To each his own. To me my own.

Insects

Spickets

Houston, we have a problem.

©arkadiapest.com

Lions and Tigers and Jumping Spiders, OH MY

We have spickets in the house. What’s a spicket, you ask? A spicket is a horribly gianormous mutation that obviously occurred during the time a spider was holding a cricket captive and decided the cricket looked, uh, nice that day. It resembles a wolf spider, has two extra long antennae, a lengthy tail, and possesses the ability to jump higher than a cricket. Like straight up. At face-level. Seriously. I have also learned they do so purposely as an intimidation tactic.

This bug is actually trying to scare me. It THINKS. It’s the kind of stuff my nightmares are made of.

Early this morning, Keith finally got to hear what his girlfriend sounds like when she screams. Loudly. It wasn’t pretty.

From what I’ve read, nobody likes them (everybody hates them, I think I’ll eat a worm… fat ones, skinny ones, even little bitty ones – see how they wiggle and squirm…)

They’re fast. Like Edward Cullen fast. I assume this is because (yes, I know what assuming does) they realize just how bad they look. I’d be willing to bet these babies would turn to stone just by seeing their reflection in a mirror.

JUST. NASTY.

I made a new Kill this morning, the second one within 24 hours. This morning’s Kill was about the size of a silver dollar. A bug should not be the size of a silver dollar. It’s just not natural. If you are able to catch up to one, it’s a gross Kill since they’re quite meaty – their upper thighs resemble those of a bodybuilder.

Afterwards I went into the bedroom where Keith was sitting straight up in bed. At this point I wouldn’t have been more surprised if his head had spun around in Linda Blair fashion. “We’ve got jumping spiders” I said. “We can’t do this. We just can’t.” (Note the “We”, as in Us, as in No Us if They stay.) Of course I didn’t come right out and say that it was either me or the spickets – I think I made a point without saying anything like that. “I’ll stop on the way home and get some stuff” he said. I locked eyes with him and held the glare for what seemed like 60 seconds but was probably only about 10. I really do think he understood me, he’s just good like that.

He also kept any witty comments he might’ve had about my sheet-white face locked up tight in his little bag of tricks. To be pulled out at a more opportune time, I’m sure. Like maybe at the next family reunion.

Enter Google. Old faithful, trusty, reliable Google. I heart Google.

Results = Camel Cricket or Cave Cricket, they’re one in the same. Oh good! So now I can replace the slang name ‘jumping spiders’ I’ve given them all my life with better terminology. Cave cricket – let’s see, what else lives in a cave? Bats. Spiders. Snakes. Bears. Monsters. The Unknown. Any insect that lives in a cave, well who the heck knows what they do in the dark? I also read they are people-intimidators. YA THINK?

http://www.asktheexterminator.com/Crickets/Cave_Crickets.shtml


Blue Skies and Butterflies

I ran across this story while browsing yesterday, and found it more than worthy of reposting.

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in both his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

~Author Unknown


I asked for Strength………
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom………
And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity………
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage………
And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love………
And God gave me Troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors………
And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted ……..
I received everything I needed!


Cow Killers – the Red Velvet Ant revisited

Here at wordpress we’re fortunate enough to have a stats feature that informs us of our most-read posts. I personally find this feature useful, and in paying close attention to it for the past month, have found one post that supersedes all others by a mile. It is the post I wrote on my experience with the Red Velvet Ant.

I had never seen one prior to that one instance. At the time, it’s mere image was so unrealistically startling that I questioned whether or not I was dreaming. I haven’t ran across another one since then, which if I never do again it’ll be too soon… but apparently  a LOT of you out there are coming in contact with them this summer. The google search terms that people use to find information on them are plentiful, which lets me know they are still very much alive and well.

The insect coined the name ‘Cow Killers’ because when cows graze, they often pull the grass up by the roots, and sometimes attached to it is a less than friendly red velvet ant. The insect will then crawl up the nostril or face of the cow and sting it. Although ten times more powerful than that of a red ant, it’s a myth that it’s sting is lethal enough to kill a cow, unless of course there are multiple attacks. The female Cow Killers are wingless, which is what I encountered. They crawl around the ground looking for the holes of other bugs such as ground-nesting bees. They’ll infiltrate the nest, find a cocoon and eat a hole in it, then deposit an egg. When it hatches, it then feeds on the bee larva. Amazingly enough the insect is born as white, legless grub and will go through many stages before metamorphing into fuzzy Red Velvet Ants.

Here’s a very informative video on this most interesting insect which is really a wasp. This lady is well-informed and shares some very useful information on this most intriguing insect.

Click here for a short informative video on the Cow Killer

Photos © Kim Hosen;Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area, Nokesville, VA; September 2009