darkoshi: (Default)
The day before yesterday, there was a tickle at the bottom of my leg, and I found a flea. I grabbed it, and unsure of what to do, held it in a stream of water at the bathroom faucet for a long time. Then I let the water wash it down the drain, and ran the water for a while longer. I was afraid it might still be alive, and might jump back out.

In the past when we had cats, I remembered submerging any caught fleas into a cup of water mixed with dishwashing liquid to drown them.

Yesterday evening, it happened again, in the same bathroom. I don't remember ever finding fleas in the house before*, so I believe it was the same flea. This time, I took it to the kitchen, dumped some water and dishwashing liquid into a plastic container, and held it submerged in that for a while before letting go.

(Feeling the flea struggling in my grasp. Trying to drown the poor thing a second time, after it survived the first traumatic attempt. I'm such a bad person. Life is so cruel. I don't like killing, but fleas are one of the few things that I long ago decided should always be killed, because of the severe misery they can inflict on other beings, and because there's no way to peacefully coexist with them.)

This morning, the flea was motionless at the bottom of the container. But now I don't trust dumping it down the drain again. And I don't want to dump it in the yard. So I considered dumping it outside the fence, to be on the safe side.

But first... how long does it take a flea to drown? The answers given on this page are rather scary:

Can dish soap really be used to kill ticks and fleas?

Now I've decided to leave the flea soaking for at least another day.

*Our dogs have been at Qiao's house the past week rather than here. But I've been going over to feed the neighbor's dogs this last week, while they were away on a trip. One of their dogs had a bad flea problem in the past from what they told me, so I think the flea must have jumped on me while I was in their yard. Although I didn't notice their dogs scratching much while I was there.

little flies

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 01:41 am
darkoshi: (Default)
This morning, there was one of those little flies in my cube when I arrived. It flew in my face more than usual; it would definitely be a nuisance if it was always around. Not much later I heard a suspicious "smack" from my neighbor across the aisle. A little later after that, I heard a smack from the cube right next to mine. Upon which the coworker across the aisle got up and had a little chat with my neighbor. She asked if he's been having a bunch of little flies lately. Yep, he said, he already killed 6 this morning. He called them gnats. They discussed where they might be coming from.

So much for my visiting fly theory.

While I can handle, and even appreciate, a single solitary insect, the idea of having a bunch of them flying around in my cube, or anywhere else near me, is unpleasant and begins to be "something that must be dealt with", even if I don't like to kill them. It's sort of a contradiction, isn't it?
One = Why, hi there cute little bug. Let me help you out. So nice of you to visit. What's it like to be you?
Twenty+ = Agh, invasion. I suppose I'll have to kill them all. Kill, destroy, destruction.

ants

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 09:57 am
darkoshi: (Default)
I just discovered a thick stream of ants going back and forth from my big dictionary to the crack in the corner of the window frame. The dictionary is right by the wall, so it's a short distance.

My initial reaction was that I should put out some ant bait right away.

But it appears that they had a nest in the thin area between the book cover and the book. They are carrying ant eggs/pupae away from the book, into the crack, presumably outside.

So, should I wait until they finish carrying away the eggs, and will they maybe then stay gone? Then I could fill in the crack so that they don't come back.

Sigh. I haven't even gotten around to caulking the last place ants came in, in the kitchen. I had used ant bait that time.

..
Update:
Oh gosh dangit. It's like a nightmare.

This afternoon I checked again, and almost all the ants and pupae were gone. There were only about 4 or 5 ants still milling around, and almost all the crud under the book cover was gone. I was so relieved, but I didn't have time to caulk the crack shut right then.

Now maybe 5 hours later I look again, and the ants are back in full force, this time carrying the pupae in the other direction and putting them back under the book cover! What the heck? Do they plan to carry them back and forth every day?

I guess I'll have to put out ant bait after all. But I don't want to end up with a bunch of dead ants, bait, and pupae under my dictionary book cover.

