Spring in the Sky Castle

Sky CastleI do my best to see the bright side of life and everything in it, take winter for instance, the cold temps means there are no bugs or other creepy crawlies out and about, it’s nice to snuggle up next to the wood stove. Now spring hits, the warm weather is great, don’t have to worry about bundling up over night, but with the warmer temps comes the critters, snakes, squirrels, mice and bugs.

Sky Castle

For the most part, the sky castle is tight enough now that the larger critters (furry) can’t get in, but the bug life, that is a different story, they manage to find the tiniest of cracks and holes, they come right in. I have learned to LOOK before I swipe my hand down my leg at night if I feel something tickling or crawling around on my skin.

We have had a plethora of scorpions again this year, a few years back I declared war on them and tried to eradicate them, or at least drop their numbers right around the sky castle, I don’t mind them being outside, it’s when they come inside that I have a problem with them.

I have killed 3 of them inside in as many nights this last week, being a night owl, I tend to be up and about when they are active, I keep a UV LED flashlight handy, they light up like a cheap kids toy under blacklight, and they don’t seem to know they are glowing because they almost never run away, giving me lots of time to stomp them into tiny bits.

The other critter that shows up this time of year are the assassin bugs, aka kissing bugs, these are half inch long insects that are active at night, they come out when you are asleep or in my case, not moving much around my computer in the semi-dark, they suck blood, which really gives me the shivers because of their size, I just don’t understand how you can be bitten by something so large and not feel it! The other problem with these particular bugs is they spread Chagas disease (CDC link, Wiki link), it’s a parasite that does nasty things to you over a period of years they you die from it.

I do have something in mind to help decimate their populations as well as other bugs and snakes, that’s guinea fowl, a friend and I are planning on going in together on a flock, the minimum number you can buy from the catalog is 30 chicks, so splitting the cost and splitting the birds, that will give each of us 15 birds each, unless we find a 3rd person who wants to go in with us, then it will be 10 birds each, I wouldn’t want less than that. Guinea fowl are hearty birds, they roost in trees at night, they fend for themselves for the most part, just supplementing a bit of feed and making sure they have water, they will not require the kind of care that chickens would need.

I hope your spring is going well, it is for us here in far western Texas, the days are hot, the nights are cool, the rainy season is starting, and life is good!

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One Response

  1. We are recruiting kissing bug submissions from across the state, and we’d love to have some from such rural areas. Send an email for more info, if you’re interested and willing.

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