I was strafed by a Tarantula Hawk for the first time this year, while weeding & picking up trash and cigarette butts from my front yard yesterday. The body the size of a jump drive, and wings that sound like dry paper fans slapping, these massive insects always startle me a little bit when they fly close by.
I know they're not interested in me, since I have just 2 legs and not 8, but it's a little unnerving to have them flying within arm's reach (mine, not theirs) .
My milkweed's flowers look just like these (sans mites in the close-up). The tarantula hawks get "drunk" on the milkweed nectar, and tend to fly in slow lazy circles after feasting. I don't want one of these girls mistaking me for a threat.
I've not yet seen a tarantula or scorpion ("Rock you like a hurricane!") in my yard... but I know they exist in the Sonoran desert. As our sub division is built upon reclaimed farm land, the Orkin Pest control told me that the residual pesticides the farmers used cleared out most all of the indigenous ground critters years before the homes were built. That has a good foreboding for termite eradication as well, since we have only the ground dwelling ones here, and not the swarming Formosan termites that the South East US and Hawaii tend to get.
1 year ago