Natural Pest Control

I wasn’t initially planning on showing the pictures I’m about to show, figuring many of you might be a tad squeamish about these sorts of things.

However, based on some of the reactions to a post a while back about my deck geckos and to last week’s post about crabs in my house, reactions I’d describe as morbidly curious, I thought, “What the heck? Let’s have a little Animal Planet, right here on An Island Mom.”

If you are not into the whole circle of life thing so much, or if you grow faint or nauseous at the sight of lizards or roaches, look away now. Look far, far away.

But for those of you who can’t help yourselves, read on.

First, however, allow me a word about roaches in the South for my Yankee friends.

In the South, the terminology varies a bit.

Sophisticated individuals and those who’ve soundly rejected the idea of The Fall call them Palmetto bugs.

The bourgeois and those who have some semblance of decorum call them water bugs.

People like me, from entirely dubious origins, call them roaches or cockroaches.

My larger point, however, is this. In the North, it is entirely possible to live perhaps your whole life and never see a roach, certainly not in your own home.

In large parts of the South, it simply can’t be done. Trust me, I’ve tried. Cleanliness certainly helps, as do good pest control products or a good pest control service. But these are reduction measures, not elimination ones. Never seeing a roach in my neck of the woods is like never seeing an ant or a spider in the North; sightings can be rare, but it’s virtually impossible to make them nonexistent.

I have made my peace with this, because living on an island in the Carolinas has a million wonderful things to offer for every roach that has ever crossed my path.

But nothing changes the fact that they are nasty, regardless of nomenclature and whether they’re in your house or just out on your deck.

Sidenote: LCB once knew someone who ate cockroaches when dared. Had I ever witnessed this, I feel sure that I would have auto-puked. I am thankful and proud to report that the roach consumptions did not take place on Carolina soil, nor was the roach-eater a Carolinian. I’m also pointing this out so that all my friends from Carolina won’t drive themselves to madness trying to figure out which of our mutual acquaintances practiced something this obscene. To my knowledge, anyway, none of them have.

So, all that hoopla is leading up to me showing you what I found on my deck recently.

Yes, ma’am, that’s a gecko eating a roach. (Technically, I think the gecko is a Carolina anole, but the term “gecko” is more succinct and universally recognized. And this is, in fact, not Animal Planet.)

And there it is again.

Now, how about a picture of my dog sitting on my deck eating a water snake?

Just kidding. If that had happened, I think I’d have auto-fled back to Chicago.

6 Replies to “Natural Pest Control”

  1. And this is why I not only like anoles, but spiders, too. You only have to see this once to decide that they are better to have around, thank cockroaches.

    1. I totally agree. In Chicago, I never minded spiders for that very reason. I’d rather have a few spiders that a gazillion flies, ants, etc.

  2. I need to get me one of those geckos! I was sitting on the porch last night with my cousin, who came down from Massachusetts, and a palmetto bug came right up onto the back of the wicker couch I was sitting on and was just sitting there next to my head. I felt like I was in an episode of MTVs Joe’s Apartment. That was, until, my daughter gently made me aware of my uninvited guest (screaming – MOM! There’s a roach next to your head!!!). Pretty mortified, I must tell you.

    1. Yuck! I guess that killed the moment and left your cousin with quite the impression. They’re bad enough when they’re just crawling around near your feet. I haven’t seen many of them, but the flying ones are the worst. I’ve seen burly, nothing-phases-me men jump at those.

  3. Now this is looking familiar! 🙂 We call em all geckos too…and we have some similar photos of geckos eating all kinds of (large) living things. Beach life is different all right!
    Thanks and have a fantastic summer.

    1. I was wondering about “lizard life” in the Pacific as compared to here. I don’t remember noticing any geckos on my honeymoon in Hawaii, but then again, it was my honeymoon, so my mind wasn’t exactly focused on the animal population on the islands.;)

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