Where to start?

Where to start?

Published: 28/07/2017 Comments: 4

Where to start? It's been quite a few weeks since my last blog and lots has happened in that time. I had a lovely week in Cyprus at the beginning of the month with my husband and saw lots of interesting bugs and reptiles. I put some notes and photos on my Facebook page and got plenty of likes. Last week I had a disaster in my bug room and got lots of interest and much needed sympathy when I posted it on Facebook. There was a huge storm, massive downpour and all of a sudden rain poured in through the ceiling, flooding everything in its way, electrics and all. I lost lots of equipment but thankfully I managed to save all the bugs. It took days to clear everything up and I had a Ginny's Jungle party booked in my bug room, for the following weekend. The party went well and everyone was happy with the event. I really want to do more parties and school visits and perhaps “Bug Keepers Experiences”. I need to cut back on the number of animals that I keep, the amount of time that I spend on their care is crazy and it's really become too much for both me and my family. If I made the money to match the time then I could afford an assistant but sadly I don’t, so everything is down to just me!

I am actually really busy at the moment, it's been an extremely hectic week with a large number of orders placed. I'm surprised by this as we are now in the school holidays and getting towards the end of the month (usually both quiet times). It's great to have the orders because it is soul destroying when I am working so hard with few orders to send out. I aim to post on two days of the week but in reality, it usually ends up being three. I have noticed an increase very recently in the number of people placing an order and then asking me to post on a specific day. I do my best but it isn't always possible as I work around my family and commitments. I'm starting this blog now at hospital as I am stuck here for the day while a family member is undergoing an operation. I can't go home because our 'local' hospital is actually an hour away and even longer at busy times. We got here with no problems at 7.30 this morning (I'm shattered now and I hate hospitals). I would like to be able to provide customers with specific posting days each week but I just can't as I don't know how many orders I will have and I cannot get everything out to pack up one parcel. When I am asked in advance there is no problem but when I am 'instructed' after an order has been received it becomes very difficult. I try to send each Tuesday and Thursday as mentioned in my terms & conditions but life often gets in the way.

I decided recently that me and coir are finished! I am going back to peat, it is now hard to find and expensive but it is far superior to coir. I am changing all my millipede boxes to peat as I am absolutely fed up with fungus growing in the coir and spreading throughout the entire box. It engulfs the leaf litter and rotten wood that I have lovingly collected, meaning that I am continually cleaning out the boxes and risk throwing out the eggs. The fungus doesn't seem to have an effect on the adult millipedes but it can cause problems for baby millipedes and I also don't think it is good for me to breathe in. I consulted my friend Amazon after checking all the local garden centres and finding that none of them now sell peat. I purchased a large bag of peat for £16.99, more than double what it was a few short years ago. I haven't come across any coir that doesn't produce fungus once it is damped down and warmed up. Some of the mushrooms are very pretty but I don't need a mushroom garden in my bug room.

Lots of people are talking about Bio Active tanks now. Several customers have sent me photos in the last few weeks. It is great that people are making the effort to set up a more natural looking environment for their animals and there are lots of bugs that can enhance these set-ups. Millipedes such as the Bumblebee and Red Fire are proving popular and one or two cockroaches can add interest but it is probably best to have only males or they may breed and cause damage to the eco system. I'm happy to chat about your particular needs and projects but you will need to ring me as it isn’t really something I can do in an email.

Anyway, must get a move on, as usual I have a long list of jobs that need doing in the bug room and I have had precious little time to do them this week. I must just mention what a twit I felt this morning when I came back from walking Teddi in the woods. I came across two ladies who started to make a fuss of Teddi and as we chatted one of the ladies asked what I had got on my face. I instantly thought “oh no, stick insect, cockroach, cricket?”. She peeled it off for me and it was a yellow dot sticker. "Ah its only last week's feeding colour" I said, then I had to explain what I do and that I use the coloured dots to mark which animals have been fed or need to be fed this week. I didn't go into too much detail, as I was holding a bunch of newly collected bramble I just explained about the stick insects. I didn't think I needed to mention tarantulas and scorpions or they might have thought I was really mad.


This week’s photo – Mushroom growing in a coir and sand mix


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