... Well, when I thump the book cover, some of the ants to start carrying the pupae in the other direction again. Maybe if I can keep that up until they're all gone again...

poor little things

Thursday, May 29th, 2014 06:59 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
The wildlife company found droppings in the attic too. I hadn't thought to check up there lately.

Yesterday, they placed snap traps in both the crawlspace and attic. Today upon checking them, I found 2 dead rats in the crawlspace, and another in the attic.

What I had read indicated that rats tend to avoid new objects. I wasn't sure there were any rodents still here to be caught, and certainly wasn't expecting any to be caught the first night.

Now I'm a premeditated killer of roaches, fire ants, and rats.

I wonder why they come into the house. There isn't any food they can get too, that I'm aware of.
The wildlife company is going to better seal the crawlspace vents, and gaps along the roof line.

rat a tat tat

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 05:26 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Rodent - I found droppings in the crawlspace. Likely rat. But I haven't heard the noise in the wall over the doorway in over a month, so I'm hoping it's gone away on its own. I've caulked along the wall in the room that was having the odd smell, as I think it was coming in through cracks along there. I've scheduled an inspection from a wildlife control company. But if I let them do the work beyond the $75 inspection, it will probably cost a lot and it will include them putting out snap traps to make sure the rodents are no longer present and/or dead before doing any sealing. The guy said that they aren't legally allowed to catch rats and release them elsewhere. That makes sense.

This UK document: Guiding principles in the Humane Control of Rats and Mice, indicates that in the UK, it is illegal to release black rats, doormice, and even grey squirrels (?!) into the wild.

But if I was ok with using snap traps, I would just use them myself, right? Why pay someone else to do it? And why pay them to come out several times to check the traps when I could just do it myself? Do I really trust that they'll do a better job of finding and sealing any entry points, than what I've discovered on my own so far?

I had been planning to get an infrared motion-activated wildlife camera to stick in the crawlspace to see if there still is any activity down there, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I was planning to seal 2 of the crawlspace vents better. But the rodent must have been getting from the crawlspace into the walls. That's what I'm not sure about. I found 2 possibilities, but neither seems very likely.

So I should let the professionals do their thing. Even though I worry that they're no more pro than me. Just pay them and don't worry about it. Just let them kill and don't worry about it.

Just be a grim reaper and don't worry about it. After all, death is the most humane solution for everything, right?

.

Enough of this. I'll go cut some grass.
darkoshi: (Default)
Sometimes I feel it would be better if I only posted creative interesting things. If I left out the boring, rant-ish, whiny, and/or unimportant posts. If my journal were inspiring and intriguing rather than mundane. If I didn't use it simply as an outlet for whatever was on my mind at the time. But then there wouldn't be many posts, and it wouldn't really reflect my life, which is mostly mundane.

.

I don't recall having allergies as a kid. Not the runny-nose, sneezing, itchy eyes kind of allergies that I started getting as an adult. Yet when I was about 10 years old, I had a persistent cough. I was tested for allergies, and was given some kind of desensitization treatment.. shots or skin patches; I don't recall it well.

I never quite understood how having a cough could be due to allergies.

Yet a couple years ago after having been sick, and still having a persistent cough and sore throat, a nurse told me it was due to post-nasal drip. That surprised me, as I usually only notice post-nasal drip when it is thin and runny - like when I'm having a runny nose kind of allergy attack.

The kind that makes my throat itch, by contrast, is thicker. It's just now in the last few years that I'm able to recognize this sensation. Realizing that my throat is tickling due to thick slime oozing down back there, as opposed to tickling for an unknown reason. It's odd that this wasn't something I was able to recognize to begin with.

..

I'm staying up late to see Boy George on Jimmy Kimmel... Hadn't planned to, but upon hearing that BG would be on, I figured I shouldn't miss that, right? Like old times, staying up to see an appearance. Gosh, how long is this show? Figures that he'd be the last person on.

