Thursday, June 02, 2016

Bugging Out

My bathroom is currently the most toxic room in my house. I have sprayed every baseboard, and some of the joints where the ceiling meets the walls, with poison in order to stem a mysterious invasion of small winged bugs whose origin and identity I have not been able to establish.

I stayed up for hours the other night, scrolling through online lists of insects, trying to figure out what these little creatures are. This is not to be recommended as a pre-bedtime ritual. It is not calming to read about all the six and eight-legged pests that are or could be inhabiting your relatively clean home and wandering around it in the wee hours.

I did worry about termites, but these bugs don't fit the profile, as they have neatly nipped-in waists, not the shapeless bulk of those dreaded wood-eaters. They look like winged ants, but they are pale and not as bulbous, with longer antennae. And they are dying by the dozens in my bathtub. Every evening I get home I have to take a swatch of damp toilet tissue and mop up all the little bodies. There are none in the cabinets underneath my sinks, and my closet and bedroom seem bug free as well. The only difference in the general area is the arrival of a new batch of pinestraw and four new boxwood bushes in the flowerbed outside, but would that have led to an invasion? I don't object to bugs in their place – the great outdoors – but I do not wish to share my house with them!

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