Thursday in the Garden with Socks & Scylla

Well really, what can we say we are getting to much rain. The grass needs cutting.

The weeds need weeding.

And there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.

We are off to make our report to The Society of Feline Gardeners. But first we thoughts we would answer some questions. One of our friends asked about crayfish, crawfish, crawdads or whatever you wanna call them. Some peeps even call them mud bugs. They are pretty much a nuisance they build mounds that drive Daddy crazy. We will try to get Mommy to get a picture of a crawdad mound for you. Sometimes they build them in her flower beds and cover up the flowers that really makes Mommy hissy.

If you wants to know more about them this is a good blog post about them complete with pictures Saving Mr. Crawdad.  Personally we would have ate him not saved him. But then we are cats.

Some other friends wondered why Mommy is so paranoid about getting bitten by ants. Where we lives we has the horrible FIRE ANTS

The sting of a fire ant develops into a pustule (small, firm blister-like sore) in 24-48 hours. These pustules can become sites of secondary infection. Fire ant venom may cause a severe reaction in hypersensitive individuals, including nausea, shock, chest pains, and in rare cases, coma.

Luckily Mommy isn't hypersensitive to them but she dislikes being covered in pustule. It is almost impossible to avoid them after it rains out, because any dry ground is covered with the critters. They are attracted to electric motors so they like to get in the cedar flower box that covers the septic motor. They also love the raised flowerbeds. WE however do not love them and wishes they would go away, for good. Fire ants are one thing we would not mind going extinct especially as they were imported here and are invasive.

Apparently the introductions of pest fire ants were accidental. Perhaps the soil of potted plants or ballast on ships arriving from South America to Mobile, Alabama contained invicta nests. Exactly when is not certain. There were invasions by two pest fire ant species. The first, the black imported fire ant from Argentina (S. richteri), was barely established and spreading when the red imported fire ant (S. invicta) arrived and proceeded to shove aside its cousin (which now survives in Mississippi and western Georgia). The original arrivals were probably in the 1920s or before. Professor E.O. Wilson, the famous ant biologist at Harvard, was first to discover the invasion while he was still a budding high school entomologist in Alabama.

Wherever they came from we do not want them. We hopes you enjoyed learning more about the critters in our yard.  And if you has any questions about gardening in the South, especially on the MS Gulf Coast we will try to answer them.

~Socks & Scylla, Reporting for Alasandra, The Cats & Dogs


  1. Beautiful Socks and Scylla!! We know you'll do a great job snoopervising mum and dad with the garden!! Take care

  2. Thank you for your sweet comment. Much appreciated.

  3. We've had a couple heavy rains in July--unheard of for here. We need all the rain we can get due to a few years of drought.

    Maybe you can teach the dogs to collect crawdads, too!

  4. We never knew that crayfish lived in mounds!!

    Our Mom is a fire ant magnet :(

    The Florida Furkids

  5. You are doing a great job with snoopervising the garden. You are lucky to get outside and do that!

  6. Maybe next week we will actually has flowers to show you.

  7. socks....bak bee fore city took over countree.. ther be crawdads hills round heer....N tell yur mom an dad ta try thiz:

    1/2 cup oh vinegar N lemon juice...put it ina spray bottle N spray in on de fire ants hill N down inside de hill...

    we has all sew hurd diatomaceous earth spread round will kill em off two.... ( thiz bee safe round petz as it werks against fleez & ticks az well ....N can be rubbed into de coat sew it will knot harm ewe guys )

  8. Hello pretty Scylla and howdy Socks! Yes, watch those fire ants. Several years ago our Mom ended up in the ICU because of those evil boogers!

  9. Your garden looks HUGE!!

    It's true about how some of these tiny critters can leave an evil bite! My mom was bit 20 years ago by a tiny spider and she still suffers from the effects!! :(

  10. You sure have some strange critters in your yard. We didn't know crawdads will make mud mounds in the flower beds.

  11. TBT says that when he first moved here there were so many crawdads that they were worth collecting an cooking like little lobsters (for the tails only).

    And, if you are innerested, here is a site about earth-friendly baits to kill fire ants.

  12. What a fine place you have there. We never knew that about fire ants
    Benny & Lily


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