Insects vs Lizards

I love the wildlife in Florida. We get bugs the size of small airline carriers and little lizards that inhabit the bushes. Every once in a while one or the other will get stuck between the screen and the glass in  our windows. Right now I’ve got one of the biggest wasps I’ve ever seen sitting in there. BUT along with the wasp. I’ve also got a lizard trapped in there. (see below).

So here I have a live-action version of Wild Kingdom going on in my window. The wasp(?) is chasing the lizard around inside the screen. But because there is no room for it to take flight, it is limited to crawling.

The lizard is only a little bit larger though the body than the wasp and its little mouth is too small to eat the insect. So I have a predator stand-off in my window.

This leads to the question: Do I interfere? I cannot open the screen from the outside so I would have to open the window into my house. This is, of course, a problem since 1) I’m allergic to wasp stings and 2) our dog, Brenner, eats lizards if given the chance.

If I DON’T interfere I’ll eventually have to clean out a desiccated lizard corpse and an insect corpse.

This leads to the original reason for my post. My first instinct was to capture the lizard to set it free outside and crush the bug. I have a personal bias towards lizards and against stinging insects. Thus my reasoning. But who is to say that releasing the insect might not lead to a good meal for some Bluejay? On those same lines, by releasing the lizard, perhaps I’m providing a meal for the 6 foot Garter snake that lives in our yard.

Another perspective: If I leave them both there, perhaps the little lizard will grow fat off of tiny gnats that slip through the screen and eventually get big enough to kill the wasp. Or the wasp might get lucky, paralyze the lizard and lay eggs in it the way they do with caterpillars, that will proliferate the species.

Neither species would be impacted by the loss of one single member.

As for my personal biases, I think lizards are cute and they help keep the mosquito population down. Thus my no-kill policy. That and killing a lizard makes such a mess since they actually have organs and blood. Insects, however, are not cute. At least this one isn’t. And crushing it would make a minimal mess.

Maybe I’ll just let Ken deal with it.


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