This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

August 1, 2014

Sharing your garden with animals

The plants are the stars of my garden, but I do share it with animals. But it is a select list. That list includes my dog, hummingbirds, beetles, worms, that sort of thing. The list does not include stinging ants, or mosquitos!

If you're wondering what you can do to suppose wildlife in your neighborhood, plant something. Just about anything will help the local fauna. Here in the desert, many insects, such as butterflies and bees, visit just for the water. And they get it served up just the way they like it, on leaves and flowers.

I do use pesticides, but very selectively. This time of the year, mid-summer, is the time that attracts mosquitos. So I spray some *Bug-B-Gone* in places were mosquitos might live. Believe me, you don't need a *green pool* or standing water to attract mosquitos. The ones that sting, and carry disease, are mature females that need your blood. They like to *hang out* in wet, shady areas, in bushes, underneath trees.

In the springtime I scatter *Amdro* to get rid of the nasty stinging red ants that are so common here. I've been stung by them, and so has my dog, so they are not on the *preferred guest list*.

A garden is a tamed piece of ground. By my definition, it has to be a place that can be used by human beings. And as the human being here, I will be decide what is a weed, and what is an unwanted guest. Mosquitos, and stinging ants, are not invited here!

Pictured: A welcomed guest to Tropical Paradise, a beetle.

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