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The Pesky Pest Promenade – by Annie Pang

Well, this spring has been one to end all springs!  I have no pictures that go with this particular story or poem, but let’s just say that I’ve taken quite the beating of late.  It never occurred to me to take pictures of any of the mice I’ve had to trap over the last months (since March!!) as they ended up dead, except for the ones in my suet feeder.

It looks like I won’t be feeding the birds this winter as a result since I do not have my cats to keep the mice away from the inside of the house.
 
One of the ladies who comes to help me with housework happened to point out a wasps’ nest a few weeks ago and yet I decided to just live and let live……until…..

Well, I walked into the large back room that used to have the cats hanging out in it and was cleaning up when I heard a very odd sound coming from the walls.  Oh Lordie. I could hear the chewing from a meter away!  It was carpenter ants!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! 

I went weak at the knees and was glad I didn’t own a GUN!!!  “Enough already!” I screamed inside!  Then I had to call a pest control company.
 
Well, today all but the mice were taken care of.  A very kind friend had been clearing away all the rotted wood from beneath and beside my old, dilapidated sundeck along with old plastic pots, junk, vinyl siding…..oh, the list was endless as was the junk left behind!  It was good timing that he finished the day before I had scheduled the pest control treatment because although I was only planning on having the back wall drilled into and treated for the ant invasion, the pest control guy ended up spraying underneath the cleared out ant haven under the deck, and even suited up to get rid of that wasps’ nest.

Of course this meant that the three entrances to my house that I use were all off limits because of chemicals or angry wasps, so I ended up doing a very odd thing indeed.  I had to use the front door which I never do!
 
So I wrote a poem that I hope makes you laugh.  It was a tough day, but I did get a pic of a Western Tiger Swallowtail outside my home on some phlox once I made my exit to go over to someone else’s house for a few hours (the friend who had kindly done all the clearing and hauling away of junk).  Sometimes you just have to get the heck away!  We ended up having a really great talk about my favourite subject too. Butterflies!

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Then I went for a walk in the park where I managed a shot of a Robin with what I thought was a freshly plucked worm in its beak, and a bumblebee which I have yet to identify. I have since had an email from Cris Guppy who states “I believe the “worm” in the robin’s beak is a pupa of a cranefly – the cranefly larvae eat the roots of your lawn. So yet another pest, although you can ignore it unless your grass starts to die.”

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During my walk, I met up with an older gentleman, and he was very interested in learning about insects, from carpenter ants to butterflies!  Yes, it was definitely GOOD to get away from the house and out into Nature…just for a nice and healing break and to feel useful again.

A special thanks to Gabe for all his help today, for the lovely cup of tea and conversations about the future of the Gorge Park Community Garden and what part I may end up playing in all this, and to my good friends Andrea and Charley who kind of coerced me into doing this blog in their gentle and kind way.
   
If I manage to wade through my challenges, I think I may find that life has its rewards. It always seems to come back to how we relate to ourselves and Nature. Having said that, I will add that I do wish some aspects of Nature would stay out of my house!!!

Enjoy the poem and hey, as you can see I have even included some pictures after all, taken after my pesky ordeal for you to enjoy. Please excuse any typos as it is late (again) and I’m not quite as sharp as I’d like.
 
All the very best to you and yours,
Annie 
 
The Pesky Pest Promenade
 
Oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is poor old me
the pests have left me very weak at knee.
The humble ant, a common summer feature,
was chewing up my wall, the nasty creature!
All trembling as I’m no procrastinator
I called the local pest exterminator.
He came out to investigate things here
but couldn’t with his rather deafened ear
pick up the noise of all those ants a’munching
within my walls, while I could hear them crunching
a meter from the wall; but he agreed
to stop the critters’ too-destructive feed.
A few days later, just around the bend,
the man returned, my misery to end.
But then refused to please remove his shoes
so now I’ve got the dirty carpet blues!
The ants, I hope are in a better place,
than chewing up my walls right to my face.
And as my sanity was not the best,
it didn’t help to find a waspy nest
outside next to my favourite exit door;
I didn’t think I could take any more!
My hopes in being free of pesky raid
had really long ago begun to fade,
but the exterminator took his spray
and got ’em too, their nest he took away.
Of course, all good things always come in thrice
and so I still have darling, pesky mice!!!!
Now too smart to go after baited traps,
they like my underwear drawers for their naps.
Oh woe, oh woe, oh woe is poor old me!
Sometimes I wish that I’d been born a tree
or else a butterfly now flying free,
though they all have their troubles as do I
they live their lives until the day they die…

© Annie Pang May 31st 2014

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