Tag Archives: stink bugs

The Birds and The Bugs

11 Apr

We saw our first goldfinch yesterday, so I stopped while I was off to the doctor and bought a finch feeder. I had originally planned on hanging a “sock” inside the globe and buying a new feeder for the big birds, but none of the stores carried anything even remotely like what I wanted, so I just got a finch tube and hung it from the same tower as the other feeder.  So far, only the goldfinches have eaten the Niger seed.  The purple finches seem content to eat “regular” birdseed, and oddly enough the squirrels are not the least bit interested, which suits me down to the ground. We have also had a redheaded woodpecker eating at our feeder the last two days. I will probably get some mealworms and toss them into the pot.

I swear, we spend more on animal food around here than we do on people food!

Speaking of “down to the ground”, this morning a squirrel was sitting on the tower, pushing the globe feeder back and forth, spewing seeds everywhere. Three of his buddies were sitting in the grass, scurrying around to eat what he had tossed to them.  Little stinkers.

Now, I am looking for a place to hang the hummingbird feeder. Last year the ants cleaned me out, but I have purchased a funny little up-side down cup sort of thing that goes between the feeder and the hanger. The inside of the cup is well laced with ant poison (Terro). In theory, the ants crawl down the outside of the cup and then up the inside, and before they can get to the feeder they are trapped.

I hope.

Ants! This morning, The Squire went into the bathroom and found the inside and the outside of the bathtub crawling with ants. We always get more in the bathroom than any other place, and while I’m glad I don’t have them swimming in my tea kettle, it just mystifies me. What’s in Bon Ami that they find so appealing?

And of course, there are stink bugs to contend with. We pull down the shades to go to bed at night, and out tumble two or three. I was sitting in the living room reading and one crawled up my leg. Every window sill has its own collection. They are not dirty, like roaches, and they don’t sting or make a mess, and Heaven knows I’d rather have them than ants, and even though everybody has them, it is disconcerting when you have company for dinner and one flies across the table. I even plucked one off the rector’s alb during communion one Sunday. What’s the etiquette on that?

I Had One, But the Wheels Fell Off

20 Mar

Back when I was wandering in the desert between Blogger and WordPress, it became painfully apparent (especially to the wallet) that the Squire’s 1998 Grand Caravan was about to bite the dust.  He has some physical problems which make it necessary for the car he drives to “fit” him properly. He can zip over to church in my Nissan, but any trip of more than a half an hour – either as a driver or passenger – becomes quite painful.

He spent a good deal of time comparing Consumer Report listings with local car lots, and finally decided on a 2009 Kia Sportage. Yesterday – Monday – he drove up to trade in the old car and pick up the “new” one. I got two phone calls, back to back. One from him, saying the new car needed to be detailed, and one from the fellow who tunes up the church’s organ, saying he was at church, where the Squire was to have met him. Oops!

I grabbed the church keys and dashed off. As I opened the doors, we discovered that someone had set off about a dozen bug bombs in the sanctuary to kill the stink bugs! The place simply reeked, and we had to leave even more quickly than we arrived.  The Squire was furious. He is the Junior Warden at our church (the head of the Property Committee, to you non-Episcopalians) and this had been done without checking with him. It wasn’t simply a matter of not asking permission, which was really only a courtesy, but that 1) trying to re-schedule having the organ tuned this close to Easter is a nuisance to both us and the repairman. 2) We have a contract with an exterminator who says most pesticides do not work on stink bugs, and 3) the chemicals are toxic to people with immune system problems.; we have three people in the congregation undergoing chemo at the moment. Stink bugs are a nusiance, but they don’t bite or sting the way bedbugs do, they don’t chew on the scenery like carpenter ants, and they aren’t filthy, like roaches. Just pick them up and drop them in the trash. Big deal.  Got all that straight, collected him, and came back home, and this morning we got up at some unearthly hour to pick up the car, and then I had an errand to run, while the Squire went to Panera to pick up bread for the local soup kitchen.

When he got home, he simply reeked of cigarette smoke. Turned out the car had been owned by a smoker, and even though the dealer had ionized it – twice – the odor was still seeping out of the upholstery. I took it back to the dealer while the Squire was supervising the cleaning of the church, and on the way up the road, the Check Engine light came on.

This company is locally famous for making good on any repair work, and also a no-questions-asked return policy. They are going to do the interior one more time and fix the engine, but even with a loner car, this is all a major pain.

And we still have ants.