Scared of bugs?

There is a long-running joke about my backyard and how I need to turn it into a nonprofit wild-life reserve. Which could work except I am mildly scared of palmetto bugs.

Who can forget the epic conclusion to the attic mysteries? To this day, the same squirrel that lived in our attic continues to mock me.

Then the months of speculating about the various escape holes now known to be a prolific vole problem— more than once–scroll down a bit. . Though I must say that the vole problem did completely cure me of my fear of nonvenomous snakes.

Then there was the last year’s outdoor black widow infestation.

Because y’all, I rocked the spider hunt like the female version of Steve Erwin. If Steve Erwin hunted spiders.

Knowledge is power. Instead of randomly knocking down every spider web in nature, because I know what the dangerous web looks, I’m not just walking around freaking out about every spider. Plus, outside spiders eat flies and mosquitoes.

We’d been clear of the widows until a few days ago when I noticed a bright splash of bright red in a web that I had been monitoring. This one is camera shy, poor thing.

Surely you panicked and screamed? Call pest control? Sprayed poison? Naw dude. I mean she’s gotta die, even thought she is technically following my wildlife nature rules of Those That Stay Outside Get To Live. Unfortunately she didn’t read the fine print excluding dangerously venomous spiders and any venomous snake.

I found my spider-poking stick and my camera and prepared the eviction.

Honestly, I found her web chillingly beautiful. Like all members of the Theridiidae family, cobweb spiders make disorganized, messy webs. By the way, the common house spider looks similar to a widow because they are second cousins, or something. But no red. And the egg sac for a brown widow spider is all spikey, not round.

Perhaps I’m feeling a bit of unrealistic kinship with the widow, you know? My house is disorganized and messy; her house is disorganized and messy. Now she and I can get together and hate on all those damn orb weavers, mocking us with their perfectly neat webs.

Please note, for the arachnophobic, this link takes you to pictures of spiders. Lots of ’em.

Kinship aside, I still scraped her web and two egg sacks into a bucket full of soapy vinegar water to drown while I smooshed them with my spider poking stick.

I’ve seen how she treats her mate; I don’t need to add another back-stabbing female to my life, thankyouverymuch.

Now the point of this post is both educational (go back and look at those webs) and ironic, not a tooting of my Bad Ass horn.

Because the ginormous palmetto bug* taking a stroll down the bath tub, while waving his stupid giant antenna at me in what was quite obviously a middle finger gesture? Yeah, he’d tell you that I’m so not a bad ass.

Did I kill the palmetto bug? Take a picture of it to share?
Hell, no! I very slowly backed out of the bathroom and told JB to go “kill, killer.”

Irrational? Yes. But for all of the black widow’s venom, they move really slowly. For all of the palmetto bugs lack of venom, they move freakishly fast, and *gulp* sometimes FLY. Bugs that can take flight have this sick need to land in my hair.

And y’all? The first time I have a palmetto bug in my hair I’m shaving it off Sinead O’Conner style and I don’t care a bit about rationality.

*Palmetto bug is the name that those of us living in the humid, verdant South like to use instead of “MONSTER FLYING COCKROACH”. In case you didn’t know.

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