Dear Heloise: With regard to the high cost of medicine, most pharmacies will sell you the generic brand if you ask for it. A few will even sell you medication at their cost if your insurance company does not cover your prescription.
— Frances S., King George, Va.
Frances S.: I understand the need to lower health care costs, and many generic drugs are very good, but please clear this with your doctor before switching to a generic drug.
Dear Heloise: I have many houseplants, but the problem with the plants are the gnats, and there are so many of them. Even with the vinegar solution I use to kill them, I still have a house full of gnats. How do I get rid of them?
—Janie in West Virginia
Janie in West Virginia: Gnats can be so annoying. Your problem can be from gnat eggs that may be on the fruits and vegetables you bring home from the grocery store, so be sure to thoroughly rinse them, especially bananas, and store them in the refrigerator if possible.
Gnats will also accumulate in the trays of overwatered plants, so ease up on the watering and maybe try repotting your plants in fresh soil. Hope this helps.
Dear Heloise: When doing laundry, turn pants wrong side out. Pockets will dry faster, and the pants don’t fade as fast.
No lid for a big pan? Use an aluminum pizza pan. You can set a regular lid on top for more weight, making a better seal.
— Phyllis S., Hamilton, Ind.
Dear Heloise: How do I clean wrought iron patio furniture and pavers of bird droppings? I tried artificial owls on the tables, but it did nothing to deter the birds.
— Barbara B., Mineral Ridge, Ohio
Barbara B.: To remove stubborn bird droppings, first you’ll need to gently brush or scrape away as much as possible without scratching the furniture. Next, fill a spray bottle with hot water and a mild detergent, then generously spray the droppings. Let it sit for several minutes. Then use a sponge or soft brush to clean away the droppings. You may have to repeat the process to get it all off.
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