Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Okay, I confess.......

[Edited to add: WARNING - not for the squeamish! Do not read while eating your breakfast!]

There are some critters I like more than others. At the top of my list (in no specific order) are dogs and donkeys and piggies and cats and alpacas and llamas and sheep and horses….and among those at the bottom are slugs and moths and maggots.

And in the last couple of weeks I’ve had to deal with all three of the species of critters at the bottom of the list.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a dead cat on the shoulder of the road in front of my house, no doubt hit by the cars that perpetually fly along the road at 100 km/hr rather than the posted speed of 40. I got some rubber gloves and started to gently lift it up to dispose of its body, only to discover that it had obviously been there for at least a few days ….. I won’t get into details. If you ever watched CSI or X-Files, you’ll know what I discovered. Let’s just say I phoned the city and they came to get it instead. I couldn’t handle it.

Then shortly after that, my house became infested with little Indian meal moths. They were all over the living room – forty or fifty of them at a time – on the ceiling, the walls, the drapes, flying around my face every time I moved. I looked them up online and learned they are often transported in dog food and rice and other grain-based foods. So I meticulously inspected my kitchen cupboards. However, all the food there is kept in plastic containers as I am paranoid that mice will get into the pantry, a constant possibility when you live in a very old house in the country. Mice in the fields are cute; mice in the house are not. But I digress. No sign of moths in the kitchen. Nothing. Nada.

But every evening, they appeared all over the living room. Unlike some of my acquaintances who will open a door or window to shoo mosquitoes, flies and moths out without killing them, I favoured capital punishment and whopped the little blighters. And still they kept coming – night after night after night. I pulled out all the furniture, and that’s when I saw it: the modem for the new digital phone was crawling with Indian Meal moth worms, and on the floor beneath was a pile of the casings from the larvae. Apparently some very productive moths had decided to lay their eggs in the equipment while it was being shipped or in storage, and they hatched out in the warmth of my living room. I put my abhorrence for pesticides aside and sprayed the heck out of it, and then called the phone company to come take it away. Another thorough vacuuming of every stick of furniture where they might be hatching another generation, and the problem appears to be solved – touch wood.

And the last couple of days, for some unknown reason, the slugs have come out in full force. On the narrow trail to the back of the pasture, I counted 207 in just a 100-foot stretch this morning!!!! Aaaackkk! Big black and green slimy things crawling everywhere so it is difficult to even walk the path without stepping on them. Worst of all, they get caught in the long fur of two certain long-haired mostly black dogs, where they are invisible to the human eye and then suddenly show up on the carpet, the couch, or (((((shudder)))))) my bed.

I’m sure maggots, moths and slugs serve some useful purpose on this earth; I just wish they would choose to serve it far, far away from my home.

8 comments:

Robyn said...

OHHHh, I'm actually surprised I was able to read all the way through your entry. I can't even say the m****t word with out dry heaving. ANd moths in your modem...ewwww your poor thing. yuk~!

turtlegardens said...

You need a Muscovy duck! They love slugs! And they are quiet too. Yvette

Shihtzu Staff said...

I was eating poached eggs on toast while I was reading that...

Jean said...

Ooops - I guess I should have put a warning at the top......I'll go back and do that now!
Sorry, Robyn and shihtzu staff!

Muscovy ducks. Hmmmmm. I have a creek they can swim in. I wonder if the coyotes wouldn't get them though? Duckies...I need duckies.......

Anonymous said...

Yes these long-haired dogs can bring all kinds of interesting things home on/in their coat, can't they.

I've only petted a slug once on my Sheltie. I check more now.

Sharon

Anonymous said...

So, while you were busy exterminating, I spent a good 20 minutes capturing and freeing a moth that found its way into the house while two very attentive felines looked on, hoping I would fail.

On the topic of long-haired dogs, they do bear thorough checking. I found a dessicated earthworm once; must have been a fair good size when fully hydrated. But never, thank goodness, have I found a slug.

And on the topic of ducks, slugs are indeed a delicacy for Muscovies. However they're relatively slow-moving birds and make excellent coyote fodder (speaking from childhood experience) as well as for mink and other local carnivores. Muscovies have a lot of personality and it's very sad when all that's left of them is a trail of feathers. Be forewarned.

Deb

Dawnie said...

Maggots, moths, and slugs...oh my, hehehe. Not exactly my favorite things either. Finding the moths and their larvae in the modem would have freaked me out a little. I'm fighting a flea battle as we speak and it is sending me over the edge. My 2 felines are house cats...they are never outside. All these years living up on the mountain and haven't ever had fleas before. I've tried bombing the house and vacuuming and using flea spray on the carpets and furniture. I've used Advantage on the cats twice. I've washed curtains, bedding, and everything that isn't nailed down. And here we are a month and a half later and still finding some fleas. I think I've won the battle but not the war yet. Jean...do you have ideas of anything to try? I'm concerned that using too many chemical things isn't healthy for my cats or my family. With all of your critters have you ever had fleas as uninvited guests? I'd appreciate any advice you can offer on how to get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

ummmmm....YUCK!!! I'm glad you added the warning since I was about to eat my breakfast. I hope you can get a duck to help with the slugs.

~Joelle (feeling a little queasy)