Opened up my trailer door Spot of light across the floor Moth from ever far away Saw it and flew straight my way All this happened in a blink Knew it's headed to my sink It flew in as I went out To my business went about Half hour later I returned Sure enough my fears confirmed If there is a drop of water Moth will find the way to slaughter Basin full up to the brink There it floated in the drink
Moving to the country means more rocks, bushes, trees and dirt for insects to occupy. Every single teeny, weeny, nook and cranny is a potential home to these critters and we are at full capacity.
If you pick up a rock and you’ll find a microcosm of bug life from funnel spiders who weave cloth-like sheets of webs with hiding holes, to ants – one colony per rock, to the occasional baby cricket or centipede.
Grasshoppers make great play toys for the cats. Stinkbugs flock to the interiors of our vehicles or occasionally find themselves stranded in the bathtub. Do not disturb or they will live up to their names – stink. They are called Pinebugs because they smell like pine trees.
Strange unidentifiable creatures occasionally creep along or fly across our paths along with some of the biggest bees we’ve ever seen.
I found a couple of dung beetles one summer, riding/pushing a piece of – well – dung through what would have been to them, a jungle. Where to? Only they knew, although my son mentioned something about navigating by sun. One seemed to be doing all of the work while the other rode in – uh – luxury on the poop ball.
You’ll be mistaken for the premier of some kind of bug attraction if you wear a head lamp. They’ll flock to you. A face mask will keep them out. I’m sure you have one of those sitting around.
Never open a can of tuna fish with a window or door open; the yellow jackets love the smell and will do anything to get at it. Think The Hills Have Eyes as you look nervously out of your window – waiting for the next wave.
The fifty flies that have been waiting outside will ride the air vacuum in if you open your door – and head straight for the head.
Black ants regularly find their way to our kitchen. I wrote a poem about them here: Ant Invasion – A Poem. Borax mixed in with sugar is the antidote.
At night in the summer you’ll hear the chirping of crickets (a sound I’ve always loved) and sometimes you can hear hornets or yellow jackets scraping the surfaces of wood, harvesting material for their paper nests.
For the most part, we’ve gotten used to living with this disposable-like population but every once in a while, one makes itself known, like yesterday, when a pinebug landed smack dab in the middle of my glasses.
Soon enough they’ll be gone for the winter. They will disappear or fly to Florida. I can just see V’s of pinebugs heading south for warmer climes. 🙂
One, two, three…..thousands…
Crawling on my countertop
Sugar ants they just won’t stop
From the ground they formed a line
Up the stairs they climbed and climbed
In the door across the floor
Saw them, freaked, and slammed my door
Didn’t work they went beneath
Thousands marching past my feet
Mix the borax, sugar, water
Ant buffet go get the swatter
On the glasses plates and pans
Swarming on my noodles, cans
Every bit of food’s a target
Vacuum over under carpet
Vinegar is my new friend
Bring their ant trail to an end
In the bedroom gone too far
Me and them it’s time to spar
To the store for some more bait
Set it out and sit and wait
Bare no grudge against the mass
But it’s them who did trespass
They’re a part of nature’s order
But my doorjamb is their border
A very confused Yellow Jacket. Get it “”Flies” all over”?
They hover outside your door and the second you open it, they ride the air current into your house. “They” are Yellow Jackets.
If one gets inside, you have to follow it around with a rolled up newspaper or other weapon of choice until you get it because if you don’t, it will wait for you – then – zap – then pain.
I got stung twice this summer and my husband once. His was worse because he was sleeping when I heard him groan in pain. It was really bad judging by his reaction.
What a rude awakening.
The Yellow Jackets were rampant this summer. When we went to get spray, the store shelves were empty. Apparently the scourge was worse than usual this year – perhaps due to the heat and shortage of water.
To keep them at bay, we set out various DIY and store-bought traps.
One deterrent is to make a fake hive and hang it up. Those didn’t seem to work but most of the water bait traps worked fairly well. Yellow Jackets love meat – especially hot dogs. We’d place one in a shallow tub surrounded by soapy water and the bees would land in the water and die quickly because of the dish soap.
We found some hives in the trees around our property and used a garden insecticide type sprayer filled with water and soap to soak the nests and kill the colonies. It worked really well but of course you have to keep your distance.
We had fun shooting down a nest that was too close to the trailer with a BB gun. By the time it fell, it was nothing but shreds of nest material. I began to shoot rocks at it with a sling shot. I still shoot marbles today but with a can for a target.
I spent a lot of time digging our spring deeper because of the declining water table and the yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, black headed whipper snappers or whatever you call them liked “the hole” as much as me. It was a primary water source for everyone during an especially dry summer and the competition was fierce.
For the most part, we shared the space in peace but every once in a while I would grab my homemade oversized swatter and smack them all down so I could dig for a few minutes without having to have eyes in the back of my head.
I also invented a game I’ll call Yellow Jacket Tennis.
Game play consisted of smacking them out of mid-air with the swatter. I used a combination of golf, baseball, volleyball and martial arts maneuvers. I was bored.
God forbid you open a can of tuna in the trailer to make a sandwich. They would smell it from miles away and swarm the door and vents, trying to get in. It was almost scary. I would have to eat inside.
We used the tuna juice against them also. A store bought one-way lid on top of a gallon milk jug served as a yellow jacket mosh pit. Dozens would fight each other to get inside only to find there was no exit. We’d watch the jug fill up with buzzing bodies with morbid fascination.
Thank goodness the cooler days are here and I haven’t seen one in a while. I won’t miss them or the games.
Time to put away my Whackajacket 2000 till next summer.
Pine bugs here, pine bugs there
Pine bugs they are everywhere
Little smelly sticky things
Fly around on crispy wings
If you try to flick them off
They will stick like glue to cloth
Think that they’re a yellow jacket
Freak you out until you whack it
Knobbly legs with little claws
Eat them pine nuts with their jaws
Found one in my swimming suit
Found one crawling up my boot
Summer find them high and low
Never find them in the snow
Although they may seem annoying
Pine trees are what they’re destroying