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Ask An Expert: Do Wasps Get A Bad Rap?

Sep 21, 2021
Whitney Cranshaw / bugwood.org

All wasps can sting, right? Well, not exactly. While we tend to group them all into the stinging insect category, paper wasps, yellowjackets and aerial yellowjackets (hornets) do most of the stinging. These wasps are in a single-insect family (Vespidae) with ovipositors or egg-laying organs modified into stingers.

Ask An Expert: Bats Making Recent Appearances

Sep 16, 2021
USU Extension

If you have spotted bats near your home or nearby structures, you are not alone. Bats are migratory and may take up residence in chimneys, structures and homes when they can find an opening. Once inside, they may form a nursery colony where they raise their young. About this time of the year, the young will take flight, and the increased activity may result in a noticeable number of droppings.

 

Many parts of the state have recently experienced flooding. It is important to properly clean and sanitize wet and muddy household furnishings, carpets, clothing and surfaces as quickly as possible to avoid damage and contamination. Consider these tips from the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) for cleanup.

While many people know and understand basic freezing and dehydrating methods for preserving foods, it becomes a different story when they contemplate bottling.

Ask An Expert: August Yard And Garden Checklist

Aug 3, 2021

The heat is on, and yards and gardens are trying to keep up with high temperatures and drought conditions. Consider these tips from the USU Extension Gardeners Almanac to help your garden succeed this month. Also included are links for further information.

Research shows that spending time in nature promotes physical and emotional health. Since July is National Park and Recreation Month, consider celebrating it by spending more time outdoors. 

Utah is currently in one of the worst droughts since recording began in the late 1800s. Many reservoirs are at an all-time low, and some are drying up completely. Because of this, a statewide alarm was sounded by the governor asking the public to conserve water. 

It can be a challenge to keep gardens growing well as summer heats up, so Utah State University Extension provides a Gardener’s Almanac to help. The almanac provides a checklist of tasks with tips, links and further information.

Farmers markets are known for offering an ever-changing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although variety is a benefit of shopping at local farmers markets, it can be difficult and overwhelming to come up with a menu for the week without knowing what will be available at the market.

Not only did 2020 have a negative impact on small businesses, employment and school schedules, it also had a negative effect on home food preservation supplies. This was due to the sharp increase in people wanting to become more self-reliant, combined with manufacturing plants that either completely shut down or operated with a significantly reduced workforce.

Just as humans must learn to adapt to changes in water availability during a drought, so must wildlife. Less water means less available habitat for wildlife, and since Utah is home to a sizable number of wildlife species, prolonged drought can create a perfect storm for human-wildlife conflict at the urban-wildland interface.

A close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is mutually beneficial when it comes to the health and well-being of both. Grandparents provide acceptance, patience, love, stability, wisdom, fun and support to their grandchildren. This, in turn, has positive effects on a child’s well-being.

Ask An Expert: How To Prioritize Home Irrigation During A Drought

May 25, 2021

Due to drought conditions throughout the state, Governor Spencer Cox recently issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Utah. To date, 100% of Utah is in the moderate drought category, and 90% of the state is experiencing extreme drought.

Ask An Expert: Seven Tips For Container Gardens That Thrill, Fill And Spill

May 17, 2021

Container gardening has become popular as planting areas in the landscape have become smaller. Some containers are used to grow vegetables or specimen shrubs, while others display a beautiful splash of color. For thrilling container gardens, consider these tips.

Ask An Expert: Five Ways To Find Peace By Staying Present

May 11, 2021

It is easy to get caught up in the events of the past or the future. However, doing so only brings worry and causes you to miss out on the present. On the other hand, mindfulness – or focusing on the present moment – leads to better health, lower anxiety and greater resilience to stress. Learning to incorporate the concept of “flow” is one of several ways to increase mindfulness.

Ask An Expert: May Gardening Checklist

May 3, 2021

April showers bring May flowers – as well as a multitude of gardening tasks. The Utah State University Extension Gardener’s Almanac provides a checklist for each month as well as links for tips and further information.

