Is That Snake Venomous?

No one wants to come across a snake while they’re outside in the garden or walking in the woods. Even though chances of a bite (much less a venomous bite) are relatively low, most of us give any snake a wide berth. If you can resist the urge to run inside when you encounter one, however, get a safe distance away and look – several characteristics can tell you if it’s likely to pose a danger.

  • Head shape. Venomous snakes will often have triangular or arrow-shaped heads because of the position of their venom glands, while non-venomous varieties will be spoon-shaped or rounded.
  • Tail. If a snake has a rattle on the end of its tail, it’s venomous. Venomous snakes will also often have a single row of scales on the underside of the tail instead of a double row (like non-venomous species). This is a helpful difference to know if you’re looking at a shed skin in your lawn.
  • Eyes. If you care to look closely at it, a non-venomous snake’s pupils will be round; most venomous snakes will have a vertical, catlike pupil. Venomous snakes will also have a pit, or hole, between their eyes that serves as a heat sensor to help them locate prey in the dark.

It’s a good idea to use a field guide or regionally specific website to get familiar with the types of snakes commonly found in your area. But if remembering that information or recalling the common characteristics of venomous snakes slips your mind the next time you come across a questionable variety, just remember this: There are numerous types of non-venomous snakes in the United States, but only four different types of venomous snakes:

  • Cottonmouths. This snake is often found in or around water. Black or green, they have a white stripe along the side of their heads. Young cottonmouths have a bright yellow tail.
  • Copperheads. Similar in look to cottonmouths, copperheads are brighter in color (coppery brown to bright orange). Like cottonmouths, young copperheads have yellow tails.
  • Rattlesnakes. These are easy to identify – look for the rattle on the tail. Rattlesnakes also have a heavy triangular head and elliptical eyes.
  • Coral snakes. Coral snakes are colored very distinctively, with black, yellow and red bands along their length and a yellow head with a black band over the nose. Coral snakes are very shy.

You can discourage snakes from visiting your backyard by keeping your lawn mowed and brush-free and removing piles of wood or rock. To ensure that you don’t encounter one around your home, though, use a liquid or granular repellent, like Liquid Fence® Snake Repellent. The ingredients in this repellent work to impair a snake’s chemosensory systems, making it unable to process information about its environment. Liquid Fence® Snake Repellent can be used as a perimeter around your property or campsite, or you can apply to areas where snakes are a problem.

Prevent Deer Damage

You might appreciate the occasional deer visitor in your yard – if you’re quick and quiet enough – but deer are at their hungriest in the spring, and they can become real pests in the garden. In urban areas, backyard plantings have become these animals’ primary source for food. To keep deer from wiping out their flowers, veggies and shrubs, many homeowners resort to extreme measures, such as installing high fences and wrapping tree trunks in chicken wire. If you take some easy precautions and use effective methods to repel deer, however, you can manage these pests effectively.

  • Deer love tender, tasty plants, such as geraniums, tulips, strawberries, roses and azaleas. Instead of banishing these favorites from your garden, plant them along the back or side of your house so you can keep an eye on them. Pick your garden produce as soon as it’s ripe so it’s not a temptation for animals.
  • Let your dog have the run of the yard. Dogs are natural deer repellents, both because of their sounds and smells.
  • Plant natural barriers around your plants. Fuzzy or prickly textures, like lamb’s ear, or strongly scented flowers or herbs, like garlic or mint, can keep deer at bay.
  • Install a natural barrier around your yard – thick boxwood hedges might not keep deer out completely, but they will block what’s inside from view.
  • Keep prized plants safe by stringing bands of fishing line 2 to 3 ft high around your planting beds.

Use an effective deer repellent around your lawn, garden plants, and landscaping. Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent, for example, works on scent, so deer don’t have to feed on your plants to be repelled. After the initial applications, just spray monthly for continued protection from moderate foraging in every season.

Get Gardening!

We’re digging into the growing season this month! Now that the warm weather is finally here to stay this spring, it’s time to get out the gardening tools and get some color into the landscape. Whether you’re overhauling tired planting beds from last year or creating entirely new spaces, a thoughtfully planned garden will save you time later this season – and improve your success rate.

Picking the right spot is key to a successful gardening season. You’ll need access to the basics, including a water supply and plenty of sunshine. Sketch out the space you have and make some notes about how much sun each area gets in the early morning, midday and afternoon – you’ll want to make sure the location you pick will work if you have a specific plant in mind. If possible, choose a grow area that doesn’t contain any trees or shrubs, which will compete with your plants for water and nutrients. Your plot should also be level and have adequate drainage.

