Friday, November 2, 2007

Pests that you can't kill...No matter how much you want to...

Yesterday my son came home with three of these: Fiddler crabs
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Three of them. He got them at school. In fourth grade at our school they do a semester with animals. Typically it's millipedes, dwarf frogs, and fiddler crabs. At the end they ask you to volunteer to take some of these guys home. Ok, so for the past 2 kids we took millipedes. We're familiar with them, what's a few more, really. This year the boy wanted the frogs. Ok, so fine, we looked them up, got prepared, I signed the form. Clearly stating, we will take FROGS, and if there are any leftover millipedes, we would be happy to give them a home. So of course, the boy brings home the crabs. Right now they are in the plastic shoe box they came in, with some sand and some water and a place to climb on to. I know they need salt water, but info online is varied and limited so if any one has any tips, I would be eternally grateful...

Of course it doesn't stop there, oh no! Not in our house. It's never that easy... Joining our household yesterday were also 3 of these fellows... (That is not my hand holding the "beatle" No way am I that brave, although I put on a good front, because you can't let the children sense your weakness or you might wake up to find said weakness on your pillow while hearing a giggling boy who is watching to see if you wet yourself. You must pretend you could care less if it touches you, while making sure it doesn't)
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Madagascar hissing "beatles" ( you can rename them whatever you want, I know a roach when I see one.)
My youngest raised beatles in his class this year, through all the various stages, and then brought them home in their little plastic case. I felt bad for the little guys, I really did. He was all over those bugs, constantly holding them. You would like we didn't have cute furry pets galore for him to love on. So these beatles lived peacefully in their little tank for a couple weeks until one day I found their case on the kitchen chair, the one facing the patio doors. The doors I had left the window open for that morning. Oops. They were some dead bugs. Sigh. So I did what any mother not wanting to hear screaming and crying all night would do, I hid them on top of the fridge and claimed ignorance while I tried to figure out where to get replacement bugs. A week into this endeavor, I cracked and told him the truth and made rash promises of new bugs. Which is how we ended up bringing these guys home.

We read up a little on them, but still had some questions. I knew it wasn't a good sign when I asked the pet shop guy if they lived better solo or in groups, to which he said "uhhh I have never heard of anyone keeping them as pets, so I'm not sure" Swell. So we compromised on 3. The boy was happy. "Awe, Mom, he's hissing at me, that means he loves me!" Sure kid, just like the cat loved you when she nearly took out your eye for blowing in her face. Sigh. I did read a few sites that had advice on keeping these as PETS so that made me feel better. Hubby says we're crazy, that clearly they aren't pets, they are a part of a Fear Factor challenge. DUH. So if anyone has kept these, or has any advice for us in their care, I would love to hear it!


jeanie said...

Ugh about the cockroaches! My daughter and neighbour's son collected the grubs that become rhinoceros beetles when we turned a garden - oops, I let them all die (and the three that didn't I offered to the Kookaburras) because I needed that bucket back, darn it!

I know nothing about crabs.

Mav said...

LMAO. This was hilarious. :-D As a mommy to a 14 month old boy I can only imagine I have all this and more waiting for me as the years unfold.

jeanie said...

Haven't seen you in a while - is everything okay?