them out. She used to have a bad infestation, but since putting the strobe in eight years ago, she hasn’t had a problem. Helen says that a simple five watt strobe can do the job. (If you leave it on all of the time, your energy cost will be less than 40 cents a month).

Unloading a grocery cart full of groceries into your car can be a hassle. You have to use one hand to unload the groceries into your trunk, one hand to hold on to the kids and one hand to keep the grocery cart from rolling away. Helen found a cool solution to this problem. She attached a bungee cord inside her trunk. Whenever she pulls the cart up to her car, she simply attaches the other end of the cord to the cart’s handle.

It’s the time of year when you start getting phone calls from charities asking for money. Let me give you two tips before you open the wallet. First, always check out the charity at the Better Business Bureau’s Web site,

They’ll tell you if the charity is bogus and how much of the money you give actually goes to good works. Second, almost all telephone solicitations for policemen and firemen charities are scams. If you want to give money to these groups, call them and see what is the best way to do it.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. Have some tips, tools or tricks you’d like to share? E-mail Tim at

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