What will your garden grow? More importantly, how much time will you have to spend there? If you have only a small space for veggies, plant varieties with a high yield, such as tomatoes, leafy greens or bell peppers. If you don’t have a lot of room — or time — avoid melons, squash and sweet corn, which take longer to grow and take up more space. Above all, choose vegetables and flowers that your family will enjoy the entire season so none of that produce goes to waste.

When choosing what plants to put where, consider light requirements first and foremost. If you’re growing something tall, plan to plant it to the north or east of shorter plants so you don’t have to worry about shading. Avoid planting the same vegetable in the same soil year after year — this can make your plants more susceptible to insects and disease. Do you have trouble with deer feeding on your flowers or shrubs? Plan a row of plants with tough or prickly foliage around the outside of your bed.

Early spring is a good time to take stock of your gardening supplies pick up any essentials you’ll need for the upcoming planting season. Beginners should start with a watering can, spade, garden fork, trowel and rake. Pick up a bottle of Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent now so you have it at the ready to repel garden-munching animals through spring and summer.

Give Your Spring Lawn a Strong Start

Looking forward to a gorgeous, green spring lawn? Getting your season started off on the right foot with some seasonal groundwork just might make or break your lawn for the rest of the year.

Aerate
Extreme weather conditions, foot traffic and thatch buildup can thin out a lawn – even with the best care. Aerating, or removing cores of soil to allow air, moisture and nutrients to penetrate down into the root zone, is a really effective treatment for penetrating thatch, breaking up compacted soil and revitalizing grass plants. To test whether you need to aerate, remove a small section from your lawn, at least six inches deep. If you have a visible thatch layer of more than ½ inch thick at the top of the soil, or if the roots reach down one to two inches, your lawn would probably benefit from aeration and overseeding. You should never aerate a lawn in its first year of establishment, though. Many landscaping companies will aerate your lawn, or you can rent an aerator and do the work yourself.

Overseed
Although fall is probably the best time to get seed down and established for lawn recovery, seeding bare spots or overseeding in spring will strengthen and thicken up your lawn for the upcoming growing season. For cool season grasses, it’s key to get seed down and established in early spring (right now). Wait to seed zoysia, centipede or Bermuda lawns until late May or June, though, so the soil is adequately warmed and all chance of frost has passed. If bare spots in your lawn are smaller than a saucer, they’ll fill in naturally as the grass grows – no need to overseed.

Mow Smart
Lopping off a lot of the grass blade at once can weaken your lawn and permit weeds to invade. Always mow cool season grasses, such as tall fescue and bluegrass, no shorter than 3 inches. Zoysia and Bermuda lawns can be mowed a little shorter. During rapid growth in April and May, it might be necessary to mow more than once a week to avoid cropping too closely. If you have resident rabbits feasting on your grass, you should spray a repellent product such as Liquid Fence® Deer and Rabbit Repellent. Although it might be tempting to let rabbits do the mowing for you, they can actually cause real damage to turf, nibbling seedlings and devouring grass down to the root.

Remember, a healthy lawn is your best defense. Proper mowing, watering and fertilization practices from the start of the season will go a long way toward preventing weed problems in your lawn. And whatever lawn product you use, read the label before applying to make sure your grass type will tolerate it.

Liquid Fence Acquired by United Industries Corporation

Liquid Fence Acquired by United Industries Corporation

National leader in consumer repellent category joins national leader in consumer home & garden pest control

united industries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Liquid Fence: Meg Watt, PR and Social Manager – meg@liquidfence.com
United Industries: Connie Caldwell, Director of Marketing Communications – connie.caldwell@spectrumbrands.com
 

BLAKESLEE, PA – The Liquid Fence Company announced today that it was acquired by Middleton, Wisconsin-based Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc., for its United Industries Corporation Home & Garden division.

United Industries Corp., based in St. Louis, Mo., had net sales of $390 million in fiscal 2013 through its brands, including Spectracide®, Garden Safe®, Hot Shot®, Cutter®, Black Flag® and Repel®.

“For Liquid Fence, this was a very natural process. The symmetry between the companies was unique and after 15 years of growth, we felt that United Industries could propel the company to the next level,” said Eddie Abraham, President and CEO of The Liquid Fence Company.

“We are confident that the new owners will continue to offer the same level of product quality, efficacy and customer service that our loyal customers have grown to expect.  This is a bittersweet time for us, but we know that we’ve made the right decision at the right time,” he added.

Liquid Fence is the manufacturer of a full line of animal and insect repellents, as well as various home and garden care products.  Based in Monroe County, Pa., the company employs approximately 50 people in two locations – their manufacturing facility and the corporate headquarters.

