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June 2012

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whip-tailed lizards

I hate lizards, and well any form of reptile.  Hate is a result really of the phobia that I have for these creatures.  I live in an area where the natural setting is valued and kept as a theme for the subdivision.  We even have a wildlife management program and try to maintain the habitats for birds and other wildlife.  Part of my fear is that my best friend of 13 years, a jack russell terrier named Olive, will have a run in with a rattlesnake.  So when we found a rattlesnake in the landscaping near the front door, I had most of the plants torn out so that we could see what was on the ground.  I had decomposed granite spread everywhere to deter weeds but then I started to have a new problem:  whip-tailed lizards which are a ground variety of lizard that burrow underground.  They are the fastest little things I have ever seen.  They found my now moonscaped area around the front of my house to be the perfect home for them and the most lovely area to dig and lay their eggs.  I was inundated.  One morning I went to leave for work and there were about a dozen of them making their way toward the front door, all of them 4 to 5 inches long (not including their long ‘whip-like’ tails)  My phobia is so complete that if one of the quick little fellows managed to make it inside, I would have to move out until the thing was captured and removed…really.  I was appalled and took to putting out Snake-Away and moth balls until I thought I would choke on the fumes.  But the naphthalene did deter them to a point, though it did not make them go away.

Finally relief came from the foreman of our maintenance team for our subdivision.  He know everything about our area and  thankfully knew what to do for me.    First we had to get rid of the decomposed granite because they love it so much and then he would cover the exposed earth with 3 to 4 inches of pea sized gravel.  He said that the little critters have a hard time digging it it because of its weight.  Well since the process was completed, I have seen one or two of the little blighters on the driveway beyond the landscaping, but they look confused.

2 comments on “whip-tailed lizards

  1. Betsy Pfeil says:

    Excellent for you! Bravo! Woe are the little whip tails. I see them all packing away with little hobo sticks are bandana parcels across their shoulders. What unsuitable neighbors they were!


    1. marthapfeil says:

      while ba and i have been walking with griffin and olive we have witnessed the move across the street, in droves…well almost…over to the wisconsin neighbors! I am sure they will think they are cute.


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