Sunday, April 3, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

Based on the title of this post you might think the subject matter will be all sweetness and light. You would be wrong.

I am very loving and accepting of most of God's creatures. I respect their right to carve an existence for themselves. Heck, we share this beautiful land with coyotes, raccoons, groundhogs, squirrels, hornets, owls, barn swallows, ash borer beetles (which killed our trees whilst carving out an life), hawks bigger than house cats and so much more.

The idea is that they occupy their space and we occupy ours. Now, as accepting as I am, I'm going to get a little upset if a coyote decides to take up residence in my garage, or squirrels in my attic. Which brings us to my most despicable enemy. The enemy on which I wish a firery death in hell........ the Boxelder bug.


I'm not too crazy about insects in general but the Science Channel assures me that they are a valuable part of the environment. I'm not so sure but if the Science Channel says it's true, it must be so.

I'm pretty sure that Mother Nature can do without at least one species of insect and I vote for the Boxelder Bug to make the list. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of the thousands and THOUSANDS of them sunning themselves on the south side of my house as if they were on a beach in St. Croix.

It was imperative for me to act fast, before the Other Mother was tempted to dig into her 90-year-in-the-making collection of deadly chemicals. They're stored on a shelf in the garage and will someday pose a disposal threat for us, but for now my task is to keep her from using them. A quick search on the internet reveals that no noxious chemicals are necessary because Boxelder Bugs can be dispatched with a mixture of household laundry soap and water.

I quickly whipped up a batch and spray the heck out of them. They dropped like flies. (Do you wonder where that phrase came from? I do.) Unfortunately, they've found some tiny hole in the exterior of the house and they're making their way inside. That's where they've crossed the line and that's why they DIE.

Internet sources also state that these bugs live and feed off female Boxelder trees. They suggest to convince your neighbor, or whomever owns the tree, to cut it down. OK, well, Houston we have a problem. We are surrounded on three sides by heavily forested areas. Forests full of trees.

How about you? Have you ever battled these beasties? Do you have other insect invaders? I remember living in Texas and having to deal with scorpions and tarantulas but honestly these bugs are much more annoying.


Vee said...

Haven't done battle with these, but would if I had to. (I would not even be opposed to using some good old-fashioned warfare...DDT anyone? ☺)

I'm planning an all-out assault on slugs this year. This commences in about two weeks and continues throughout the summer. I've had quite enough of them.

Janet said...

Been there. I grew up on a farm in Kansas with a big boxelder tree by our mailbox so these bugs were everywhere too. I remember my mom using a soapy solution in some way. We also had "millers" or a moth invasion occasionally in the summer and the "lady bugs" in the fall. said...

Never met a boxelder beetle, thank goodness, but mealy bugs(what mom calls 'em), you know that can be in rice or flour, which turn into mothy creatures. Well, anyway, I despise those ruinous beasties.

I feel your pain. My goodness, times seem to be a bit challenging on the homestead for you all right now. Flooring disruptions, gray ceiling paint fiasco, bugs inside and outside the house and toxic chemicals you can't get rid of.

Hopefully springtime will bring some peace and good days,

Thirkellgirl said...

We do battle with the marmorated stinkbug, each year a little worse than the last. We have ladybug infestations, but I don't mind those, and box elder bugs, but not too badly, but the stinkbugs are dreadful. I was in a cabin in western Maryland last fall and the side was literally covered with thousands and thousands, and dozens and dozens inside. Nothing kills them except cold. Literally every. single. night. we have one or two fly around the chandelier over the dinner table, and daughter and I throw ourselves over the food bowls while dear husband catches them and throws them out in the cold air. And they say they're going to be worse next year. And when you squash them, they smell like rotten bananas.

Mary Rex said...

Please do not use poisons. They affect everyone of us not just the bugs. Birds and beneficial insects are killed too. Suzanne - get rid of that stuff. Just having it around is dangerous. My dads stash was huge, and because the packaging was old, some of it had leaked...we took it to a special weekend haz-mat disposal at a nearby highschool. As for boxelder and stinkbugs- I use my shop vac with a bag. It is so gratifying to see them get sucked up. Tape the bag shut immediately. Soapy water also does work on almost every bug and gives them a lovely bath at the same time, while preserving the environment. And BTW Donna, those are meal moths, mealy bugs are another nasty pest.

Leslie T said...

For me, the all-time scourge is black widow spiders. They are the worst things on the planet. I have a special hatred for them. I've had more encounters with them over the years than I care to even count. Eeesh, I'm getting the shivers just thinking about it. I've become an expert over the years at spotting a widder web. They're very erratic and sticky, totally different from other spider webs. I can spot one at twenty paces.
Blech, they make my skin crawl. If the day ever comes that I get bit by one of them, I'll die of a heart attack before the poison ever takes me out.
Widders are prolific around here and I have a healthy fear a mile wide. They're in the yard, they show up on the front porch, I once even found one in my shoe. In our bedroom. Oh.My.Gosh.
I've known people who've had bites, and it's been the most painful, nightmarish experience, requiring days of hospitalization.
Good luck with your bugs, Suzanne, and may they soon learn who is boss around there. :)

At Home in English Valley said...

My problem is ants...the first sighting signals spring and my yearly battle. They are small, but drive me crazy.
Just wanted to give you some cookie love from your last post. You have patience and a steady hand, dear girl. They were adorable! Love, Penny

Crafting Marfa said...

Back in 2005 I visited Disney World in Orlando for the first since 1984. I went to Animal Kingdom and, of course, I went inside The Tree of Life. That's the big plastic tree that represents Animal Kingdom. They show a 3D movie called "Its Tough To Be A Bug" The main character of the movie was a very nice ant. I remember very well that she made me, and the rest of the audience, HONORARY BUGS. an honorary bug I feel like I must speak for my people...BUG OFF. :-P LOL J/K