Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest post, from "Showers with Beetles"

For those of you not from around here, I'll enlighten you with the fact that this part of the state is inundated, every Autumn, with "Asian lady beetles." I just call them ladybugs. They hit the area like a snowstorm sometime in October, creep into our houses through siding and window sills, and as the weather cools, they fall asleep.

Well, that's my theory, that they fall asleep. They fall asleep and intermittently wake up throughout winter, wondering where they are. They buzz around sluggishly, die mid-air, and fall into your drink, your lap, into every crevice in your house. Heat and humidity seems to rouse them from their sleep also; they come to life every time I run hot water. My self-appoined Native American name, since moving out into the country casa, is "Showers with Beetles." Not as sexy as "Dances with Wolves," but succinct and accurate.

Every year, there's one entemologist or another on the local news, stating "there's nothing you can do but vacuum them up." Vacuum them up I do! My baseboards and window sills fill up with their dead little carcasses every 2 weeks or so throughout the winter. I'm trying to figure out how to make money off of the damned things but the going rate for lady-bug meat thus far is nil.

Last Saturday, then, was lady-bug day. This entails using a broom, a brush, a dirt devil, the manual hose of the sweeper, and any other means possible to get deceased ladybugs out of the gaps between the carpet and the baseboards, and in every other crevice they manage to squeeze into. I spent a good 90 minutes on Saturday morning moving furniture and doing intense cranny-vacuuming.

When I finished up, I put the sweeper back together to finalize the floors, and casually thought to myself, "after this, I'll change out the bag, and it will be fresh next time I need it."

I turned the sweeper on, and ka-BOOM! "Ka-BOOM!!", I say, and while my mind was busy registering that the cover of the sweeper was on the floor, the bag had split open and the sweeper was shooting the last few weeks' worth of dirt, dust, hair, and ladybugs back into the living room, firehose-style. Screaming and screaming, I was, trying to remember which button turned the machine O-F-F.

After my senses returned, I managed to shut the thing off, and my screaming graduated to  "#$%@$^$," Clint meandered in to take a look, and said, "well, that sucks." We ended up having to vacuum the vacuum with another vacuum. We had to move other appliances outside to blow them off with an air compressor. The furniture needed to be vacuumed, every surface in the house needed dusting, and of course, all of my just-cleaned-crannies were no longer for this world.

Hours later, I turned my attention to myself and turned the water on high-and-hot in the bath tub, thus bringing to life another round of zombie-beetles that would stagger around the house in sporadic flight until their beetle-eyes rolled back into their beetle-heads, and ::klunk::!!

Welcome to the Grand Circle of Life at the Country Casa.
If you know what's good for you, you'll just stay in bed.

—Showers with Beetles


  1. Anonymous12:11 AM

    What a mess!
    I've had that happen during a big spring cleaning but it wasn't nearly as bad and it happened in the garage!

    That sounds like a terribly long day!

  2. That's crazy. There's nothing more annoying or frustrating than having to do extra cleaning from doing cleaning.
    ~Showers with phorid flies

  3. Anonymous7:13 AM

    Oh yuck. We've had autumn infestations at the cottage a couple of years. There were so many coming in I was vaccuuming them up alive. And then when you start the vaacuum up again the air is redolent with that lovely dead ladybug smell.

  4. Ha ha ha...that was FUNNY. What an awesome retelling of a story that, I'm certain at the time, was the nastiest, most defeating moment of your week. All that work you had done...sigh.

  5. I know this will happen to me, now. The only solution to my new bag-will-burst phobia is to never vacuum again.


Back talk! Comment here!