How to Get Rid of Cabbage Beetles, Home Guides, SF Gate

How to Get Rid of Cabbage Beetles

Cabbage beetles feast on the foliage of cole crops.

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Commonly known as flea beetles, cabbage beetles are small, hard-shelled insects with long legs ideal for jumping like fleas. Although they measure only 0.125 inches long, adult cabbage beetles feed on the foliage of seedlings in spring, riddling the leaves with small holes and quickly decimating new plantings. They prefer leafy plants such as Mexican evening primrose, brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, broccoli, turnips and watercress.

Apply aluminum foil mulch after planting. Cover garden beds with aluminum-coated construction paper or spray clear plastic mulch with silver paint.

Plant rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) near crops that are prone to cabbage beetles. These herbs repeal cabbage beetles, according to the Learn2Grow website.

Add parasitic nematodes to the soil to get rid of larvae. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora will kill cabbage beetle larvae when added to the soil when it’s between 60 and 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray insecticidal soap on the cabbage beetles in the early morning or evening when plants are in their first-leaf stages.

Spray plants with the insecticide Carbaryl for more severe cabbage beetle infestations.

Getting Rid of Cabbage Worms Naturally

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As soon as the brassicas and kale start growing in the early spring or fall garden, the dreaded cabbage moth and her cabbage worms make their appearance. Knowing how to get rid of cabbage worms naturally can feel daunting, but over the years, I’ve discovered some helpful natural tips that fit almost everyone’s gardening style. And if you happen to have backyard chickens, they may benefit from your gung-ho, get-rid-of-worms attitude.

What are cabbage worms?

If you begin to notice holes in the leaves of your kale, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, or really any member of the brassicas family, then chances are you’re dealing with cabbage worms.

Cabbage worms are a pale green, almost the same color as the leaf and stem of many of your spring and fall favorite plants. Even if you can’t see the worms, they may still be present.

When looking for cabbage worms, check the under sides of the leaves, they are very rarely on the top side of the leaf. And be sure to also check down where the leaf meets the stem, since this is the perfect hiding spot for tiny worms.

Cabbage butterflies, white butterflies with a black dot on each wing, are the culprit in bringing cabbage worms to the garden area. Seeing these butterflies is a good indication that you need to be on the lookout.

How to Prevent Cabbage Worms

Prevention really is the best defense in all areas of pest control in the garden. Preventing cabbage worms means keeping a lookout for the cabbage butterflies, with their white wings with a black dot on each.

The newest technique for preventing cabbage worms that I’ve discovered is using butterfly decoys. I ran across a post on The Good Seed Company blog, all about how cabbage moths are territorial. This means, they don’t like to lay eggs where other cabbage moths are already present and “working.” The decoy, which can be printed from their page here, are hung on string and dangle near your brassicas and greens. Ideally, the moths will see these paper moths and choose to go elsewhere.

It’s an interesting concept that I was excited the first year to actually see them work. For me, it was a great way of using a non-chemical method of keeping the butterflies away from my brassicas.

Light row covers that are permeable by light and water are also a good choice for prevention. If the cabbage moths/ butterflies can’t get to your plants, then they cannot lay eggs. Problem solved.

Damage Caused by Cabbage Worms

What if your cabbage worm prevention comes a little too late? I take a live and let live attitude with some bugs in the garden, as long as they remember who’s in charge. In my book Natural Pest Control for the Home Garden, I identify common pests and beneficial insects, so the home gardener can tell the difference. We certainly don’t want to kill any bugs that are working FOR us, right?

However, cabbage moths and the worms that hatch from the eggs they lay can decimate greens and brassicas. And when I say decimate, I mean they can take a perfectly healthy leaf and devour it. My kids are cheering for the cabbage worms to eat up all of our kale, but not on my watch. Here’s one of our broccoli leaves that had recently become a snack for cabbage worms. If left unchecked, they would easily consume this entire leaf and others that were on the same plant.

Over the years, I’ve tried many methods for getting rid of cabbage worms. Here are the ones that I’ve found to be most helpful, and one that we’ve just started trying, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes. I do try to keep my gardening as organic as possible, so no Sevin dust or other chemical bug killers will be found in my list. To each his own in the garden, but with kiddos picking and eating freely from the garden, I want to get rid of cabbage worms as cleanly and pesticide-free as possible.

