September has taken me back to the spider problem. Some are large enough and prominent enough to be seen and they come in all shapes and sizes. The bane of my life at the moment is less than 1 cm long, but for sheer tenacity and courage, it might as well be a tarantula. It’s web stretches across the arch, just at eye level so it is determined to stand it’s ground (or rather it’s web). If I could see it’s eyes, I am sure I would see defiance as it momentary faces up to me. I unhook the web from one side and attach it onto something at the other side, knowing it will be back across the arch the next morning.
The other tiny terror in my garden though, is more furtive and catches you unawares. This beast survives on blood of it’s victims throwing them into a frenzy of uncontrolled flaying of limbs whilst at the same time emitting a variety of sounds which at most times are incomprehensible. Rarely do you see one on it’s own but prefers instead to hunt in hordes. Even the bears and wolves that once roamed the forests of Scotland could not hold a candle to the fear that these beasts bring.
If you imagine something which maybe could be the size of Nessie’s cousin, you couldn’t be further from the truth because unless you have experienced face-to-face meeting of the species, you will not understand why something as small as the Scottish midge causes such misery to the unwitting gardener. Their vampire like habits both in sucking blood and appearing just about dawn and again when the sun goes down can clear a human from the garden faster than anything else. No wonder the Romans didn’t get too far! Perhaps that’s why it’s Latin name is reputed to translate to “wee bas**rds”
It’s only the females who are blood-suckers, (you have no idea how I hate saying that) the males apparently are veggies. I’ve never stayed long enough to find out which gender they are likely to be but head as quick as I can indoors. I’ve known big tough men end up snivelling wrecks after an attack.
There are plenty suggested remedies to keep those Amazonian beasties from sinking their teeth into you, Avon Skin-so-soft (green)-(it’s also supposed to work with horses), citronella, tumble dryer sheets, Jungle insect repellent containing DEET. Garlic eaten in copious quantities so that it oozes out of the pores is supposed to be the sure-fire way of keeping them away but it also does the same with husbands, wives, girlfriends etc.
Some things may work for some people of course, others are not affected at all. Since the attraction is carbon dioxide then perhaps the ‘Colgate’s ring of confidence‘ might help keep them at bay! So if anyone is thinking of heading near Scotland, bear in mind, midges don’t like windy or cold weather or bright sunshine, so choose the weather. Failing that get as close as you can to sheep or deer, apparently their blood is superior to humans.
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