It all started when one of my dogs, a born hunter, tried to kill a dragonfly on the ceiling.
By Melanie Cane
It all started when one of my dogs, a born hunter, tried to kill a dragonfly on the ceiling. As she leapt around the room — while my other dog cowered and whined in fear, — I joined her in the pursuit, swatting it off the ceiling with a broom. After consuming the flailing interloper, she started barking at the next one. My dog and I quickly bonded over this game, and I think I became her hero, because while her will to catch the bugs was stronger than mine, my way was more effective.
Because I live in an old cottage with old screens and many nooks and crannies in the window frames, and because the dogs are constantly going in and out, myriad insects have made their way into our abode this summer. Prior to my dog’s eruption, I was content to ignore, capture and release, or squash, depending on the species. However, my dog’s frantic alarms alerted me to the fact that we were actually under siege, and when I noticed the reams of baby spiders (they’re called spiderlings, by the way) on my ceiling crawling around all the light fixtures, I finally snapped.
My dog, who got over her obsession thanks to swallowing a firefly that secreted an awful-tasting toxin, is now content to calmly watch our intruders. I, on the other hand, have become obsessed with these creepy crawlers, spending hours every night killing anything that moves. I have also become an insomniac, preferring not to go to sleep until sunrise when the nocturnal pests do the same.
In my quest to become bug-free without the use of harmful chemicals, I have become an amateur entomologist, inventor, and paranoid itchy wreck. In the four weeks since I discovered the spiderlings, I have concocted every home remedy and insect deterrent I found on Google, read up on every species of bug I’ve found in my home (there are new ones every night), and invented the best manual bug killer to date. While I am not prepared to reveal the details of my secret weapon — since I may patent it —, I will disclose that it involves duct tape.
As for home remedies, I now have a shelffull containing different concoctions for different bugs, including flies, water bugs (two-inch-long flying thing), and mosquitoes. The contents include apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and a slew of essential oils. I highly recommend lavender and peppermint as insect deterrents and Diatomaceous Earth as an insecticide.
My travails were brought outside tonight when I accidentally squashed a two-inch-long slug on my front step. The slimy feel was bad enough, but when I examined what I had stepped on, I discovered the slug along with a trail of slimy stuff, which, when I Googled it, learned was a sac full of slug eggs.
Any wonder why I cannot wait until fall!