We have a cat that is allergic to fleas, so we had to sign up for a pest control program. Our particular account majors in fleas. Bob, the technician is a nice man. He likes to chat when he goes about his work. Bill is usually here to talk to him, but today I was elected because Bill had another gig.
I watched Bob out the big front window mixing his potions from the back of his truck. He’s not a big man, nor particularly small, not heavy, not thin. He wears glasses and a blue ball-cap as he goes about his work. I’d say he’s in his early 50s. I wondered what he and Bill talked about, but didn’t try to start a conversation.
Our cats, Jasmine and Lily need to stay off the carpets until the insecticide dries, so we put them in their carriers and move them to Bill’s model airplane hangar. When we started the service I stayed with them, played music, worked on my laptop, or painted. They cried the whole time anyway, so I decided to go on my walk while the floors dried.
Today I was sitting at my computer waiting for Bob to finish the spraying. He asked me if I was the artist. Yes, I am, I have my paintings all over the house. That may seem immodest, but sorry, I like them and so does Bill. I think other people do too.
Bob liked a picture in the “studio” which used to be the garage. It’s a pastel of a painted bunting. He could hardly believe it when I said, “Let’s see if there’s one on the feeder now.” Unfortunately, none was, but as you can tell from the picture they are a beautiful bird. The male is multi-colored and the female is green, the only green bird in Florida. When I told him that he said,”We have green parrots beachside in Melbourne.” They have a distinctive squawk, but I like them okay.”
Oh, yes, parrots. I’ve seen them here in Titusville, too. They lived in holes in palm-trees, but I don’t think they’re here anymore. They’re considered exotics. The painted buntings are migratory and are here for the winter with their little green wives. They vie for seeds with the bigger birds and the cardinals seem reluctant to take them on. We talked about the other exotics in Florida. We both shivered at the thought of the huge iguanas we’ve heard about down south that fell from the trees one year when the weather got too cold for them. I remembered, too, that down there they have boa constrictors whose parents escaped from zoos during hurricanes and bred more boa constrictors. The climate of south Florida suits them fine.
Fast Facts (from National Geographic site)
Average life span in the wild:
20 to 30 years
13 ft (4 m)
60 lbs (27 kg)
Bed or knot
Did you know?
Some South Americans keep boas in their houses to control rat infestations.
Bob got down to business when we moved to the kitchen. He said the flea repellents people get from their vets are almost eradicating fleas in homes and the younger techs don’t know how to spray for them. We moved here in 1965 and had nothing to combat them with so I fully appreciate that.
Bob says the nemesis is now sugar ants. Ooh, we’ve got some of those. Actually, I originally brought them in by letting the cat food sit on the porch and collect them. They are only about as big as a period. I opened the cupboard and showed Bob the diatomaceous-earth powder I’ve sprinkled on the shelves. He seemed truly interested. I asked what the pest control guys use inside the cupboards, and he said, “We don’t put anything inside the cupboard. We use non-repellant insecticide outside and the ants carry it into the nests and contaminate them. I’ve been doing that for you here.” He said. I thanked him.
I was flabbergasted. I wondered why we hadn’t had to move out of the house because of those scamps and all the time Bob had us covered. It kind of reminds you of God, doesn’t it?