Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Celebrate 100th Year of Mother's Day with Mothers Day Gifts

by Barbara 21. April 2014 10:16

Question about possible mother's day gifts.

Question: "I need some gift ideas for Mothers Day. Mom seems to have almost every kitchen utensil she could ever need. I want to gift her with something unique. Please give me some ideas. Thanks. Susan."

Answer: Safe Home offers a wide variety of gifts both whimsical and practical. Here are some examples of our best sellers for Mothers Day:

For the Bird Loving Mom:

For the Gardening Mom:

For the Mom Dealing with Head Ache or Muscle Pain from Too Much Exercise or Too Much Gardening.

Go to the website for thousands of other products that might make your Mom's life more pleasurable, less painful, or less work!

Thanks for your question. Hope this helps.



Choosing Wind Chimes to Set A Mood, To Accent an Area or to Remain Friends With Your Neighbor

by Barbara 11. November 2013 10:36

Question about buying and hanging wind chimes.

Q: "I'm looking to purchase several wind chimes for my screened porch. How do I know what to purchase? Thanks. Suzanne."

Answer: There are many questions to consider when choosing wind chimes and their placement. Often sounds that please your ear may be abrasive to some else.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. How much are you going to invest in your chime or chimes? Some chimes are quite inexpensive. For example, the Cohasset Sail Boat Bamboo Wind Chime. Others like the Music of the Spheres Westminster Wind Chime can cost more than $100.
  2. How many do you plan to buy? If you plan to hang more than one in an area, please choose units that work well together. Ex. The Music of the Spheres wind chimes come in soprano, alto, bass, etc. They are tuned to the same scale just in different octaves.
  3. What is your purpose? i.e to set a mood, to accent an area, etc.
  4. Where are the locations you are considering? Chimes range in length from about 26 inches to 90 inches. Are you going to place these outside or inside? Inside means near a screened window or screen door through which wind can flow. Perhaps you'll have to have a fan nearby to jostle the chimes. Typically how windy is it outside your home or building? How close are your neighbors? (long bass wind chimes can be quite loud).
  5. What components are in the chimes you are considering? Components change the sounds, from soothing to rather abrasive, from tuned to not tuned. Also the distance the sound travels

Then take a look at the options:

  • Glass wind chimes have a higher pitch, are not tuned, add color. Glass chime sounds do not carry as far as metal chimes.
  • Metal wind chimes are aluminum like the Amazing Grace Chime, copper like the Woostock Copper Wind Bell or steel. Often you can add additional chimes to provide harmony. Ex. Music of the Spheres has chimes ranging from soprano through bass. The pitch is usually the same and sound not only carries but lasts longer.
  • Bamboo wind chimes provide soothing sounds, hollow, deep and resonant. They are less durable than metal. Splits in the bamboo have little effect on the sounds

Choosing the number of tubes:

  • More tubes means more notes, more combinations of sounds and different harmonies.
  • Fewer tubes results in a smaller range of sounds, well-tuned ones

Choosing Chime Finish:

  • Painted
  • Natural Metal Finish
  • Natural

Choosing Chime Length:

  • Overall wind chime length determines both tones and sound depth.  the tone and depth of the sound. Longer chimes result in lower, fuller tones: shorter, higher pitched tones.

Looking at the wind chime sail size:

  • This is the piece that catches the breeze. If it is too large and heavy, the sound may be decreased. Choose a wind chime that will not need gale force winds to chime. Usually a gentle breeze of 8 to 10 mph activates a chime. A very heavy sail can "beat up" the wind chime,

Just go to and enter wind chimes in the search box to browse through our very large selection of wind chimes.

Thanks for your questions.




Compare Smart Solar, P3 Sol-Mate and Bird-X Transonic Solar Mole Repeller Stakes

by Barbara 25. July 2012 07:18

Question about the differences among the Smart Solar Solar Mole and Gopher Chaser Stake, Model 90400RM1, the P3 Sol-Mate Solar Molechaser and Gopher Chaser P7911, P3 Sol-Mate Solar Molechaser and Gopher Chaser, P7912 and the Bird-X Transonic Electronic Mole Gopher Chaser,Solar

Question: "How do these mole stakes differ? I don't know which to purchase. Thanks. Dave."

Answer: Here is a comparison:

Smart Solar Solar Mole and Gopher Chaser Stake, Model 90400RM1:

  1. Construction: metal with solar head.
  2. Area Covered (Max)  7000 Sq. Ft 
  3. Duty Cycle               30 seconds
  4. Frequency   400 Hz    
  5. Vibration/Sound: yes, emits sonic tone every 30 seconds
  6. Insertion:  Moisten dirt, insert stake bottom using board and mallet, put on top and connect
  7. Mow over: No
  8. Warranty: One year from date of sale, by manufacturer.

