Car Door Seal, Natural Pest Control, and Other Country Lore

This installment of an ongoing country lore feature includes tips on natural pest control and making a do-it-yourself car door seal.

| December/January 1998

  • 171-country-lore-vacuum-bag.jpg
    A reader in St. Petersburg, FL offers this contribution to country lore: a method of making a reusable cloth vacuum bag.
  • 171-country-lore-pelican.jpg
    "Magic" nylon mesh will do a lot to discourage pelicans and other marauding birds from raising your property. Birds hate it.

  • 171-country-lore-vacuum-bag.jpg
  • 171-country-lore-pelican.jpg

The following household hints and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Do-It-Yourself Car Door Seal

The door molding on my daughter's car suffered from missing pieces and cracked and loose sections. To have a professional replace the molding would have cost us $75 to $100, but I wanted to fix the molding before she left for college. I bought a tube of door molding sealant for $8 at an auto supply store and a roll of garage door bottom seal for $12 at the local hardware store. After removing the damaged door seal, I cut the rubber garage strip in half lengthwise and ran a head of adhesive along the door. I pressed the homemade version onto the door frame and carefully closed the door to ensure a good bond. When it dried, I used a sharp utility knife blade to trim off unwanted pieces. My repair job cost me $20; the money I saved was used towards college expenses for my daughter.

— John McClain
Dillsboro, Indiana

Natural Pest Control

Parasitic nematodes have cut the population of cuke beetles to a livable level for us. Whether the nematodes attack the adult beetles I don't know, but they will attack the soft-bodied larvae. Nematodes are available from Gardens Alive (812) 537-8650, and probably other places.

— Georgiana Srachta
Homewood, Illinois

The following is one answer to "Trials of Southern Gardening" by Shannon Perna. Shannon, having gardened in Texas, especially east Texas (about 30 miles south of Tyler), I feel your pain. During the drought of '98, with the thermometer near 100°F daily and no rain in sight, even with mulches and watering, the garden was a disaster area. However, in normal years, we have a few ways of fighting back.

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