Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gecko adventure

Here's a picture of a little critter I met one warm night in Florida. The kids found him in the house, and I got it into my head that I should try to get the tiny, harmless lizard out of the house without reducing him (her? I never know...) to a flattened mess.

We've got precedent in our family: to the best of my ability, I try to return spiders safely to the lawn because killing them seems to send the wrong message to our kids. I figured this was the right time to practice my gecko-wrangling skills.

So with the kids watching my every move, I chased the fast-moving gecko through the den, carefully moving furniture every time he/she scooted to a new location. After what seemed like an eternity but was likely no more than a couple of minutes, I managed to corral him/her into a plastic grocery bag. As I quickly walked toward the front door, I hastily grabbed my camera before going outside to set him/her loose.

I snapped this picture just before the munchkin disappeared into the grass. The dustbunny was a nice touch...I hope it shook itself off before long.

Your turn: Do you squish interlopers, or do you try to save 'em? Why/why not?

34 comments:

Mr. Althouse said...

I used to squish them, but now I try not to. It's not always possible and I must admit that I don't have a lot of tolerance for rodents - but if I have a choice, I'll try to relocate them intact.

Having said that, I don't lose any sleep if I can't. Being at the top of the food-chain does have it's advantages.

Michele would send me if I could time it right but I don't feel like waiting around for four more to play, so here I am.

Mike

utenzi said...

What a HUGE head that Gecko has, Carmi. A lot bigger than the one on those Geico commercials. The poor fellow also appears rather pixelated. I guess the light wasn't good enough for a fast exposure. It's great that you were able to get a shot of it though--I'm sure he wasn't very willing to hold still and pose.

JMH said...

It's good to have compassion for living things. If one could have compassion for a cockroach, then one would be something special indeed.

Ms Mac said...

I've never been able to grab a picture of a gecko, they're always so quick, never mind catch one to return it to the wild!

I squish teeny tiny spiders and ants and stuff, oh and flies and mozzies, and cockroaches, you know, the pesky insects. But once the spiders start to get bigger then I can't kill them, my conscience won't let me do it. Very strange but true. Australia has some huge (and some dangerous) spiders which is where I learned about the glass/cup and piece of cardboard trick.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

hi from Michele and hello from me.

Depends on the invader. Gecko: never. They eat all kind of other bugs in the house, especially cockroaches (found that out when my mom lived in Hawaii)

Daddy Long Legs can co-exist in my house, most other spider find themselves Toilet surfing.

srp said...

I'm with Dave, he doesn't look like the Geico Gecko, and I bet he didn't have that cute Australian accent either.

I would try to relocate lizards, frogs, toads and even Mr. Gecko. As for spiders and roaches and ants.... I think they could survive an atomic bomb (the species anyway) so I squish them.

Snakes? I would never kill one because I would be too busy screaming for someone else to come kill it.. Snakes are my big fear although the tiny garden variety are usually more frightened of me than I am of them so they run.

Rodents are another matter. Hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils I like. Even the tiny cute mice seen occasionally way out in a field... are ok. But these larger rats, half way between a lab rat and a gerbil in size are nasty. Currently for some reason... mild winter or what not, the roof rats are bad in the area. They consumed two giant bags of dog biscuits before I figured out it wasn't just me going crazy. So, as I type, there is a triple giant sized mousetrap set up at the garage door and tomorrow there will be moth balls blown under the utility shed to hopefully make them leave. They carry disease, plague fleas, Hanta virus etc.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I don't kill anything, although my cats routinely eat most insects n mice before I can get them outdoors. I'm famous for never killing spiders. I tolerate snakes well also, they aren't poisonous here. I have a jar collection just for capture n transporting of relocatees.

My sisters in Florida call those lizards "Salamanders" n have tons, everywhere! They hate them... I think they're cute- (I like critters)

Anna said...

Cute Gecko...

I do a bit of both. It depends on how disgusted I am with what I am faced with at the time. I try to let them go if I can but I am with Mike on this...I am NOT losing any sleep over it if it time for them to meet their Maker!