P3 Sol-Mate P7911: Currently not available (Summer 2013)  

  1. Area Covered (Max)  7500 Sq. Ft    
  2. Duty Cycle               30 seconds   
  3. Frequency   400 Hz 
  4. Vibration/Sound: yes
  5. Insertion: Moisten dirt, dig hole, insert, pack dirt around it.
  6. Mow Over: No

Bird-X Transonic Electronic Mole Gopher Chaser,Solar

  1. Construction: metal stake except for point and solar panel 
  2. Area Covered (Max) 7800 Sq Ft. 
  3. Duty Cycle    20 seconds
  4. Frequency   800 Hz 
  5. Vibration/Sound/Flashing Light:     All 3, Emits bursts of sound and vibration every 20 seconds, to repel underground intruders
  6. Light flashes every 5 seconds, to deter critters above ground
  7. Insertion: Moisten dirt, dig hole, insert, pack dirt around it.  
  8. Mow Over: No
  9. Warranty: 6 Month by Bird-X             

P3 Sol-Mate Solar Molechaser and Gopher Chaser, P7912

  1. Construction: PVC plastic tube
  2. Area Covered: Up to 7500 sq. ft
  3. Duty Cycle: 2 seconds on, 30 seconds off
  4. Frequency: 400+/- Hz
  5. Solar Panel: 4.3V20mAH.
  6. Battery: 1 AA Fe-Li 3.2v250mah (included) Note: Battery is long lasting but can be replaced if fails.
  7. Power supply: 2.4V DC
  8. Mow Over Design, if properly inserted into ground: dig hole, insert stake with solar panel at ground level
  9. Operating Time: up to 4 days without recharge
  10. Dimensions: 12 1/2" X 3 1/8"
  11. Weight: less than 1 pound
  12. Warranty: 6 months from date of purchase by manufacturer

Please click through on the links for more details. The Smart Solar is the easiest to insert.
Thanks for your question. Remember for serious infestations of moles and gophers, the best approach is to use several products at once. Adding the Mole Scram Natural Mole Repellent, 10 Lb. Bag or Scoot Mole, 32 Oz. Hose End Spray Applicator will help get rid of these pests faster. Also make sure you do not have grub worms, the mole favorite.

    Sincerely, Barbara

Dr. Frog Croaks When House Plants Need Water or Use Drip Irrigation Plant Sitters

by Barbara 14. May 2012 07:40

Question about plant moisture sensors.

Q: "Do you sell any products that sense when a plant needs to be watered? I seem to either forget to water my African violets or over water them. Thanks. Sue"

Answer: Safe Home does sell an electronic moisture sensor for plants. This product is called Dr. Frog.Doctor Frog Water Alarm, Electronic Plant Moisture Meter uses twin metal probes that are attached to an electronic moisture sensor. Although water resistant, Dr Frog™ must be removed when you water your plant. Re-insert afterwards. Avoid immersing Doctor Frog™ in water even briefly. Battery life is up to 1 year with normal use. Of course, if you ignore Dr. Frog's alarm, the batteries ( two G10 batteries) will not last very long. There is a light sensor so Dr. Frog won't wake you up at night. Otherwise he will croak for 3 seconds every 10 seconds. 6 month limited manufacturer's warranty. As seen on HGTV's "I Want That."

Other options for keeping your plants adequately watered include:

  • Cobra Co Plant Sitter Water System, Indoor or Outdoor UseCeramic moisture sensor releases drip irrigation to your house plants or outdoor deck plants whether you are home or away. Just remember to refill the one quart tank of the CobraCo(R) Plant Sitter Water System once a week or every two weeks. The Plant Sitter automatically provides water and fertilizer to house or deck plants. The one quart tank and ceramic sensor fit almost any planter. For the average sized plant, the CobraCo Plant Sitter provides drip irrigation as needed to water plants for up to 3 weeks. Great for the elderly or invalids who can enjoy plants without the fuss of watering. No need for a house sitter for short vacations! For longer ones, your house sitter needs to refill only once per week or every second week.
  • CobraCo Plant Sitter Terra Cotta Replacement Ceramic Watering Sensors that work with any container of water.Drip irrigation for house plants. Plant sits up to 3 weeks. Fits almost any planter.Use year-round or for vacations. Great for house plant promotion.The CobraCo(R) Ceramic Watering Sensor provides automatic watering of house plants. The sensors come in a 3-pack and will work with any container of water. The drip time is approximately 6 to 10 hours per water sensor. Keep your plants at the proper moisture level with these ceramic water sensors.

