sand puppie photo
bugman, I noticed you have a few letters about sand puppies on your web page, so I took photo’s of a dead one, (it got too close to my 1 year old baby, its slightly destroyed, but if you can identify the species, I’m pretty sure you can find another photo somewhere. it may come in handy when someone wants to ask about this particular solpugid. hope its useful!
We have heard the term Sand Puppy applied to Potato Bugs or Jerusalem Crickets as well, and that is what your specimen is. Though we will be posting your letter and photo on our Unnecessary Carnage page, we do not really blame your infant for the slaughter. Children just don’t understand how strong they are when they squash things. Children really don’t realize the importance of respecting life and hopefully your toddler will soon be cognicent enough to learn this important lesson from you.
Ruminations on Cohabitation
(09/03/2006) Unnecessary killing of living things
I totally sympathize with the family who killed bugs they thought might harm someone. Unfortunately, their philosophy is harming their children. Children need to learn how to live with, not how to kill, other living things. I have been in the education field for over 30 years and worked with children and animals in a Science Museum for many years, and I saw, daily, people who grew up with phobias about animals. It wasn’t pretty. We teach children how to look both ways before crossing a street–we don’t teach them to kill cars. Children can be taught how to live with animals, not kill or be afraid of them. I agree that on very rare occasions we must protect and defend our own. 2 weeks ago my husband violated our no-kill policy and shot a copperhead that was about 6 feet from our front door. (I didn’t even know we had a gun!) We live in the woods of the NC piedmont area with skunks, foxes, brown bats, black widow spiders, poisonous centipedes, etc., and this is the only animal I felt truly threatened us. The point is, our education policy worked, because my son was able to identify the snake for his father ( I wasn’t at home) and did not panic. My son has been taught to deal with the animals, including what to do if you or someone else is stung or bitten. We have found out over the years that the best thing to do is learn to live in their environment. We don’t wear heavy scents like perfumes, scented deodorants, etc when outdoors, we don’t swing at and make animals defend themselves by hurting us, We also don’t use pesticides and insecticides unless a wasp or hornet nest is near house entrances. We also use nature to help us. Every time we find a praying mantis egg case, it goes in my herb garden. It’s much healthier to use my mantis army to prey on harmful insects than to poison my family with insecticide laden food. In short, if you don’t want animals around, go back to the city and live in a condo. But in the meantime, stop the lazy parenting ( a cheap blow, I know, but I’m tired of the “kill” policy of these people) and educate yourselves and your families. Use this most excellent website, visit your local science museum, and take a walk through the woods with your child and a nature book. Also, look for natural ways to deal with problems. One great idea I was given by a naturalist was about yellow jacket nests. We have many in this area. Instead of spraying with poisons which stay in the environment and will ultimately prove more harmful to our children than the bugs we are trying to kill, we sprinkle dry cat food near and if possible on top of the nest. Skunks will come out at night, eat the cat food and be led to the nest, where they treat themselves to the larvae “dessert” in the nest , ultimately destroying the nest. If you have bats in your house and want to remove them, make sure you correctly mount bat houses outside before removing them from your current home. Remember, one bat consumes a few thousand insects (including mosquitoes) each night. We need bats. Last comment, and I may as well discuss religion since I’m sure many people at this point would like to burn me at the stake anyway. God also gave us “dominion” over our chidren. That means we love and protect and nurture them. It doesn’t mean we have God’s approval to destroy them. God made everything in nature, and it is beautiful. Every animal God made has a purpose – it has a job to do. All we need to do is leave the animals alone and let them do their job. Please continue to love, protect, and nurture nature. Thanks for letting me vent. Please feel free to contact me, use my name on your web site, but do not release contact info to the public. I don’t need the hate mail. Thanks.