Monday, November 24, 2008

Yuck! Ick! You are going to hate me for this one!

I want to make something clear right now. I. DO. NOT. LIKE. BUGS. I mean really, really, really do not like them. They can turn me into a sobbing, squealing, irrational woman in half a second flat. I'm so afraid of bugs, that playing a practical joke on me that involves bugs could cost someone their life.

My policy with bugs and spiders is that I'll stay out of their homes if they stay out of mine. It works really well as long as everyone is in agreement, but sometimes the little pests decide to break the treaty and enter my home. When that happens, all bets are off. I arm myself with a shoe, and take care of matters.

Every fall, we end up with a bunch of box elder bugs hanging out on the front of our house.


I don't like it, but most of them stay outside. I refuse to use chemicals to kill insects that are harmless, so I either spray them with soapy water, or squash them with my shoe. I've learned to cope with them.

Then, of course, there is the common field cricket that occasionally makes its way inside.


Once again, not my favorite, but they are harmless. They have also won a warm spot in my heart. When Michael was just an itty, bitty baby, I used to nurse him frequently throughout the night. I remember those dark, quiet times snuggling with him, listening to a cricket chirp out front. So, I deal with them.

One of my all time least favorite bugs is the house centipede.


I've encountered these in a number of places I've lived. If you have never seen one, count yourself lucky. They are even creepier looking in real life, and they are fast! They are also venomous.

Ok, there are no records of one ever actually bitting an innocent person. In fact, they tend to save biting for other insects. For the bug lovers out there, this is actually considered a good bug, and they encourage people not to kill them as they help keep pest populations down.

Whatever. How can I let something like that run free in my home? What if it crawls on my face while I'm sleeping?

Well, this fall, I've decided to them live. I watched one come out and wrap itself around a dead beetle in my basement, and just turned away to avoid the horror. But, it's worth it if the centipedes will take care of the new problem that showed up a few years ago.

What could be worse than this?


I'll show you what's worse than this.


It's a camel cricket, and it's is one of the creepiest crawlies out there. They look like cockroaches on stilts. And, even worse than their odd appearance is their odd behavior. Those long legs do just what you would guess. It allows them to jump very, very high. And unlike most bugs, it's doesn't try to escape when you try to kill it. It jumps straight at you like it's trying to attack you. The first time I tried to smack one with a shoe, it launched itself right at my face. I shrieked and ran from the basement like I was being attacked by a rabid bear. (Much to Andy's amusement.)

I hadn't seen any of them for a few months, and I thought my centipede strategy was working. Until last night. I found one when I went down into the basement to fold laundry. I didn't have anything handy to kill it with - I've found that I phone book dropped on them from above works the best - so I tried whacking at it with a toddler sized, plastic hockey stick. It got away. He must have notified his comrades, because later in the evening, one showed up in the living room. I introduced him to Mr. Phone book.

Joanna - 1
Camel crickets - 1.

And, the next time I see one of these?


I'm going to introduce him to one of these.



LauraC said...

I hate those centipede thingys. I NEVER saw them until we moved to Chicago and they are SO scary.

Jon is scared to death of roaches. I am scared of ticks. We each mock each other for it.

Deanna said...

I love the shoe!! And bugs that fight back totally wig me out. I go crazy if a tick gets on me...I absolutely cannot pull it off myself...I have to have someone else do it. When I lived in west Texas, we had scorpions...and they chased me...naked...wrapped in a towel...out of the bathroom and down the hall. My mom had to rescue me and kill the darn thing. And the kicker? They drop down out of the ceiling because they nest in the attic insulation!!!

Deanna said...

oh you a recipe posted on my blog today!

Jolene said...

OMG!! did you take all those pictures yourself? I've never seen a centipede or camel cricket. I have a terrible fear of cockroaches but after looking at your pictures, I guess they aren't that bad. I'm glad I've never had to battle it out with a camel cricket before..LOL

(p.s. I found your blog through London's)

Joanna said...

I'm not even going to acknowledge that ticks exist, they freak me out that much. As for being chased naked, try getting out of the shower, wrapping the towel around you, and then finding an earwig on the towel. EWWW!

Roaches? We bought a house to get away from roaches. Seriously.

Mel said...

Oh Joanna YUCK! I hate bugs just as much as you, maybe even more. Ooooooo hate em hate em hate em!

Julie said...

I am SO itchy right now after looking at your scary bug photos. My bug-phobia is almost as bad as my puke-phobia. Cockroaches are at the top of my list for ick factor, but anything with legs and antennae are right up there too. Those friggen centipedes leave a disgusting mess on the wall when squished, just FYI. And EW on the earwig on your towel!

Karla said...

Okay Joanna, the bugs are gross BUT did you photograph them? The photos themselves are incredible!!!

Erin said...

Ick!!! The centipede picture FREAKS me out! i'm getting itchy.