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Bug Off!

Bugs in this middle category raise a YELLOW alert. Someone (read Mom) needs to “take care” of it ASAP

Ah, summer. The days are getting longer. The trees are starting to blossom and my thoughts turn to … BUGS! (And you thought I was going to say summertime fun.)

When we first got married and my husband came home from kollel to find a blue plastic cup face down on the kitchen floor, he knew he was in for a job. UGH. Over the years, our bug-fighting technique hasn’t advanced much. The Freedom Tower has been built, the Internet-age has dawned, we’ve been through five presidents — and we still resort to catching bugs in cups and gingerly conveying them outside.

The way I see it, bugs fall into three broad categories. Group 1 is the rarely seen, (thank goodness) awful ones. These raise a RED alert, requiring immediate removal at all costs, vacuuming being the weapon of choice. (And let the vacuum run for five minutes afterwards.) Examples include:

  1. One million legs and as awful as they come aka centipedes, and
  2. Ginormous water bugs, which may be mistaken for mice due to their size and speed.

Group 2 are the moderately gross bugs. I don’t know their scientific names, but we’ve assigned our own. For instance:

  1. Bally (rhymes with crawly) bugs — the ones that live under rocks — So what are they doing in my living room? and
  2. Bloop-Bloop Bugs — monstrous mosquito-like flies that are as delicate as air and fly in a bloop-bloop motion; hence the name.

Bugs in this middle category raise a YELLOW alert. Someone (read Mom) needs to “take care” of it ASAP. But until she does, it may be left to live under a cup for a few minutes.

Ah, the cup. You see, we have a hard time killing anything except the very worst offenders. Most other bugs are covered with a plastic cup in the age old method of yore. Then I c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y slide a stiff paper under it very s-l-o-w-l-y so that the poor little thing doesn’t get hurt. (Promotional postcard mailers are perfect for this job). I then lift the whole package and take it back outside where it belongs.

I’ve raised a family that includes five boys, none of whom are valiant enough to banish those harmless crawly critters. I guess it’s just not in their genes.

I’ve often pondered: Why is it that we’re so tolerant when we encounter the same bugs in the great outdoors? Perhaps it’s because they’re in their own territory, where they belong (and where we have plenty of room to run). Seeing a bug indoors, on our turf, means something is off. It’s kind of like meeting the library lady in the post office… though that doesn’t’t evoke nearly the same response.

Also included in the yellow alert class is Sally the spider — she merits a proper name all her own — who insists, come late August, on spinning her magnificent, sticky web right across our front stoop.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 654)

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