“Men should stop fighting amongst themselves and start fighting insects.” Biologist Luther Burbank.
Spiders are creepy, black widows in particular are sinister, and nothing will whip me into an insecticidal frenzy like a thick, greasy trail of ants. Yet, I have recently become impervious to the horrors of creeping and crawling things. While Fontessa visited us, I spent thirty days sleeping in the sunroom.
The sunroom hosts six oversized and under-insulated windows, a leaky door to the backyard and the grand entrance for all living things with more than two legs—the dog door. The dog door combined with following my mother’s example of shunning pesticides has made our sunroom a resort for the six and eight-legged crowd. I never thought much of the scattered insect carcasses in the sunroom until I began sleeping in the room itself.
When I arose in the mornings, a collection of black, lifeless rice-size bugs speckled the sheets. Initially I was alarmed, assuming the tiny bugs were mouse droppings. But their daily accumulations soon made their appearance mundane.
An incident with a scorpion occurred during the full moon. From the corner of my eye, I saw it scrabble from Misty’s water bowl to the middle of the room. I stealthily fetched the dust mop to whisk it safely out the back door, but my efforts were useless. After a brief, squeal-inducing excursion over my left little toe, I mashed it repeatedly before it could scramble for the safety of the adjoining library.
The sun spider episode required husband intervention. Sun spiders are big, gangly devils that move like the wind. I’m not certain if they are poisonous, but they certainly look deadly. Anyway, a four inch sun spider zigzagged across the sunroom floor while I tried to coax it out the back door with said dust mop. It whizzed up a wall, I smacked at it and it fell on me. I shrieked. And if sun spiders could shriek, I am certain it shrieked too.
Egor removed it with a tissue. Brrrr. Another night as I read in bed, a rather largish wolf spider skittered up the side of the bed, over the blanket covering my knees and stopped mid-mattress, as if to contemplate the mystery of not making me scream aloud. He then dashed away to the wall where he disappeared behind some blinds. I laughed. I was becoming tougher.
When he returned three days later for the same sojourn and vanished under the mattress, I rescued the little bugger from certain squashing, liberating him in the garage. Go figure.The above image is from Wayne’s World. Click for a larger image. I dare you.