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My yard is my sanctuary, and I love gardening outdoors with plants and flowers! My current passion is learning how to create pleasing plant combinations. I live in central Iowa and this is my absolute favorite website!

My favorite funny thread (long):

Garden Heebie-Jeebies
* Posted by Veronicastrum z5 IL (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 10:20
Okay all of you dedicated gardens, what things - plant, animal, other - give you the creeps in your garden?
In another thread I posted about Rudbeckia hirta. I am on a mission to eradicate it from my garden, but suddenly have developed an aversion to the hairy stems. Creeps me out to grab 'em and yank.
What does it to you?

* Posted by: Mad_Gallica Z5 NY (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 10:38

Large plants of purslane. Those fat, succulent stems that look like worms. Real worms don't bother me at all, but those fat red, stems. Ick. I know exactly what you mean.

* Posted by: LeeAnna z8 WA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 11:15

Grabbing one of my one-gallon pots and feeling the slimy, boogery body of a big, fat slug with my bare hand. E Icky.

Spiders sometimes do it, too. Like when I'm standing in the middle of a bed weeding and I look down to see three daddy-long-legs climbing up my legs. Or the time I uncovered a big beetle the size of a quarter, picked it up to move out of harm's way, and eight legs unfurled. That was no beetle. Shudder.

* Posted by: Frizzle z6 PA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 11:36

walking in sandles in the damp grass and scooping up a slug with the toe of the sandle but not realizing it until you have walked a bit more and smooshed it between your toes

* Posted by: Tiffy_z6aCan 6a (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 11:46

I have no aversion to picking up slugs with my bare hands. They make me sooooo MAD!!! But right now, I'm building another rock wall, and sometimes I pick-up a piece which has a slug underneath and in the process of lifting the rock, place my hand/fingers on the unseen slug and 'squish!' YUCK! As you can tell, I don't use gloves...

* Posted by: Artchik z5 IL (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:06

I am phobic about mice. Phobic to the point where any small mammal darting across my peripheral vision freaks me out. I actually screamed when I accidentally uncovered a rabbit nest in my garden bed a few weeks ago and a baby rabbit jumped out. Chipmunks scuttling behind shrubs make my heart race. My husband thinks I need therapy!

* Posted by: jboling Chicago area (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:07

Moving a large rock or other object that's been sitting in the same place for quite a while and seeing all the squirmy life underneath slithering away for cover. Doesn't happen often in my garden because I don't have too many stationary objects, so it must be a nightmarish memory from my childhood exploring days.

* Posted by: saucydog z5MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:10

I try not to look....but something sort of slithers through one of the beds I've been trying to weed.

I also don't like spiders, but I have those big "wood spiders" that look like tarantulas to me. E day I was potting things up for a swap, and it crawled out of the pot I grabbed. I threw the pot and ran in the house. When I came to my senses, I figured the spider had been just as horrified and moved on. I finished potting up.

I don't mind "things" being there, I just don't want to cross their path (and I'm sure they feel the same about the 50 ft. woman crossing theirs!).

* Posted by: Leslies z5 NY (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:23

There's a weed that resembles sweet woodruff with some kind of hairs on the leaves and stems that grab at your hands when your hands try to grab at the plant. Ick.

Once I found a REALLY ENORMOUS beetle with ENORMOUS pincer jaw things that looked like it had wandered out of the Amazon jungle. It freaked me out!

Poison ivy. I know it's just a plant and I've even survived the rash without dying, but when I see it in the garden, I give it about a 10-foot berth.

* Posted by: Chris_ont 4-5 Ont (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:26

I have a morbid fear of stinging insects (stumbled into a wasp nest as a wee lass). The very sight of a wasp in the yard has me sleepless, wondering if a wasp nest is being built near the house. I'm sloooooowly getting used to the bumblebees that are making sure I've got raspberries this summer.

Also, there is some humungous fungus (hey that rhymes) living under my cedar hedge. Every spring it sends up a football-size clump of mushrooms that look like a very large dog yacked up his kibbles.
Fortunately, that thing is going in a few days, leaving behind a pile of brown rot that looks like some alien has escaped from there. Yuck.

