Category Archives: Critters

Good Bugs vs Bad Bugs

I use minimal insecticides mainly because I’ve always had dogs and Murph is like a 4-legged mop because his legs are so short. I also don’t want to harm the good insects like bees, nor do I want to harm the birds. I prefer to let Nature take its course. Like the Assassin bug I found a couple years ago, I learned it killed the bad bugs, even though it was really ugly.

GOOD BUG!

Praying Mantis

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Over the weekend I spotted another highly desirable bug, a Praying Mantis. They’re fun to watch as they do their jerky movement and turn their strange head. Eventually it “walked” down to the green plant below where it became nearly invisible with its color match. If you check articles on Google, you’ll find that these insects are killing machines, attacking much larger critters like frogs! Amazing!

BAD BUGS!

Grubs under the lawn

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Also this past weekend I began cleaning up the brown spots I had in the yard. I thought they were due to the extreme dry weather we had. But as I began to use my thatching rake, I pulled up the sod … a sure sign of grubs. I was finding a grub for every 2 square inches. THAT’S A LOT!

I found this invasion over large parts of my back lawn. Given the time of year, I checked online for a specific insecticide that would kill them NOW. Many grub controls are preventative and must be put on in late spring. I found an article from Michigan State University that there are only 2 active ingredients that kill now. One of those took 3-4 weeks to work. The other kills in 24-hours. So I made a trip to Home Depot to buy the Bayer granules.

grub damaged lawn

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I tested the insecticide on one of the large damaged areas, soaked it with plenty of water, then watched the grubs squirm and try to bury themselves further down into the dirt. If it didn’t work, I wasn’t going to put it over other areas because of Murph. I checked the next day and the grubs were dead. I’ve since covered the area with topsoil to keep Murph from coming in contact with the granules. (The hose was circled around the spot to keep Murph off – he hates the hose!)

I’ll be repeating this process over all the other large areas where I spotted the nasty grubs. If there were just a few grubs, I wouldn’t bother with this, but if I don’t control them to some degree I’ll just have a bunch of June bugs next year with a repeat of the damaged lawn.

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Alvin is stocking up for winter

Normally these little critters scamper as soon as I walk out the door. This time the little guy was defiant! I got within 2-feet to take the picture. There was a “stare down” as I snapped 3 pics with my phone before it scampered away. Guess the special Fruit & Nut seed was just too enticing that it was worth defying the “dangerous human”! 🙂

Their fat little cheeks are cute but they sure do empty the feeders in a hurry!
chipmunk staredown

ANTS, ANTS, ANTS in my PLANTS!

The ants have been TERRIBLE this year. I’ve tried insecticide sprays and Diatomaceous Earth. However those treatments don’t kill the queen so the nest continues. Then someone recommended Terro Ant Baits. I’ve tried baits before without much success. Then a guy from North Carolina posted his photo on Twitter of using one style of Terro bait. So I checked YouTube for similar videos. Surprise! There’s a lot of such videos of ants going nuts over the sugary Borax mixture.

Home Depot only carried the flat indoor-style bait so I bought a box of that style and put them outside. I laid a rock on each to hold them in place. They worked very well as the liquid was depleted within a few days. I found the outdoor stake-style at another store and now have 8 of them in place around the outside of my home where I’ve seen ants. I made this short video of the last stake I put into place. The nest immediately attacked it! I installed the stake on Saturday. Today is Tuesday and I’m seeing only a few stragglers. This Terro bait really works!

Christmas Decorations Look So Pretty

The neighborhoods are looking so pretty with all the Christmas decorations on or around their homes. One of my neighbors put all their decorations up on weekend in November when it was 70°. They were smart. I was still mowing my lawn when they did it. I finally put mine up when it was in the 40’s so it wasn’t too bad. Mother Nature added her touch to the lights to make it extra pretty.
2016 Christmas decorations

I went to Meijers store to buy additional lights. While there I saw a new display that I actually HAD TO HAVE! It’s two dachshunds and it’s Murph approved. The only thing missing is the barking that doxies are known to carry to excess.
Dachshund Christmas light display

The best part of Christmas this year is that we are free to say …
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Canadian Geese Shop in Powell

We frequently see groups of Canadian Geese milling around neighborhood ponds or golf courses. Sometimes they stop traffic as they decide to cross a street, seemingly unaware of the potential to become roadkill. Yesterday I saw a group – gaggle? – of 25 geese at an unlikely place. They were leaving the Chase Bank parking lot, walking toward the construction on Powell Rd. There’s no water nearby as it is all parking lots and stores. Being geese, I wondered if they left “deposits” at the bank. 🙂

Canadian Geese in Powell

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The Murph has a birthday!

My little guy had a birthday today. It’s his 12th! He’s now an “old man” but that’s OK since we’ve grown old together. 🙂 Over the years he’s never lost that “little man attitude”. He still thinks he tough stuff!
Murphy, the dachshund