How to Get Rid of Cabbage Worms Naturally

  1. Seek and Destroy– As the name implies, this simply means going out, checking under leaves and in the base of plants, and picking off worms and eggs. It’s about as fun as it sounds, but interestingly enough, some kids LOVE it. I have a jar of soapy water handy and the worms get placed in the jar. If you happen to have chickens, put the picked-off worms in a little container, and then feed them to your little chickies. Obviously, there’s nothing you have to purchase for this method, but you do have to be vigilant about checking your plants.
  2. Flour– A pantry staple and also an effective worm killer. Dust flour on leaves where worms are present, and they will eat the flour. The flour dries them out, especially in combination with the warm sun, and boom, they’re dead. I have repeatedly used this method in the past, and while it is effective, it did tend to discolor the leaves of my plant. This isn’t a huge issue for cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, but for kale and other plants where the leaf is eaten, I prefer to use something else. For application, take an old plastic jar, punch holes in the lid, fill it with flour, and then shake onto leaves. Very simple!
  3. BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis)- Though I tend to think that names I cannot pronounce are automatically harmful chemicals, BT is actually a bacteria that is harmful to cabbage worms and other invasive worms. It does not harm humans or other beneficial insects. I first learned about BT from several garden Youtubers (is that a word?) whose channels I enjoy and trust. MIGardener and Epic gardening both practice organic gardening techniques and use BT sprayed on the leaves of plants to battle cabbage worms. The worms eat the BT off of the leaves and once in their system, the BT develops toxins inside the worm. This toxin causes the worms to stop eating and then eventually die. For application, use a garden spray bottle and follow the mixing ratio on the bottle. Plants will need to be sprayed every few weeks to keep the BT on the leaves.
  4. Cabbage Moth Decoys– As mentioned above, these cabbage butterfly/ moth decoys can also work if you see if you already have a problem with this pest. Simply use one of the natural methods above to get rid of the cabbage worms, and use these decoys to prevent any more eggs from being laid.

So now you have four different tactics to combat the dreaded cabbage moth and cabbage worms. I’d love to know if you have any other techniques for getting rid of or preventing these plant-loving eaters. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive guide on garden pests and how to control them without harsh pesticides (that kill pollinators and beneficial insects, too) check out my book Natural Pest Control for the Home Garden!

Flea infestations

Does your cat or dog looks to be in some discomfort and is constantly scratching or biting their fur? Is it a skin infection or could it be fleas feeding? But what do fleas on dogs and cats look like? Before you take your pet to the vet there are a couple of ways to prevent and check if you have fleas in your home.

Have you spotted fleas?

Call Ehrlich today for advice and to schedule a flea inspection of your home or business or contact us now.

Signs of fleas

Can you see fleas crawling on your pet’s coat? They are normally reddy-brown and about 2mm long.

Check the hindquarters of your dog or the head and neck of your cat. These are the areas that are targeted and where you might see signs of flea activity.

Carefully look at your pet’s skin for fine black droppings. This is ‘flea dirt’ or adult flea feces and looks like ground black pepper. A good way to spot it is to use a flea comb over a sheet of white paper, which makes it easier to see the small black specks.

Another sign of a problem is flea dirt on pet bedding, carpets or rugs.

If you have spotted any of these signs call Ehrlich free at 1-800-837-5520 and we’ll call you back within 24 hours (Monday – Friday) to arrange an appointment.

Looking for flea eggs

Sometimes it’s easy to think you’ve got rid of fleas in your home when you haven’t. This is because flea eggs are very difficult to spot.

Fleas will lay their eggs on your pet’s body. But they won’t stay there. Eggs easily fall off and can become hidden in carpets, rugs, bedding or gaps between floorboards. Flea eggs are tiny (only about 0.5mm long), oval and white. This makes them almost impossible to see against rough surfaces and materials.

Need help with treating fleas?

If fleas keep coming back, or you want to make sure they are eliminated first time, just get in touch with our expert exterminators.