* Posted by: girlgroupgirl 7b (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:48

Both the saddleback catapillar (ohh, they got me badly a lot last year), BIG huge fat juicy garden spiders (they just look so ferocious even though they aren't), and brown recluse spiders...these ARE ferocious!! Fire ants (they bite my kitties feet) - I hate these biting flies we have had and mosquitoes too (because they carry virus and gave me kitty heartworm (this is before she came to live with me). Now mosquitoes give me the heebie jeebies because of all the gunk they can carry. Rats of the 21st century!
I am now over my disgust of black widows, and other various spiders, many beetles, roaches of all kinds (they are just yucky when IN the house)...our soil is full of creepy crawlies.

* Posted by: kathieZ4MN (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 12:54

We have a bad case of army worms here this spring. The trees around us are about all denuded. There are massive clumps of these worms on the tree trunks as they begin to slow down. I first knew they were here when I could hear their droppings fall like rain out of the trees. The only advantage is they are perhaps adding some fertilizer to the ground. The trees will re-leaf (relief!). I just had one crawling on my back as i sit here. You either freak out or do as I have done...learn to live with them.

* Posted by: ccsuzy z6 IN (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 13:05

Huge masses of Japanese Beetles. I can stand picking them off the roses and other plants, but last year I was in my parent's back yard and heard this low rasping sound - I soon realized it was the hoards of Japanese Beetles that were infesting their Chinese elm tree and eating it to shreds. If you shook a branch literally hundreds flew out, and you could see small black droppings all over the ground and garden bench. Eee

* Posted by: LisaZone6_MA z6 MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 13:13

I am terrified of spiders. I don't bother them in the garden, but I give them a wide berth! Earwigs totally freak me out. I don't know what it is about them, but I hate those things! Mosquitoes just p*ss me off!!! Thank goodness I don't have to deal with ticks!!! THAT would freak me out!!

* Posted by: mscarlet z5 MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 13:22

I have a lot of snakes on my property and NOTHING scares me or grosses me out more then seeing one! I had bought a lot of terracotta pots this year and had a couple of the big ones upside down in my mulched rose bed. The other day I grabbed one to plant it and a milk snake was under it and I dropped the pot and ran like a maniac away. I had to have a friend that was over come over and take it across the street and get rid of it. It was just a baby maybe 8 inches long but I don't CARE about how long it is. The fact that it is a snake and tried "biting" was enough to give me nightmares. NOTHING in life other then flowers should be purple and white YUCK! CREEPY.

I can deal with the spiders that are always in the mulch. What I can not deal with are the HUGE mommas that form webs under the eaves of my house. Last year I hadn't even noticed the darn things and my son was spraying them down. I could not believe that a spider could get some big and we had several of them. The other day I noticed the webs and took out the hose and was spraying them down and out came these creatures that could curl your hair to look at. It grossed me and scared me but I was determined to get to them before they turned big enough to carry me away!

* Posted by: laura37 z5 indy (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 13:23

I have a pretty serious phobia of most all insects....the larger they are the more petrified I am. Beetles, centipedes, cicadas, and spiders are the worst. The neighbors probably get quite a laugh watching me garden - I scream and flail around wildly like a madwoman if anything sneaks up on me!!!

How ironic that my biggest phobia comes right along with my biggest passion in life.

* Posted by: another_hosta_please 6 Coastal MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 13:40

SLUGS! I am okay picking them off by hand and squishing them under my shoes (I actually enjoy squashing them dead) because I think of all the holes on my hostas I avoided. The thing that creeps me out is sort of what Nicole mentioned above. I think that I squished them all only to accidentally find one with bare skin on some part of your body. EWWWWWWW!!!!!

* Posted by: ChrisMD 7 (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 14:33

Tent caterpillars - cute individually but disgusting when you have to remove a web full of hundreds of writhing caterpillars mixed with caterpillar poo. Did you know that when they're small and still edible, they spin web walkways up the branches and then walk UNDER the sticky web so the birds can't grab them? Take a look next time you have one in your yard. Really sneaky. I was destroying a web and the wren came right away and was squeezing the tent caterpillars like tubes of toothpaste and eating the guts.

* Posted by: Veronicastrum z5 IL (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 14:52

(so why did I decide to check on this thread while eating lunch?)

