Saturday, June 28, 2008

Long Memory?

Last year, I talked of killing a lot of Japanese Beetles in a Friday Night Massacre. I was worried because that very same evening, I sustained a bad bug bite. I was not sure if the beetles - the ones that lived - were exacting retribution upon me because of the scores that I had killed, but I wondered.

For the rest of the summer, I did not have much of an issue. I keep bug spray in a location on my kitchen counter where it is easy to reach and for the few that I saw in the following months... well, you could say that they were toast. That's the way I like my roaches. Dead.

Hot weather came early this year, and with it, the beetles have returned. My can of Raid is available at all times, and I've used it. A lot. But I'm starting to wonder what the lifespan of a beetle, exactly, is. I'm starting to wonder also whether they pass stories from one generation to the next. The war between them and me seems to have taken on a new complexity.

Now before you dismiss this notion, you should know the saga of Mom's dogs. She had a pair of Corgis in my youth, and one day they cornered a cat on the porch of a neighbor's house. They never forgot that moment and, for the rest of their doggie lives, checked that porch out each and every time they walked by. Before they left, though, younger generations of dogs joined them and so on and so on and so on. And fifteen years later and many generations of dogs, every one would check that porch just in case a cat might be lurking there.

So a couple of weeks ago, I emerged from the shower and wrapped myself up in a bath towel. (I know it's been a few years since I got on maintenance but the act of fitting a bath towel around my body has not yet grown old.) Anyway, for some reason which I can no longer remember, I decided that I needed to go into the kitchen. There I found a gigantic water beetle on my counter. I quietly edged towards the can of bug spray and picked it up. It moved towards the front of the counter. I prepared the can with my finger on the trigger. It took off and flew towards me. It was clear that it was going to land on my towel!

I shrieked of course. And hit the trigger, catching it in the mist during mid flight. Once it was hit, it dropped to the floor like a stone (thank goodness) and fell into death throes. I was unnerved. It took a while for it to die and I was too afraid to approach it to scoop it up and throw it out. I didn't deal with the carcas until the next morning.

I didn't think about that incident again until this evening. This time, I was in the guest bathroom. I've seen one of the roaches over the past few days peeking out from underneath my bookcase in there. It unnerves me, especially as when I am in the bathroom, I'm generally trapped by virtue of autoimmune disease. But fortunately, I've been able to scare it into running backwards and hiding. We ended up not interacting.

But tonight I was in the bathroom and it came completely out of hiding. I made a big movement - mostly out of fear because I was on the pot - and it ran into the corner. It froze there... probably trying to escape detection. I stared at it until I was able to get up, and following protocol, went to the kitchen to retrieve my can of bug spray. (Note to self: Get another can to keep in bathroom.) Quietly returned to the guest room, walked in, positioned myself, and sprayed.

Direct hit! I was expecting it to do the dance of death immediately but was shocked out of my complacency when it came running at me. I yelled, jumped into the air, and ran towards the door. Do you know it turned around and ran towards me there too?

I turned and sprayed again. Another direct hit. At that, it ran under the bookcase, presumably to die. I hope so.

But now I'm completely unnerved. Have they learned to attack now? Or am I overestimating their abilities to communicate and hold a grudge? Are the two incidents - in a row I might add - coincidence? Or do I have reason to worry?

I don't know. But I think I'm going to sleep with the light on tonight.

3 comments:

Claudia said...

I'm seeing a Fab Four bug theme going on here. LOL

Love ya,
Claudia

Ang said...

lol claudia...Sick Cozzie after them!!

Ang said...

okay I'm creeped out now..

This morning after returning from the GI appointment I was greeted in my dining room and kitchen with three spiders about the size of half my pinkie nail. I approached victim number one with a tissue, and it jumped at me and fell to the ground after I screamed and my youngest asked if the spider attacked me...Not wanting to scare her I said no it startled because I dropped it..Though inside it was I HATE Spiders in my house!!! I quickly squished it in the tissue..Victim number two was next to my garlic on the wall in the kitchen above the drainboard next to the sink..As if he came out of the electrical socket..I go to pursue him and he speeds up..and then begins to jump forward..Since when do they do this? I nailed and squished the bugger..I then found victim number three climbing the screen of my window above the kitchen sink as if they had called out to him to flee. I went to grab him and he started hitailing it up the sceen..So I grabbed the dish scrub brush and smacked him with it..Stunned him and turned the water on to flush him down the sink..

And all I could think during these 5 minutes was Was Laura Right? Have they formed an alliance and their empire will strike us back?

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