Posts Tagged ‘bugs’

Soft-Hearted

Monday, September 19th, 2011

We have a fly in our house. I saw it buzzing around the window a couple of days ago, but couldn’t get up to swat it.

As it turns out, apparently we have a Darwinian Reject fly in our house. I’m not sure what separated it from its mother at an early age, but it’s little fly instincts don’t seem to be working as it has decided that I am it’s new best friend. It likes to land on my clothing. And if I move around, it just stays there, happily cleaning its feet. If I move around abruptly, it will circle around a little and try landing on me again. Sometimes for variety, it hops from one spot beside me to another, inches away at the most. Pillow, blanket, sofa, back to pillow. The thing has no fear.

I couldn’t help imagining it going “Hi! I’m your new pet! My name is Fred!”. …Which was my first mistake.

Because now I have a housefly who trusts me completely and has a name.

And how the heck am I supposed to kill that?

The Freshmaker

Monday, June 7th, 2010

When we moved into this house, I did a lot of research into “natural” pet and people-safe methods of insect control.  One of the things I discovered is that a mixture of peppermint oil and water kills spiders. …And it really does.  I tested out the mix a few times, and aside from feeling like a terrible human being for closely watching some spiders die, it turned out great.  I bought a cheap little plastic spray bottle to put some in and have kept it by the front door for the occasional time that something with eight legs tries to move in somewhere inconvenient.  I’m all for letting spiders be most of the time.  I don’t mind if they want to hang around and eat things in my area.  …Provided they pay attention to the appropriate zoning laws.  Upper corner of garage, okay.  Seat of my lawn chair, not okay.

Anyway, the other day as my husband and I were entering the house, I noticed a…rather large…spider attempting to make itself a cozy new home on the piece of roof right above our front door.    The low-hanging piece of roof.  The one our heads pass right under as we’re going inside.  Zoning violation.

So, feeling all super prepared, I pull out the trusty squirt bottle and open fire.  Except that I can’t seem to quite get a firm stream going – it mostly kind of spritzes all over my hand like it thought about traveling all the way up there to where the spider is but realized after a few inches that DUDE – have you seen how far that is?  Hand’s right here.   Minty death for me.  And being the bright one that I am, rather than fiddle with the spray nozzle, I just brandish my hand further into the air and sort of wave it around, like somehow that will make up the difference.  Or that squeezing more furiously will somehow intimidate the water into going where I want it to.  But the spider is still up there, calmly raising one hairy eyebrow in my direction.  And I CANNOT stop now until I succeed.  And did I mention that it was kind of breezy that day?  Like, blowing towards the doorway in which I was standing?

So…um…you know that icy fire menthol vicks vaporub sensation that some pepperminty things give you?  Yes.  I know.  Everyone saw this coming but me.  …But in my defense, I couldn’t see anything coming at all since there was MENTHOL IN MY EYES.   I had no recourse but to laugh at myself.  We’re not talking slightly nippy here.  We’re talking dear-lord-stop-breathing-near-me-the-resulting-change-in-air-flow-is-lighting-my-face-on-fire.  Cold fire.  The full intensity of the sensation didn’t really set in for a few minutes (or maybe it was my focused determination and optimal spider-killing powers of concentration) so I didn’t realize until after quite a while of peppermint flailing that the back of one hand, all of my face, and both eyes were rather unusually minty.   My lovely husband brought me some paper towels.  And he even refrained from allowing his raging laughter to drop him to the floor until after leading his now-blind wife to the bathroom.  He’s a good man like that.  And he has since even refrained from bringing up hourly the ending to the whole escapade.  On the plus side, I now go well with lamb.

Scene:  I raise my head from its twisted position under the tap in the bathroom sink, where my husband has been helping me try to get as much water as possible on my eyes, and I’ve been partially-successfully trying to avoid first hand experience with the sensation of waterboarding.

Me:  You know that paper towel that I grabbed partway through to try to keep the water out of my nose?  …It may or may not have been the one completely covered in peppermint oil.

Husband: (laughing hysterically)

Me:  My nostrils are cold.

Maybe the creationists are right.

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Graaaaaaaah!!

So I recognize that I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about ants these days, but

A) They’re really only present in the office, so when I sit down at the computer, I have generally been suddenly and frustratingly reminded about them; and

B) Our property is apparently home to the STUPIDIST ANTS EVER.

So stupid, in fact, that they are too stupid to die.  I am first-hand witnessing the fall of natural selection.

