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Friday, November 1, 2013

My Arch Nemesis

I have an arch enemy, and his name is Dr. BoxelderBuggo. He is crafty and invincible. He has the power of teleportation. One second he is no where around, the next he's crawling on your arm.
He is a box elder bug. He is creepy, he is crawly, and he MUST DIE!

I would be fine with him if he would stay outside where he belongs. I would be fine with him if he stayed in the maple tree that seems to attract billions and billions of his minions. He, and his evil doing friends, however, do not want to follow those simple rules. So, for that fact and that fact alone, he MUST DIE!

It seems box elder bugs are attracted to, and feed on the seeds of box elder trees, maple trees and ash trees. We have a maple tree. It is a big beautiful maple tree. It shades my house in the summer and protects it from the wind in the winter. And it feeds those darn box elder bugs until they breed into a gazillion more nasty little things.

If they would just stay outside, I think I could easily coexist with them. They don't bite. They don't harbor disease. They aren't like roaches, or even those horrid biting Japanese beetles. They are even kind of pretty. They have a black shell with brownish orange detailing. Even if one or two accidentally found their way into my house, I would kindly pick them up and take them outside. I could do that.

However, they don't know their boundaries. They don't seem to get that they are OUTSIDE bugs. For this, they MUST DIE!

I'm hostile, you say? Where is this all coming from, you ask? You take an innocent drink of your ice tea one day only to have to spit out a wiggly, bug and see how calm and friendly you stay.

That's right I almost ate a box elder bug. Grossed the hell out of me. It was bad enough when I found one floating around in my tea the day before. When one ended up in my mouth the next day, that's when I declared WAR! I had had it! It was on!

My friend, Kelley, had told me that spraying them with soapy water would kill them, and that Borax would kill and repel them. I took my box of Borax, and a spray bottle of hot soapy water and went outside. I went to the south side of my house where they congregate to bask in the sunshine. I started spraying. I sprayed until the bottle was empty. I watched the bugs fall. I didn't know if they were dying or just cold and shocked. Then I covered them in Borax. I figured the more I killed outside the less there would be to come in my house.

Box elder bugs can flatten themselves out to the point that they can wiggle into the smallest spaces. The can get under your siding to get into your house. Even the smallest space between your house and window frame. And then there is that whole teleportation ability.

The day after I had gone out to spray the spawn of the devil, there seemed to be even more in the house. I was picking the damn things up and throwing them in the toilet all day long. Dad would go in to go to the bathroom, come out and tell me there were five of them in there. I'd say, I know I put them there. "Well, they're gone now." He would say victoriously. He takes great pride in flushing the box elder bugs.

Later that day, after flushing thousands and thousands of them, I decided to go on the attack again. I put a big pot of water on the stove. I dumped Borax and dish soap in the pot. I waited for it to boil. I went to help dad with something. I came back and the pot had boiled all over the stove and the floor. HA! I thought to myself, it's READY! I took the pot outside. I went to the south side of the house. Where were the bugs?

It was raining that day. There weren't very many bugs that I could see. Well, I'll get the ones I can see, I decided. I crept up on them. They have the super power of ultrasonic hearing you know. I aimed my pot at the house. I splashed the water on the house. OOOOWWW! I also splashed my own legs. (and of course I was wearing shorts, stupid menopause) I quickly recovered, and looked at my victims. As the water ran down the side of the house, many more bugs ran out with it. AH HA! They are hiding under the siding! I threw more water and made sure it I aimed it up under the siding. More bugs came sliding down the foundation. (And more water ended up on my legs, but I'm tough!) This spurred me on!

I went back in the house and boiled more Borax, dish soap solution. I went out to the maple tree and poured the solution on it. I made so much Borax, dish soap solution that I ran out of dish soap. Undaunted I turned to laundry soap. I went back and forth between the south side of the house and the tree. I kept this up until I ran out of Borax.

I don't know how many bugs I killed. I don't know if any actually died. I do know, despite 10th degree burns on my legs, I felt better. I may or may not win the war, but I won an emotional victory that day. I fought the good fight and won that battle. I see more battles ahead. They will be fierce, there will be blood, (probably mine). I will conquer the dreaded Dr. Boxelderbuggo.

There will be a day, a day when an innocent tea drinker can drink her tea without having to worry about a stupid bug materializing in it without warning. A day, do I dare dream, where that same tea drinker will never have to cover her tea with foil, ever again. A day where there will not be five box elder bugs in the toilet for Dad to flush away. That is my dream. It will be an ugly war, but it must be won!

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