Home Invasion I
This is the season for intruders silently stalking you from the bushes, and slipping into the house to… BOO! It’s Halloween. As the equinox has passed and the long shadows are signaling the end of Day Light Savings Time, we see creepier crawly stuff amiss in the house. Let us start with the weak egress to the house – the back DOOR.
There is always a small gap along the door line, or some other crack, or opening, that Mrs. Spider slips through. These little creatures are following food – other delicacies of the insect world, although spiders, as predators are really arachnids, not insects. As if you cared, right?
Quite often these little insect predators get dehydrated; you find one, or more in the sink, or tub. They are looking for water and cannot climb up the sides. The kind person will leave a shallow dish of water out for our web walkers, and just pick them up with a cup and piece of paper. Place the cup over the intruder; slide the paper over the cup and up, and away.
Of course if you are really interested in spider invasions it is only for the season and they are very close to you right now with you behind the furniture, often inside the big stuffed couch that hubby likes to sleep on; they are laying eggs.
Seed moths are a big problem with us preppers, perhaps you too. Note: they can squeeze under a metal screw down lid. If our Pantry Seed Moth pheromone attractant traps (Wal*Mart™ ) do not get them, those little spiders do a good job.
All the spiders you see are girl spiders; the males were mostly left outside in the cold to die!
Some people spray toxins all over the house in fear of a spider that can do you no wrong, at least in this cooler climate. Some spiders in the hot southern climes are toxic to people, but then again there are more toxic people bites than spider bites. Most spiders die off after leaving an egg sack and shrivel up. Spraying toxins is not good for your health.
Other Halloween surprises is our annual return of the Black Snakes who slide through cracks and openings into the attic where they curl up for the winter, and on warmer occasions hunt for mice.
Mice are attracted to the house in the fall time. A fat mouse can slip through a crack no wider than its head, and that is tiny. They get in, find all sorts of paper towels and make nests. The baby mice, if it gets that far, are called “Pinkies”. Born as wiggling lumps and often raised to feed big spiders, snakes, scorpions and such “pets” kept in fish tanks with a screen on to retain them.
I snap trap most of the mice. I just bait the “set” with peanut butter for a couple of days to get them greedy, then I set the trap. They like to run along the edge of walls and corners and this is a good place to set your traps.
Now, rats are different problem. If you have a rat in the house you will attract more rats. If you use a big special rat snap trap on rats the trap has to be placed away from small children who can easily break fingers. Rats love almonds. Try a couple pre baits then set the trap. Do not handle the rat as it may contain fleas that carry bad things in its fleabite. Remember the Great Plagues of the 13th century that killed millions from rat fleas? Plague has been recently rediscovered in the southwestern states. It will spread of course.
Place a plastic bag over your hand, turn it inside out then pick up the carcass. You can relapse the snap that way and never touch the rodent. Tie a knot in the bag, and set the trap and dead rodent in a trashcan. Wash YOUR HANDS. Use some bleach to kill viruses.
The Church was opposed to cats at that time, and killed cats as a Devil Familiar. Hence the automatic mouse and rat catchers of the day vanished. As more Venetian trade came in, rats swarmed from the boats and lodged – invaded- the homes.
If you have the time and money a neighbors dumpsite with food scraps near by you will attract rats. A pellet gun and night vision is a good entertainer. There are some interesting YOU TUBE videos of killing rats in a chicken house invasion in Australia. As for me I do not like rats, although field rats in Vietnam were a mainstay in clean protein.
No Halloween is complete without Bats. Go out in the warmer night with the moths swarming about, set a flashlight straight up to attract the moths in the light and if you have Vampires of the night (bats) you will see them dash about catching the moths which are laying eggs in your garden.
Sometimes a bat will get inside the house and there is a big uproar from the children and women folk. Just take a big plastic cooking bowel and trap it on the wall, slide a paper over the open end and carry the night feeder outside. If you keep your fingers out of the mouth, you will not get bit from fear.
Bigger animals are on the loose. Coyotes are taking OVER AND MY BARN CAT POPULATION IS THINNING DOWN. What I am most concerned about is the chickens and I have to always re-do the yard fence for them. Bears are increasing and a chicken delight awaits. The only remedy is to take a sheet of plywood, say ½” or 9/16”, cut to the door size and then drive roof tacks, say 100 of them in a random pattern 2” long galvanized as a deterrent. This is quite popular in Canada and Alaska not only for livestock, but houses with doors and windows. The BEAR DOES NOT LIKE SORE FEET AND THOSE NAILS HURT.
Probably the biggest nuisance is a human home invader. We can talk about that next week.
P.S. I have completed our first B2L video on seed savings, and now figuring how to edit it. This, and a Lyme disease attack slowed down all my posts. Bear with me.
Our lead in picture is your home invasion. If you GOOGLE IMMAGES “Halloween Spiders” you will finds hundreds of neat spiders ideas for the ideal party.
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