I thought I was ready for nature, but now I'm not so sure (Pests)

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Okay. I was raised in the country, but I was a kid then and it was fascinating, and I was indestructible.

Now I'm just grossed out.

Don't get me wrong, I was in love at first...Oh, I gotta fill the bird feeders...ah, look at the beautiful (white) butterfiles...honey come here and look at this awesome spider web...ooooh, look at all the pretty fireflies. Listen to the huuummmmm (screech?) of the cicadas. I love going to the garden at dusk, but what are all these bug bites on my legs?...And what are these shiny lines all over my front porch?...uck, I went out to fill the stray cat's food dish and something squished under my foot...ohmigiod, where did all these ants come from?!...And Satan's own offspring, the fleas!

I don't think I can handle this.

-- Dawn R - SC Missouri (papermaker76@bigfoot.com), August 24, 2001


Response to I thought I was ready for nature, but now I'm not so sure

I guess you know the shiny lines are from slugs and if you got the bug bites at dusk, I'm guessing mosquitos(could, of course, be chiggers)...Might want to stay in at dusk for another month. Believe it or not, you'll get used to most of that stuff(not the fleas-- better look for a remedy for them). First frost you can wave bye bye to most of the bugs til next spring.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), August 24, 2001.

Response to I thought I was ready for nature, but now I'm not so sure

My daughter wants to live in the country WITHOUT the bugs. I told her that doesn't exist (which she knows) so she wants to move back to town. I told her there are bugs there too (you should have seen the roaches in my first apartment in Chicago) but there is no convincing her. I told her 8 more years and she can go anywhere she wants.

-- marcee king (thathope@mwt.com), August 24, 2001.

Best flea remedy- Keep animals out of the house.

-- m.c. (mc505@hotmail.com), August 25, 2001.

Hmmm... having been a veteran of various Boy Scout camping situations with my son for several years now, and also having survived the Yard Wars with the Army Worm invasion, there are some things I've found that work well. For slugs, use salt. Sprinkle the area where you've seen them and they will, um, dehydrate to death right before your very eyes. Not a pretty sight unless you (a) hate them enough to enjoy watching it, or (b) you're a sadist. Beer works too, but it needs to be in a real shallow saucer. For mosquitos, ticks, fleas and stuff like that, to avoid having them lunch on YOU, use a good Vitamin B suppliment every day that includes B-1, B-12, and some other B vitamins, eat lots of garlic and onion, use vanilla extract as a bug repellant (spread on your skin liberally) and the bugs will leave you pretty much alone. Most guys sort of like the smell of it. If you don't mind the smell of Skin So Soft by Avon, that's also a good deterrant. For chiggers - if it's your yard - have a lawn care or landscaping company spray the lawn for insects and tell them it's for fleas and chiggers. Once it's sprayed, it will probably knock out a lot of the mosquitos and part of the ticks, too. Keep in mind that chiggers will get you wherever you have close fitting clothes on, like along the waist band and under socks, etc. - wear shorts, maybe go without socks, and be sure you wash down when you get back inside. I get them up and down my legs if I wear jeans, but not if I wear shorts. White butterflies, if you see them in spring or fall, are more than likely the moth form of army worms. They're cute enough, but they'll eat your lawn. Spraying the yard helps deter those, too. If you're out in the country and like birds, get geese, guineas, ducks or chickens - a dozen or two assorted of whatever trips your trigger - and turn them loose. Of course, you have to feed them and give them nocturnal shelter from predators, but they'll also eat the bugs, especially guineas.

-- Claudia Glass (glasss2001@prodigy.netq), August 25, 2001.

My mother has been invaded by flies since the neighbors got in a herd of cows. I told her the neighbors need chickens, free range, to keep the flies in check. My own chickens have been loving it here. I feed them morning and evening; the rest of the day they have the run of the place. They are constantly after the bugs. They love slugs, snails, grasshoppers, crickets, etc. A grub tossed into their midst never hits the ground. Now, for mosquitoes, my husband swears by garlic. I don't know, but he rarely gets bit. I have just stopped going out at dusk, especially when it's damp and humid. There aren't so many out when it's dry. For fleas, someone recommended putting a saucer of plain water under a nightlight. I don't know how that works, but she had dozens of drowned fleas every morning.

-- Cathy N. (keeper8@attcanada.ca), August 25, 2001.

Cathy - that's not fleas in the water under the night light ... that's gnats. Although sometimes it helps combat mosquitos and gnats to put a saucer of water on a patio table with a few drops of Lemon Joy dishwashing liquid in it. Buffalo gnats are awful this year. I get gnat bit once in awhile from the buffalo gnats and it puts a big numb welt down (I especially hate it when they nip my lip) but they don't like something about vanilla.

-- Claudia Glass (glasss2001@prodigy.net), August 25, 2001.

Claudia, if you put a pan of water down with some detergent in it so they can't get out,then put it in front of a light on the floor at night, fleas will jump in and drown. I've done it when the house was invaded other years (now, by golly the dogs get treated!).

Dawn, just think of all the rotten stuff in the city and maybe you'll feel better. Like your neighbors arguing in their kitchen and you getting the ringside seat, other people's kids and dogs running through your garden (other people's CATS doing you-know-what in your garden), sirens going off at all hours, constant traffic noise, the smell of exhaust and other people's cooking, the people across the street who wash their car on their driveway with their boom box on loud---who then go back in the house for half an hour leaving it on. No, I don't live in a city, absolutely would die there, but all of these things are common when you go sit on my sister's front porch in a small city near me. NO THANKS! I'll take a nice slug anyday! (if my ducks didn't get there first! LOL!)

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), August 25, 2001.

LOL had to chuckle about your thoughts on bugs. There's no one worse than myself about bugs..just hate 'em. only they were here first so its me that has invaded their territory. keeping animals out of house works for fleas, and the pan of water near a light bulb really does work to drown those suckers. if you keep your grass clipped short around the house ticks won't be as bad but best to find a repellant that works for you and spray your feet and legs. here in the woods we have spiders of every shape and color and size. i find most try to avoid me as much as i do them. the ones outside eat bugs so i pretty much leave them alone but those little critters that find there way inside wee, that's another story. i don't use any sprays just swat 'em. putting eucalyptus oil around doors also seems to help..good luck...living in the country is a whole lot better bugs and all than living in town.

-- betty (bjclassic@yahoo.com), August 25, 2001.

For the flying/biting variety of bug, I saw a report on CNN this week on a Michigan gentleman who's produced a nice, natural bug spray (think it's called FINALLY). Safe for horses, pets, people, etc. And according to the reporter, it works. It consisted of garlic, vinegar, hot sauce, and peppermint. I'm giving it a shot next spring, since conditions here are too dry/hot for the bugs right now. Any experimenters out there?

-- Rheba (rhebabeall@etown.net), August 25, 2001.

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