Aw. Just one song, and not even an interview.

I've listened to clips from his latest album, but none of the songs really appealed to me. This one he sang didn't either.

..

Yesterday while eating lunch, something buzzy flew into my hair. I put my hand up and flinched away when I felt something up there. So I brushed it off with my sandwich container. I turned to look at the picnic table, and there it was, some kind of cute bug. Looked like a youngster. I blew at it, and it lifted its front legs (arms? pincers?) up in the air as it to ward off an attack. So then I let it be and ate my lunch. But I turned back to look at it several times. It didn't move away. I began to feel a camaraderie with it.

Such a small thing. And yet it has a brain. What is it like, to be that insect? What is it thinking? Is it watching me? Is it feeling camaraderie with me too?

It's all in my mind. That feeling of camaraderie would quickly vanish if I saw it doing something like eating another insect.

..

It's so hard, living. One has to feel compassion for anyone who's managed to stay alive, to make it so far... to stay fed, stay clothed, live to adulthood, and everything else. Even if they aren't making a very good impression. Even if they're arguing, or drunk, or conniving, criminal.

..

Break on through, break on through.

How can this life be anything other than a puzzle to figure out? And if so, it isn't without merit to wonder who made the puzzle and why.

Or this life could be something without any meaning at all.

It's all up to what one manages to believe.

..

There's an odd smell in this room. Like... old cat litter, maybe. Seems to be coming from the brick wall. Or maybe from one of the electrical outlets. Or maybe the edge where the brick wall meets the floor. I wonder if it is related to the rodent in the wall, though I haven't heard it in a couple weeks.

unintentional harm

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 11:27 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
A couple weeks ago there was a lizard in the garage, in one of the round plastic bins. I thought maybe it had gotten stuck there, not being able to climb back up the walls of the bin. So I took it outside. But it behaved oddly. It didn't scurry off, and it moved its body oddly. The next day, it was still in nearly the same spot, dead.

Later, it occurred to me that maybe it had eaten some of the roach bait/poison I had put in the garage. Or maybe it had eaten a roach which had eaten the poison. That made me feel bad.

Last week, while using the trimmer to mow the lawn, I accidentally hit a cockroach. That made me feel bad too. It looked like I cut its head open. I didn't know whether I should stomp on it to put it out of its misery, or if that would make it worse. I never know.

There seem to be a lot of bugs scurrying around in the grass when I'm mowing, lately. Maybe because of all the rain. I've been having to mow the yard each and every week.

I have a new trimmer with a lithium battery which works much better than my old trimmer with the nickel-cadmium batteries. The old batteries took a long time to charge, and lost their charge pretty quickly. The new batteries charge in under an hour, and the new trimmer has a speed setting. At first I thought it was best to keep it on the lowest setting, so that the battery would last longest. But then I realized that using a higher speed lets you mow faster. You can swing the trimmer back and forth faster, whereas with a lower speed, you have to move slower in order to cut the same amount of grass. I was beginning to enjoy the higher speed settings, as I could get the same amount of grass mowed in less time. But then I hit that roach. And then I thought, maybe at a lower speed, the line would be less dangerous. Or maybe, with me moving more slowly on the lower setting, the bugs would have more time to hear me coming and to get out of my way.

I decided not to put roach bait in the garage anymore. It's too cruel. The bugs out there don't bother me much. It's not that big a deal to have to vacuum up their mess once in a while, compared to the alternatives.

canine persuasion

Saturday, July 6th, 2013 05:16 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Both my dogs have surprised me in that they apparently like to eat raw carrot pieces. Considering that they like dried sweet potato and yam, I suppose it shouldn't be too surprising.

For some reason, the big dog no longer likes the heartworm+flea preventative pills. Hopefully it is just something about the flavor, and if I get the other brand which is only against heartworms, she'll still take that one.

