All Creatures Great And Startling!

Lindor, my male kitty, is yowling at the back door because I just evicted our latest house guest. I’m pretty tolerant of critters, but I have to admit some of the ones I’ve met in Texas since moving here at Christmas have given me pause! Please note, these pictures come from primarily Wikipedia because I’m not getting that close!

First, there were the beetles, little brown lady bugs that littered the windowsills. I couldn’t figure out where they were coming from, but did find out they’re Asian beetles. They were introduced as pest control and can bite, but vacuuming takes care of them. I may have to clean the chimney as well.

Then there were the Yellowjacket Wasps.  Like the beetles, the odd one will come in out of the cold and I saw a couple hovering around my ceiling. Sadly, so did the cats and once the wasps got within leaping distance, they were no more.

Ants are universal. The red ones bit and you have to stay away from. Inside I had ghosts ants. I always look things up because you’d be surprised how helpful some of these species can be. Ghost ants can be a nuisance, easily knocked back to manageable by Terro Ant Killer, but they also kept mites down.

Forest tent caterpillars seemed universal in Spring. They were everywhere, underfoot, falling from trees, dragged in with each step! The cats also enjoyed them, poking at and watching them wriggle. I rescued those I could and wiped up those I couldn’t.

The Giant Walking Stick was a shock, like something out of a sci-fi-fi movie. They’re harmless, have great sex lives, but don’t need to be in my laundry. One moved on, but I waited a good week before evicting the other because they’re notorious for not moving.

If you need another good reason to keep up with the laundry, spiders are it. The Funnel Web Grass Spider, easily the size of a quarter, is relatively harmless, but reading up on Texas spiders in general, meant the one in my bathroom met the business end of a broom. Also a good reason to dust and vacuum regularly!

It’s a simple equation really. I like nature, I respect nature, and nature needs to stay outside my house. Maybe Lindor doesn’t want out as much as he’s saying good riddance! What wildlife do you tolerate best from a distance?

 

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