We had two the other night, one in the garage and one in the living room!! I killed them both with Davison’s shoe. They are big and brown and have a lot of guts.
There are two major/common kinds. One kind, the wood cockroach, is big and brown, and often comes into a building at night, looking for water. It is attracted to light, and isn’t so shy about being seen. So far, this is the only kind we have had in our house.
The other kind is the German cockroach. This is the kind you don’t want in your home. They get into your drawers and cupboards and containers of food. So far, we haven’t seen any of these.
Before we moved to Houston, I studied up on ways to repel these little beasts. The method that seemed to have the best success was to use bay leaves everywhere, and make a bay leaf tea to spray around inside and outside the home. If I am faithful with this, it seems to keep them…at bay. Ahem.
Ants — now they are another story. We have fire ants and little…ants. Thankfully, the fire ants have had the decency to stay outside so far. The little ones…not so much.
One day, I noticed a few ants on the floor in front of the fridge. “Oh, no!” I thought. “They’re coming from under the fridge!” But, no. I noticed a few others near the corner.
I bent over, following their little line, hugging the wall, and traced it back around the corner, into the front dining room (piano/sitting room, currently), behind the piano, all the way around against the wall to the front door, where they were pouring in from one corner. Opening the door, we discovered they were marching all the way across the wide porch from the flower bed. I wondered how far, in human scale, their entire trip would have been.
I worked half the morning at repelling them, all to only partial avail. When Ben came home, he brought some ant killer gel, and between that and adding my ever present bay spray and some cinnamon, we finally succeeded in convincing them to stay out.
There are lots of little lizards. Every time we walk down our front sidewalk, two or three (or five) little lizards scamper into the bushes. At least twice we have had a lizard in the house.
Funny; the kids (and I) think they’re cute, while the bugs give us the creeps. Heidi caught this one and kept it for a couple days.
Some of these are chameleons, and do change color somewhat. Some have the bulgy – flarey neck balloon (?!) that they puff up, if that makes any sense. They can crawl vertically up walls and upside down across ceilings. They all sport unique color schemes. They range in length from about two inches to maybe six, with most being in the smaller range.
Now, these can be freaky. They can be big. They can be poisonous, as in Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders. I shudder. Thankfully, we have not yet run into one of these charmers.
Most are non-poisonous, but that doesn’t keep them from being big, like maybe an inch or two across — on the body. Again, encounters with these have been happily infrequent.
I’m sure we will have many more experiences with many more of these little beasties!
The birds! I’m not sure what kind they all are. One is extremely loud, and has the most unusual sound I’ve ever heard from a bird. It sounds like a machine or the buzzing of an electrical plant!
Here is a link to a beautiful document by the Audobon Society on birds in the Houston area:
I saw that the Kingfisher makes a rattling song. Maybe that’s the bird I’m hearing. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a Kingfisher before this. What I heard the last few days was ever so loud.
Update: We now wonder if the noisy critter is a lizard. We haven’t been able to get a good look at it, yet. We figure out which tree it’s in, go to peer up into it, and the racket dies away!
Hummingbirds: they love the flowers here. They are a pleasure to watch.
And this is a much prettier way to end this post, rather than with a picture of a bug.