Call Ehrlich free at 1-800-837-5520 and we’ll contact you within 24 hours to arrange an appointment to get rid of fleas in your home or business.

Sand Flea Bites on Humans – Pictures, Treatment and Prevention

If you think you’ve been bitten by sand fleas and want to know what sand flea bites on humans look like, this is the place. You will also learn how to treat and prevent the bites to avoid this problem in the future. People that have already experienced these bites know that they can be quite painful. If left untreated, they can cause a lot of suffering for several months to come, before they usually disappear by themselves. Sand fleas can carry diseases and transmit viruses, so you should see a doctor if you experience severe symptoms after getting bitten. This article will help cure most sand flea bites on humans.

What do sand flea bites on humans look like?

Even though sand fleas are quite small, they can cause severe skin problems. They typically bite the feet, ankles and legs because they are closest to the ground. Sand fleas can only jump around 20-40 cm, so there’s much less chance of getting bitten on the upper body unless you’re lying down in the sand.
When you do get bitten, it’s most likely to happen during the evening, night or at dawn. This is when the sand fleas are most active, so be on guard if you’re on the beach at this time.

Types of sand flea bites

There are two types of sand flea bites on humans. The first one looks like a mosquito bite and happens when the fleas suck your blood and then moves on to another host. They inject saliva to prevent blood clotting as they are feeding, and this saliva is what irritates the skin and may cause allergic reactions. The second type is worse and is caused by breeding female sand fleas. The fleas burrow themselves into the skin and stay there until their eggs hatch. Look for swollen areas with black spots in the middle, these may be breeding sand fleas.

Both bite types will cause symptoms like itching, pain and unpleasantness. If you’re allergic to sand flea bites, then more severe reactions can be expected. When the breeding fleas burrow into the skin, you may also experience fever and infections in the area and it can develop into a condition called tungiasis, which is an inflammatory skin disease that needs to be treated to prevent secondary infections. Please contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

How to treat sand flea bites

If you’ve been bitten by these bloodsucking parasites, this is how you treat sand flea bites on humans:

  • First of all don’t scratch the bites. It increases the chance of getting infections in the wound.
  • Check the bite for breeding sand fleas. They can live under your skin and suck your blood for weeks.
  • Apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream on the bites to control the itching, and take some painkillers to reduce the pain and swelling. You should see a doctor if this doesn’t help or if the symptoms get worse. He or she may also advise you to treat your bites with an antihistamine cream.
  • Baking soda mixed with water may give you some relief. Just put it on the affected area and let it work.
  • Make yourself an oatmeal bath and soak in it to reduce the itching. The water must not be too hot.
  • Aloe Vera is great for all kinds of wounds and it also has a soothing effect on sand flea bites.
  • Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree and cedar wood may also help you get rid of the discomfort.

Prevent the fleas from attacking you

I have always been a great fan of preventing flea bites rather than treating them. If you want to avoid getting bitten, just follow these tips and you will have greatly decreased the chance of that happening:

  • Don’t visit the beach when it has been raining. Sand fleas seem to be more aggressive when the air is cool and moist. You should stay away from the beach in the morning and in the evening for that same reason. Most people go to the beach when it’s warm and dry outside anyway, so that’s good.
  • If you do go to the beach when it’s cool outside, please remember to pack your insect repellant.
  • Cover yourself up when sitting or lying down to avoid getting bitten on your back, legs and feet.

How to remove sand fleas

If you do find a swollen area on your feet or on your pets paws with a black spot in the center, this is cause for concern. It’s possible that a female sand flea may have burrowed inside the skin and laid eggs. Seek medical attention to have it looked at and removed as soon as possible.

I hope this article was helpful to you. To learn more, you can continue reading about flea bites on humans.

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Home Remedies to Get Rid of Black Flies

Black flies are one of the most annoying insects in the world, and that is why getting rid of them becomes so important. This HomeQuicks article will help you by suggesting some home remedies to ride away these tiny, pestering creatures from your surroundings.

Black flies are one of the most annoying insects in the world, and that is why getting rid of them becomes so important. This HomeQuicks article will help you by suggesting some home remedies to ride away these tiny, pestering creatures from your surroundings.