The other thing is that my kids are great with those situations. The boys will take care of it no problem and then color whatever it is for days and days afterward! KIDS!

Melody said...

Urgh. Not a fan of Geckos but its a pity I live in Gecko country! How come little kids love geckos where as they freak me out? Monet does a wicked impersionation of a gecko! She is very good. We have only had one in the apartment (and hopefully no more - fingers crossed!) It spooked me something shocking and there was no way we could get it out the door. You can probably guess what happened. Need I say more?

caramaena said...

What gorgeous colouring!

It depends on the size as to whether I squish or not - I'm a scaredy cat ;)

Here from Michele's today.

chase said...

Well I also try to save them if i saw them inside the house. But if they are spiders I tend to squash them since I hated spiders.

Anyway, here from Michele!

kenju said...

I'm in league with SRP. I can't tolerate spiders much, but daddy long legs are fine. I hardly ever see a roach, but when I do - they're goners!

MoMMY said...

My rule is if it is in my house it will probably not live. Outside, I will leave it alone.

My husband however, relocates the spiders.

It took me several years but now even the mice are killed. I'd get a cat to give the guys a chance but hubby's allergic so we try to do a quick death so they won't suffer.

We live in an old house in a farming community so mice and insects are plentiful. You give them a centimeter and they take over the house. Exterminators are not cheap.

MoMMY said...

I should mention I would never kill a gecko. Definitely something I'd relocate!

David said...

interlopers?
you lost us

hehe

fifenhorn said...

only if they're small...like spiders and other ugly bugs. Lizards and other critters deserve a chance. My kids are uber fascinated with most critters, so we won't do the squish thing.

Mr. Althouse said...

Hi Carmi! Guess what? That's right, Michele sent me to say, "Top of the morning!"

Mike

grant said...

I'm so the same.
My girlfriend couldn't believe the number of little creatures which I save in winter.
She hates things that fly at her head and so moths are the first to be saved

Jennifer said...

Ewwwwwwwww...I would release a gecko alive, simply because it's too big a mess to clean up once squished. Spiders, on the other hand...STOMP!

Prego said...

I'm with you on the spider thing. Mrs. P always freaks out when she sees a bug in the hose... especially those millipedes. I always try to somehow escort them outside.

You should hear her when I lose sight of it.

By the way, growing up in Venezuela, it was not uncommon to get in the shower to find a frog or something else has joined you. I just usually shrugged my shoulders and turned around for modesty's sake.


Here via Michele today, Canadiense.
p

Thumper said...

I don't like squishing things unless their bite might kill me. Unfortunately, by the time I see the little creepy crawlers, the cats have gotte to them first...

carli said...

I used to save them--wrangling them onto a tissue, then depositing them outside. But since I live in an apartment building, it's a little bit of a pain to grab my keys, carry the bugger down the stairs of the building, etc. Now I use the "if you're inside, you're on my turf" defense.
But really, Wendell the cat is pretty good at stalking, killing, and subsequently eating any spider or insect who dares invade my space.
That photo reminds me of a night in Florida about 15 years ago. We were leaving my grandparents' condo, and the stairs were COVERED in bullfrogs. We had to navigate around them very carefully so as not to squish any. To this day, bullfrogs freak the heck out of me.
Is this the longest blog comment ever?

Moogie said...

Ah yes, the geikos. :) They are so hard to catch sometimes. The girls really love them though.

I try not to do anything with spiders. I generally get my husband or oldest to handle that.

Becky68 said...

I'm ok with squishing bugs & spiders, but lizzards etc I could not squish! Cute lizzard though!
Here from Micheles.

kenju said...

Carmi, I didn't mention it this a.m., but that gecko has a huge head! Michele sent me back.

ƒåυνέ said...

I try not to squish things and have someone else scoot them outdoors. However, I will admit that when it comes to spiders, I sometimes turn in to a big girly-girl and squish out of gut instinct.
iccckkk...

Star said...

I try not to kill anything, although I have been npw to sqih a bug or 2. I do love the lizards though. Not that there are any running around Philly. But they are plentiful in my favorite vacation spot, Aruba.

DellaB said...

