Leapin’ Lizards!

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Book pong instead of beer pong? Not quite.

At this point in my life, no one lives in my house unless they pay rent.  That goes for Mr. Kaminski as well.  He is gainfully employed, and he pulls his own weight when it comes to providing for this and that, so he’s good.  Our babies have their own homes, and they are off payroll, so they’re good.  But if anyone else is going to live in my house for any period of time, I expect a check.

This steadfast rule applies to any living breathing creature, and it has no wiggle room for me – no flexibility – whatsoever.  But this Spring for some unknown reason, lizards have found my house rather accommodating, and they have decided to move in.  I’m talking entire families, without providing any compensation, and I am not a happy girl.

In addition to my binding rent policy, I do not like critters in my personal habitat.  I especially do not like lizards. Sure, I spent a great deal of time growing up on a ranch where scorpions, snakes, rodents, chimney sweeps – even a racoon – invaded our home.  I’m accustomed to critter eradication, and I have zero tolerance for their invasion.  And when I say eradication, I do not mean relocation, much to my friend Cee Cee’s chagrin.  She will make a Herculean effort to relocate a venomous snake rather than send it to snake heaven.  Now I love her, but I just can’t abide by such as that.

Me?  I have killed a copperhead snake on our front porch with my Pawpaw’s ax, because that’s what I could put my hands on immediately.  I have killed another copperhead that crawled into our den when leaving the back door open for the dogs with a kitchen knife.  Again, the weapon at hand.  I have killed numerous squirrels that ate their way into our attic with an air rifle as even after the holes were patched, they continued to try to eat their way in.  Now I tried to do the right suburban thing.  I called the pest control professionals.  The professional pulled up in his little PT Cruiser – not a Ford F-150 with rifles or hot shots hanging across the back window – that was my first clue.  The professional assured me that for only $800 he would TRY to trap and relocate the tenacious terrors over a six-week period – no money back guarantee.  It was all I could do not to shoot him.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  These rabid rodents were terrifying my babies running through the attic at night, so rather than pay the pest control professional $800 to TRY, I did what any Texas momma would do:  I handled the situation.  And yes, all of these critter crusades were at our house here in suburban Fort Bend.

But these little lizards are tricky. They’re quick. They’re camouflage experts. They are formidable foes.  A few years ago, we had issues with them, but that’s when Lilly June still lived here.  Lilly June excelled at evicting non-paying tenants of the lizard variety.  Now I don’t know the particulars of it all; I am not a micromanager.  All I know is that I would point out the scaley squatter, and Lilly June would take care of it.  Problem solved.

Without my precious pup, I’m on my own this Spring.  I won’t touch them.  I can’t kill them in good faith, because apparently, they eat mosquitos, gnats and such.  Sandra will catch them when she’s here and promptly relocate them outside.  Mr. Kaminski will do the same, but I still find myself mano a mano on the daily with these infectious invaders.  So, what’s a girl to do?

I found the answer in solo cups.  Every night when Mr. Kaminski comes home, he is greeted by a graveyard of solo cups turned upside down as makeshift jails, books on top for lockdown, lizards as their inmates.  His first order of business every evening is to serve as bailiff and escort the prisoners to the neighbor’s yard.  I suspect some evenings he takes shortcuts and frees the freeloaders in our yard, but there’s a hefty fine imposed if I catch such behavior.

I’m hoping the summer heat dries up the chameleon crusade.  Otherwise, I’m going back to Miami with cousin Suzie.  See y’all next week – on the porch!


Patti Parish-Kaminski

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