Around 1800 species of black flies are found worldwide. This clearly suggests how extensively these insects are present in our surroundings. In the U.S., many states carry out programs to control the fly population in order to prevent spreading of diseases.

Black flies are a nuisance for human beings. As the summer season arrives, these are found to flourish across our surroundings. They are not only responsible for causing irritation, but are also responsible for spreading many diseases like river blindness, etc. These tiny insects belong to the family Simuliidae and most of its species belong to the genus Simulium. As these flies can lead to potential health hazards, their control becomes necessary. The first thing you can do to control flies is to properly dispose garbage collected in the house because this is where they tend to flourish. Other remedies that will definitely help you out in getting rid of black flies are mentioned below.

Easy Home Remedies for Black Flies

  • Keep the lid of your garbage can closed all the time. Black flies love to feed on rotten food. If you keep the garbage away from their reach, it is likely they will go away due to absence of food.
  • Stagnant water is one reason behind black flies in your surroundings. Therefore, make sure there is no stagnant water in and around your house.
  • Keep drains around your house clean and closed, as dirty and open drains tend to attract flies.
  • If you have a pet in your house, make sure to clean his droppings which can be responsible for attracting flies. If you do not have one, see to it that your neighbor’s pet is not spoiling your surroundings with his droppings.
  • Prevent the entry of flies in your house by installing window screens. If you already have the screens installed, check if there are any holes in it and cover them with duct tape as a temporary measure. As these flies are very small in size and active, they can easily enter your house through these holes.
  • Use measures to increase air flow in your yard as these insects avoid being in airy places. Also, cut short the grasses and excessive growth of vegetation to reduce moisture content of your surroundings.
  • Some flies feed on human blood. To get rid of such flies, use sprays containing “deet” which is effective in keeping them away. You can also apply creams containing citronella oil to keep flies away from you.
  • Fly strips is a nice option to control flies. To make a fly strip, simply cut a paper bag into strips which are 2 inches wide and 18 inches long. Make a hole at one end and tie a string to facilitate hanging. Spread a mixture of corn syrup and granulated sugar on the strip and hang it in a corner of the house to attract the flies . Do not forget to place a bowl below the strip to collect the dripping residue of the mixture.
  • Make a fly trap by using a jar of large size and place sugar, soda, and any other sweet item capable of attracting flies in it. Place the lid and make holes large enough to let the flies enter and keep it in a corner. Flies will get attracted towards the sweet food, enter into the jar and get entrapped.
  • Planting marigold and mint in your yard will help in getting rid of flies as these plants are natural deterrents to these insects.
  • Take bright-colored cards of the size of index cards and apply some sticky oil on them. Place these cards at several places in the house to attract flies which ultimately, die due to sticking to the cards.
  • Make a mixture of bananas, milk, sugar, and a pesticide. Place this mixture in a bowl such that flies can feed on it. The presence of pesticide will kill them and reduce their presence in your house.
  • Take some cloves, pierce them in an apple and place it in the area where the concentration of flies is high. Flies cannot stand the odor of cloves and would leave a place where the smell of cloves is present.

Hope these home remedies help you out in getting rid of black flies from your house. If the problem is not solved by these tricks, check whether a fly control program is going on in your locality. If it is, take their help to make your home and surrounding fly-free.

Fleas On Dogs

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Parasites have become a threat to most dog owners. It usually takes significant efforts to ensure they are free from internal and external parasites that affect their normal health. Fleas are one of the common parasites that are normally visible on dogs’ coats, and they cause patches of hair loss.

Most of the time you will see their skin reddening because of frequent scratching while attempting to reduce the itching. They are mostly found externally and are you are likely to see them moving on your dog’s coat. Their life cycle takes place indoors which makes them prominent in both warm and cold seasons.

Why Do Dogs Get Fleas?

It is usually common for most dogs to be infested with these parasites depending on different environmental conditions. It might be difficult for you to keep all animals away from your compound since you have little control over them. Examples include raccoons, squirrels and other small animals that hover in your yard.

Your dog may also associate with other dog breeds which are likely to transmit the fleas to their skins and coats. They usually spread through close contact and have the ability to jump from one animal to another.