We finally found some ant traps and liquid poison that seem potentially effective (unlike the damned Raid things that were the only ones left last year and could pretty much be loaded with brussel sprouts for all the ants care).  First off, had to chase the freaking ant with a trap to get it to pay attention to it while it attempted to go about its merry ant way.  Once it found it, though, I thought we were in business.  Within less than five minutes (no joke) there were five other ants feasting out of it.  …Which is disturbing on its own, since there were apparently five ants within shouting distance.  At any rate, an hour later, there was a whole train of ants, running down the window to the trap and back up again, presumably to their little ant home, and their hungry-for-poison ant queen.  Don’t notice that their sweet sticky bounty came out of a box that says “ant traps.”  Can’t read there, can you ants??  Natural Selection 1; Ants 0.  Yay!

So this morning I eagerly check the trap, and there are no ants visiting it.  …Which seems like a good thing until I look around and there is an ant on my wall.  And one on my desk.  Just happily going about their business of exploring my stationary supplies.  And no one is visiting the poison centre anymore, presumably because there are now seven ant corpses drowned in it.  I will give a point here to both natural selection and the ants, since they have cleverly avoided the poison, but because they were killing themselves in it before it had time to work.  Natural Selection 2; Ants 1

So I sigh heavily and once again begin the process of chasing ants with ant traps.  I know that they say to just leave it where you’ve seen them go, but I’ve tried that, and they are blasted oblivious to them.  So I pick up the ant on the trap.  Here ant, yummy delicious food product… And the ant wiggles its arms, and looks around, and curiously wanders around the top of the trap for a while before giving up and heading in another direction.  Not because it couldn’t smell the food and wasn’t interested in it, but because it was too stupid to find the spot where it could get some.  Natural Selection 2; Ants 2

I continue this for a while, then break down and decide that “plastic thing with a hole” is too complicated for these ants.  These are the “repeated kindergarten due to frequently putting paste in eye” sort of ants.  So I start chasing them down with the bottle of liquid.  Ant walks past that corner, I put a glob in that corner.  Ant walks along the edge of the closet, I put a glob at the edge of the closet.  I have to limit myself to closed off spaces since our cats are often too curious for their own good, but the ants are safer walking along baseboards anyway, so I figure I’m good.  Except that many of them seem to like walking right past me and through the open floor in the middle of the room.  Natural Selection 2; Ants 3

This leads me to continued ant watching, as now that there is poison around, I want to watch them eat it RIGHT NOW.  Because natural selection apparently didn’t equip me with ant-killing patience.  And you know what most of these ants are doing?  Not looking for food, or heading to better feeding grounds, or seeking out – oh I don’t know – the KITCHEN, like smart little ants who shouldn’t be dead by now.  No.  They are walking.  In circles.  Tiny, little circles.  Round and round.  Like they can smell the pheromones in their own ass and are proudly following orders to join them.  Natural Selection 2; Ants 4

And yes, let’s mention again that they appear to be thriving happily despite spending all of their time in our office, which is clearly the most nutrient-rich room in our house. Natural Selection 2; Ants 5

And just now, finally, one of the little guys touring the corner discovered that there are goodies there, and ran off up the wall to tell his friends.  And then fell off.  And ran up the wall.  And fell off.  …He’s still at it.  Natural Selection 2; Ants 6

Despite the amount that I seem to feel compelled to mention it, the problem is not devastating this year.  They have not spread, and are not forming up en masse.  But at any point that I’m in the office, I can look around and will see between zero and three little black ants, doing their thing.  And that’s annoying.  And I want them to go away.

The most frustrating part is that now that there is bait around that they’re supposed to be spreading, I can’t kill them.   At least not all of them.  That one on my monitor, though, he was asking to pay.

Not in the kitchen, not on my fruit. Are they rebels?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

So…My bathroom has fruit flies.
Let me write that again, in case one might think I had mistyped that.  My bathroom has fruit flies.

You know…my brand new bathroom that is nowhere near food products and doesn’t even have a garbage can in it yet?  Fruit flies.  Tons of them.

I actually learned to identify the gender of fruit flies in high school (my final biology project was on genetics, so I did a pile of breeding and classifying the little suckers).  One of those “talents” that will never leave me, I guess.  There I’ll be, on my deathbed.  “Rosebud.  …That fly is a female.” *choke* *die*

Anyway, when faced with a group of them, I’ve been strategically pegging off the females.  Have fun, boys.  Sausagefest in my bathroom.  No fruit, no girls.