Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Greenhouse casualties

In the warm summer weather, we keep the windows and door of the greenhouse open for ventilation. Otherwise, it gets too hot inside. Naturally, open windows invite insects inside. But it's a trap. They get in, but they can't find their way back out. They fly incessantly against the glass, not able to tell where the open windows are. Eventually they tire and drop to the floor. Dead.

A couple of dead butterflies on the potting bench with an old fork for scale.

Butterflies, in this case, but also bees, dragonflies, mantises, and even a small bird or two get trapped in the greenhouse all summer long. I am able to get the birds out, so they survive, but insects are not as easy to catch and release. I don't really care about most flies, and bees are tricky because they can sting. Dragonflies, especially the big ones, are delicate, but I've had moderate success shooing some of them out.

We also get these critters in the house, since there are no screens to keep them out. I do shoo houseflies out rather than swat them against windows or walls. What a mess that is. It's easier to push them outside than to clean up after smashing them. Birds or bats in the house are less easy to shoo out, but it has to be done. Often it's a two man (and one dog) job.


  1. Poor things! Though mostly I find moths a nuisance. Why don't Europeans put screens on their windows? It has always puzzled me.

  2. Yes, I've been puzzled by the no screens thing too. Any time I was in Europe, no matter what country, there were no screens.

  3. I would imagine that the traditional style of windows in France, and the need to reach out to get to shutters, would be part of the reason that screens never became the norm on windows. What do you think? I know that there are modern ways to close shutters with inside controls, but not for old ones.

  4. I don't really know why there are very few screens in France. They exist, but they're not common. Doors and windows open "in" here, so that's not the reason. Judy might be onto something with the shutter theory. Otherwise, I don't know.

  5. I don't think insect invasion has ever been enough of a thing in the UK to warrant adding fixed screens to windows. Once upon a time, net curtains would have served the purpose, as well as for privacy, but they went out of fashion quite a while ago. Occasionally, in the days when people left an external door open on very hot days, there might be a curtain of strips of fabric or thin cords or chains, but that might have been as much for privacy as anything else.

  6. Such a shame about the butterflies. Glad you can save the birds. Screens are a rarity here, too.


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