Good Bugs

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WARNING

Graphic descriptions of encounters with our exoskeletal frenemies.

 

Anyone who knows me also knows I have a thing about bugs … uh … insects.

I’ve had more adventures with bugs than I care to think about.

Like when I was 12, earwigs crawled through my bedroom window and infested my nose and ears. Mom took it in stride. I did not. I slept on the living room couch for most of that summer.

My one time attending Girl Scout camp was interrupted when I came back from the lake with black fly bites that caused my legs to swell to twice normal size. I had to be hospitalized.

As a young married, my starter home had a humongous basement filled with what Nebraskans call ‘water bugs’ but are really creepy-crawly cockroaches. For seven years, I never went down to the washer/drier location. First husband had to do the laundry. Aww…

But, Omaha is where the Mother Cockroach story originated. You see, if you kill enough of her babies, Mother Cockroach—indestructible and immortal–will come seeking revenge. I may have traumatized my son Gordon by telling horrific stories about Mother Cockroach.

Anything out-of-doors—picnics, ball games, gardening, even an evening constitutional or morning coffee on the deck—results in bites. Wasps, bees, spiders, gnats, no-see-ums, mosquitoes—you name it. I’m like a bug magnet. Only a thorough spray of DEET will ward me, and only with hourly reapplications.

The worst was last year’s pantry moth infestation. Someday, I’ll get over my post traumatic stress sufficiently to tell the story …

***

This weekend, Jim and I will celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. We are not big gift givers, but this year I bought him a miner’s hat with no fewer than three halogen lights. He got me an indoor bug zapper.

I’m still the world-champeen bug magnet. But. Flies or mosquitoes or gnats no longer startle me by landing on my Kindle at night. Insead, I count the snaps as each bug dies to become my definition of a good bug.

I know the world has good insects and nasty ones. I know we need the good ones. I just want them to stay away from me … or else.