Monday, September 01, 2008

Anyone Have a Magic Spell to Kill All Invertebrate Life Within 100 Feet?

Yesterday after letting E visit with my parents for a few minutes, I climbed into the driver's seat of my car and after a few moments experienced a horrible pain in my right armpit. I ripped off my shirt worried that a spider or something had gotten under my shirt, and this is a big deal because I never take off my shirt in front of people. I found nothing in the shirt or on my body, and even more annoying is that I didn't find anything flying or crawling away either, so I had no idea what just stung or bit me. Should I be worried? I swell up a little from wasps and the like, but I've never been bitten by a spider. Some species do some nasty things. It felt like a sting, but it's odd to have been stung under the arm and no one, including Justin sitting right next to me, saw anything flying its getaway.

My dad called later to say that he found a hornets nest under the carport near where I had parked and been stung. That still doesn't really explain why I never saw the damn thing. Every other time I've ever been stung the bugs weren't too shy about making their appearance known before and after the attack. Plus, he said he didn't notice any hornets actually in the nest. My only guess is that I may have squashed the thing in my frantic oh-my-god-why-is-my-armpit-burning dance and its lifeless corpse fell between the driver's seat and console. All I have now is an itchy region between my right nipple and armpit (the bite/sting/gunshot was actually about an inch in front of the actual armpit) with a white spot that looks a little like a whitehead zit in the center.

I'm betting it was a warp speed alien abduction and I'll be sprouting baby martians from my armpit in a couple of weeks. That makes perfect sense.

But the mysterious sting isn't the only trouble I've had with invertebrates in the recent couple of weeks. We've suddenly developed a huge ant problem. This wouldn't normally be that big of a deal except we have E, who recklessly drops/hides/flings food particles to the nether regions of our living room and who keeps us from spraying the ant spray that we have but won't use inside. All those little bits of food that we overlook in our cleaning up after the kid are swarming with ants within hours. It's a little easier to see those specks of crumbs when their writhing with reddish brown life. Turns out that the Terminix people had decided not to inform us that our contract for coverage was about to expire until after they'd not shown up for their normal visit. Whatever they do for the termites also keeps ants and many other bugs away. This termination of service probably explains the plague of crickets we had last month followed by the plague of ants in the past week. Unless you're K, the plague of crickets wasn't that frightening. The ants are a little more so. Oddly K seems more at peace with the ants than she was by the jumping fish bait.

Luckily these ants don't seem to be fireants. They look a little like the vicious South American immigrants whose mounds provide the highest points of elevation around here, but I've had several of them decide to search my legs for bits of food and they've yet to clamp down and sting me yet. Considering the fact that fireants will gladly inject you full of formic acid at the slightest provocation (like lying in the grass where they want to walk), I'm not thinking these are fireants. I still wish them nothing but slow, painful deaths full of regrets for lives misspent.

1 comment:

Julie said...

1. Ants are better because they don't jump or scurry in a menacing way.

2. My mom swears by an ant bait that is a clear gel. It comes in a bright orange packet at Home Depot. She suggests placing a dab on a sheet of aluminum foil... on a counter somewhere where your rugrat can't eat it.

3. Try not feeding the little one. It will keep him from flinging food around your otherwise clean house.

See? I'm a problem solver.