The little dog still likes the heatworm+flea preventative pills.

After Serena ate her pill, I was trying to persuade Zorro to eat hers, by offering her some popcorn, and then holding the rest back until she would eat the pill. This was made more difficult, as Serena ignored her own popcorn and tried to go after the big pill instead. While Zorro ate the popcorn I had given to Serena.

Considering how much trouble it was to get Zorro to eat the pill last month, I stand defeated. I don't want to go through all that again. Last month, it involved peanut butter getting smeared over my hands multiple times. I finally succeeded (I think*) after squishing the pill into a nutter butter cookie. It didn't squish or stick very well. In the end, I think Zorro finally ate it out of pity for me, not because she was in any way tricked by the cookie.

*The pill disappeared, so I can only assume it disappeared down Zorro's throat.

crinkle scritch

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 11:24 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Don't you love it when you keep hearing a rustling sound in your room, but can't figure out what is making it?

I think it's a monster of some sort, above the ceiling by the window...

Surely it can't simply be leaves rattling around on the ground outside.

slooooogs

Friday, December 23rd, 2011 01:57 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Slugs must have a good sense of smell. On wet days, if I leave the dogfood out too late, they crawl onto the porch, into the black plastic outer bowl, through the "moat" of water that I keep in the black plastic bowl to discourage ants, and into the inner bowl which has the dogfood.

Did you know that slugs are hermaphroditic, with both male and female sex organs? And that supposedly* there's this thing they sometimes do, called apophallation?


* Sometimes I wonder how much of everything I hear and read is really true. I assume that a lot of it has at least some truth to it, but I don't have personal proof, so most of what I "know" is based on hearsay. And sometimes things that are widely thought to be true later turn out to be wrong.
darkoshi: (Default)
Heat did not used to bother me. I had an extreme dislike of air-conditioning. (My experiences with AC were overwhelmingly of feeling imprisoned in a freezing building with stale recirculated air, feeling cold to the bone, while knowing that it was pleasantly warm outside.)
But something must have changed in my body / my head in recent years. Now when it gets over 86 degrees or so inside the house, I start getting a headache, and I have to turn on the AC to make the headache go away. I wonder why.

.

I have the opportunity to customize my credit card with either one of many stock images, or with an image of my own (with various rules about what kind of images that are not allowed). At first, it seemed neat to be able to customize the card, and I certainly don't want the boring default image. But it's hard to decide what image I do want.

When I was a kid, I had posters of cats and kittens in my bedroom. When I got older, the idea of decorating my surroundings with images of animals whom I had never personally met, and who were possibly dead by now, seemed purposeless and disturbing. In my teens, I had some posters of movie characters on my walls... the posters served to remind me of the fantasy and excitement of the movies. But later on, the idea of having images of people on my walls began to seem pointless and disturbing.

Similarly now, the idea of putting an image of friends, family, or pets on my credit card seems disturbing to me. What if something were to happen to them, and/or they were to die? Then I'd be stuck with their image on the card, and I'd be reminded of them or of whatever had happened, every time I saw the card. It feels wrong.

For the credit card, I'm still debating whether to choose a stock image of the Statue of Liberty, or of palm-trees, or whether to find some image of my own.

.

I resorted to putting out a borax-containing ant bait trap to kill the ants.
:-(

I had also tried vinegar, hot-sauce, and lemon oil air spray. As with the other things, the ants avoided those areas while they were wet, but crawled right over them once they were dry.

It even looked like they chewed a couple small holes through the areas I had caulked.

.

I'm very nearly finished reading the thousand-page book "Atlas Shrugged". I started reading it about 16 months ago. There are just a few more pages left, which I plan to read this weekend.

In the last part of the book, one of the characters does a monologue which goes on for 56 whole pages! I had to skim some of that section; it got tedious.

While the book was interesting, I still feel that the underlying premise of the book and the mental state of its characters (except for the heroes/heroines), was not believable.

