Friday, May 21, 2010

Bugs and otrher critters

We must be in the pre-mosquito season. My neighbors, who like to sit out and enjoy these warm evenings haven't noticed any mosquitoes so far this year. When they do, out comes a large fan and the fogger.
They claim the fan actually blows bugs away. Just the motion of air seems to keep them on the run, or fly as it were.
There are some things we can do to help cut down on unwanted insects and at the same time doing it in a way that doesn't adversely affect nature.
If you garden and find a snake among your annuals or perennials, leave it alone. It's probably a harmless garter snake.
We used to have one that hid under our tomato plants. When we were weeding or picking veggies and got close to the snake it would crawl over a row or two and continue to wait for a feeding opportunity.
Snakes eat lots of bugs. That's good for the garden and helps keep the biting insect population down.
Bats and birds eat a lot of bugs too. For some reason-perhaps their looks or reputation for being carriers of rabies-people kill bats.
Like snakes, leave them alone. They have a purpose and a place in nature. Like the acrobatic barn swallow that dives and climbs in search of a bug, bats zero in on insects as a source of food.
This time of the year, with nests holding new life, birds are busy feeding those young mouths that never seem to get enough to eat. When they can, they'll get a mouth full too.
It's a great way that nature has of balancing out things. Maybe there is a purpose for those pesky mosquitoes after all.

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