May 18, 2010

To Spray or Not to Spray - A Bugged Out Dilemma



Yesterday, the bugs in my house got terminated. Not long afterwards, I lost a battle with a tiny pink Benadryl. I’m not sure how long it has been since I’ve had to take it – being pregnant and nursing has prevented me from it for almost two years… but after the bug man sprayed in my house, I got the most horrendous allergy attack I’ve had in ages. It was almost like the bugs were paying me back. It was crazy. I couldn’t stop sneezing. They say you can’t smell the chemicals, but my nose sure knew something was up.

“We had to spray,” I told myself. But now, I’m not so sure I would have done it again, if I had the chance for a do-over.

We certainly have enough pests around here. A gigantic black widow with a huge egg sack lived on our porch overhang. The bug man kindly pointed her out while he was soliciting. There were fire ants inside the house, too. I’d even seen a scorpion on the driveway under our porch light a few days back. My son wanted to kill it, but it was cowering in fear – flattening itself into the cracks where two slabs of concrete come together - and I just couldn’t hurt the little fella. We captured him in a glass jar (very carefully), tossed him on the street and turned him loose. [I haven’t seen him since… but that doesn’t mean much since scorpions are masters at staying hidden.]

I’m a softie when it comes to killing things (even evil bugs that can kill or hurt you). I had a hard time letting the bug man kill the monstrous ‘Queen of Death’ black widow on my porch. He convinced me that while ONE black widow that you can SEE is not bad, a gazillion tiny babies in every crevice of my porch and yard (and even inside my house since they were close and small enough to get in) would NOT be wise. Still, killing her had to be done far from view. He took her, dangling politely on a thin thread of webbing, down to the curb before he squashed her and the egg sack she had worked so hard on. I screamed a few times when the wind blew her towards him, that brave soul.

I owed him one. So I bought his service. It was, after all, "below half price" - kind of cheap at 60-something dollars. I figured it was past due since we haven’t paid a bug dude in the entire 3 years we have lived here.

I asked him if I should leave while he was working, but he told me it wasn’t necessary. He dusted my attic, sprayed the exterior of the house down, and left granules on the grass around my trees. Walking through my house, he sprayed ‘troubled’ areas, too. When my husband came home he said he could smell it. Being home all day, I never did – but my nose went on strike and I zonked out soon after dinner in an antihistamine high. Thankfully the baby went to sleep with me and didn’t wake up until the wee hours of the night to nurse, well after the stupor had worn off.

The moral of the story? Now you know how to sell a woman a pesticide treatment service if you decide to go door-to-door for your local bug guy: just kindly point out the deadly spider on her porch and offer to kill it for her. Voila! Instant hero.

The other moral? Now you know how to get a night-owl blogger to bed before 9pm: drug her. [I highly suggest you make sure you have her permission first, however.]



I’ll be glad that we don’t have any more fire-ants inside, but I have to admit that I’m worried about our birds eating tainted crickets. We spent the better part of the hours after the bug man’s visit running around on the porch making noise to keep the birds away; since they were flocking to the fleeing bugs like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet.

You live and learn. Between my sinuses and the pretty birds in our yard we feed and have come to love, I doubt I’ll be signing up for bug spraying again any time soon. Just don’t let the spiders know! [Particularly the black widows!]


5 comments:

saradickens said...

All 5 of those little birdies have learned to fly. They were all huddled under the porch last night, and then John scared them and two flew into the house. Fun times. They haven't been back so I think it's safe to knock down the nest so we can paint the house. They sure were cute though.
I understand the not wanting to kill anything, save for the s-word creature. KILL Bugman Hero KILL.

Cheryl said...

Um yeah, I had our house treated due to an invasion of carpenter ants. A few day later, the beautiful woodpecker that lived in out backyard trees was dead. I felt SO guilty.

Robin Sampson said...

Heather,

We have a bug company come once a month to spray outside the house.

I found several ticks on boys and was concerned so last Mon he sprayed inside my bedroom for ticks (my dogs sleep in my room).

Tuesday my 7 yo started throwing up after sleeping in my bedroom. He threw up 10 times a day until Sunday (we were going to take him to the hospital) when I realized it was the bug spray.

I kept him out of my room and all the windows open and he got better.

Also I got a bloody nose every day since my room was sprayed.

No more inside the house spraying for us.

Sprittibee said...

Sara - cool that the birdies are gone! They were so cute.

Cheryl - My hubby came home today and told me that he found 5 dead red-wing blackbirds in our yard. I was grief-stricken. But then I discovered he was joking (those are my favorite of the birds and he knew that I would react that way). Sometimes I just want to kick him! LOL

Robin - Man, that is scary! I don't think I'll be letting the guy come do an inside job again here, either. It is bad enough that Monsanto is poisoning all our crops. BUY ORGANIC.

Rachel R. said...

Did the bug guy seriously just "squish" the egg sac?

'Cause I remember working as a camp counselor as a teen and being responsible to clear the place of the black widow spiders that liked to frequent the tent peaks, before the campers arrived. We seriously doused one of those egg sacs in some sort of fuel oil (kerosene, maybe) and burned it until the inch of fuel in our metal pail was gone - and didn't kill the baby spiders. Those mamas sure do protect their babies!

There are "green" pest control companies popping up now, btw.

 

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