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mrsgreenthumbs
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Can reptiles and amphibians be used to controll pests?

Here's the deal, I adore gardening, it's in my blood. I also love my other hobby, raising and breeding all sorts of geckos and reptiles, now I never really thought about it until the crazy idea hit my pea brain last night, what if I could release some simple little anole's into my hoop house? They would Definatly eat all the bug's, enjoy all the humidity and the direct natural sunlight. The lizards would thrive with a bit of wiring to bring in added heat (that my plant's wouldn't mind either I suppose) but the question I have been nibbling at is what about the feces. Reptiles are well known to carry salmonella in there feces, that's not exactly something I want on my veggies. It's just an idea, I all ready have a toad that survived the possum attacks on my poor pond last summer that has made himself quite at home in my garden and humming birds that eat gnats and other flying bug's so I can't see too much harm, I thought of googling attracting native reptiles but our area wiped out the local fence lizard a long time ago now.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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soil
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we have western fence lizards here, they eat bugs like crazy! we had a bloom of squash bugs last year, then 2 weeks later we had a burst of lizards, 1 week later not a single squash bug to be found. along with the birds and the frogs, pests don't stand much of a chance.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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mrsgreenthumbs
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I was thinking about trying to set traps here (at my place of work) where the fence lizard's are rather over populated. Maybe catch a few native reptiles and release them in my garden. Now I'm thinking id hate to take them out of their environment or away from their families so what if I made like a frog pond? Something nice for my toad to chill in and then add some tad poles to the frog pond. Then I'd have my own little froggy army working round the clock!

1 question... how do you avoid running them over with the lawn mower?
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

Toil
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You obviously understand the challenge: habitat.

They need the right structures and food, and they are cold blooded, so you need plenty of sun. why not work on bio diversity for now? They may even show up on their own.

And don't forget the snakes to eat the lizards and keep them healthy.
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Ozark Lady
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I always kept a bit of water out for the toads in my garden, but they still just didn't seem to multiply. I have lots at the pond, but not in the garden.

One surprise benefit of my cages last year, I inadvertently provided a safer haven for the toads. Yes, snakes and lizards can still get in there and get them, but, I did provide a habitat where they are safe from aerial attacks, and from my poultry. I now notice more toads, and earthworms. Seems just decreasing some predation helped, but now I wonder if that means, more toads equals more snakes?
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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I'm in a small town that is surrounded by agriculture but I am also in the dead center of the city. There are not many gardeners near my tiny little area and those that do garden don't have water features. The neighborhood is , unsavory to most. But I have watched for 2 years now the bird's and wild life that make their home near my house. We have at least 6 crow's, blue jays, birds a plenty, a possum (although never seen I'v lost quite a few of my beauties to his appetite)

Penny (penelopy) My favorite girl R.I.P.
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/m_79a33f8de7e241fcbd86a88f21864806.jpg[/img]

Anjelito (Little Angel) He was growing so fast... R.I.P.
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/m_7e5f5e0a0e314c5c97a44bd2912e5d1e.jpg[/img]

Ghost (my first Koi) R.I.P
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/m_88457592510542babbe7b7a7cd7ab676.jpg[/img]

And last but not least... Big Red... He was such a clown R.I.P.
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/m_9da8031f1823443d97287e302d650040.jpg[/img]

Any way's I thought if all these animals can survive in this area maybe it would be worth my while to reinstall my smaller 60 gallon for the frog's. Even if they don't "work" for me I think the wild life would appreciate the water and I would like to have the sound of water again just out side my bedroom window.

Thanks for all the input guy's and gals!
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Are you sure it is a oppossum? My friend in another forum, kept losing his fish, he finally found the culprit, it was a crane, and it just swooped in grabbed a fish and went. His answer was: A cover over the pond. Not what he wanted to do, but it stopped the bird from eating his fish.

You mentioned alot of birds, I bet there are some you haven't spotted. But, they have spotted your fish.

Start watching the air!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Yah... sad to say we found his...erm... left overs :cry: The fish killer lives in a tree in an empty lot across the street from us. For a long time the fish were fine, till he finally noticed them and knocked my potted aquatic plants into the bottom of the pond and giving him the opportunity to snatch them up one night. It was like one evening I sat by my pond and fed my water babies and the next morning by 4 am they were gone :cry: We thought he ate the toad too till we heard him croaking this spring.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

cynthia_h
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There are lots of raptors in California (hawks, etc.), and there are also...raccoons. :x They absolutely LOVE urban areas. If you've ever seen the 100% cartoon version of "Charlotte's Web," the "Overeating Song at the Fair" by the Rat Templeton could just as well have been performed by a California raccoon.

They're bold, brazen, and bossy. They will steal anything that's not nailed down, and then come into your house for pet food. True: one of my quilting friends had to chase one out of her kitchen after it came in the cat door! :shock: It wouldn't leave "just for her"; oh no no no. She had to swat it good and proper with the business end of her broom. More than once.

Raccoons also LOVE playing in water. They are very clever with their hands. I'm going to call them "hands," anyway: my girlfriend/sister-in-law lost a beloved bunny several years ago to raccoons who UNLOCKED the double hasps on the bunny hutch to take the rabbit. :shock: (she couldn't have the rabbit in the house due to her asthma)

And I had to use the "jet stream" setting on my hose in Berkeley to drive off three raccoons from our patio when we lived there. They were after whatever they could get. There were some possums, too, in the ivy, but the raccoons were what I worried about, esp. since they carry rabies and I had indoor/outdoor cats (cats were all indoors every night, but still...). The raccoons didn't care about getting water aimed at their ears or their muzzles, so I escalated in a way I hadn't really wanted to: I aimed for their eyes. They finally turned around, and I aimed for...ah...the "tender parts on the other end." :wink: They left.

