Posted: January 20, 2014 at 2:17 a.m.

DEAR READERS: Here is this week’s sound off, about grocery-store workers wearing earphones:

“My Sound Off concerns the workers who collect the carts for stores in the parking-lot corrals. More and more, I notice that these workers have earbuds in and cannot hear a person,let alone a car coming, while they walk around the parking lot. It sure seems like an accident waiting to happen!” - Amelia W., via email

They could be earplugs to cut down on the loud cart noise, but if they are earbuds and the workers are listening to loud music, it could be a problem. Readers, comments?

DEAR READERS: Other uses for nonflavored dental floss:

Keep in the kitchen for cutting cakes, cheese, etc.

Use to sew a button instead of thread.

Tie something closed in a pinch.

To tie around a roast.

Tie around plants to keep them upright.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a question about how to keep wool moths from ruining carpets. I’ve had wool carpets that keep getting eaten, and I don’t know how to stop them. I’ve tried spraying the carpets with insecticides as well as vinegar, but nothing works.

  • Don G., Pitman, Pa.

DEAR READER: Your problem could be moths or carpet beetles. They show up in upholstery, rugs, carpets, etc. To try to rid your life of those little pests, remove the rug and wash the area thoroughly. Have the rug laundered or dry-cleaned before placing it back.

To prevent moths and carpet beetles, vacuum frequently. If you have pets, remove pet hair as often as possible. Pet hair is a food source for these pests. Do not spray insecticides directly on a rug - they can damage it further.

P.S.: If you can, move the rug to another room where there is sunlight, human action and foot traffic - the pests don’t like that.

DEAR HELOISE: I cut cotton-tipped applicators in two and use them on areas around the eyes or elsewhere, such as applying medication to a wound. It is much better than using one end and letting the other end lie around to gather dust or hair and then use it. After cutting them in two, they fit into an old 35 mm film case.

  • M.B., via email Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

ActiveStyle, Pages 26 on 01/20/2014