* Posted by: Raining_In_OR Zone 8 OR (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 15:06

I'm with you Veronica, reading this thread is giving me the creeps...e I've been fortunate enough to never squish a slug. I've only seen daddy long leg spiders in the garden and they don't scare me. And I've never come across any beetles or caterpillars. But it's the earwigs that completely freak me out. I can't stand them with their little pinchers. Just thinking about them gives me the jitters.

* Posted by: Ginny12 z5 MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 15:28

Two years ago, I cut some bittersweet along the road to decorate the house for fall. A few hours later I saw the biggest insect I have ever seen outside a National Geographic special--and it was climbing up my drapes. Scream!! I had to get up close to see it and, worse news, it looked like the Asian longhorn beetles that are starting to kill so many of our trees in some cities. I called a UMass entomologist and he explained that there are many species of longhorn beetles. A revolting revelation. Then I had to get the Dirt Devil out to vacuum him up (insect, not entomologist). Accidentally knocked it to unseen place. Sheer terror now. Finally located him, vacuumed him up successfully and tossed the vacuum, insect inside, out the door. I'm shuddering all over just reliving this.

* Posted by: babsclare z5OH (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 15:57

I actually am able to respect/deal with most bugs or what have you, BUT the one thing that definitely gives me the heebie-jeebies enough to eek! is walking into or through a spiderweb - those ones you never see as you walk through wooded areas and they end up on your mouth or eye. And even worse is if the spider is still there and it ends up dangling from my hair,etc. Oh man I get the jeebies just imagining

* Posted by: LisaZone6_MA z6 MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:22

babsclare - AAAAAUUUGGGHHH!!! That happened to me once!!! OMG I walked face first right into one of those huge black and yellow orb weaver webs. Man can spiders move fast when they want to!!!! If anyone saw me thrashing around and waving my arms like an idiot they would have thought I was being attacked by an invisible mugger or something!! It must have been 25 years ago I did that and your post brought it right back lol!!!

* Posted by: designingwoman z5 IL (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:28

I freak out whenever I kill a bug that makes a crunching sound before it makes a smushing sound. And those nasty white grubs that live right under the sod make me gag.

But creepiest of all, I think, is reaching down to rub my big dog's hairy belly and coming away with a slimy slug that she picked up in the garden. yuck.

* Posted by: Chelone z6 so. Maine (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:47

I am just cracking up, kids!

I had horses years ago and the great big "Charlotte" type spiders used to creep me out pretty well, but they were very effective flycatchers so I "got over it".

I'm OK with slugs, pick 'em up and whip 'em into the bright sun (remember that?) in the middle of our gravelly driveway.

Sometimes I get weirded out by great big worms crawling over my hand while I work in the soil. But I end up laughing at how silly I must look when I recoil so quickly.

Beetles don't bother me at all, any size is OK with me.

Snakes are no problem, either. I "got over" that one, too, because one of the cats brings them home to me, leaving them on the deck (9-10' off the ground, cats have a ramp to get up there). I have to carry them downstairs (through the house, mind you) and release them (over 24" long I sort of herd them into a paper bag, though). I jump when they startle me, but then I'm OK with them. Nothing poisonous around here.

Japanese beetle larvae are pretty gross (when they're big, white, and "C" shaped). I make myself squish them under my thumb. This is a good "party trick" when I'm gardening with a squeamish person ;) . I do have trouble picking up Tomato Horn Worms, too.

I get grossed out when the cats bring home a "flopper", a prey item that is too roached to live, but isn't quite dead yet. I especially loathe it when they lose interest and I have to deliver the coup de grace. And yesterday I managed to put my hand on a decayed chipmunk while cleaning/weeding behind a large hosta prior to mulching the bed. I should've known better, too, since that area is known to us the "bower of death"... all the kills end up there, it's the cats' little clubhouse. ICK-O.

* Posted by: Jannie z7 LI NY (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:50

Anything with less than two legs or more than four legs scares me!!!

* Posted by: debgrow Z5 Chicago (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:51

Yesterday my daughter (15 years old) came to me and said "Mom can you tell me what this is"? She was pointing to the back of her head, where she had pulled the hair away exposing her scalp. It looked kind of like a lentil, or a seed of some sort, and it was stuck so tightly to her scalp that I couldn't pull it off - I thought it was a big wart or something!

