Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Five: Pesky Pests or The Mosquitoes Here Think I'm Foreign Food

The Friday Five at RevGalBlogPals made me chuckle. I've been here in South Dakota almost a year and have had my own battles with the creeping things of the earth.

Here are my answers to the Friday Five -

1. There's pretty much the same insects here as in Ohio and Indiana. But there are some different habits:

2. I was told shortly after I got here that the ants 'mound' (build dirt mounds around their holes - most noticeable on concrete and hard dirt drives and roads) just before it rains. I've watched, and it appears to be true.

2b. For some reason in late summer, the cricket population just explodes. There are crickets everywhere - I thought it might just be a plague! In our basement, hundreds and hundreds gather around doorways at night. And the size- I'd never seen a fat, shiny, black cricket the size of a half dollar before!

3. As noted in #1 there's nothing really new here. Although, since this is ranch country, the flies get really thick late in the summer. We want to plan an outdoor service this summer, and my ranchers reminded me we have to have it in June - otherwise the flies will drive us crazy!

4. I'm allergic to mosquitoes, but it was fairly mild until I got here. We arrived in the height of mosquito season - July - and for some reason, the skeeters found me particularly delicious. They left my husband alone, and my son got some bites, but they devoured me! It was like they had discovered a foreign food - Ohio human instead of South Dakota human. And the bites swelled up, itched for weeks and took over a month to go away. I tried baking soda, hydrocortisone cream and a variety of home remedies I found on-line and nothing seemed to help. All the while I kept getting new bites. Bug spray only reduced the number of bites and by late August, I didn't even want to go outside! I hope that this year, I won't seem too tasty to the little blood-suckers.

5. I sympathized with Jan on the fleas. We had our first ever flea outbreak after we moved here. I don't know if the cat picked something up as we travelled across country - since she's always been indoors, I didn't think to flea treat her before we left, oops - or if the new dog (flea free when we got him) brought them in from outdoors. I do know that everyone said the fleas were really bad last summer. Both pets were miserable, scratching and twitching and the cat's fur started to fall out. Fortunately, the fleas preferred the pets to the humans, so we weren't getting bitten. We flea-dipped and treated both pets, and I tore apart the house cleaning and flea spraying and them flea- bombing - TWICE!! Finally, about November we got it under control. The cat's fur has grown back in and there's no sign of fleas now. But spring is here and I've heard the wood ticks are really bad this year....


  1. what a colorful, interesting play and what a variety of buggy experiences, too!

  2. Sorry about your flea experience that lasted so long; I am hoping that ours is much briefer. All the crickets you described reminded me of the plague of locusts!

    1. Me too - I started looking for frogs, lice and flies. Although thinking about it now, the flies did come!