The Herald Bulletin

June 11, 2014

Rick Bramwell: Help dad get rid of blood-sucking pests

The Herald Bulletin

---- — I hoped the severe winter would have resulted in fewer ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies, but all that snow seemed to have insulated them against the cold. Never have I ever seen mosquitoes so bad around my house. A perfect gift for Father's Day is the solution.

All my life, I have had to spray on the Deep Woods Off to repel mosquitos. One had to be careful, when hunting, not to get the chemical on wooden gun stocks. Even with all that protection, mosquitoes would fly under my glasses and try to bite my eye lids.

The solution, ThermaCELL. This is a small eight-inch-by-three-inch appliance that will keep a 15-foot radius free of mosquitoes and black flies for 12 hours.

The ThermaCELL uses a butane cartridge to heat a small, repellent saturated mat. There is no flame, and though the grill gets warm, it is safe around children and clothing. This small appliance has an on/off switch and a start button. There is also a level window for the butane.

For hunters, gardeners, hikers, etc., a holster can be purchased to carry the unit. The holster has two side pockets to hold extra cartridges and repellent mats.

The only downside is if you are moving, it may take a minute to catch up. If there is a breeze, sit the appliance upwind.

My daughter Jourdan and her niece Matti sat the ThermaCELL on our deck and were not bothered by mosquitos. Without this nifty invention and no Deet spray, they could not have done so.

The company also makes a repellent lantern.

The cost of one ThermaCELL is about $20. The lantern sells for about $28. Refill packs are around $23 for 48 hours. Save the directions and find helpful hints on gardening reviews online.

These units are user friendly, and dad will think of you every time he uses one. If you have the mosquito problem I have, then your deck will no longer be off limits.

u u u

This is peak season for encountering white-tailed deer fawns. If you come across one that appears to be abandoned, the best thing to do is leave it alone.

It's common to see fawns by themselves. A mother deer will leave a fawn during the day, both to look for food and so her scent doesn't attract predators to the fawn, which is nearly scentless. People often mistake a fawn as abandoned when, in fact, it is being properly cared for by its mother.

If you care, leave it there. In almost all cases, that is the best thing for the animal.

If you find a fawn, give the animal distance. The mother will not return if you are present, which may delay nursing for a hungry fawn. Most often the mother will return at night or when no predators are nearby. White-tailed deer view humans as predators.

If you feel compelled to intervene, call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A list of rehabilitators and their phone numbers is at