Baked Bugs

Here we go again. (Please note: this has nothing to do with the people who say you need to learn to eat insects to save the planet. It has no relation to cuisine whatever. )

What it is, is that after dog years — or at least my years, because we shopped there when I was four — the grocery at the bottom of the hill has been pulled down to make way for an ever so adorable urban village center thingamajig. I think that is supposed to be progress. It has me and the Engineer lunging around the domestic hearth seizing whatever weapon comes to hand, like a laundry basket or a one-and-a-half-liter jug of Malbec, to slaughter giant diasporetic motherfucking waterbugs that totter out of the bathrooms and come to the attention of the cats, who are our lookouts. Jesus Christ on a ten-speed racing bicycle.

This happened one other time, shortly after we had The Skip out on the street; that involved an address two lots down, where a longtime serious hoarder had turned up her toes and in due time the family sold to a house-flipper who ripped the place out to the studs. Gross insects fled through the municipal water pipes, emerging into my kitchen sink in the dark of night to be rinsed down, come morning, into the garbage Dispos-all with a vengeful roar on several days each week. I bought death-dealing thingummies to salt under the stove and pantry shelves, or roughly anywhere cats could not find them. Eventually the bastards stopped. I stored the remaining baits in the linen cupboard.

This time, the access points are less obvious. They are coming in through the cellar, mainly, one or three a week, and dear God, apparently fancying the dryer. Twice now I have extracted a load of sheets from the dryer only to find a very dead, very baked bug at the bottom of the rotating drum. Die, you chitinous fucker.

Getting tired of running sheets through the wash twice.

I drove by the Food Star today — in its last incarnation, the grocery was known for boffo fresh local vegetables, but smelled so strongly of something like dirty diapers that I would sooner graze off my lawn than go in there — and the whole lot was leveled and nothing could be seen but Virginia red dirt. The County warned of rats fleeing the demolition, as they did of the neighboring military base back in the day.  I can easily imagine that in its time, the business entertained a sub rosa population of arthropods whose numbers I don’t care to imagine. Maybe the bugs will taper off now that the wrecking balls are done.

I will bake, macerate, and bait them into extinction, so help me God. Die. Die. Die. Die.


14 thoughts on “Baked Bugs

  1. Possibly entering through the dryer vent? It’s a good thing to clean out occasionally anyway, to decrease fire risk. Backyard chickens would help control these sorts of pests. Go tell your city council.

    • I figured the dryer vent, since the dryer itself is always shut, although, horrid thought, one might have been lurking in a laundry basket that I used to move wet stuff from the washer to the dryer. We ream that vent all the time since I do so many flannel sheets.

      We had that debate with the chickens here. They ended up banned (our citizens are way too prissy) but my local apiarist kept some anyway. Unfortunately the foxes get them. Rampant around here.

  2. Water bugs? Not roaches or palmettos? Not that there’s probably much difference in the ick factor, but the “American cockroaches” that migrated here on ships are my worst nightmare. You don’t usually see them in homes, they tend to be sewer roaches or street roaches, but they are about 2 inches long AND THEY FLY.

    During my 24 years in Sevilla I have only ever seen these horrors in my house during the hottest days of summer, and usually only one or two bugs per season (cats usually make short work of them). But in my ground floor apartment in Salamanca they swarmed out of the sewer drain in the patio during the night in summer… the streets there were covered with them at night. SHUDDER.

    Since I started living on the top floors of buildings the bug appearances are, as I say, only once or twice a summer.

    • I grew up with those, and bigger ones, in the US. I’m disgusted that they got overseas! Sorry.
      Our cats also used to love to kill them. And yes, at night… you think it is brown leaves rattling in a breeze…until you turn on a light and the leaves run for cover! Horrid. My mother had stories of coming home and turning on the light and watching the walls run up into the ceiling. Florida is roach heaven. I have stories too…

      • I stayed in old dorms at William and Mary a couple of summers when my father taught at the band camp. They had bastards that were three inches long. The trumpet and drum instructors shared a room and displayed the corpses of all the ones they had slaughtered on the door under Saran Wrap. Fact. I saw a grown man turn pale looking at it.

      • Florida has (at least) three versions of these monsters. I grew up in Canada, so the only nasty insects I had to deal with were the ones that actually ate you (mosquitos, black flies). Before my first ever roach encounter spiders used to scare the hell out of me. Now I quite like spiders, unless they are the size of my hand.

        • I like those ones, too. The only spider I don’t like is the ‘surprise!’ spider that has spun a web that is about eight feet wide and you never expected it and walk into it…then you do a crazy dance wondering where ON the web the spider was!

          FL has lots of the Eat You bugs also. Ireland only has one – and the little bastards are so small you can’t see them at all. Annoying.

    • These fuckers do not fly, thank heaven. They just crawl and skitter and hide in dark places till the cats roust them. I think only one has been killed by feline agency so far but the troops are awesome lookouts. The bugs seem slow and dazed and nine out of ten, which is about what we’ve had, fairly easy to nail with a weapon, but ugh, ick.

      • My Lua (RIP) was an amazing roach slayer. When I lived in Salamanca she could even smell one in the next room, or out on the dread patio, and she’d be off like a shot to end its ghastly days. Wouldn’t eat them though, and she loved eating bugs, especially moths. Apparently they taste as bad as they smell (like urine, so I’ve read).

  3. If they are water bugs, maybe they are coming up the drain pipe for the washer? If, like ours, washer and dryer are side by side in the same place. Can’t imagine why they would like a dryer, however.

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