Monday, May 06, 2013

Too high for critters

Clearly the Highrise is not too high for birds. From the balcony plant massacre of 2003 by cockatoos, to the visiting cockatoo and corella  on the balcony last year, to myna birds crapping on the balcony, from a blackbird hopping into our apartment from the balcony., yes birds visit. Not too high for them.

It is not too high for flies either. I have a policy. I let them fly in and then they fly out. This words out to be
about 80% effective. The remaining 20% are dealt with by Mortein. Overnight stays on wall or ceilings are not permitted and sorry to be racist, but blow flies are not allowed at all.

Mosquitoes, we have seen none. Cockroaches, we  have seen none. Mice and rats, none.

Butterflies yes, and moths, oh, no moths this year but in the past the Highrise was full of Bogan Moths, sorry Bogong. Our indigenous people tell us they are very nutritious but also fattening, so we resisted a fry up.

I like to keep myself tidy down below, and do so with electric clippers now. But back in 2003 when I was still vaguely slim, attractive and in demand, I liked to be smooth, and so in my bathroom cupboards was depilatory wax. I had not screwed the top down tightly and the ants thought it was wonderful stuff. I picked up the jar and put in a bag, along with 30,145 ants and dropped it down the rubbish chute. The remaining ants buggered orf quickly enough, but since 2003, not an ant has been seen in the Highrise. It is odd that they were here only once, so they are not far away, but never been seen again.

We've had weavils in cereals in the past, but never here.

The Highrise is almost insulated from pest critters, but not quite. Tiny insects fill our lamp fittings, just like they do down on the ground.

It is said that cockroaches can survive a nuclear war, but I would put my money on the insects that fill your lamp shades with their dead bodies as critters who will survive Earth's annihilation. 

14 comments:

  1. Ants drive me nuts, I must admit - they march in by the millions, all in a straight line to the food supply :( But only in summer.

    The prince of pests is the possum. They have huge legs and dense claws, so even if you are sound asleep, you will be woken up by possum orgies in the ceiling.

    Not only are possums Protected Species..... they have more possum sex than humans have hot dinners!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No possums here Hels, but I remember their ceiling thumping as they cavorted when we lived in East Malvern, also a stain on the ceiling that no amount of flat paint would cover. We had to paint it over with oil gloss and then a couple of layers of flat paint.

      Delete
  2. I live on the lowly third (and top) floor of my building and we hardly ever get any mosquitoes, even for the first few years I lived there when there were no flyscreens on the windows. It seems only a hardy few can even make it three floors up.

    Agree with Hels' comment about possums. They are so noisy with their mating and fighting. They used to wake me up regularly until a few years ago when one died in our ceiling and wasn't discovered until a foul stench permeated our living area just before Christmas Day. The poor hungover handyman had to attend the premises on Boxing Day and climb into the roof to remove the decomposing carcase. Luckily for me, I was away when the removal took place.

    After that, they cut down the two trees that the possums used to access the ceiling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jayne, is is nice not having screens on windows, obscuring your view. I feel for you handyman. Ceilings can be sealed, and no need to cut down trees.

      Delete
  3. 30,145 ants. Can you be sure? Did you count them? Maybe there was 30,146..
    Ants will only appear if there is something available for them to eat on a steady basis. Same with cockroaches. A neighbour I had back in 1973 warned me when I moved in that the area had many ants, cockroaches and flies, her kitchen was always crawling with one or the other. When I popped in one day, I saw why. My own home was only a few metres away across the wire fence, but I never had a problem with critters. Except her part dingo dog which ate our kitten. Weevils in cereal are often the cause of many pantry cleanouts all over Australia, but the common point of entry is the processing plant, where it is possible that the eggs are laid in the bulk stored cereals before they are packaged then boxed. When they hatch, we customers get the weevils. Just toss out the affected box or return it to the manufacturer so they know there is a problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, I could have miscounted and maybe there was an extra one who was hiding. Thanks for the info on weevils. I did not know. Our last occasion was in Rivera rice from Pakistan.

      Delete
  4. @Hels, find what the ants are coming in for and eliminate that source, maybe by putting things in securely sealed containers, or wiping clean the screw top edges of jars etc, then find their entry point and spray that area inside and out with Baygon. If your shelf has sticky bottle rings, for instance an unseen drip rolls down your oil bottle or honey jar, shelf and jar/bottle bases will need to be cleaned also. Ants will be discouraged if there is nothing there for them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Jayne, a sad solution to cut down the trees. Far better to find the roof access holes the possums were using and block those off.

    ReplyDelete
  6. LOL Bogan Moths. There is only a teeny tiny treeling out on the nature strip - Birds use it only as a runway. I park my [new] big blue broomstick as far away as possible. But bird parents treat their young'uns to special flight training classes and when some inaudible signal is given, they take off in formation and go out of their way to crap on my windscreen. If I park any further from the tree my neighbour goes even further out of his way to crap on us.

    We have our house sprayed every two years to kill cockroaches and white-tails. Unfortunately, there is no possum-spray. If we must "protect" possums, we should at least have the right to fit them with silencers. And huge bucket collars [see your local vet] to keep them out of rooveses.

    I have never had ants in depilatory waxes. I know a good joke about hair removal but I'm far too nice to share it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. FC, our home garage protects our cars from such assaults, but our workplaces do not.

    I can walk for five minutes in the evening and see a brush tail and a ring tail. Why are they so protected?

    You knew I would bite. I want to hear the hair removal joke. Should I google it?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ha ha ha I LOLed at the though of you waxing, covered in ants. I'm tired, forgive me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, it was wax that had to be heated,so I guess they would have had a microwave death.

      Delete
  9. What about spiders Andrew, are they big on the highrise lifestyle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently not Grace. I have seen daddy long legs and I assume they are the ones who spin webs that I have cleaned off, but I've only really cleaned down webs a couple of times in ten years. So spiders are rare and have problem come in an open window.

      Delete