Current plans entail that the manufacturing will remain in Mount Pocono, Pa., until production is gradually moved to United Industries’ manufacturing location in Missouri.  Abraham and the Liquid Fence management team will be involved through the transition, as corporate control will shift gradually to United Industries.

Abraham is certain the transition will be seamless in stores and for customers.  “We are thankful for the trust and loyalty of our customers and we look forward to a bright future for Liquid Fence products in the coming years under United Industries’ leadership.”

About Liquid Fence Company

The Liquid Fence Company offers an eco-conscious line of insect and animal repellents, including its flagship product, Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent, which is the number one product of its kind in America.  Through continuous research and dedication to consumer safety, they are expanding to even more areas of safe and effective repellent products.  To learn more, visit www.liquidfence.com.

Courtesy FrostingandaSmile.com

Homemade Whipped Cream

Homemade Whipped Cream

Vanilla Whipped Cream 2

Vanilla Whipped Cream

Whipped cream makes friends easily. It gets along with cake, pie, and ice cream. Even fruit and cookies enjoy whipped cream dip.

It is an important base for many airy frostings and a basic topping that we should all know how to whip together. That’s why I’m making it my first blog post. I love the rich, slightly sweet touch it gives to desserts. After you make your own whipped cream, you will never want the canned stuff, or that “cool” hydrogenated, high fructose corn syrup glop in a tub ever again.

Whipped Cream Ingredients
This whipped cream takes just three ingredients. They are heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Whipped Cream Ingredients in a Bowl
Pour the cream, sugar, and vanilla into the bowl and then whip it with a mixer. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. You can even use a whisk, if you are prepared to spend some extra time and work out those arm muscles.

Whipped Cream Foam
You will quickly see the cream start to foam. If you use a hand mixer, it might start to splatter. After multiple times washing vanilla cream off of the wall, I found a solution. Place the bowl in the sink. It’s easy to wipe off any mess when you’re done.

Soft Peaks

In just a few minutes you will be rewarded as that foam whips into soft peaks. From this point you don’t have far to go.

Whipped Cream Stiff Peaks
You end up with a glorious bowl full of luscious dessert topping. I warn you, if you sample a spoonful, you’re going to want a second, probably a third. Be careful.

DSCN0392
This cream pipes beautifully. It crowns cupcakes with a silky swirl. A dollop gives pies some pizzazz. It’s also a creamy compliment to a big bowl of strawberries.

The recipe adapts well to other flavors. A half a teaspoon of almond extract gives it that little extra “something.” Citrus zest gives your cream a fresh, summery pop. Add liquor for a decadent twist. If you’re baking for kids, you can’t go wrong with classic vanilla version. It gets the Baking Buddy seal of approval, “deeelicious.”

Boy Samples Whipped CreamThank you to FrostingandaSmile.com for this great recipe!  You can download a recipe card there for this recipe.

Deer Damage on the Rise in Colder Months

Deer Damage on the Rise in Colder Months

Liquid Fence prevents deer damage

View article here on KDTXD47, in Dallas TX.

Blakeslee, PA (PRWEB) November 19, 2013

Deer damage takes many forms but is avoidable if youre willing to change your ways.

Its hard to hear, isnt it? With their gentle demeanor, deer can create a pastoral setting in our yards as they meander through and nibble. As winter bears its teeth, temptation increases to feed these gentle creatures. But homeowners invite a wealth of problems by attracting these animals close to communities: two of the greatest being the risk to motorists and damage to landscaping, not to mention the ever-present risk of tick-carrying Lyme disease.

What draws them? Food.

This takes two forms: your ornamental shrubs or the treat your neighbor left out for Bambi and friends last night. But the latter, an often- goodhearted kindness, is a recipe for disaster.

Either way, the result is the same: deer damage.

Automobiles collide with more than 1 million deer annually, mostly during the fall mating season. Each accident causes (on average) about $3,100 in damage to vehicles, according to insurer State Farm. Stated in their Annual Deer Collision Report, the incidence of accidents is up 7.7 percent in 2012. Currently, the highest risk states are West Virginia, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania. By luring the animals into populated areas, the risk increases exponentially.

Different areas of the United States have similar problems and similar suggested solutions. The biggest challenge for wildlife rescue organizations and government agencies is preventing the problem before it starts and that requires changing the behavior in humans.

To solve deer damage in our yards and our communities, we must first make the commitment to change how we interact with them. Deer damage is a communal and not an individual issue.

We look at it as a people problem, and not an animal problem. Wild animals will be somewhat opportunistic feeders. If someone is offering them a free meal, they cant say no, said Lynn Cuny, founder and president of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in San Antonio, TX.

Deer dont know the difference between the snacks you generously put out for them, and what they perceive as a natural treat like your expensive landscaped bushes.

