Aside from me backing out of the shower, nothing strikes terror into the heart of my dear wife, Linda, more than the sight of a spider. She is president of the arachnophobia club. So, of course, she’s always the first one to spot a spider crawling out from behind a counter or flower pot or perched on a basement wall.
It’s kind of cute how she gets all feminine when, after a sighting, she shakes her clenched fists next to her face and in a high voice pleads for me to come to the place of discovery and dispatch the huge black hairy insect that dared to defile our home.
“It was just a daddy long legs,” I said.
“Giving it a cute name doesn’t make them any less scary,” she replied..while heading out the door for ACE hardware to purchase the most lethal brand of spider killer allowed for domestic use; then directing the spray in all potential points of entry until the can is empty and the inside of the house is a blue haze and smells like a cross between fuel oil and Evening In Paris perfume.
When we got home from vacation last week, I was reaching to unlock the door when a rather sizeable black spider scampered by my hand along the garage wall and behind a cabinet. Luckily, Linda didn’t see it or she’d have been off to ACE before going inside.
But that was only the beginning of our bug issues.
She just now left for Menards to pick up some sort of chemical designed to destroy an infestation of insects (Is a half dozen an infestation?) that we’ve come to find out are “earwigs.”
EARWIGS, I thought, Isn’t that the same creature that Kahn inserted into Chekov’s ear to drive him nuts in Star Trek II ?
It’s true, earwigs, who look positively disgusting with a set of menacing forceps on the belly and long antennae protruding from their horrid little heads, thrive in dark wet places and eat plants, other insects and human brains. Okay, I looked it up and apparently that last one isn’t true.
I also learned that they go through six moltings in their year of life and actually have wings that allow them to fly but they rarely do.
Oh, Linda’s back already. I’ve gotta go out and see what I can do to help.
Well, that was interesting. We have a brick patio which, as it turns out, is like Disneyland for earwigs. They were congregating under a plank we used to keep a wooden trunk off the ground; also under the grill and plant pots.
We initially went for a mass extermination by blasting them at point blank range with a spray bottle filled with a strong toxin designed to kill any creepy crawly things on contact..except earwigs, apparently, as this baptism of death only seemed to make them mad. Time to bring out the heavy artillery.
Although it looks rather benign, this powder called Sevin 5 appears to be doing the trick; causing the little buggers to curl up and croak.
The can label says not to use on a windy day, but the site of so many earwigs had us throwing caution to the wind..literally. Besides, those health warnings are usually overly cautious. I didn’t inhale that much and I’m pretty sure it hasn’t amented me fectally.