Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Creepy Crawlies Are Evil

When I was young I played with bugs.  I let Daddy Long Legs and lady bugs crawl up my arms and I searched for pill bugs under rocks.  Those were good times, but they are over because bugs are no longer my friends.  We parted ways and it wasn’t a friendly breakup. 

It started when I was twelve.  I was at girl’s camp in the craft cabin making some super cool pins. (With my artistic skills, how could they be anything but super cool?) Suddenly a spider egg sack dropped from the ceiling and splatted on the table in front of me, spilling baby spiders.  Tiny spiders were everywhere, dropping from the table, on girl’s clothes, in their hair.  The screams were deafening. I ran from the room and took only the super cool pin on my shirt. (The rest were covered in spiders.) 

In case anyone is wondering, yes, I really had purple sneakers.  They had fancy Velcro tabs.  It was new technology.  All the rage. My socks may or may not have really been neon green.

Fast forward to my teen years.  I was reading a book in my room.  When I put the book down I saw a giant spider on my stomach crawling towards my face.  It was dripping poison saliva and gnashing its mandibles.

The carpet really was that shade of pink, but it’s because my sister picked it out. I inherited her room when she finally got married. I’m pretty sure the socks weren’t neon green.  They may have been neon orange.  Don’t judge.  It was the 80s.

Shortly after we were married, my husband and I bought our first home.  I like to call it our little house of horrors.  Among the horrors was an infestation of box elder bugs.

Picture this many bugs times a million and you’ll understand what our siding looked like on the south side of the house.  We sprayed, swept away the dead bugs.  The next day they were replaced by a billion more. Outside was bad enough, but they crawled inside through every crack and crevice in the house.

My main source of nausea during pregnancy was the stench of burning bug in our halogen lamp.

I couldn’t tell you what color my socks really were because I never saw my feet.

Our dryer didn’t work so I had to hang my laundry outside.  One of the bugs laid her eggs on my towel.  I turned the water off in the shower and wrapped myself in a towel.  I felt a strange tickling sensation on my body.  Let’s just say the screams were similar to the screams when I was twelve and had a roomful of girls screaming with me.

The bugs in that house were a nightmare.  We sprayed on a regular basis, but they just wouldn’t die.  Sometimes they’d be so thick inside the house we’d have to vacuum the walls with a shop vac. They flew around and would land on us during the night.  After a while, we learned to flick them off in our sleep. One night I flicked a bug and realized I’d just flicked it at our newborn.I woke my husband (and the baby) and we tore the bassinet apart looking for the nasty bug.  We never found it.  I think it may have psychologically damaged the baby because she always freaks out when she sees a bug. The day we sold that house was one of the happiest in my life.

When we bought our new house, I had a perfect picture of how it would look from the outside, down to the trailing vines along the railing.  My parents told me that the kind of vine I selected would attract spiders, but I doubted it would make any difference.  After all, you can always find a spider among the plants if you look hard enough.

One day we came home to this.  Spiders were everywhere.  They were hanging from the porch, on the columns, all over the front door . . . everywhere.  My husband wasn't with us so my boys volunteered to protect their sister, who was screaming in fear, while I made my way through the spiders to unlock the door.  My oldest son suggested I go through the house and open the garage so they could go inside another way. He may or may not have been thinking of his little sister at the time. I made it inside, got a bug killer spray and lets just say the spiders disappeared quickly - as did the vine.  Now I listen to my parents gardening advice and keep a large can of Raid in every room.

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