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west texas insect control (off clay topic)

updated wed 22 aug 01


Sheron Roberts on tue 21 aug 01

I grew up on a farm where butterflies
abounded, June bugs dive-bombed you
in the summer, little green snakes hid
in flower beds and the thrill of my young
life was to watch a praying mantis
poised on Queen-Anne's-Lace. =20
Then they all disappeared. Farm
chemicals, crop dusters, etc.
When I grew up and became master
of my own estate (LOL) I allowed no
chemicals of any kind. After a few=20
years of a chemical free yard, we=20
had butterflies and all the other=20
wonderful critters that I missed from
my childhood. And of course with
the pretties came the nasties. =20
Japanese beetles, which I view as
miniature June bugs, with gargantuan
appetites. Fire ants, and more fire
ants. So how do I deal with the
biters. I leave them be. The fire ants
eat the grubs in the ground and that is
where the Japanese beetles live and
lay eggs. While the neighbors are
howling about beetles eating their
roses, we have fewer and fewer each
year. Certainly some fly in from other
yards, but not enough to do much=20
damage to the grapes and other plants
we have.
If a fire ant mound is in a=20
flower bed that I want to work in, I just
disturb their mound on one day and they
move it overnight to another location.
(usually into the neighbors yard) We have
virtually no flea and tick problem with our
German Shepherd who lives outside. =20
Everything is in balance. I have a koi
pond that the toads and frogs love. They
are all over the property and eat their weight
in mosquitoes and other flying insects. =20
Do I ever get bitten, sure I do. That comes
from not paying attention. Fortunately I am
not allergic to fire ants. I am very allergic to
wasps and other stingers. But I just stay
out of their way.
One of the classrooms in church has the=20
type of ceiling tiles that has little holes all over.
I think it is called celatex. But anyway one=20
Sunday I noticed a few lady bugs crawling on
the floor. Then there were more on the walls
and when I looked up I lost my breath. There
were hundreds coming out of the holes in the
celetex. The room was full of them. Some one
suggested spraying. Instead I opened a window
so they could escape. And most of them did.
I had never seen anything like that before.

PS I am not a fan of fire ants, I just dislike
chemicals more than the ants. I am proud
that you can walk in my yard or lay in the
grass without fear of contamination of some=20
kind. I had a friend who's son died after sitting
and playing in the dirt at the edge of his=20
grandmother's yard. Some type of farm
chemical had been spilled there and was=20
absorbed into his skin.