Bugs rule the world. Okay, maybe not. It just seems that way when they overwhelm your world and make your life miserable.
For being so small they have such sneaky, steadfast ways.
Living in the country holds many advantages, but what really 'bugs' me about it are 'bugs.' Even if they come with the territory. The 'plus' side of enjoying our wildlife are the 'down side' of the bugs that accompany them.
Last September we had a tick epidemic some creative soul could make into a real spine-tingler. Francis Fox had taken to sleeping under my car and hanging out in the gravel drive. She dug a smooth shallow trench to keep cool and sheltered, away from the kits but close enough and within eye-distance of the tack room to keep a wary eye on them. They were too young to venture down the drive. At first I thought it was cute. It certainly was clever. On a 'good' week, I only drive to town once or twice, so the car doesn't move that often. Then -- disaster. I was driving and noticed small brown spots on the windshield. Then the dash. Then the side windows. Then the roof of the car. My god - it was a horror movie -- a tick epidemic of crisis proportions. When I got to my destination I dashed in the bathroom to do a quick 'tick-check.' Found quite a few on my jeans. Hours later had to drive home. Repeated the tick-check and threw all my clothes in the washer. Checking the shoes showed more ticks. Yuck and double-yuck.
Excy got super-duty spray bomb for inside the car and then tackled the drive. When he came back in, we must've picked a hundred ticks off his clothes and off him. It was incredible. We had to bomb the car three times. Excy developed tick-fever. Fortunately we caught it right away, but with his heart issues and the meds he was already taking, it was a worry.
Finally, I could get in the car and not start jerking at every sensation. Francis didn't seem to mind the inconvenience, she just moved into the tall pampas grass.
This year, it's ants in the roof of the addition of the house. And it's a metal roof - somehow they got in the insulation. White flakes of insulation drift down gently like tiny snowflakes, coating the walls and the floors. Every time Excy conquers one spot they just move to another. It seems to be slowing down, but maybe it's my optimism.
I learned the hard way not to use Orkin type outfits -- yes they 'killed bugs dead,' but they also killed the 'good' bugs that kept most of the 'bad' ones at bay. We had more of the horrible spiders and others I won't freak you out with than we ever did before -- fortunately outside, but still...
Now we are encountering a problem we haven't had since the cats became strictly indoor cats in '99. FLEAS. Mama 'coon and her three babies hang out underneath the screen porch, which is the cat's 'outdoor room.' They lounge out there hours at a time. Last week I noticed an inordinate amount of scratching going on with our three and Dixie, our semi-permanent houseguest. Then I trapped one on the bed. Eeewwwwwhhh...
A thorough flea-combing revealed it was a problem of epic proportions. They all got treated three days ago, and there's been a lot of unpleasant side-effects, and it's still not resolved. I'm afraid I'll be bathing them and giving them another dose in a week or so. Excy sprayed the ground.
BAD BUGS. The bane of my country existence. You 'city folks' can thank your lucky stars.
On another note, though, a walking stick the size of an asparagus stalk has been providing entertainment for days -- I've never seen one as big before...