Bugs & Beasties

rodents
mice
rats
maartens
poison

(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #1

So we’ve done it, we’ve bought our house with a garden. Might sound trivial to some but to us having no garden for a few years it is really quite a big deal.





When we viewed the house in winter, the owners had obviously pruned it back a bit & with the help of the colder winter months it was looking relatively tame. With the arrival of spring though it has turned into a jungle and I’m now scared to go in it for fear of being attacked by brambles, nettles or quick moving things down by your feet that you’ve got no chance of seeing.





So what am I thinking of? Well Snakes are my No 1 hate, great green grass snakes, big black couloubres or little nasty adders I think we get down here. Or what about Scorpions, we’ve seen these in our house in the middle of our village so there’s bound to be loads of them hanging around in a property that hasn’t really been lived in for years.





What else? Rats, I know we’re all supposed to be living within so many feet of a rat (I just hope they are big feet) but I hate the thought of them. It seems to be a French tradition to leave Rat powder/pellets on show when trying to sell your house. Forget the smell of baked bread what you need are some really strong pest killers on show.





We’ve been left a massive box (industrial size) of rat poison pellets in little sachets, I think I’ll leave them scattered around in case there are any of the horrid pests living in the house. Obviously this means our 2 year old can’t be put down when viewing the house but to be honest, it’s not exactly sanitary in there so I’d rather she’s up high out of harms reach (or any other bug or beastie’s bite).





I am getting worried though about how many dead rats I’m going to find on our return, think I’ll send the hubby in first with a bin liner & spade…do a recce so to speak.


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We’ve also been told there are termites in one of the fig trees, with yellow necklaces on. These only eat live wood apparently so they won’t be popping into the house for a quick munch on a ceiling beam I am reliably informed. Still, I don’t like them in my garden so they have to go.





The other 3 french pests which I can deal with (sort of) are fat mouches (house flies to you and I) which seem to be on speed in our village but my hubby has perfected an efficient backhand fly squat which stuns them and is quickly followed up by a whack to make sure they’ve gone off to la la land. Sorry if you respect the life of flies & this offends you but we don’t! They are horrid though, they come inside to leave their eggs behind (see those black spots on your white walls or ceiling? thousands of nasty fly eggs…clean them off quick, is the fly looking like she’s peacefully minding her own business on your mirror? wrong laying thousands of future pests.





Or pesky mosquitos which are so small they get through the mosquito screens on the windows. I’ve tried Lavender near windows but this seemed to attract more flies, I’ve tried citronella essential oil in the bedroom which seemed to work dotted around the beds & cots. As I said I can deal with these too.





And little ghekkos which are very cute and entertain the kids for free but are fast as hell when you’re trying to catch one in your dining room, kids shrieking (well that’ll be me shrieking actually).





Last year, we also had some visitors I’d never come across before, food moths, these pesky moths ate dried food & laid eggs in any opened or even unopened packets of dry food, tea, rice, pasta etc. So that half eaten pack of lasagne - bin, porridge oats packet stuck closed with cellotape - bin, posh twining tea bags in individual packets (open & checked each one for chrysallis - 5% bin. So to deal with these I had to buy loads and loads of sealed containers for my dry store (locknlocks from lakeland).





And the final pests who came round to visit last year - some religious folk pestering me about the future of the world. Look people, I have enough to deal with fighting off all the above without worrying about whether god really exists or not. If he does exist, then could you please ask him to move the rats, scorpions and snakes out of my garden into someone elses so I can enjoy it with my children in peace. Failing that I will have to take a chainsaw to the whole lot & take it down to the ground (well I say I, can you really imagine me with a chainsaw? A blade of grass tickles my foot and I chop off my left arm…) I think the clearing is probably the best option but will be done by a professional…but they need to spare the fig tree in tribute to Adam & Eve.




(Sarah Hague) #2

Right, the one I bought is made by Beaphar, here:
http://www.animapro.fr/antiparasitaires/7083386-beaphar-vetonature-pipettes-repulsives-antiparasitaire-chat-bte-3.html


(Catharine Higginson) #3

Thanks!


(Sarah Hague) #4

I’ll look up the one I bought when I get home, but it’s probably something like this:
http://www.chiensetchatsnaturellement.com/antiparasitaires-20/pipettes-repulsives-naturelles-pour-chats-anti-tiques-puces-et-moustiques-stoppe-tiques-et-puces-77.html


(Catharine Higginson) #5

What’s the product called please Sarah?


(Sarah Hague) #6

Ticks are tiques in French. You can get either a chemical or natural preventative treatment. I found the natural one in Botanic and they told me it was as effective as the chemical Frontline one (and half the price). My cat usually has a reaction to the chemical treatment so I was pleased to find the alternative. It comes in those pipettes which you squeeze between the shoulder blades and lasts a month.


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #7

@ Sarah, I’m worrying about my poor cat, what are ticks in French, I’ll have to ask my neighbour to check him. Does frontline stop them?


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #8

Hi David, it was winter in Languedoc & it does get cold in le sud! I should update the phot, thanks for the prompt.
There is no way I am going bare-foot tree hugging for anyone & I don’t understand how les medames et messieurs of Cap D’agde do not get saddle sore when riding bare-back (au cheval I might add). A visit to Marseillan-Plage gave me an insight into la vie en Nature & I can safely say I prefer clothes on me & to be honest most of the residents of le Cap…not a pretty site :frowning:


(Sarah Hague) #9

Watch out for ticks in the long grass too! There’s an epidemic of the little b*ggers this year.


(James Higginson) #10

We have Rats or Mice or pine Maartens maybe in our roof, they are noisy scrabblers. Any tips on getting rid of them @suz please?!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #11

I had a bat in the house this week - I won’t be putting the LED strips on again - its clearly a bat signal!
The poison pellets worked well James but you’ll need to know if the nest is up there or it might smell…


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #12

or send the cat up there??


(James Higginson) #13

No space for cats, it’s a warm roof. I can get to it by removing t=some tiles from above. More poison before they wreck the insulation I think!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #14

@James why are you up at this mad hour? The pesky creatures keeping you awake?


(James Higginson) #15

Five hours is enough for me usually!


(James Higginson) #16

What’s your excuse @suz?!


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #17

I have insomnia - It comes and goes every couple of weeks :frowning:


(James Higginson) #18

Hope you got enough sleep to get through the day :slight_smile:


(Suzanne Fitzgerald) #19

3 hours! so probably not! I might sleep tonight as long as no bats get in the house :slight_smile:


(James Higginson) #20

:weary: Siesta later!