Field of Science

Wildlife friendly yard bites back

You do everything you can to make wildlife happy in your yard, except to let them eat my tomatoes, a crime punished by banishment, and then some, or in this case, just one species of wildlife makes your life miserable. Chiggers were a personal discovery in 1971 after having moved to the hotter, dryer midwest for graduate school. They were not a problem in upstate NY. The hot, dry weather has produced a sizeable population and each and every time the Phactor ventures outside, to water, to guard his tomatoes, to enjoy the evening, to see the pond progress, or lack thereof, the next morning new red, itchy chigger welts are found, and generally in either very uncomfortable or very embarrassing places. Mosquito repellants work to some degree, and perhaps the attacks upon my personal temple would be more numerous without its use, but who wants to do that experiment? The strangest thing of all is that Mrs. Phactor is usually a chigger magnet, while the Phactor is ignored a situation she has attributed to my being a distasteful person, but this summer it's quite the reverse. And that is the worst thing about it. Who said they could change the rules?


Diane said...

Another unintended consequence of gardening for wildlife is the nightly din. Crickets just joined the katydids and cicadas. A fan provides some white noise but I may have to add earplugs.

The Phytophactor said...

Funny that all that insect noise doesn't bother the Phactor at all, but in another week or so a German student will join us for a few weeks and they never fail to comment on the noise, especially the cicadas.