Before we started on this journey, I thought chipmunks were the cutest thing ever. I’d picture Alvin, Simon and Theodore singing when I saw one. The mice we found in our house were “just trying to get warm” and were cute. I pretty much left the bugs alone with a few exceptions like flies and mosquitoes, because they’re just annoying. And spiders.
Yes, I know they’re not “bugs”. As long as the spider stayed out of any building I was in, I’d let them live. After all, they are doing humanity a great service. The flying squirrels we found in the house one night were “adorable” (okay, they still are), the squirrels in the shed were cute and also trying to get warm, and the snakes were cool as long as they stayed out of the house. Toads were nasty and were removed from the yard. Every possible hiding place was “fixed”.
Amazing how your thinking changes after a while.
Mice need to be destroyed before they ruin any more electrical wiring and drywall/flooring. I cheer when I find a dead one in a trap. If the cat kills one, he gets a treat and tons of praise. The chipmunks need to be blocked and/or killed, because they try to live in the crawl space in the top of the house. They are not so cute when you can hear them chewing and digging through wood, insulation and you know darn well they’re eating the wiring. Nor is it cute when they wake you at 3 or 4 am doing said things.
Thanks to both, I have to tear out a bathroom and the two upstairs bedrooms have to be gutted to replace wiring before a fire starts (almost had one). Spiders are now encouraged in the outbuildings. Dear Lord, I never thought I’d EVER say that. I just do my best to ignore them and repeat, “They’re killing flies, mosquitoes and ants. They’re a good thing.” while trying not to do the “icky, shiver spider dance”.
Destructive bugs get invited to the Feather Sisters dinner party (just fed them a Tomato Hornworm), good bugs are left alone (for the most part), the toads are made little terra-cotta homes to live in, we cut the grass from house to yard edges to keep critters from being chased inside, bat houses get hung around the yard, and snakes are still a pro and a con: they eat the mice, but will also eat chicks and eggs.
Raccoons, coyotes, foxes and the recently sighted Bobcat are no longer in the “live and let live” category. Now, it’s chase them off or shoot them before they kill our livestock. Before anyone has a cow over that, there are plenty of other critters for them to eat. Fenced ones just make for easy pickings.
I wonder how much more my thinking will change during this adventure of ours.