Thursday, February 14, 2013

Natural Insect Control

I have various creatures in my garden that help with insect control. I prefer to live in peace with them, but they do have their own habits that sometimes make me wonder what the easiest is to live with, the insects or their predators. Twice in one evening my security alarm was triggered at around two in the morning. If you are in a deep sleep and the alarm suddenly goes off the first thing that you think of is a possible intruder in your house. In South Africa this is very common, that is why most people have alarms that they set at night before they go to sleep. I took me some time to discover the culprit though, it was a home gecko that was walking across the Passive Infra-red Sensor, or PIR. When the security company installed it they told me that animals won't trigger it, but the gecko for sure does. Although I appreciate the gecko's efforts in combating insect invasions, I had to take it outside hoping that it would not return.

As I was leaving the house I nearly walked into a different insect pest controller. This time I got the fright of my life. Hanging on one of the most perfect webs I have ever seen was a large white spider looking very intimidating. My first thought was the kids and if it would be safe to have him hanging around in my neighbourhood where the kids play. Is this spider dangerous or not? It for sure looked rather venomous. I know my mom always killed everything with six or eight legs without asking questions first and this one surely would not have survived in her house. My mom was not going to take the chance of finding out if it was dangerous or not, so no benefit of the doubt for the poor creatures. Myself on the other hand first want to find out, and despite my effort to identify it on the Internet, a friend of mine eventually did that for me and told me that it was one or other Orb Weaving Spider. I then did some reading up on the spider and what was quite interesting, apart from the fact that it is as harmless as a mosquito (not the malaria kind), is the fact that the spiders spins a web every night and then breaks it up in the morning. So despite leaving his web where I have to walk every day, the next morning the web is gone. Compared to the geckos that mess on my wall and never clean up this creature has the decency to remove all his insect trapping devices in the morning. Such a nice gesture from a very ugly looking creature. Now can you imagine if I had to kill that dude just because I "wasn't taking any chances"....

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