I love my garden and all the joy and bounty that comes from it…and there are very few things that give me the creeps. I’m not fond of spiders…okay…” not fond” isn’t exactly the right way to say it. I pretty much hate them with a passion! I understand their benefit and those who live in my garden are tolerated and left alone…except for the poisonous ones. They don’t get much choice since I put my family first.
I’m also get the willies at the sight of those grossly obese hornworms. They’re not dangerous…except to certain plants that through their voracious appetites can be stripped of all foliage over night. The best way to get rid of them is to pick them off and squish them. Who came up with that plan???!!! Have you ever tried grabbing one of those fat green caterpillars???!!! And step on them???!!! Even my boys aren’t fond of that method. And then of course a couple of weeks ago we find this really cool looking pupae case in the garden. GadgetMan thought it might belong to a Tiger Moth because of the huge size of it. Well….with a little research we discover it’s the cocoon for a really cool moth often called the Hummingbird Moth. They’re the only moth that can hover like a humming bird and even it’s wings sound like one. And they’re really great pollinators for night flowering plants. But…I’m sure you’ve already guessed this…the caterpillar stage of these moths are the dreaded hornworm!! So guess who’s going to fight even harder to save these ugly little beasts? The kidlets of course. Maybe I should have them grow some plants they can move them to if they want them saved…and save my plants in the process.
But the all time worst thing…the thing that gives me nightmares and creeps me out to the extent of puking…the thing that doesn’t have the courtesy of staying outside (preferably far far far outside)…is a mouse! Yuck!!!!!!! I do NOT like mice. Remember “Tom and Jerry”? How the lady of the house always shrieked and jumped up on a chair screaming for Tom to get Jerry? Sure I laughed…but secretly inside I completely agreed with her.
When we were living up north…in our first house…I had a wonderful little garden. GadgetMan and I used to love walking through it in the evening after the young kidlets were in bed. I will never forget the evening we discovered that a family of mice had decided to invade my garden. Seeing darting shapes and hearing them rustle under the leaves and praying none of them would run over my feet, still makes my heart stop. And of course, if you have “country mice” the “city mice” aren’t far behind. That’s when we adopted a couple of cats…but even they couldn’t stop the unwelcome intruders. I was NOT happy about the whole situation!
Fast forward to now. Remember this? And how the experts think it’s probably caused by a pack rat? Well…a pack rat is an overgrown “country mouse”. And sure enough, we’ve been dealing with the “city mice”! Thankfully there’s no evidence that they’ve made forays into the house, but our garage is apparently deemed prime real estate. We’ve been setting traps (don’t scream at me…I’m in no way depopulating the world of mice…all I want them to do is leave my little corner alone). “City mice” can be very cunning. After finding several traps licked clean, we’ve resorted to super gluing a piece of cat food to it…then smearing with a touch of peanut butter. We’ve caught 3…and still the kidlets keep seeing shapes dash away when they go to the garage for something!