Thursday, September 19, 2002

There are many ways that the change in seasons makes itself known around here. The obvious change in weather, with storms beginning to make their way down from the north and the wind changing to the east, is a clear sign that the wet season will soon be upon us. But the season shows itself in small things too, like the proliferation of certain kinds of bugs.

The Pacific Dampwood Termite takes wing at this time of year, as sexually mature males swarm on the hot still days of late summer to establish new colonies. They are clumsy fliers, and if there is even a hint of wind they don’t appear. But in the still evenings, as the sun sets, they can be seen very often silently flapping around looking for a place to alight. They generally prefer wet and rotting wood, and I haven’t heard of these termites causing much trouble in people’s houses. They certainly pale in comparison with the damage done by Carpenter Ants.

”CherryAnother flying insect that seems more abundant than usual at this time of year is the very beautiful Cherry Faced Meadowhawk which is as elegant as it’s name. They actually start to fly in July, and they love to bask on rocks, perching in wait for pretty much any insect to come by. They eat mosquitoes, ants, termites and even moths. We have several dragonflies, damselflies and the like around here, but these ones are my favourite. They are they only ones who will regularly perch on me, making them almost pet like.

Taking advantage of all of this flying activity are the mature orb weaver spiders, who spin huge webs every evening, often over top of blackberry bushes where lots of insects seem to congregate. There are large spiders running around the house too, and some of them look big enough to hunt mice.

If it were the truth, that would be a good thing, as we have a mouse or two freelancing under the dishwasher in the kitchen, seemingly immune to the lure of peanut butter laced Victory traps. We’ll get them yet…

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