Bugged by the heat

I’m not a big fan of bugs in the house.

This is probably not a particularly unique attitude, but it has a tendency to be discussed more than I would imagine for some reason.  The subject came up again last week when I was visiting a friend and her (just about) 3-month old boy.

She was commenting that she was managing to keep the house pretty well kept up, despite her other three boys (two sons and a husband), except for an annoying problem with black ants.  Obviously, with a new baby, a lot of solutions were not practical.

Recently, in yet another conversation with someone about bugs in the house, I was informed that this time of year in Florida tends to drive the creatures into the home.  I wasn’t sure if the person meant the heat or the rains or overcrowding due to the vast increase in breeding.  I pointed this out to my friend and she countered by saying she hadn’t seen this problem in years past.

After some consideration, I had to agree with her.  Whatever the actual cause, I have also seen an uncommon increase in bug appearances in the house.  Not the parade of ants that she was suffering, but the occasional surprise appearance of the large red ants, including some of the winged variety.

Now, I’m going on record to tell you that, in general, flying bugs bug me the most.  This stems from a traumatic experience back in my single digits where my sister and I were invaded by a swarm of flying ants.  They appeared to be coming out of the air conditioner (wall units, back then) and it was a frightening horror-film type night.  My sister was able to grab a can of bug spray and we spent a good deal of the next hour hopping out of our room, blasting the spray and then running back into the room.  Repeat steps 1 through 3.  Ever since that time, flying bugs (ants, palmettos, hornets) are high on my “run away” list.

That said, I do try to “rescue” certain bug invaders.  The large (non-flying) ants and beetles I try to capture in a cup and deposit outside.  Same with lizards (just with a bigger cup).  I could digress about lizards, but let’s stay on topic for once.  Flying bugs of a harmless variety (such as moths), I simply hope will someday find their way back out the door/window/whatever.

Other flying bugs still get the spray, though.  Thankfully they are rare visitors inside the home.  Roaches are the worst.  I may spray several ounces on a roach if I see it.  Yuck.  I don’t even want to pick it up unless I’m absolutely convinced it’s dead (and even then, still yuck).  Happily, I can count the numbers of these unappealing critters that have visited me in this home on one hand.  Perhaps word has gotten out.

Outside, I just try to avoid the creatures.  My belief is they have as much right to the plants, trees and grass as any living thing…I just draw the line at the thresholds to my doorways and window sills.

This summer, I have had a dismaying increase in my ant visits, keeping my plastic cup in use at least a couple times a week.  As mentioned, there have been some recent flying ant appearances.  My altruism and unity with nature comes to a swift and rubber-soled halt when I see one of those (although I do feel guilty; I’m sure the ant didn’t want to be there either).

As anyone who has ever employed a pest control or bought the sprays and treated the house yourself, you just can’t stop every bug from finding a way in.  What makes this a blog post topic for me is the increase in traffic this year.

Is it the heat?  Is it the season?  Is it something Al Gore forgot to tell us about?  Whatever it is, it really bugs me!

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