They may be caused by your neighbors or friends who carry their pets when visiting your home. Sometimes you may take your dog for a walk around the block or while visiting the veterinarian. During these short trips outside your home, they get exposed to fleas which originate from various pets or animals they come across.

A brown color usually designates them, and you will see them moving on their skin and coats. These parasites will always find ways of spreading to different hosts while searching for breeding grounds.

While they are interacting with other animals, the fleas move swiftly in their coats and hide beneath their fur. It might be difficult to see them for the first time, but they tend to manifest themselves after multiplying over a short period.

Where to Look for Fleas On Dogs?

There are several ways you can check for flea infestation on your dog. You will begin by inspecting their fur slowly and carefully.

The fleas do not like being exposed, and you will always see them running in different positions with an attempt of remaining hidden. They are usually dark brown in color and are easily visible.

You can check the areas where the fleas hide best by turning your dog on their back. They usually breed in the groin and armpits which are the warm regions and tend to be protected. At this place, they cannot be easily seen, and they will always grow in numbers.

Check their ears for signs of fleas. They are usually characterized by dirt, blood or redness as a sign if scratching. Your dog will always be scratching the areas where the fleas cause irritation, and the ear is one of the principal parts of their infestations. The base of the tail can also possess the parasites and their fur too.

Focus on areas where you see patches of hair loss since they are the areas where the fleas are concentrated on your dog’s coating. Sometimes they may remain hidden such that they cannot be seen clearly. You can deploy other ways of flashing them out to know the severity of the infestation.

You can determine the infestation by giving your dog a full bath. You should wash them in their basins to keep the drain clogged. Afterward, you can inspect the water to determine any kinds of black spots. Some of the fleas are likely to die after the bath, and they will be seen as dark spots in the water.If they are present, then your dog is infected by the fleas.

There are situations where you may find some bugs on your dog’s coating. Fleas are usually difficult to squeeze, and you can check them using a magnifying glass on white paper. Their hind legs are taller than the front limbs with a small head and a bigger abdomen.

Flea combs are usually helpful when going through your dog’s coat. They can reach the deeper ends of your dog’s fur especially if they have thick coats. They will always shy away from light or when exposed to new temperatures while brushing through the hair. All these procedures will be useful to determine the level in which the fleas infect your dog.

How Does Your Dog Get Fleas?

It is important to know that your dog can be infected by fleas whether indoors or outdoors. These parasites have different mechanisms of survival, and they will always try everything they can to survive in their hosts.


You can begin by performing a thorough vacuum cleaning. It should cover all areas where fleas are likely to hide which include beneath the furniture edges, your pet’s beddings and below drapes. It is useful as it eliminates the flea eggs which multiply over time spreading the infection.

You can vacuum your house daily or weekly while ensuring every place is clean to eliminate their breeding grounds. Be careful while dumping the dirt after cleaning to prevent the fleas from crawling back to the house. You can seal it in a plastic bag while discarding it in a safe place.

Another way to reduce the infestation is by cleaning your dog’s beddings regularly. You can treat the bed by using products that have an insect growth regulator and an adulticide. You can also focus on other surrounding areas of your pet’s bed to maintain overall cleanliness and parasite-free environs.

There are products which can be used to terminate development of eggs and larvae by killing the adult fleas. The insect growth regulator works at its level best to ensure they do not multiply. They usually come in different ways and can be in the form of sprays, foggers or carpet powders.

Getting rid of the fleas involves keeping your compound clean and other areas where your dog spends most of the time playing or relaxing.


Outdoor environment can be difficult to control when it comes to fleas. However, you can employ different measures to ensure your dog is safe from any parasites that may pose a threat around the compound. You can begin by getting rid of any habitat where the fleas are likely to occur.

Ensure that there is no long grass or damp areas in your homestead as they may be breeding ground for other parasites other than fleas. Fleas tend to live and breed in moist and warm areas. Since your pet spends most of the time outdoors, they have higher chances of contacting the insects.

If your dog spends in an outside kennel, you have to ensure that their sleeping beds are clean and treated with the recommended products. You can disturb the flea habitat by raking away any organic debris such as grass clippings, straw, and leaves.