.

Today's 3-D movies are pretty neat. I've seen 2 such movies, Alice in Wonderland and The Last Airbender. The 3-D effects are really good. Until seeing them, I hadn't realized the technology had advanced that much.

always something

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 06:57 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
These ants are seriously pissing me off. They keep coming back even though I've caulked all the places I saw them coming in from. Now they're getting into the cabinets.

It's always something.
Zorro ripping her collar so that I have to sew it or get her a new one.
Ants.
Cockroaches.
Leaking roof.
Lamp fixtures not working.
Garage door opener breaking.
Grass and weeds to be mowed.
Broken limbs and dead trees to be cut down.
Other things breaking and needing to be fixed.

ants in the kitchen

Saturday, July 17th, 2010 02:33 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Ants invaded my kitchen this week. That used to happen every once in a while at FF's house, but hadn't happened in this house until now. I couldn't find anything specific that was attracting the ants; they were just scouting/wandering all over the counter-tops and stove. I wanted to get rid of them before they *did* find something.

I read that ants don't like mint, and I had some peppermint liquid soap, so I mixed some of that with water and spread it around. I also rubbed some spearmint essential oil in a few places. The ants avoided the wet areas, but by evening when it had dried, they were walking everywhere again, pretty much ignoring it. I sprinkled cinnamon in one spot; that didn't seem to bother them much. I sprinkled black pepper near the window where they were coming into the kitchen; that didn't seem to affect them much either.

I looked to see how they were getting into the kitchen and into the house, and found some spots that needed to be caulked shut. I waited until night-time, when most of the ants had left the house and gone back to their nest (or where-ever), and then caulked those spots.

In the morning, I checked again. There were still some ants crawling around, but not nearly as many as yesterday. I found another spot that needed to be caulked. I took a brush/dustpan, and swept up all the ants I could find, and dumped them outside. (I don't want to hurt the ants, and most of them don't seem to be hurt by the brushing). Then I caulked the remaining spot. There were still a few ants crawling around, so I continued brushing them up and dumping them outside, and rubbed some vinegar around the areas where they had been.

Now I only see still a very few ants, here and there. Hopefully this has done the trick, and they won't come back.

(no subject)

Thursday, September 11th, 2008 08:07 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Oh gosh. What should one do when there is a cockroach (2 even!) lying on their backs on one's kitchen floor, but when one gets close, one sees that they aren't dead yet? Still Feebly moving a leg or antenna... I don't want to put them in the trash while they are still alive, that would be disrespectful to them. I don't want to put them outside, as then the ants might move in on them, which could be torture. I guess I just leave them.

I've been using the small black plastic roach-bait things, because while I don't like killing bugs, neither do I want the house to be overrun with them. Finding roach droppings is icky.


On the other hand, maybe they don't like being in the kitchen with the light on.. the light shining down into their eyes. Maybe they would prefer it if I just gently picked them up with a paper towel and placed them in the paper bag of trash in the other room, where it is darker.

(no subject)

Thursday, July 26th, 2007 06:21 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Small fleas are coming out of the woodwork (apparently) trying to bite me when I sit by my computer. I've caught 2 over the past couple weeks, and 2 others got away. I can't figure out where they are coming from. It's a tile floor in here, and not much in the way of upholstery or rugs for them to hide or breed in. Even if they came from the kitten, it seems odd that they are still around now that she's been gone a couple weeks.

Also, my allergies have been bad all week. But oddly, they have been very bad each morning while at work, yet after lunch I have been mostly fine. Is there such a thing as a morning-allergy??

Heheh, maybe I am allergic to getting up early. Or maybe sitting outside in the sunshine at lunchtime clears them up somehow.

(no subject)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 08:53 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I called the recycling office and verified that they are supposed to pick up the recyclables on Monday, each week. They said they will give my address to someone who will monitor the situation.

