Pets. The Wild Kind.

Written by David Leonhardt

Continued from page 1

This summer, we discovered an exotic spider (See ). Painted on its inch-long black back are two bright yellow eyes. Spooky. We even watched it wrap its prey a small, light brown flying thingy. With amazing speed,repparttar spider scurried fromrepparttar 110103 center of her web towardrepparttar 110104 helpless victim at least a foot away. Then in a matter of two seconds flat,repparttar 110105 spider spunrepparttar 110106 fly around three or four times, weaving it into a web cocoon like rolling a corpse in a carpet behind Luigi's Fine Finer and Smokes. No gangster could have operated with one tenthrepparttar 110107 speed.

Just a few hours ago, I was proud to show off a bees nest over a foot tall hanging from a low branch in our One Acre Woods.

"Wow. It's just like in Winnierepparttar 110108 Pooh!" That was Little Lady, now 3 years and 3 months old.

"Destroy it. There must be thousands of bees in there!" That was my wife.

The fact is that I have had to destroy four bees nests inrepparttar 110109 past three weeks, all betweenrepparttar 110110 stones in our foundation. I am not keen to driverepparttar 110111 bees away from their forest nest and towardrepparttar 110112 house. In fact, I think I'll post an arrow sign nearrepparttar 110113 house pointing torepparttar 110114 forest: "Cheap rent. Spacious hive. Vibrant community."

So far, we've avoidedrepparttar 110115 pets insiderepparttar 110116 house we won't discussrepparttar 110117 "storm trooper ants incident" orrepparttar 110118 midnight mouse-trap peanut-butter visits and we have keptrepparttar 110119 hogs and sheep at bay (althoughrepparttar 110120 chickens sheepishly crawl throughrepparttar 110121 fence andrepparttar 110122 stray cats like to run hog wild around our land).

No pets, perhaps. But you still have to share your space with skunks and spiders and bees when you live inrepparttar 110123 country.

Coming soon to a humor column near you: How I adopted 14,673 cluster flies on a Tuesday afternoon....without even breaking into a sweat.

David Leonhardt publishes The Happy Guy humor column: Read his humor articles: Visit his home page: David is owner of The Liquid Vitamin Supplements Store:

Mosquitoes in Your Garden? Try Planting These!

Written by Scottie Johnson

Continued from page 1

MOSQUITO PLANTS There are two types of plants that are called mosquito plants. One is a member ofrepparttar geranium family that was genetically engineered to incorporaterepparttar 110102 properties of citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for mosquitoes. This plant was created to bringrepparttar 110103 repellant properties of citronella into a hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will thrive. Many have questioned its usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it's ornamental value.

The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana. Its common names include Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it. It is a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member ofrepparttar 110104 mint family and its leaves do have a pungent aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial, and is usually hardy in USDA Zones 5a-9a. It blooms late summer to early fall, so it catches hummingbirds on their annual migration. The long, medium pink flowers reel in butterflies as well.

CATNIP One ofrepparttar 110105 most powerful mosquito repellant plants is ordinary catnip. Recent studies have shown that it is ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. It is a short lived perennial throughout most ofrepparttar 110106 United States. It is easy to grow from seed, and quickly reseeds. Aside from its intoxicating effects on cats,repparttar 110107 leaves make a very soothing tea.

With all of these plants,repparttar 110108 leaves must be crushed to releaserepparttar 110109 aroma. Otherwise mosquitoes can't smell them. And, with rosemary and catnip, you can simply crush a few leaves and rub on your skin and clothing to enhancerepparttar 110110 effect.

So, next time you are revising your plantings, consider using some of these attractive plants to do more than just enhancerepparttar 110111 landscape. You can have pretty ornamentals that also drive mosquitoes away.

Scottie Johnson is a life long mosquito warrior and freelance writer dedicated to eliminating mosquitoes from your life. She is also an organic gardener. For more information about mosquito control in your home and yard, visit her website at Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.

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