Can we talk bugs?
Yeah, with the exception of lady bugs and butterflies, it’s not my favorite subject either but with the warmer weather approaching (or at least trying to), the bugs can’t be far behind. I am already doing battle with a tribe of mini ants that have invaded my kitchen counters. As a hyper neat person who wipes my counter tops obsessively, I find their presence very insulting. Where did they get the idea that crumbs would be readily available in my kitchen? Who told them that?
They showed up last year too and since I don’t like to use any strong chemicals around the cats, I ended up putting little bottle caps filled with a Borax and sugar solution I found on Pinterest, all over the counters. I had them tucked behind the coffee maker and the napkin holders with the idea that the little suckers would crawl through it and then track it back to the nest, knocking out the whole group. In reality, though, they mostly ignored it. Eventually they went away but it probably had more to do with my screaming at them and carrying on like a lunatic than the concoction in the bottle caps.
The ants aren’t the worst of the bugs though. They might annoy me but they don’t freak me out the way those centipede looking things with the thousand legs do! I’m sure there is a scientific name for this insect but I’m not looking it up, because there are bound to be photos too! Basically, they have long skinny bodies with long skinny legs running up both sides and they move really, really fast.
I’m not the only member of the family who hates these critters. Last summer, one showed up in the tub while Mr D was taking a shower. For five minutes he jumped around screaming like a girl and beating it with a shampoo bottle. I thought he was having some kind of fit! It’s actually lucky he didn’t fall and smack his head. He’s pretty diligent about checking between the shower curtain and liner before he gets in the shower, these days.
If I do encounter a bug, I’m not squeamish about killing it, in fact I get really extra freaked when they get away. I want to know where that sucker’s at! I don’t want him sneaking up on me again. Miss Dee has always been our bug humanitarian. Ever since she was little, she would trap any bugs we found in the house under a cup and carry them outside to set them free. We still call her to take care of them if she is around. Mr D screamed for her when he was doing battle with the bug in the shower but she told him,
“There is NO WAY I coming in the shower to get that bug for you so just MAN UP ALREADY!”
Anyway, I only kill the bugs that invade my house. I figure the outdoors is their domain so I usually leave them alone. The only exception to this rule is the mosquito. Here in Jersey, we refer to them as the “State Bird” thanks to their size and hardy constitution. Now we have the added worry of all the illnesses associated with mosquito bites so we will have to be extra diligent this season.
Research has said that mosquitos tend to be more attracted to certain people. Maybe it has to do with skin types or a certain scent. I don’t really know what it is but they don’t tend bother me too much. My Hubby, on the other hand, can’t even walk the six feet to the trash cans without them zeroing in on him. The poor guy is a mess after he mows the lawn unless he slathers himself with repellent from head to toe.
I’ve tried various tactics for keeping the deck free of them so that he can at least sit outside in the evenings without getting attacked. Last year I planted lemon thyme and mums in pots around the perimeter because I read that they help repell our tiny fanged friends. Didn’t seem to make a difference. We have tiki torches that we put out for BBQs but they aren’t practical for everyday use and since he and I are both sensitive to strong chemical smells, I try not to spray too many products about. Of course when I was a little girl I rode my bike behind the mosquito fog truck but that’s a whole other story!
So what’s a girl to do? How do I make the great outdoors inviting to the humans in the house but uninviting to the insects? Any ideas?