by Terri Winder
Someone must have blinked and then blinked again, for August only lasted so long; it passed like a brilliant flash in the night, but every bug in the northern hemisphere seemed to have been drawn to that source of light.
In fact, I’m thinking instead of calling it August-- as in Ahh-gust-- it should henceforth be officially known as Ugh-gust, because ugh rhymes with bug, and I’m rather confident that this has been the buggiest Ughgust on record.
The month started with the usual number and assortment of grasshoppers and crickets and spiders, but the species and amounts grew exponentially with passing days.
Most extraordinary was the morning that I stepped out the door just before dawn, to take out the trash, and found our recessed entryway completely filled with green squash bugs.
I retreated into the house, hoping that heat from the rising sun would encourage the bugs’ exodus. Several times more, I cracked the door, to show my children the hundreds of insects plastered against the storm door and sides of the entry, and to check the bugs’ departure schedule.
Finally, it was safe enough to cross the threshold, if one was careful where one stepped.
Later I heard an eyewitness report that the Eagle Air Med building at the airport looked as if it was moving, it was so covered with slow dancing squash bugs. So much for airport security.
I also heard of customers stopping at service stations and then choosing to go on, rather than challenge the squash bugs that covered the gas pumps. Obviously, some people have been more bugged about mounting gas prices than others.
At least the squash bugs moved on. The Alfred Hitchcock scene was repeated only a day later by black beetle looking things that resembled but didn’t smell like stink bugs.
Unlike the squash bugs, they did not seem to belong to a union, for a great many of them stayed behind and set up housekeeping. We found them occupying every conceivable nook and cranny, from inside the fluorescent light fixtures to the beds.
After having one creep along my bare leg during the night I started checking beneath the covers before sliding into bed. I discovered too late that I should have checked inside my slippers before donning them the next morning.
In recent weeks, I have swept up the largest centipedes I have ever witnessed, but I’ll never figure out how one got inside my dishwasher. Voted the ugliest bugling ever, several earth babies also crawled through the cracks unannounced, but shrieking teenage girls eventually declared their presence.
My children have become acquainted with Mormon crickets, the cannibalistic katydid that is not nearly as attractive as its name.
And, speaking of what Katie did, I heard of a Katie who was screaming in the shower because an earwig climbed out of her luffa. (Sympathetic or not, you’ve got to luffa that story).
I have a neighbor who is so kindhearted that she allows flies and sugar ants free reign in her kitchen. I am not nearly so benevolent; the only bug I love is a ladybug.
I don’t bother any creepy-crawlies who stay on their side of the fence, but once they’ve crossed into my territory (and I am very Terri-torial), then I believe they deserve what they get.
So, I thought about beating the terrorists to the gun (so to speak) and bug bombing our house. “But you know,” my kids reminded me, “of all the species on Earth, only cockroaches can survive a nuclear attack.”
Perhaps it’s a good thing that Ughust is coming to an end. Let’s hope there’s an end to the bug invasion, as well.