Ask an Expert: Four Tips to Help You Avoid Food Waste And Save Money

Apr 29, 2021

The average American throws away nearly 275 pounds of food each year. The USDA estimates between 30 to 40 percent of America’s food supply is wasted. Not only is good food wasted, but good money, too, equating to about $390 per year per person. While no one should eat unsafe food, consider these strategies to minimize food waste – and put the saved money toward a financial goal.

Ask an Expert – Home Sweet Home: Is It Best to Rent or Buy?

Apr 22, 2021

Paying rent each month isn’t just for college students or young families not yet settled in a career. Overall, home ownership in the U.S. has declined for the past 10 years since peaking in 2009. At the end of 2020, the rate hovered around 65%. If you plan to rent in the future, consider these points:

Ask An Expert – April Gardening Checklist

Apr 13, 2021

April showers (and work in the garden) bring May flowers (and plants). Consider these tips to help you prepare! Included are links from the Utah State University Extension Gardeners Almanac.

Ask An Expert - Establishing Smooth Transitions After Divorce

Apr 12, 2021

Household transitions, when children leave the care and responsibility of one parent to be with the other parent, can be emotional for children and parents alike. Establishing a routine for these transitions is beneficial for residential parents, nonresidential parents and children.

Ask An Expert; Corned Beef And Cabbage Not Just For March Meals

Mar 15, 2021

Corned beef and cabbage, Ireland and leprechauns – all part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, right? Actually, these foods often associated with the holiday are not tied to Irish history at all. At any rate, it’s worth learning more about them and how to include them in your diet.

Ask An Expert: Celebrate America Saves Week, By Saving!

Mar 1, 2021

America Saves Week has been an annual event since 2007. It is held the last week of February and focuses on helping people save money. Most people would like to put more money in savings, but it can be daunting to get started. The Americasaves.org website is a great place to start. You can set savings goals and sign up for email and text reminders to help keep you on track. Consider these savings tips.

Ask An Expert: The Dirt On Laundry: How Often To Wash?

Feb 25, 2021

How often do you wash your pajamas and pillowcases? Or how about your coats and comforters? In general, most people don’t wash their clothing, bedding and other items often enough. It’s important to note that phosphates in our detergents have decreased over the years, so your clothes may not be getting as clean as you think, and washing regularly is even more important.

There is much that can be done now to get a jump start on the growing season. These tips with links from the Utah State University Extension Gardeners Almanac can help you get started.

Though it’s February and relationships are on people’s minds, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day to consider ways to strengthen your relationship with your partner. Consider these six tips to help keep the spark going all year.

Ask An Expert: Relax And De-Stress With Meditation

Feb 4, 2021

 It can be a challenge to make the time to rest our minds, relax and find peace. But it is definitely worth the effort. 

Ask An Expert : Backyard Chicken Ranching, Rodents And COVID-19

Jan 25, 2021

In response to social distancing guidelines, innovative Utahns have found activities that allow them to be with family and also explore new adventures. In 2020 during COVID-19, Utah state park visitation rates increased by 36% during recreation months compared to 2019.

Ask An Expert : January Garden Planning Tips

Jan 15, 2021
Pixabay

If last year’s spike in gardening interest is any indication of what this year will be like, now is the perfect time to start planning! Consider these tips with links from the Utah State University Extension Gardeners Almanac. 

Ask An Expert: Three Steps For A Happier Life In 2021

Jan 15, 2021
Pixabay

Despite the dark, hanging cloud of the coronavirus, there is still much happiness to be had. Though 2021 still holds uncertainty, it can be as good as we make it.

Ask An Expert: Healthy Eating For A Happy Holiday

Jan 13, 2021

  The average American consumed about 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day when taking into consideration pre-meal snacking, the actual dinner, dessert, then evening leftovers. That is enough to gain a pound or two, which can be remedied, but how many more days like this will there be?

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