Other wild animals such as raccoons and small rodents may find their way in your compound. They also carry the fleas which pose a significant danger of infection to your pet. You can look for various ways of preventing them from visiting your home frequently to reduce chances of infection.

Create an awareness by encouraging your neighbors to protect their dogs from fleas. You may be practicing cleanliness and other forms of treatment to keep the parasites away, but they will always be transmitted by your neighbor’s pet if they are not concerned. It will help regulate the source of fleas and chances of infestations will be minimized to a greater extent.

How to Get Rid of Fleas On Dogs?

There are different ways in which you can kill insects that are present on your dog. You can employ chemical or non-chemical options which work effectively in eliminating the parasites. They will always be persistent, and you will see your dog scratching themselves trying to shake them off. There are several ways in which fleas can be eradicated.

Chemical Options

One of the fastest and efficient means of killing fleas is by use of pills or chemical treatments. Some of the products that are known to kill fleas include adulticide, Capstar and insect growth regulators.

You can also use flea spray, flea powder or a flea collar which are some of the medicated ways of killing the bugs. They can terminate the adult fleas and development of eggs and larvae. Most of these products have been proved to work efficiently in alleviating the breeding grounds of fleas.

However, it is important to consult your vet before purchasing any chemical pesticide. Most of these products are known to be harmful to your dog’s health and have consequences in the long term.

Veterinarians would always recommend the right medication and can explain to you the effects of the various treatments. They give a safer combination of products that can be used to eliminate the fleas. Most of the health problems usually originate from chronic exposure and improper use of these treatments.

The animal health experts have also found that the chemical substances used on flea collars pose a significant threat to children or anyone who comes in contact with your pet. It is usually advisable to seek advice from the vet due to their several years of experience.

Non-chemical Options

You can also kill the fleas without necessarily using the chemical products. There are a variety of shampoos that are recommended for dogs and work effectively in ensuring their fur is healthy.

The shampoo should be able to sink in their coat after being soaked in water. It kills the fleas which suffocate because of the soapy water and will be visible in the drains as black spots. It is a more natural ways of killing the insects as you need to wash your dog regularly to maintain their cleanliness. A nice warm bath is enough to kill a large number of fleas.

You can brush your dog’s fur using a flea comb to remove any dead fleas present on their coats. Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are some of the natural products you can use to kill the parasites. They are useful in expelling the fleas which leave you in full control of the infestations.

This video shows you how to use soap water and a flea comb to get rid of fleas:

How to Prevent Fleas On Dogs?

It is always important to work on preventing your dog from being infected by the parasites rather than waiting till the infection has taken root.

You can begin by cleaning your compound and the entire house to remove the breeding grounds of fleas. You can vacuum the carpet several times which sucks up all the eggs and larvae that are present in the hidden areas. Do not forget the cracks, baseboard, and corners which are some of the flea habitats.

Clean the sheets, beddings, and towels with the hot water and dry them on high heat if possible. The fleas have lower chances of surviving in high temperatures which make it an effective way of preventing infestations.

After ensuring everything is clean, you can use the insecticides which retard the development of larvae and eggs. It means that the fleas won’t be able to multiply because of the effects of the insect growth regulators.

You can also prevent other wild animals from visiting your compound by creating an effective barrier or setting traps that will scare them aware. Prevent your pet from associating with other dogs that are likely to transmit the infection. Some neighbors or friends do not take proper care of their dogs which becomes a source of flea infestations in the outdoors.

Regular grooming is necessary as it disturbs any signs of breeding beneath their coats. While washing them, remember to concentrate on the areas where fleas are likely to occur such as the armpits and groin. Maintaining these areas clean improves your dog’s health as well as protecting them from parasites. Using a vacuum cleaner for pet hair is also an effective way to eliminate the larvae and eggs.

You can also take them regularly to the vet as they may develop other kinds of infection. These may include worms which may not be visible on the outside but breed in the intestines.

Before taking the chemical options of flea removal, always consult your veterinarian to ensure you are administering the right treatment for your dog. It is always your responsibility to maintain their health and ensure they are free from parasites.

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