Thank you for your question. These products should keep your thumb "green."




OMRI Approved Havahart CritterRidder Lasts Up to 30 Days in Repelling Small Animals

by Barbara 19. July 2011 08:43

Question about Critter Ridder Animal Repellent

Q: " How and why does CritterRidder work? What animals does it repel? For how long? Is it organic approved? I want to keep animals out of my garden and don't want to risk contamination of the soil. Thanks. Frank"


Havahart® Critter Ridder® animal repellent contains the scent and taste deterrent ingredients of oil of black pepper, piperine and capsaicin. These active ingredients irritate animals when they touch or taste the product. This patented, effective animal repellent is both OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute )listed and compliant for use in organic gardening. Effectively repels skunks, groundhogs, dogs, cats, squirrels and raccoons from treated areas for up to 30 days. The competition requires more frequent application.

The Critter Ridder® animal repellent granular shaker canister is perfect for perimeter protection. Sprinkle your lawn, garden path and flower bed or spot-treat ground around other problem areas such as garbage bags, ornamental plants, trees or shrubs. It can also be used indoors – ideal for use in potted plants and non-living areas such as basements, cellars, storage areas, sheds and barns.

CritterRidder Sizes:

As noted above, this is also for indoor use to keep animals out of potted plants, repel animals from barns and sheds or to keep raccoons and squirrels out of attics!

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara


Organic Pond Water Treatments for Clear, Quality Water

by Barbara 24. April 2011 07:01

Question about the Organic Biotech Pristine Natural Pond Cleaner 32 oz and Organica Clear Blue Pond Clear Water Formula 32 oz.

Q: "What is the difference between these two products? How much do I need for my pond? Thanks. Todd"

Answer: The products are identical in composition. The difference is that the second one has a safe blue organic dye. Both formulas of pond water cleaner contain a broad spectrum of beneficial bacteria and microbial nutrients. The water cleaner removes excess nutrients such as phosphates, nitrates and ammonia from water, breaks down sediment, colors water an aesthetically pleasing shade of blue, improves water clarity and water quality. Both are safe for all aquatic life including fish, plants, and invertebrates. You need to measure your pond and determine approximately how many gallons of water are in it.  Unfortunately, I do not currently have this in our Iowa warehouse. The best information I can find is to put in 4 Gallons Per Acre Foot (325,000 Gal) As A Shock Dose, 2 Gallons Per Acre Foot (325,000 Gal).

Fountain Protector by Care Free Enzymes 4 oz. treats up to 5 gallons of water in small fountains with just one capful. Made in the USA, the directions say to use weekly. This is a non-toxic, biodegradable, natural enzyme product that uses food grade enzymes and is free of bacteria. It prevents stains, sludge, mineral deposits and organic contaminants for naturally clear water. It is safe for birds, pets, wildlife and humans. The only caution has to do with drinking the product undiluted and keeping it out of one's eyes.

Fountain Clear for Bird Bath and Pond 16 Oz. is another preventative option for cleaner bird baths and ponds. This formula prevents organic contaminates from forming (ie: crusty white scale deposits, iron, copper, hard water stains) using two unique technologies: one helps prevent the buildup of stains, and mineral deposits on the birdbath surface; the second uses bio-enzymatic activity to keep water clear and free from the organic debris that can make the water cloudy. For larger water fountains and indoor/outdoor waterfalls, Fountain Clear is also a great choice. One capful treats 1 gallon of water. No need to dilute. Just pour in. 16 ounce bottle of fountain clear treats 6400 gallons of water. Safe for fish, birds, animals, even safe for humans! From Ecological Laboratories.

Clear Water Jumbo Bale Barley Straw for Ponds, 5000 GAL contains natural enzymes that keep pond water clean, too. One gallon treats 5000 gallons of pond water.  Just float this on your pond. Choose the correct size of barley straw according to the size of your pond. There are several sizes to choose from including Clear Water Mini Bales Barley Straw 500 Gal. 2/PK  with each bale treating 500 gallons of water and the Clear Water Super Mini Bales Barley Straw 1000 GL 2/PK with each of the bales treating 1000 gallons of water. The barley straw bales need to be replaced every 6 months. Since it takes about a month for the action to occur, the recommendation is to add sufficient barley straw bales every 5 months. Then water stays clear.

I hope this answers your question.



