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This morning I've had to go on a bit of a killing spree. Relax, its not about people. I've had to use various pesticides and herbicides to reclaim the area around the pool from the rapidly encroaching wildlife of Maine.
Where I live, summer is short but the soil can only be described as 'fecund' and we've had plenty of rain to keep things healthy. The result is a riotously fast growth of every kind of weed, bug, amphibian, and rodent you can imagine.
You know you've got too many insects around the pool area when a huge bullfrog moves in and won't be displaced. I try to keep the use of chemicals in the pool and on the grounds here to a safe minimum and that's all this big guy needed. For the last several days he keeps returning to the pool, in which he sits and eats bugs. He's growing fat and healthy. I've moved him back to the wetland area behind the house several times but he likes it here. Next time I move him it will be in a bucket in the car and the distance will be several miles.
So, today products by Ortho were used to rid the fenced in area of the unwanted wildlife -- including ants and ground wasps in a few places. Then more products by a similar company were used to stop the weeds growing up through the crushed stone around the pool.
Topping things off was last night's discovery that a woodchuck had moved in under the stairs to the shed near Barb's biggest raised garden and had already done significant damage to that garden.
Barb refused to let me just shoot the damn thing, though I had it trapped under those stairs through the use of some granite bricks. It would have been an easy shot with my crappy little .22 rifle (an off brand, single shot, bolt action model suitable for little more than teaching your kids to target practice) because we're in town and I could get into trouble on the off chance anyone heard it.
There's more than one way to get rid of a woodchuck though. I ended up renting a have-a-heart trap for six dollars from the hardware store. If he manages to burrow out from under the stairs without first getting hungry enough to eat some of the rat bait I've left in the hole for him, he'll end up in the trap. I did come across some smoke poison that would work too -- but reading the label made me turn away form those. You're meant to light them and stuff them into the hole he's in, then cover the hole with a bit of dirt and rocks. The smoke contains sulfur oxides that I have no doubt are harmful to just about anyone or anything down wind, so I opted to hold off on those.
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