It was kind of dark in the room where I was, so I brought her into the kitchen where the light was better. My husband, who happened to be in the kitchen, looked at it and without saying a word, grabbed a paper towel, yanked on it, and a bug fell into the sink, wiggling it's legs, and leaving something that looked like a mosquito bite on her head!

She was very very "creeped out" (and as a 15-year-old female, it doesn't take much, but I was pretty creeped out, too!). She screamed, shivered, and then ran upstairs and took a shower and washed her hair about 11 times! After she was done, she picked up everything off the floor in her room - first time she's done that without a big fight since she was 11 - and washed all of her bedding.

I called the doctor who said it was probably a tick and we should bring her in to make sure we got all of it out (and didn't leave a head or a jaw still in her scalp - I didn't tell her that part)! And, I was a little worried about Lyme Disease (I didn't tell her that part either).

Turned out to be a "harmless" tick - no such thing when it's attached to your baby's head! The good news is that it was not the kind that causes Lyme disease. The doctor said it probably fell out of a tree or something.

I still get the creeps just thinking about it - and Ashley didn't sleep much last night! I think I'm going to wear a hat when I garden from now on - there are lots of trees around my yard - who knows what could be falling out of them?

* Posted by: Betula 7MD (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:52

I had to giggle reading this thread. Here's my list

Unwittingly picking up slimy slug - disgusting Tent caterpilars crawling everywhere- hateful Poking at a tent and having them rain down on your face - loathsome Finding mass of yellow goop on bag of mulch - nauseating Clearing hair out of face and finding spider parked on your glasses - almost having coronary

* Posted by: Artchik z5 IL (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 16:52

ooooooooooh Chelone, the "flopper" imagery gave me shudders!

I forgot about our birdbath that the resident hawk uses to store his half-eaten mammal...he leaves it there to "save it for later". Once I saw something red in the birdbath and was almost blinded in horror by what I found. I won't elaborate, in case Veronicastrum is still eating while reading this.

* Posted by: CindyBelleZ6NJ z6NJ (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 17:27

Rats. They are NOT in my garden, but when I lived in San Franciso, in Pacific Heights no less, a neighbor redid their roof. Apparently in all cities there are roof rats. It crawled down the fireplace flue and ran thru my apt. I was a MESS. I did, however, finally get the damper the landlord had promised forever. Rats just creep me out no end.

* Posted by: saucydog z5MA (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 18:03

debgrow, was that your first experience with a tick? I hate to tell you this, but they perch on anything waiting to hitch a ride on a warm body.

They're not so bad if you familiarize yourself with them and what to do. If you are ever unsure of the type of tick that carries Lyme Disease, save the tick in an airtight jar for later observation by a doctor. They can test the tick for Lyme.

I grew up with ticks, no big deal to me....but leeches, now that's another thing! Never sit on a spillway with shorts on while you fish. The backs of my thighs were covered with little blood suckers. Gross.

Saucy (who hates floppers, too)

* Posted by: Leslies z5 NY (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 18:15

debgrow - Lyme may be new in your area, and doctors may not know about all its menacing variations, but take it from someone who has been dodging it for ten years - almost every kind of tick is known now to carry Lyme Disease. Maybe not in every part of the country, but you are not safe from Lyme just because it was a wood tick. Many types of ticks now also carry something called erlichiosis that can also make you very sick.

Used to be only tiny little deer ticks carried this stuff, but it has recently (last year) been discovered that ordinary wood and dog ticks carry it, too.

* Posted by: bytegirl z7 LI,NY (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 18:23

ticks, leeches, and daddy long-legs....I can remember my grandmother checking our heads every night before bed for ticks...tweezers and matches handy..(she would burn them...they go pop). But when you spend every waking moment in the woods as a kid, you are going to attract ticks!

Ever come up on a nest/swarm of daddy long-legs?...We once had about 100 in a corner of the porch....crawling all over each other...(you probably heard me scream...just didn't realize what it was at the time!)

