My normal way to deal with critters in my house in the woods is to talk to them gently and persistently, and they simply go away.? But I have other methods if needed.? In February, for instance, some ant tribes wake up and try to take over.? I explain that there is no food out where they can get it, so wandering in the house is not very useful.
Often I pick up stray ants and take them outside.? If that doesn’t work, I add that I will put boric acid powder (from a drugstore) over the trails they are using to get in.? And then I do that.? They won’t cross boric acid, because it damages their exoskeletons.
One year, back in the day when I had first moved in, I had 12 different kinds of ants attempting to become roommates.? Since then, maybe one or two groups a year.? Big black ants were here two years in a row.? We’ll have to see if they return in 2013.? (Ants, by the way, are all about Patience, in Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak.? And that’s what they teach me – just be persistent and don’t give up.)
Back in the late 90’s, there were quite big rats attempting to live in the woods.? The first batch were fairly easy to fool.? I put out traps with peanut butter, and one after the other got whacked.? A few months later, another group tried.? This time, I called in Hawk.? There are every now and then hawks in the woods, or on the tall buildings across the street.? So I sent my message out into the Universe – I needed help.
The Hawk who showed up was very tiny – only about 9″ tall.? I looked him up – he was a Cooper’s hawk.? I was very doubtful, but he looked at me with a just-watch-me derisive glare.?? Then I saw him one day flying through the woods.? That small size meant he could go where other hawks could not.? And sure enough – the rats were gone within a week.
I do have to be careful, though, and only call in Hawk when needed.? Since they can easily catch the birds at the feeders.? So we just have conversations about that.
I was at a talk given by the Dalai Lama, where someone asked him about mosquitos.? He said, “It lands once, I brush it off.? It lands twice, I brush it off.? The third time -” and he smacked his own arm with a big grin.
That’s how I feel about critters, too.? I’ve had a fox and several coyotes wander through.? I look at them with admiration and they look back.? Then we go on with our lives.