Thursday, 21 March 2013


Like many girls/women, I am a squeamish when it comes to slimy/wriggly creatures.

I've fed maggots (from a bait box) to a chicken suffering from a blocked crop.... but my hand shook the whole time, and I felt nauseous as I watched the seething mass.

I realise that my fear is entirely irrational, but fear is fear - and even irrational fear can't just be stopped.

With Tilda "on her last legs", some time ago I decided to buy some live mealworms for her final couple of days.  Looking at the mail order prices at Wiggly Wigglers, the 1kg option seemed the best value.   I wasn't quite sure how many mealworms would be in 1kg, but I realised that I would need something to contain them in the fridge.

I did some research and bought some superduper bait boxes.  They were a bit like Lock n Lock, with four separate locks, but for bait.   I ordered three different sized boxes: I might be squeamish about slimy wriggly things, but I don't want them to suffer unnecessarily.

The boxes arrived.  The mealworms arrived.  I was surprised that they arrived in 2 x 500g brown bags,  each bag containing egg cartons to stop the poor things gettng squashed.  I opened one of the bags, and heaved.  I was a complete girly as I tried to empty them in to the boxes.   There may have been a lot of irritating girly squealing. 

Some escaped.  I had to find Tilda, pick her up and carry her to the escapees so she could remove them.

I gave some to Tilda from the tub.  I tried to give some to the rest of the garden gang, but they upset the pot and ended up with rather more in one go than I bargained for.  I recoiled every time I found an escapee worm on the kitchen floor.

This carried on in a similar vein for some time, meaning that my first 1kg of mealworms did not last very long.  I ordered some more, and this time I was prepared for what would arrive.

This time I put some of the egg carton in the tubs. I put CSI gloves on, and managed to get the escapees out of the corners of the bags, off the floor, etc, into the tubs.    When I fed the girls this time, I decanted a small amount of worms into a small tub,  and then shook the tub onto the ground.  If the girls managed to knock my arm, I only lost a small number of wormies in the process.

This delivery lasted a little while.  After a couple of days I was concerned for the welfare of the worms.  I did some research, and ended up putting crushed weetabix and grated carrot in the tubs.  I progressed to bringing thetubs out of the fridge every couple of days, letting the worms come out of hibernation to eat, and then putting them back in the fridge.

I realised that my fear was stupid, but I just couldn't help myself.  I did get cross with myself for being such a girly, and one day I made myself pick up some worms with my fingertips, tossing them into the Garden Girls.    They weren't actually slimy at all.  

I made myself do that each time.  I made myself put some worms in the palm of  my hand for the Girls to peck at.  I did the same at the allotment.

By the time the third delivery arrived,  I was not wincing at all as I emptied them into their newly cleaned tubs.  I swept the escapees off the worktop with my hand.  I picked up individual houdinis.  I didn't recoil when I found the odd worm in the odd place.   I kept a carrot in the fridge especially for the wormies.

And so, I'm cured.

But it's a very specific cure.  Mealworms are manageable.  Maggots.... not sure about the!


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