Course my Grandmother's favorite heebie-jeebie story involves my cousin and I forgetting about the 2 Praying Mantis Egg Sacs in her guest bedroom one summer! I just wish I could have been there when she opened the door to find approximately 300 or so baby praying mantis on EVERYTHING!! (You probably heard that scream also...circa July 1970)..She never let us forget that one..:-)

* Posted by: valeriegail Z5 N.S. (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 19:07

I probably have the whitest legs in gardening. I hate the feel of plants brushing up against my legs and grass, well it may as well be bugs cause I can't handle the feel of it. I never wear shorts in the garden and that is usually what I end up doing when I'm outside. Queer little quirk I have no idea where it came from. I love to feel grass and plants with my hands.

* Posted by: Posy_Pet z6Mo. (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 19:10

What a FUN thread!I have to share too-centipedes and millipedes, poison ivy, leeches yes and we have lots of ticks and I am allergic to their bite but if I put some bleach on the place where they bit me, it doesn't get infected. Wasps too because I swell up from their stings.
* Posted by: Betula 7MD (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 19:29

I forgot to mention cutworms. Filthy creatures. Just the thought makes me want to hurl

* Posted by: Andrea_in_KS z5 KS (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 19:29

Spiders (although more inside than out -- since brown recluses aren't generally in my garden but are sometimes in my closet or bedroom). Ditto the walking into the web and wondering where the inhabitant now is.

Ditto the slugs, especially to step on one.

No snakes around here but they'd do it to me, too, if there were any.

Don't enjoy getting up close and personal with any type of creeper or crawler, although I let most of them live if they are good ones and step on them if they are bad ones. With shoes on.

What creeps my S.O. out is any plant with foliage that's a color other than green. He calls them aliens. He especially hates caladiums, begonias with fleshy reddish foliage, wandering jew (the purple kind), and coleus. I don't know where that comes from, exactly. He must have bad childhood memories of plants with purple foliage.

* Posted by: Storygardener 5/6 central oh (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 20:24

I get the creeps when I come to the unexpected dead mouse, mole or vole that the cats leave as "gifts" for me. It grosses me out! (but, I am glad to get rid of them!

* Posted by: jkom51 Z9 CA/Sunset 17 (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 20:41

This thread deserves to be held until October 31, 2003! Definitely Halloween-ish...

Anyway, class me with the folks that don't like spiders, wasps, and roof rats. Small arachnids don't bother me, but I don't like black widows -- creepy.

Wasps are so nasty tempered compared to bees. Love the latter, stay away from the former. I put out yellow jacket traps in the spring every year, now.

Roof rats -- compared to the city brown rat, they're actually kinda cute. But they still have that long rat tail, and they get BIG. Our first look at the property we are now living in, we looked in the weed-infested backyard -- it was so overgrown you literally couldn't walk back there, nor could you see the back fence only 50' away.

A huge roof rat -- literally, this thing looked three feet long from tip to tail! -- casually strolled down a length of ivy vine like it was the coastal freeway, descending down from an old walnut tree and disappearing into the ivy.

Needless to say, the garden got cleared out by day laborers. The roof rats are still there -- you can't eliminate them entirely when your neighbor's backyard is full of ivy -- but we have successfully discouraged them from living in our shed and house, thank goodness.

* Posted by: waywyrd z8 SC (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 21:28

I can't stand those huge black and orange centipedes. I accidentally picked one up the other day and freaked out...plus those nasty white translucent grubs make my stomach turn when I dig one up. BLEAH!

This thread is hilarious by the way! :D

* Posted by: Eric_OH 6a (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 22:16

I don't mind snakes.

What gives me a bit of a turn is when I've spent a half hour some fine summer night fishing algae and leaves out of an above-ground water feature, finally sufficiently aggravating the 6-foot snake that's been lurking in there to snatch goldfish, and seeing it rear out of the water and head for parts unknown.

Big snake. Sudden appearance in the dark. Bad.

* Posted by: alyrics 5B NE OH (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 22:51

azalea galls. - this wet wet spring caused the virus to go out of control on 6 of my azaleas - they were covered with horrid pale green, and ripe white and gray giant galls growing off the leaves and buds - just disgusting looking. ditto and Japanese beetle grubs - worse than slugs, I think its the gross color

* Posted by: Taryn S Ontario Z6B (My Page) on Wed, Jun 18, 03 at 22:54

Maggots! You know, barbeque remains and dog doo go into the trash on Sunday night, then it's 30C/80F and humid all week long. Then Thursday eve

I live in: United States

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First registered on September 30, 2002 .