Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Tenant

A couple of evenings ago, my wonderful husband saw something move in the pile of concrete pieces we have near the wild area.  We watched for a little while and saw a large skink move between the pieces.  Skinks eat bugs so we're fine with this tenant as long as he stays outside the house.

Sunday, I was walking across the patio and found the skink near the air conditioner.  This is getting a little close to the house.

It looks to be the same skink we saw in the concrete pieces.  He's (or she's) a fat skink.  I hope that means it has been eating bad bugs in the garden.

This reminds me of what we had in our basement last summer...

We discovered some scat in our basement office last summer that was white on one end.  The white part meant it was from a bird or a reptile.  I immediately feared we had a snake in our basement.  Critters are great in the garden but I don't like to share my house with them.  For one thing, they're not toilet trained.  Anyway, I was watching where I stepped and I was worried about it coming up into the main part of the house.  After a quick Internet search about how to catch a snake in a house, we settled on glue traps.  I made a trip to the store and came home with every glue trap they had.  We placed them in the corners of the office and then my WH said we were going to move things away from by the walls and pickup all the stuff on the floor.  I did not like that idea but he wanted to see if we could find the snake so we knew what we were dealing with.  He reassured me that based on the size of the scat, it was small.  I reluctantly agreed.  We  found more scat showing places it had  "camped."  After moving everything but the computer desk, we gave up and went to bed--way up on the top floor of our house.  I checked the glue traps the next morning.  Nothing.  We went to work.  I came home and cautiously went down into the basement office.  I flipped on the light and looked at the glue trap behind the computer desk.  Eeeek!  We'd caught the snake!  It had legs!!  What?  We had caught a small skinny skink.  It was stuck on its back to the glue trap.  I left it there until my WH got home.  He carried the glue trap with the freaked out skink to a nearby creek area, sprayed the skink with cooking spray and we watched it free itself from the glue trap and run into the grass.  We'd read that baby oil will work too.  Sigh.  Other than a few bugs and spiders that find their way into our basement, it couldn't have had much to eat in the week or so that it was in our basement.  We think we carried that skink into our basement in a bundle of insulation we purchased for the bathroom remodel we were doing last summer.  Be careful what you carry into your house!


  1. I once had the Brother get into the house. I had to let the fridge run dry of beer and stop cooking for him to finally move on.

    Maybe a glue trap would have worked, but I didn't fancy carrying him to the creek and rubbing him with baby oil!

  2. Looks like a snake with legs. That would scare me if I saw one.
    We have a lot of lizards, which don't really bother me as long as they are outside. I don't think I would do very well searching for something in my basement and not knowing what I was searching for....:/ i'm a wimp

  3. Let me just say, I have done several posts on skinks...on any given day here you will see at least 8! The blue striped ones and the copper color ones. They love to run across our front porch. I personally hate them and have my husband kill them from time to time to thin them out. I really am trying to share the gardens with them as I have seen the bugs they eat.

  4. eeeek! You are brave! Never heard of a skink, but looks like a cross between an aligator and a snake. Neither I'd want around! :=)

  5. When I lived in Alabama we were doing some heavy remodeling on our new house. We found a shed snakeskin on the drapery rod over the basement door. Freaked me out, HATE snakes. We never did find it.

  6. Dear SS, This all sounds most alarming and [glue traps and cooking spray] quite technical too! I am somewhat relieved to know that, as far as I am aware, these creatures have yet to set up home in Maida Vale. I am not at all sure that I could cope.

  7. Oh my kids would have had a hay day with that!! We put an outdoor wood burning heater up last fall. The hookups were enclosed by a door to the heater unit--so my hubby didn't think to seal the tubing off--that is, until the boys found a small rattlesnake snuggled under the big bag I keep my Christmas tree in (as they were preparing to bring the tree upstairs for assembly!) They managed it well--no screaming or standing on chairs like I would have done--just quietly retrieved their dad--who captured it in a cardboard box and finished him off. EEEK!! Watch what you bring in for sure!!

  8. I learned a new word today! "Skink"! I would NOT be handling this very well.

  9. I think the skink is cute. We don't get these up here in north KS. Must be too cold in the winter.

  10. We had so many lizards, frogs and skinks in our yard until our neighbors cat started to hang out on our porch. Now we rarely see lizards and the cute green tree frogs. We have had an abundance of toads in the yard this year though. I must be careful when out after dark for fear of stepping on one. We must be careful when bringing in firewood during the winter. We have brought in all types of creepy crawlies. We try to remember to tap each piece of wood on the ground before putting it into the fire bag for carrying into the house. The indoor only cats, love to hunt for the crawlies on the firewood…

  11. ~IG
    It is good to know what pest one is dealing with so as to take the appopriate measures.

    A snake with legs indeed. Eeeeeeewww!
    I wasn't too keen on the idea but my husband was persuasive.

    Your garden must be a skink spa. :-)

    I hadn't considered the alligator comparison. I don't want one either.

    Oh man. My parents found a snake skin once in their wash house. Never found that snake either. Yuck.

    I don't know if it's so technical as it is technique.

    Your husband did good to capture a rattler. I know some herpetologists and so would have called one of them. One of my parents' pastures has a lot of rattle snakes. We always were boots and use a shovel to move anything on the groud before reaching for it. The possiblity that the "snake" we were seeking could have been a rattler is why my husband wanted to kow what we were dealing with. Cudos to your boys for not freaking out with it.

    Skink just sounds slimy too doesn't it?

    It's cute in a reptilian way. They look great OUTSIDE!


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