To Kill or Not to Kill

25 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Author, Poet and ArtistWhile Jay, the owner of the pest control company (a sweet, older gentleman, who has been around for a long time) was here, we asked him if he’d consider taking away the Cuban tree frog that lives in our shedlette and dispose of it for us, but he said regretfully he couldn’t. I didn’t hear the reason, he was talking to Bill then. But later he wanted to talk to me about it. He had answers but none of them would suffice.

“Throw a towel over it, catch it, and let it loose in the woods.

“Can’t do that, it’s an exotic.”

“There’s lots of woods around here.”

“It will breed and take over more territory.”

“Oh in that case it will have to be …” I wish I could recall his euphemism for killed.”


We really shouldn’t let it live. Billy, my ecologist son, and I have been discussing for years what to do with it. Another man he knows has a system for getting rid of them. We discussed taking it to him, but my grandchildren begged us not to. We wouldn’t have anyway, that’s the big problem, really, we can’t kill things.

Known to take food and territory from native flora or fauna, an exotic is a plant or animal that came from somewhere else. Sometimes they prey on the natives which further diminishes their numbers. In this case, the Cuban tree frog is helping destroy our beautiful little green frogs with the gold racing stripes live here. When we moved to Florida in 1965 the green ones were all over our porch slab. They clung to the sliding glass patio doors like suction ornaments. People had to watch their heads when they stepped out because the frogs were known to drop unexpectedly. Now we rarely see one, it’s not all the Cuban tree frog’s fault, pollution has done its worst.

Because of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), The National Wildlife Federation has three categories for plants and animals, 1. Extinct, 2. Endangered, and 3. Threatened. There is also a designation called Critical Habitat. Without the proper places to live and eat, any animal can become f threatened.

I didn’t have to explain all of that to Jay. He knew what exotic meant. He knew about ecology. He said, “I see what you mean.” I’ll be interested to find out what you’ve decided to do.

We may leave the frog out there, he’s been out there since he was a quarter of the size he is now. The thing is, he keeps waking me up with his far-carrying wee-hours croaking. If it were steady I could probably ignore it, but it’s not. It’s a continual call that gets you fully awake and then it stops long enough for you to go back to sleep. Once you do that it starts again. I do have earplugs. And I do have a conscience about plotting murder in the night, so I end telling Jay I’ve decided the Cuban can stay. I wonder how long they live. He has every kind of protection in the shedlette — plenty of bugs to eat, and perhaps a green tree frog for dessert.



One Response to “To Kill or Not to Kill”

  1. Louise Gibson August 25, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Very interesting, DiVoran. Life does present problems, many of which we have no control. If you wait long enough, something unforeseen will come along and solve your problem. I recall a time when pidgeons became a huge problem for me. The Lord sent a pregnant cat to my home. No more pidgeons. : – ) They all flew to Lake Eola.


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