Pest Smart

Spring is in full swing here at the pumpkin patch, which is not without its stresses. Jamie planted a few of his seeds indoors last week and much to his chagrin, they did not sprout when anticipated. His best seed never germinated at all. As a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin, this causes an immeasurable amount of stress. He will replace the dud and move forward with the others, which will hopefully flourish.

Look at me. Being all supportive of the Lord of the Gourds.

I’ve been thinking about pests lately. Not of the little brother or sister variety that we all endured growing up, but creatures. Most of us have ‘em and we’re always battling them at our house. We have a vole that completely wiped out our rose bushes and we are replanting some new ones.

Rabbits are also our household pests. It pains me to say that because I had pet bunnies growing up and absolutely adored them. But alas, Whiskers and Snowflake never dug out a hole under and through our front porch nor completely obliterated our garden, snacking on my favorite crop of all: strawberries.

Game on, Bunnies.

Of course, our pests don’t have anything on my in-laws. Their pest de choix? Skunks. They took up residency under my inlaws’ front porch last year, creating a very real dilemma whenever entering or leaving the house. Animal control wouldn’t do anything about them unless they were rabied which, I don’t know about you, I really wouldn’t want to be the one to test that out.

My in-laws tried to stink them out with mothballs. They were unsure of exactly how many skunks they had and had only spotted a couple at a time. But imagine their delight to come home from church, only to find NINE skunks sunning themselves on their lawn. Call me crazy but having pet skunks in plain view is exponentially worse than having them burrowed under my house.

Though it could stave off those people who insist on coming over unannounced when my house is a mess.

Eventually, the skunks migrated back under their porch because well, they’re kinda used to living with stench. My inlaws’ last alternative was to hire a professional skunk trapper. Now, I’m sure he catches other animals but he was most proud of his ability to round up the Pepe le Pews of the world. He actually knocked on their door holding two captured skunks. Evidently, if you hold them by their tails, they will not spray you.

Just in case you wanted to try it next time around.

Unfortunately, he got distracted and dropped one of them, leaving a path of fresh-smelling roses behind.

How would you like to be that guy’s poor wife?

And so now I turn to you as gardening season kicks off: do you have a garden, what do you grow and what pests do you battle?

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