Change Mole Chaser Batteries in Spring to Keep Moles and Gophers Away

by Barbara 9. April 2011 11:40

Question about the vibrating metal mole chaser stake or the Original P3 green PVC mole chaser stakes

Q: "How long do batteries last in the solar and the metal battery powered mole stakes? When should they be changed? Thanks. Peter"

Answer: D cells batteries that power the P3 International Mole Stakes last 4 to 6 months. If you use the Supersonic Mole Stakes, there is a power saver feature once the moles are gone that increases battery life. We recommend only alkaline batteries. For the solar mole stakes, listen for the almost silent vibrating sound. If there is none, the reasons may be either that the unit is not getting enough sunlight or that the solar battery needs replaced. We sell D cells but not the solar batteries.

We recommend you test or listen to your units every spring if you are in the northern part of the USA or at least ever 4 to 6 months in warmer regions. One year I did not. One warm January day, I saw mole runs from the woods behind my 1/3 acre right to the front sidewalk. A rude awakening of "spring." In fact what motivated this article today was that I thought the same thing, It is warm in Iowa even though it is only April 9 and it is time to go and listen.

With the P3 battery units, you just pull out the battery tube, slip in new batteries and then put the cap on. I learned with my solar outdoor lights that local stores, at least in Iowa, don't carry the solar batteries in the winter! So take out a battery if you have the Smart Solar Mole Stakes or the P3 International Solar Mole Stakes and check them out now. The Smart Solar takes a battery pack so match the numbers against internet numbers. The P3 takes a AAA NiMH 600 mAh.

Thanks for the question and the reminder.



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garden products | gopher control | mole control | outdoor

Disposable Yellow Jacket and Wasp Traps Lure Stinging Insects Away from Food

by Barbara 8. September 2010 06:05

Question about the Contech Yellow Jacket and Wasp Trap

Q: "My wife is allergic to yellow jackets. Would this wasp trap help control the problem when we eat out on our deck? Thanks. Jim"

Answer:  Yes, we recommend that you place the Contech yellow jacket trap in the corners of your yard to draw them away from your deck. The wasp trap has no poison chemicals. Yellow jackets looks like bees but live underground and are aggressive. If you know where the yellow jackets are nesting, put these bait trap close and lure these insects into the trap unless those nests are near your deck. Avoid wasp stings or hornet wasp stings by using traps to lure the yellow jackets, wasps and hornets away from your deck.  Remember though that no trap is fool proof.

Among the traps Safe Home currently sells:

Yellow jackets are attracted to food, especially sweet smelling beverages and desserts. Oklahoma State University advises that paper wasps and yellow jackets and their nests should be avoided and not disturbed. Wasps and bees often visit garbage cans in picnic areas and other recreation sites, so it is best to avoid sitting or standing next to such sites. When wasps are common in recreation areas, carefully look for wasps and bees before sitting on the ground and check your food or drink before consumption. Stings inside the mouth and throat are particularly dangerous because of the potential of swelling and closing off the windpipe. When in wasp-infested areas, avoid wearing sweet-smelling colognes, perfumes, and hair sprays and bright orange, yellow, and blue clothing, as they will attract flying wasps. Khaki, tan, and dark colors are less attractive to wasps. If a wasp does approach you, it is best to remain still or move away slowly, because rapid movements such as swatting may stimulate stinging.
According to the University of The Contech wasp trap is safe, effective, and 100% pesticide free.

How and Why the Wasp and Yellow Jacket Trap Works:

Using the Contech Wasp Trap is easy. Simply place the bait in the bottom of the reusable plastic jar, add an inch of water and two drops of liquid dish soap, suspend the lure above the bait, and hang the trap from a tree or structure away from the house or patio (to avoid attracting wasps to occupied areas).

The trap’s patented bait and lure combination attracts nearby wasps and yellow jackets, and captures them within the jar. An attractive translucent cover conceals trapped wasps from view. After about 14 days, simply empty the dead wasps into the trash, replace the bait, and the reusable Wasp Trap is ready to go again.

The Wasp Trap uses a highly effective, yet safe and non-toxic attractant developed by Pherotech International - an industry leader in the development and commercialization of non-toxic insect trapping technology.

