On Sunday, I was sitting in the living room when one of our female squirrels came to the back door and tapped on the glass to ask for food.
Entirely too cute, so by way of balance here’s a cockroach story:
This morning rothko found a cockroach in her shoulder bag. So of course, she immediately said "Eww! Roach!" and tipped it out onto the living room floor, at which point it retreated to under the sofa. I decided I might be able to get it, but I’d only have a single chance, so I fetched the Dyson. Sure enough, when I moved the sofa it scuttled towards the exercise machine, but the vacuum did the job. My intention had been to release the insect outside, but it turns out that a 1000km/h cyclone leads to incipient cockroach moribundity.
At this time of year they mostly creep in under the front door in search of water. Three this year, which seems to be about the usual number.
Update: I spoke too soon. This evening I noticed Chester staring intently at something in the bottom of his cage…
…and that means it’s roach season again.
Our first wood roach of the year just visited. They live outside in the trees, which are quite delightfully wet right now due to the ongoing thunderstorm. There’s also lots of nice damp mulch out there, I bet they enjoy that too.
Yes, I admit it, I squealed. While I’m getting used to the little buggers by now, the first one of the season is always an unpleasant surprise.
The flies have returned too. The wolf spiders don’t seem as plentiful this year, or at least not yet. The lizards came out briefly during a warm spell a couple of weeks ago, but have disappeared again.
There has been a major snail population explosion. We had one make its way up our front door, but mostly they hang around at the bottom of the siding on the house. Our neighbors say they have about a hundred on the other side of their house.
In case the cockroach wasn’t enough:
We went to the Post Office. About a block away from our house, we encountered a car that had stopped to let a snake cross a driveway.
The snake was about a meter long, brown, with diamond patterning. He didn’t seem to have a rattle.
He probably eats squirrels…
Update: probably an Eastern Hognose Snake.
Summer approaches, and the cockroaches are emerging. This one found his way into the bathroom. I had turned on the shower, walked into the bedroom and taken my clothes off, and when I turned around I saw him sitting on the door frame, waving his antennae gently.
This presented a problem. I have learned that the thing to do with cockroaches is to squash them very, very quickly, as they are alert and speedy little buggers. However, being naked meant I wasn’t in a position to stomp him.
I evaluated the available squashing materials. I decided I quite liked the book I was currently reading, and I hadn’t finished with the newspaper yet. Finally I found a sales brochure from a vitamin supply company, and wrapped it around a book to give it some heft.
The next problem was persuading myself to go within an arm’s reach of the foul creature. I approached hesitantly. He moved sluggishly then stopped. Whack. There was a small spurt of yellow goo, but he remained on the door frame.
I fetched the bug sucker and vacuumed him up. He didn’t make any serious attempt to escape. My theory is that when I cleaned the bathroom, I disturbed the roach motel in the corner, and he crawled out half dead.
This is the first cockroach in about 6 months. I did find a dead one with his legs torn off on the back deck a week ago; I’m guessing he had emerged from slumber, but a lizard had attacked him him before he could make it into the house.
Sara just found our first Texas cockroach. Meanwhile, I seem to be allergic to the Southern live oak, which is not exactly ideal given the location of our house.
On the plus side, the cockroach was nowhere near the kitchen, and my allergic reaction isn’t as bad as it was from being allergic to maple and living in New England.