Hi Carmi,
We have geckos, I believe there is a colony living in the roof. Only occasionally that one comes inside, but they hunt insects at night on the kitchen window. I plan to try and get a photo.

There are different types, too - ours don't have as much colouring as the one in your picture.

Here in Aussie there are not too many creepy crawly things that get to live if they come into the house though.

Sarch said...

I guess it depends on my mood. For the most part anything with more than four legs gets is a goner, but something like a lizard will get a relocation.

Bhakti said...

Hi! (I finally got my laptop--so I'm officially back in the blogosphere!) Yeah!

I don't kill spiders. I tend to see everything as Divine--seriously, I'm not trying to sound pretentious here. I have a very difficult time killing anything.

Having said that: when I lived in NYC I was very tolerant of mice. I lived in the East Village part of Manhattan in a very old tenement house. I lived on the first floor, so I guess my apartment was the first place that the mice were going to come when I leave the basement. Actually, my superintendent was pretty good about keeping the mice population very low in my apartment, but there was this one mouse that I KNOW was living in my closet (they do leave a 'trail' behind, afterall!).

One night, I kept hearing this intermittent scratching in my bedroom. It went on for so long that I woke up my roommate, Franco, and told him that there was a mouse in my room that was making too much noise, and was definitely in distress. Long story short, we took one of my guitar amplifiers outside and opened it up (we had already exhausted all other places that the critter could have been stuck/hiding). At three in the morning, Franco and I hauled the amp outside and opened up the back of it only to find the cutest little brown mouse huddled in a tiny ball in the corner. The little guy was scared to death! Oh, I felt so sorry for it. The guy was SO scared that he pretty much left a load of pooh behind that was actually larger than his body (well, pretty close, anyway...you get the picture).

So, we let the mouse go. He probably crawled right back into the basement and visited another neighbor in my building...

I must admit, though, that I most certainly did transgress against not killing little critters when it came to roaches. I used to sleep in my friend's photo loft- down in -when I was a photographer.
Every now and then my friend would leave me a note saying that there was a mouse sized roach under the kitchen sink, and would I please try to kill it? Let me tell you, Carmi, these Tribeca (NYC) roaches are HUGE! Of course, they come out at night. There was always ONE large roach hanging around my friend's loft. It was always my job to kill it when my friend went on vacation. I did kill it. I couldn't live with this humongous creature crawling around the floors while I was trying to sleep. The weirdest thing was when I would spray the roach with the NYC-strength RAID (roach killer) and it would crawl under the sink cabinet. The very next morning, the roach would be in the middle of the kitchen floor dead. EVERY TIME! An exterminator actually told my friend that the family of the roaches will carry the dead roach to the place where it died. I don't know about that--it seems a bit too intelligent of a thing for roaches to do; however, this phenomenon happened every time.

I have another roach story, but I am afraid that I have already written the longest comment ever to be posted on a blog! Sorry about that. I suppose I am just absolutely giddy that I am able to just relax here in bed and type. No neck pain... YAHOO!

BYW, how was your trip to NYC? I trust that your job went well. :)

Jamie Dawn said...

When it comes to spiders, I'm a squisher; always have been, always will be.

Lizards are not executed when they show up in our garage or home.

Mice are not so lucky. They meet their demise quickly.

Blond Girl said...

I hate to say it, Carmi, but I am a sqausher. Well, moths and spiders and centipedes, anyway. I killed a mouse in our house. But on the extremely unlikly chance that a gecko got into our house, I would have to release it. I'm not sure what draws the line for me, though.

We got a bird in our house once, and a squirrel, when I was a child. They were catch-n-release. I guess it boils down to the difference between cute interloper and true pest.

Michele sent me.

Terri said...

Would I squish them? OH, gosh, no!
First of all, because I live with these critters in Florida all the time. But also because I sure wouldn't want somebody bigger squishing me. Very bad karma, I'd say.
I've even taught my cats not to kill them when they wander onto our lanai....they'll hold it in their mouth to show me, and then I rescue the little guy and put him back outside.

Bearette24 said...

i try not to squish them...i'd feel bad. especially with a cute gecko like that.