Discovered ants crawling over the bin, which I had left on the porch. So I bumped them off it and washed it today after all. I will glue and/or tape together some of the cracked parts, and then set it out again next Monday.

I looked up non-toxic remedies against ants. Instant grits or cornmeal is supposed to swell in their bellies and kill them. Repeatedly pouring boiling water over the hill may work. Or soapy water, or water with orange oil. But some of that sounds cruel. I also read that they don't like cinnamon. I don't have any pure cinnamon, but do have some pumpkin pie spice which contains cinnamon. So I sprinkled that over the ant hill by the water meter. I don't need to kill them, and I don't care much if they build their hill somewhere else by the curb. I just don't want them right there by the meter. The meter-reader person probably doosn't want them there either.

If there is a meter-reader person, that is. I noticed on my water bill that even though a monthly meter reading is listed, the amount of the bill is apparently constant regardless of usage. And I suspect they may have put down an estimated "reading".

I braved the attic space by myself, and put an extension on the light-pull, so that I can now reach it from the ladder without crawling all the way up there.

Doing these kind of things with the house... getting things accomplished, seems to make me feel excited/good/proud. And then tired and exhausted.

I think I'm ready now to set up an appointment for an electrician to come over. Although I still need to get a different light fixture for the front hall, so that they can install it.

house stuff

Sunday, June 17th, 2007 06:10 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Ants are building a hill next to and over the water meter cover next to the street. Crawling all over it. That's where the main water shut-off is too, which I wanted to test before installing the new faucet, in case I run into problems with the valves under the sink. Guess I'll have to do something about that. I dislike using *-cides.

Trying to type one-handed while eating a popsickle is difficult and takes the fun out of eating the popsickle. ::goes off to finish popsickle::

I've gotten more used to using the weed-wacker to cut the grass. My arms don't go numb afterwards anymore, and I don't seem to have as much muscle-ache from it. I've also suppressed most of my emotional reaction to chopping up pretty plants and (weed) flowers. The first time, after I noticed myself wacking off the flowers, I felt like crying and quit for the day.

My dad's wife... does one call someone a step-mom, if they married when you were an adult, and you never lived with her while growing up?... kindly offered that they would pay for me to buy a washing machine for the house.

Yesterday, I washed 3 loads of laundry at Forestfen's, and hung it out to dry there. Then went grocery shopping and returned to pick up the clothes and some other items. All well and good except that I overlooked one bag of clean folded sheets and towels when leaving.

There are a lot of nice chirpy birds around here. The roosters still haven't returned. I hope they are off happy in the countryside somewhere, and not being used as gamecocks, and not killed for dinner, and not confiscated and killed by animal control officers. Or whatever other unpleasant things might happen to cute little roosters.

I watched the DVD, Caligula, last week. There was the sound of a rooster crowing in the movie, which made me perk my ear for a moment, til I realized that it was the movie. From the description of the movie, I thought it might be interesting to watch, to see what "porn" is like. Other than the background music to the DVD's menu, I didn't like the movie, though. If that is what all porn is like.... uggh! Even without the gruesome cruelty, maiming, and killing parts, the sex scenes on their own seemed gross to me. Or at the least, boring and distasteful. It makes sex seem totally ugsome, like it seemed when I was younger. And what is with the horrid female giggling sounds during the orgies... was that done to add to the movie's sinister-ness, or do straight guys find that erotic?

The calluses on my palms keep getting thicker, even after I try to trim them off with a razor blade.

Somebody and somebody broke up, and I wish they hadn't. But then, I don't want people to be unhappy, and if they weren't right for each other.... Sigh. And what about me? I don't know.

One of the bedrooms has a slight, pungent odor which bothers me. I can't figure out what it is coming from.

My kitchen cabinets are rather full. Even though I'm trying to maintain the mentality of having enough items to feed myself until the next time I go shopping, as opposed to the mentality of having all the items to cook anything I might ever possibly desire to cook.