Mighty Minty in the Hood

Green Anole Lizard (https://wildlifeinformer.com/most-common-lizards-in-florida/)

The morning began with a single shriek. Mine. Followed by an expletive (okay, more than one expletive)…also mine.

Let me be clear dear reader; a day beginning in such a way, before the sun has barely made it above the roof tops, is not an optimal way to start one’s day.

I had just finished my first cup of espresso and was mulling over what I needed to accomplish for the day as I puttered around the kitchen. Then, before donning shoes and such to walk The Poodle I stepped into our cozy little living room area to pull back the shades of the long sliding glass door. There on my new sofa, was a small brown lizard. Amazingly my shriek did not budge the thing, nor The Poodle for that manner, who remained blissfully unaware, curled in his bed.

Rocket-man came to the rescue, as it were, picking up the sofa cushion to relocate the unexpected visitor to the front yard. It clearly did not want to leave the comforts of the cushion as hubby had to firmly shake it off. (I was later told that most likely the invader did not frighten away quickly– as usually happens– because it was probably dehydrated.)

Oh Lord, the things I am learning. Sigh.

This Florida adventure so far has a few downsides and the gazillion of lizards skittering about is just one of them. We’ve got green Anoles and brown ones too. We’ve got tiny house geckos and apparently iguanas (but thankfully I have yet to spot those larger non-natives in my yard). Later, when recounting the morning’s event with the neighbor, it didn’t help my head one bit that she shared she’s found lizards in her bed. “Yep…there was one in my bed just the other day,” she said brightly.

“Oh my God, really?” I replied trying to stifle my horror.

“Oh, I wasn’t fazed one bit,” she said in her peppy southern drawl. “I think they are cute as all get out,” she added.

Seriously? Well, maybe the gecko in the Geico commercials is cute, but still, it’s a reptile for goodness sake.

I wanted to say: Well bless your sweet little ole heart. Instead I opted for a more neighborly reply: “Well yes…they sure are, um cute, except not in one’s bed!”

Nor on the sofa for that matter.

So, this whole lizard thing makes it a tad difficult to relax when out on the back patio as The Poodle tries to chase them down and came awfully close to getting one in his mouth. As it is entirely certain that lizards carry salmonella they are not something I want my old dog snacking on. So, in a fit of frustration I looked into options for deterring lizards. Of course a quick internet search provided something to try that was a natural, pet-friendly alternative as I certainly did not want to use chemicals to kill the lizards (I just wanted to get them to move somewhere else.)

And there it was. Peppermint to the rescue! That sounds entirely lovely, right?

After searching high and low for a peppermint plant I resorted to plan B: I took to looking on The Land of All Things as my sister calls it (otherwise known as Amazon). Sure enough, there were several lizard deterrent products containing peppermint oil. I chose a lizard product that garnered hundreds of positive reviews. Buoyed by all the good reviews, and given my heightened anxiety over a future lizard home invasion, I went full guns ordering the gallon size. Besides, it was touted to help with deterring spiders, ants, and even rodents. Two days later my Mighty Mint insect and pest control order was delivered and I wasted not a moment opening it. After a quick read of the directions, I was hopeful, excited and ready to spray away.

And spray I did!

Yowza! The peppermint smell—though not entirely obnoxious—was ridiculously strong and after awhile somewhat nauseating. Still, I sprayed…and sprayed…and sprayed! And then, I watched and waited…and for good measure, I followed the same steps the following morning.

Well, my dear “four” readers, I know you are on the edge of your seats, waiting with baited breath to know: Did it work? Did the lizards, green ones and brown ones….big ones and tiny ones….skitter away to other parts of the hood?

Drum roll please



Not sure I can wrap my head around my Home Sweet Home now being “home” for lizards. And yes, you’ve guessed it: I shake the bed covers each night like a crazy woman.

Sigh. In this moment, there is no bliss in doing that. 😬

10 thoughts on “Mighty Minty in the Hood

    • And going to the dentist is good for oral health too. HAHAHA. Seriously Sir, you may be right. I do know these skittering “cuties” like to eat those tiny nit-noids as I call them. There are days in which I am in awe of the flora and fauna of Florida…but it’s a journey for this insect averse human to be sure. Thanks for “stopping by.”


