Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WTF Is It? Thoughts On Bugs

There has been an influx of wildlife in my house recently. For example, the other day I spotted a little lizard, which ran under the bed. I was all, "Note to self: Capture lizard and show it to LE before it dies." And then I forgot to undertake the capturing project, so I do hope the little fellow made it out all right, preferably closing the way it came in, whatever that was.
I'm okay with you, little fella.

Reptiles, I'm cool with. I rather like them. I wish we had chameleons or geckos or something. Geckos are nice. You can hear their little sucky feet tapping around at night. Chameleons are super-cool with the stretchy fast tongues and mood-ring camouflage skin and all.

So far, we haven't had any birds in this house. Birds, I hate. There's something terribly wrong with reptilian features on a feathered creature. The feathers say, "Touch me, stroke me, I'm cute and soft," but then the eyes and skin say, "I'm a fucking reptile with staring, cold terror eyes and deeply unsettling pink skin and I'd as soon peck your eyes out than let you touch my lovely soft feathers."
Get the fuck away from me, bird!

At least reptiles are truthful. They say, "I'm cold-blooded. Do what you want with that, and let me be."

I have mixed feelings about bugs. On one hand, I do hate to be all girly and "Eek!" about bugs, but you know what? A lot of bugs are fucking scary, with creepy fucking legs and scuttling behaviors. So I've narrowed down my bug issues to those that I Can and Can't deal with:

Bugs I Can Deal With:
Completely un-scary and cute.
1) Bugs that I know for sure don't bite or sting. I love bees in theory but I don't want them on me.
2) Baby bugs that are very small. Very, very small.
3) Exceptions: Daddy-long legs and mosquito-eaters. I don't mind them a bit, except when you try to release them back into the wild, they can break. It upsets me terribly when I let one go and find a piece of leg in my hand after.

Bugs I Can't Deal With:
1) Bugs that are larger than a green lentil. That's about my limit. Sowbugs are cute and all, but there's a dead one on the floor now I'm not dealing with because it's the size of a jellybean. Also, see # 2, below.
2) Dead bugs. I fucking hate them because sometimes they come back to life.
3) Black bugs, unless they are extremely small.
4) Bugs with creepy legs. The creepiness of the legs seems related to size, but it's worth mentioning.
5) Shiny bugs, with the exception of very small, shiny, non-black beetles that I think are pretty.
6) Bugs with hair.
7) Bugs that might make any audible sound, crunching or otherwise, if you kill them.
8) Bugs that appear in groups larger than 3. Newborn spiders taking flight a la Charlotte's Web are fine, though, as long as they are outside and aren't on me.
9) Bugs that are on me by surprise. One of the worst bug encounters I ever had was a huge dead black beetle a little bigger than a piece of okra, that stuck to my shoulder while swimming in the sea in Mallorca. I looked at my shoulder and bah! It was right fucking there in my face!
10) Bugs that scuttle.

My approach to cockroaches (yes, they don't bite, but they're big and black and shiny with creepy legs so I hate them) is to stomp near them so they run away to somewhere I can't see them. That's my approach with most bugs actually. Just go where I can't see you and I'll leave you alone. I do, however, tend to remove large spiders, at arm's length with a cup and paper or something, with lots of girly "ew!" noises. I like spiders, even the ones I can't deal with, but I don't want them having 10 billion fucking babies in my house. Also, they eat biting bugs so I feel bad even if I wreck one of their webs.

This morning, there was this bug in my house:
And actually, I tried to move it outside but it scuttled under some drawers, and anyway, LE was pissed off at me because I used his book to try to scoop it up. So it started off as an okay-ish bug that I could halfway deal with at arm's length-- too big to touch, biting status unknown, but its legs were feathery rather than creepy. Only then it scuttled so it was definitely Not Okay.

WTF is this bug? And is it lurking under the drawers right now, looking at me? Or having babies?



Erika said...

I'm from Georgia and we have Palmetto bugs...basically flying cockroaches. So not only to you have to contend with hot as hell and humid as the devil's crotch weather but we have ginormous flying roaches.

I found one of these in my roma tomatoes last year: It was HUGE! Needless to say, I couldn't eat tomatoes for a long time because I knew that my tomatoes were pods for them. These are the kinds of problems one faces when trying to cultivate an organic garden.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Made me think about my own bug list!! Here in Assos we get an impressive turnout, I can assure you. What's a gecko?

Stranger said...

Eek! Flying roaches! They smack you in the face and make a sound! Truly, the worst thing I've seen in Istanbul was a dead scorpion on the sidewalk near my house...

Cook, I'll bet there are loads of terrifying bugs there. Do you empty out your shoes in the morning, just in case? A gecko is a really cute lizard-y thing that has little suction-cup toes on each foot, and they go around on walls.

Y said...

Hi Stranger, maybe your mystery bug was a "house centipede" or a lilac (see photo accompanying April 1, 2008 entry at hehehe

Stranger said...

Hey, that could be it! At this point, I remember my drawing better than I do the actual bug. I kind of hope it was a house centipede, though, because apparently it's an insectivore and there wasn't anything on there about asexual reproduction.

The other cool thing is that the blogger you linked to also has the misfortune of being from Reno. Almost as creepy as the bug.

This morning a lizard ran under the drawers where the bug went so maybe they're duking it out now...