Deer graze. They dont discern between plants that cost $1.99, and ornamental shrubs that cost $1,000. A meal is a meal, said Edward Abraham, President and CEO of The Liquid Fence Company. Manufacturing and selling natural deer repellent for over 15 years, the growth of Abrahams company is a testimony to a continually growing deer problem. Deer are not a new problem, but the problem is bigger than ever. Sales of our Deer & Rabbit Repellent have grown year after year. With a combination of education and repellent, the problem isnt insurmountable. People just dont know there are options. The most important thing is prevention, Abraham added.

Prevention starts with humans. Kathy Uhler, Director of the Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Pennsylvania often has this conversation in autumn. So how can you prevent deer damage, and still be a good neighbor to your doe-eyed friends? According to Uhler, it requires a multi-faceted approach. Some of Uhlers tips include:

Food for Thought
Be proactive from the start. Acquire a list of deer-deterring plants online or from your local garden center. Plant things they dont generally like.

Avoiding the Problem
As tempting as it can be, dont feed the wildlife. Beyond the risk of bringing unexpected and/or unwelcome animals, you also start a habit that you will have a hard time breaking. The deer do have food sources. By drawing them near your home, you risk more harm to them then help with your food. Leave them be.

An Ounce of Prevention
In many communities, fences are not an option as a deer inhibiter. Instead, consider a commercial repellent. There are many on the market, including Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent. The product is eco-safe for people and pets. It wont harm Bambi; it will just trigger a natural instinct to stay away.

Make it a Block Party
Uhler offers presentations in communities in the Pocono Mountain area. By working together, you can limit the impact of deer damage in your neighborhood. And were not just talking about shrubs. This time of year, the risk of deer-related collisions skyrockets. By producing a virtual bubble around your neighborhood, deer are deterred and your insurance premiums dont increase!

For the Wildlife Rescue Center of Napa Valley, California, autumn through spring present a difficult period as people feed the deer, perceiving they need help. Angela Zierenberg, the mammal rehabilitator for the Center, acknowledges concerns that by luring deer into populated areas, a number of risks befall them. They can get hit by a car or attacked by dogs. Maybe you enjoy feeding them, but your neighbor may not be as nice, she said. Youre also feeding them the wrong foods. People feed them carrots and lettuce which are foods they dont find naturally in the wild. They need to eat foods natural to them.

Zierenberg always discourages any kind of feeding of wildlife. You are habituating them. But once that food source is taken away, that animal can starve to death. Urging that you think first about the safety and well-being of your wild friends, she added: We understand you love them, and you want to see them up close. It just doesnt serve the animal. Prevent deer damage by avoiding causing the problem in the first place.

The Liquid Fence Company offers an eco-conscious line of insect and animal repellents, including its flagship product, Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent, which is the number one product of its kind in America. Through continuous research and dedication to consumer safety, they are expanding to even more areas of safe and effective repellent products. To learn more, visit http://www.liquidfence.com.

 Courtesy kdtxd47 logo

Grilled Squash Blossoms Recipe

No Tricks – The Perfect Autumn Treat!

Grilled Squash Blossoms

grilled squash cover

For the perfect seasonal delight, head to your garden, or local farmer’s market, and grab some squash blossoms (or zucchini blossoms) and grill up some happy.  Grilled squash blossoms are delicate with a great flavor – especially with this recipe.  Just a few ingredients and under an hour of total cooking time – You’ll thank us later!

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 doz. Squash blossoms (stamens removed)
2 Eggs
Parmesan cheese
Parsley
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Directions

Wash blossoms very carefully; they are delicate. Pat dry.
Beat eggs. Season flour with salt, pepper, parsley and parmesan cheese.
Dip blossom in flour, then egg.  Add to hot sauté pan with olive oil and grill to golden brown on both sides.

meg sig

chef stef sig

Did You Know: Adult Ticks Emerge in Fall??

Just when you thought you were safe…

Adult Ticks Emerge in Fall!

tick dyk

The nasty truth… you can’t put away the repellent just yet.  Guard yourself and your pets from harmful tick exposure with Liquid Net and Liquid Net for Pets.  Deter these carriers of Lyme Disease from your property using Yard Net.

honeycrisp 2

CONTEST: Post Your Honeycrisp Apple Recipes Here!

CONTEST: Post Your Honeycrisp Apple Recipes Here!

 

ENTRIES ARE CLOSED!  WINNER IS SELECTED!

monica strederRules are simple:

  • Recipe must include at least one Honeycrisp Apple
  • One recipe (entry) per person
  • A winner will be selected at random Friday, 10/4/13 at 5pm EST

GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY SHARING!