    • It is nice not being cold, I can say that! I do wish we had less turbulent weather, not for me but for The Poodle. He is definitely suffering more here (at least that i my take on it) than in other places we have lived due to frequent (almost daily) thunder and lightning. I feel for him; Nothing calms him down. Thanks for stopping by. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, that is one tough question to answer! I cannot possibly give you a straight answer! I have lived in so many places and each one has been special and unique—each one has pros and cons. Plus, I’m a Libra and I cannot make my mind up about anything! Still, I can tell you two places I truly DID NOT like and that was Kansas and Alabama ( followed by runner up Pennsylvania but that was mostly due to life’s heavy drama while living there as opposed to actual locale). Living in Alabama was mighty easy on the pocket-book. We enjoyed a gorgeous home and a handful of lovely friends but there was not much culture to keep me from going insane (not to mention I could not ride my bike without getting chased by unleashed dogs). And Kansas; well, the winters were bone-chilling frigid and some thirty years ago (don’t know what it’s like today) Kansas liquor laws were stupidly restrictive.

      I LOVED Southern California for the weather, terrific cycling, the ocean, and hardly an insect to worry about. I lived two miles from the ocean and one could sit outside on the patio year-round enjoying the ocean breeze whilst sipping a crisp Chardonnay without screens, insecticides or weather events to spoil the fun. However, it was not easy to find truly authentic folks. California is ridiculously expensive, population dense (we lived in LA county) and taxes everything up the wazoo which is ultimately why we left after eight years. We felt nickled and dimed to death; I couldn’t even go to the Trader Joe’s up the street without paying for parking. IMHO It’s a state choked by insane rules and regulations. It’s a nice place to visit but not a place to retire to unless you’re richer than God. Still, even if we were, we would have left. In all of my years, there has been no other place that I’ve lived that is as messed up politically. Just my opinion mind you.

      I do have a soft spot for Arizona; there is a fierce spirit of independence and folks are down-to-earth and commonsensical. The sunsets are magnificent and one can see a gazillion stars at night. For some reason I have always been drawn to the Native American culture, it’s art and music and the desert holds an almost spiritual vibe for me. However, it does get hotter than Hades a good four or so months of the year and water shortage IS definitely a problem.

      Our years in Oregon too also offered it’s fair share of enjoyment with such a diversity of geography with high plains desert (we lived in arid eastern Oregon) and lush forests and natural wonders like beautiful Crater Lake where I enjoyed the bicycle ride of a lifetime.

      Northern Virginia—the Washington D.C. metropolitan area—is probably my second favorite. I’ve lived there for two stints–one for more than 14 years and most recently for five years. Though an expensive place to live I did enjoy it’s richness of culture and diversity. There is so much to see and do (museums, great restaurants, lots of historical places to explore as well as it’s proximity to the Appalachian Trail which I had the good fortune to run a part of while participating multiple times in the JFK 50-mile race). And, though it’s been nearly thirty years since my return, perhaps Colorado is first on my list of favorites. I spent a chunk of my childhood in Denver, and graduated from college there. The Rocky Mountains are bold. beautiful and majestic and even if one doesn’t ski, the Aspen trees never failed to bring joy and winters are magical and dry enough to not chill one to the bone.

      So, now we are in Florida. It’s only been three months so the jury is still out. I can offer that there is not much in the way of culture here in Melbourne–and that is an issue for me– but there is the ocean and I so enjoy my frequent long walks on a beach that is not in the least overrun by tourists. The water is warm and the beaches are clean, and just the other day it was a sight to see so many baby turtles had made the trek to the water. People here are awfully friendly, laid back; I have yet to see a Covid-related altercation and that is refreshing after witnessing enough of them in Northern Virginia. I love the unique cloud formations here with a blue sky backdrop and that Cape Canaveral is nearby so that we can see launches. Honestly, so far I’m enjoying life wearing Tee shirts, shorts and flip-flops. BUT (yes, there is always the BUT) there are hurricanes to worry about now and insects too and lets not forget about gators which are everywhere (even in two inches of water!) I’m not certain this is THE place where we will ultimately lay our bones but for now, it’s an adventure to be sure.

      Sorry for the long reply; like everything else…it’s complicated!

      Liked by 1 person

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