Insect protection

A little news. Simon got a summer job in the Smokey Mountains working as a camp counselor at a place called the Tremont Institute. I checked it out online and it’s a facility that people send their kids to for summer camp. Lots of hiking, kayaking, and all the generic things you do at camp in the mountains. The job description fit him like a glove so not surprised that he was selected. Simon put in applications for three jobs; Yellowstone Park, NOC, a white water outdoor center also in the Smokies; and Tremont. He was offered jobs at all three but the Tremont position was the one he really wanted.

Switched to a different rat poison but everything seems the same – I put it out and they eat it at night. Assuming the poison is working, I just have to assume that something gobbles up the dead or dying critter since there’s never any bad odors. We have lots of possum, beaucoup raccoons, and an occasional fox but, other than the fox, not sure if those other guys would eat a (dead) rat. We’ve decided to give it another week or so and then start parking the cars back under the carport. Then just be vigilant in checking under the hood every couple of days.

Looks like we have the potential for a large, large citrus crop next fall. The grapefruit and tangerine trees are absolutely loaded with blossoms. Last year the grapefruit blossom was minimal so we didn’t overload on grapefruit juice this year; tangerines yes, grapefruit no. Interestingly rats don’t like grapefruit so if you’re ever faced with that question, now you know. I wonder if they’re repelled by grapefruit – as in what if I put a grapefruit under the car? They’ve pretty much cleaned the tangerine tree except for a few that are way out on small branches they just can’t get to so at least that part of the problem is behind us.

Over the next two weeks, all the winter crops should be out (except for the Brussels) and replaced with summer goodies. I bought a light weight row cover for insect protection that I’ve never used before. Squash is really vulnerable to an array of insect attacks so that’s my primary target. Supposedly this material is light enough that it won’t trap heat but I really have my doubts about that – in Florida. I’d like to cover the cucumbers too but since those grow on a trellis, I haven’t figured out how to deal with that. There are bush type cuc’s which could be covered but the kind we really love are a long, climbing variety.

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