Any garbage strewn around without explanation? Any dog/cat food left outside, either by your household or the neighbors? Any water...well, there's the pond... :(

BTW, GF/SIL lives two blocks from the freeway in a housing development. Quilt friend lives just off an east/west traffic arterial in Berkeley. I lived *on* a north/south traffic arterial in Berkeley. These are all fully built-up neighborhoods, with lots from 25'x50' to a little bigger. Nothing remotely approaching rural conditions.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Ozark Lady
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Sounds like you need a live trap. And capture that opossum and move him out to the country.

Where I live there is another cure for chicken killing opossums but for there, a live trap is probably your best bet. They are so rat like, that they are not welcome on farms, and they are always in the trash too.

It is sad to say, sometimes, we can tell by what is left by the predator what did it, with foxes or birds they are just gone, but snakes, raccoons and opossums have their M.O.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Ha Ha you guys are going to laugh here in a minute... Last winter I had a friend I met at work that I named Frankie, I named him Frankie because my baby sister had had a rotten BF around the time Frankie showed up and Frankie looked and smelled a HOT MESS!

Any way's Frankie was special. He was old, thin, and blind. He also was not nocturnal (or just so blind he could not tell it was day time) either way I began feeding him every morning. I took pity on him and enjoyed his presence as did every one else out here in the hills where I work. Frankie got a bit close a few times so I began shooing him with a broom. It was nice having a little company out here though, get's lonely after the first 4 or 5 hours and you know your only half way through the shift :wink:

Any way's thought Id share lol.

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/Picture074.jpg[/img]

^that's Frankie when I first met him.

Any whozle, we know we have a possum across the street and in 2 years I have never seen signs of a raccoon.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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mrsgreenthumbs
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Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:26 pm
Location: Santa Maria, California

Just for the fun of it, some of my past reptile breeding prospect's. I miss these guy's.
Stubbs - female
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/beautifulcreature.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/14a188e6.jpg[/img]
Sticky - male and my first
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/sticky/be31020d.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/sticky/a333e0cb.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/sticky/carefulwalking.jpg[/img]

Orion
[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/orion/heygivemeahand.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c388/queenofdabbws/orion/therocklook.jpg[/img]

These guy's were FANTASTIC and went on to be great breeders... for someone else.
Words of wisdom from the women of my family:

"I poured my dish water out the pan over my plants and never once in all my 96 years have I wasted money on "BUG SPRAY"!'

"Aww honey all you gotta do is love something to make it grow."

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Ozark Lady
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

I raised a raccoon, from before his eyes opened to a full grown raccoon. He slept on the other side of my bed. I don't think that he quite realized that he was a raccoon.

When it was time for me to walk home from work, he would start watching, and he would come running... Scared many neighbors, as the wild raccoon attacked me. Until he climbed up me to plant a big kiss on my chin.

Raccoons are so intelligent, if they could talk, they could hold any job on the planet! That can be good, or bad.

And they can do anything you can, with those little hands.

So, no I don't hate raccoons, I just work hard to make them get their meal somewhere else.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Toil
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OL I just really enjoy your descriptions.

FYI the French word for raccoon is big rat that washes.
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esta34950
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 6:50 pm
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Re: Can reptiles and amphibians be used to controll pests?

mrsgreenthumbs wrote:Here's the deal, I adore gardening, it's in my blood. I also love my other hobby, raising and breeding all sorts of geckos and reptiles, now I never really thought about it until the crazy idea hit my pea brain last night, what if I could release some simple little anole's into my hoop house? They would Definatly eat all the bug's, enjoy all the humidity and the direct natural sunlight. The lizards would thrive with a bit of wiring to bring in added heat (that my plant's wouldn't mind either I suppose) but the question I have been nibbling at is what about the feces. Reptiles are well known to carry salmonella in there feces, that's not exactly something I want on my veggies. It's just an idea, I all ready have a toad that survived the possum attacks on my poor pond last summer that has made himself quite at home in my garden and humming birds that eat gnats and other flying bug's so I can't see too much harm, I thought of googling attracting native reptiles but our area wiped out the local fence lizard a long time ago now.
I live in central Florida. We have a ton of fence lizards, but they don't seem to help much with the outside bugs. I too love reptiles and breed a few. I keep a Tokay Gecko in my garage to keep the house free of bugs. Without her we would have a lot of palmeto bugs (giant roaches) inside the house. One thing that may help to attract more frogs or toads is to turn on an outside light for at least a few hours. The light will attract bugs and the bugs will attract the frogs and toads. I like that you are providing a place for your "bug catchers" to enjoy.

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Ozark Lady
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That is an excellent point about the light. I recall as a child, when I wanted to catch a toad to play with, (they don't cause warts) I would go where there were lights on at night.

So, we need to provide them a habitat, where they don't get ate by predators, if we can, and water dishes, then turn on the light... like Motel 6 commercials? :lol:

A gentleman in another forum, has buckets of water, that he mounts a light above, and the moths that come to the light drown, then they don't lay eggs on his plants. I think that is a pretty safe pest control option too.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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