To Kill or Not to Kill Spiders….and Do Spiders Bite?

To Kill or Not to Kill Spiders….and Do Spiders Bite?

I read an article in a small newspaper (Coast News  in Encinitas) about spiders and wrote the author thanking her. It quoted her children’s favorite book, Charlotte’s Web, which happens to be my favorite childhood book, and left me a permanent fondness for spiders and pigs.  None in the author’s family would kill spiders and they were in mourning over the death of a big spider that lived on their front porch.

We too do not kill spiders, none outside our house, and inside we transport any outside (my husband’s exception is black widow spiders).  One of our grown sons confided in me that he, too, cannot kill spiders – you never know in what ways you affect your children. [Read more…]

Save a Songbird: Keep Cats Inside

Save a Songbird: Keep Cats Inside

2016 Follow-up – If you can’t bring your cats inside permanently – please consider this Birds Be Safe Collar -A recent United States-based scientific study has shown that Birdsbesafe® cat collar covers projected an average reduction of 87% birds captured annually.  

While vacationing in British Columbia this fall, I read a good letter to the editor about cat owners who let their cats run free, thinking it’s good for the cat. A statistic jumped out at me, which I checked out. I have had both an indoor cat an outdoor cat.

More than 20 percent — so 1 of every 5 songbird death – is due to cats running free. American Wildlife Foundation scientists have been studying the drop in songbird population. Habitat destruction is a big reason but obviously cats are another.  You read about the statistic of millions of bird deaths yearly due to cats (a 2010 U of Nebraska report estimated 480 million birds in the U.S. annually!) but I think the above factoid is easier to understand. There’s also the baby ducks, squirrels and rabbits they catch.

Reasons why to keep your cat indoors:

  • Injury and getting nabbed by a predator (coyotes as well as cars).
  • Friendly inside cats revert to its hereditary,  predatory nature once they go out the door. And while that may seem ‘natural’ remember that, cats are not part of the natural predatory cycle. In more wild areas, bobcats nab an occasional bird but nothing like the damage cats do.
  • To repeat, more than 20 percent  — so 1 of every 5 songbird death – is due to cats running free

If you’re a cat owner, look at the resources below & consider the following:

  • Cats not introduced to the outdoors don’t miss it. Keep them indoors from the start.
  • Also, cats do fine on leashes, especially if started young.  People who have leash-trained their cats, including my husband, report they go happily for walks just like a dog.
  • If you really can’t make the decision to keep your current feline in, make a vow that any future cats you have will be indoor-only cats.
  • More and more cities have laws where cats running free that can be traced to owners result in a fine.  Do it on your own and regulation won’t be necessary.

Resources

Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

Educating Women–the Most Effective Population Control

This may be too political for some but I feel strongly about this:

If nature could talk, it would yell “Stop your rate of populating.”

I clipped two editorials from The Los Angeles Times on population growth this year: one, an op-ed by Paul Ehrlich (author of the 1968 book “The Population Bomb”) wasn’t too surprising, but the LA Times editorial said the following: “No matter how efficient we become at growing food, the Earth cannot provide for an infinitely increasing population.”

Here are things that grabbed my attention from the two articles and a talk I attended recently: [Read more…]