Wasp Trap and Wasp Lure:

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Fi-Shock Pet Deterrent Electric Fence or Koolatron CD-01 or CD-02 Cat and Dog Repeller?

by Barbara 20. July 2010 05:58

Question about the Koolatron Cat and Dog Repeller, Battery Powered and the Koolatron Cat and Dog Repeller with AC Adapter

Q: "I have a home in an Atlantic Ocean coastal town near the beach. There is a constant stream of beach traffic including people with dogs. The dog owners pick up the droppings but of course not the urine which is killing my grass in several spots near the sidewalk. I tried the CD-01 without success. Do I have a bad unit?" The batteries last only about 12 days. Thanks Barry

Answer: I discussed this with my Koolatron rep at length. Heavy traffic and salt spray combine, he feels, to make this unit ineffective. He suggested a fence to discourage dogs from squatting. He reminded me that dogs tend to urinate where other dogs do. Also pet owners may be quite unhappy if their dogs cannot walk on the other side of the street.

My own recommendation, if you can do this, would be to install a low voltage above ground electric fence such as the Fi-Shock Economy Pet Deterrent Electric Fence Kit. Perhaps this could be discretely mounted in front of or just above behind a border type fence, preferably a UV stabilized PVC plastic fence.  The Koolatron Cat and Dog Repeller is better suited for backyard or side yard use or for a very deep front yard where it can be mounted to shoot the ultrasound, if activated, across the yard from the side.

These are the reasons not to use the Koolatron unit in your front yard or back yard near the ocean:

  • The Koolatron CD-01 or CD-02 will activate every time that a person, animal or vehicle passes. That means the battery life will be short. Battery Life is determined by how many times the motion sensor picks up motion and triggers the ultrasound. Two batteries should last up to 2000 ultrasonic bursts, Of course, we humans won't hear the sound.
  • A salt spray environment will cause corrosion of screws and perhaps the inside as well over time.
  • The effective distance of the unit pointed toward the street is up to 85 ft in a 70 degree arc so folks across the street may also trip the alarm. Plus dogs across the street will be effected to their owners' chagrin.

If you don't want to put a "flower bed" type PVC fence in place then use the above ground low voltage electric fence alone. This is a single wire strung between PVS fence poles. The Fi-Shock™ economy pet deterrent kit trains pets and or keeps unwanted critters away. This product can be used to break your pets' bad habits and keep them fenced in. The electric fence delivers a mild shock, deterring animals from the area. It plugs into a standard 110 volt outlet and delivers continuous output.

The Fi-Shock electric fence kit includes the charger, 10-23” PVC fence poles, 1-22” ground rod, 100’ of aluminum wire, 50 cotter pins for fastening wire and 1 ground clamp. It is easy to install and has a 1 year limited warranty. Unless the dog/dogs jump over the fence, your yard will be protected from urine damage.

Thank you for your question.



Gardem Accent Echo Valley Illuminaries, What Makes Them Glow?

by Barbara 16. July 2010 04:42

Question about the Echo Valley illuminary garden accents and stakes

Q: "What makes them glow? How long should the glow last if you live in a sunny climate like Arizona? I am looking for a garden accent to put among the shrubs and perennials when blooming is over. Thanks. Mary.

Answer: Patented luminescent crystals within the glass globes absorb light energy from the sun during the day and emit a soft green glow for hours after dusk. Expect at least 4 hours of glow once night falls if exposed to enough sunlight or artificial light during the day. The deep blue glass globe swirled with green tones is about 2.25 inches in diameter.

First, Echo Valley Illuminaries are NOT solar landscape or accent lights. Without batteries, the Illuminaries use only “passive” solar energy, i.e. the sun or incandescent light to charge the crystals.

Second, the length and intensity of the glow is dependent upon where you position or locate your Illuminaries product. Fll sun during the day makes for maximum crystal chargeability. Position away from any potential source(s) of light interference like exterior or interior house lights, street lights, etc. for maximum visual clarity. Moonlight also reduces the amount of glow: put illuminaries where it is completely dark at night for best brightness.

Third, dusk to “dark” varies throughout the year. Summer means more exposure to the sun. The latitude effects the glow as well. In Alaska and Norway, for example, there is a very short day in the winter and a very long day during summer months. So expect less glow in the winter unless your location has more equal amounts of "night" and "day."

Extreme weather conditions like excessive heat, thawing and freezing of winter, high winds and torrential rains can reduce the life expectancy of these products. Do remove them and store them during these types of conditions.

The Dragon Fly Stake is a set of 4 stakes, each about 29.5 inches long. Most customers buy a minimum of 4 stakes, either the same or mixed. These also make great gifts for gardeners.

Choices include the Fairy Stake, the Saturn Stake the Mushroom stake and others. Our selection changes during the year depending upon our inventory.

The Solar Kissing Fairies uses battery power rather than crystals. This is one of our most popular Echo Valley products other than the Illuminaries.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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