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Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Bug

Summer is upon us, I can tell. The bugs are here. I really don't mind them outdoors. But I can't stand them indoors. 

I have seen this one before. I know I have seen this perhaps often in my life. Something in me recognizes it although I can't, in the front of my mind, remember the visions. This is an Organ Pipe Mud Dauber. I looked through a thousand bug pictures before I found it. Maybe it is not so common. The one below is from Florida. The one I saw today was black with the typical bug iridescence.  I love that beautiful shiny blue green that appears on wings and bodies. This bug is over an inch long, maybe and inch and a quarter.

Mind you, if I saw it outside, it would be OK. But in the house, I just can't do it. It is called a Mud Dauber because it build its nests out of mud. The female rolls a ball of mud and begins to pack it. She then finds an insect, stings it, places it into the nest, lays and egg, then plugs in a ball of mud. she does this over and over creating these long tendrils.  You can find them on the sides of buildings, in gardens, even on parked cars the article said. Some people destroy them and some people adore them. The Mud Dauber eats small insects and so to the knowledgeable person, is a revered bug. I can respect that. But not in my house.

Did I ever tell you my bug story? How I woke up one night with a bug in  my ear. George was at work at the firehouse and I had to drive myself to the hospital. It took four tries for me to get out of the driveway as this bug was eating away at my eardrum. I went through every red light thinking that if a policeman put on his blue lights, he could very well escort me to the hospital as I was not going to stop until someone got that thing out of my ear.

The emergency door was not working and I had to walk around to a different door to get in. I wasn't screaming but I was making quite a commotion. The nurses grabbed me and brought me into this room and started asking me for insurance info. "ARE YOU CRAZY???" Get this out of my ear and I will tell you anything you want!!!!

So they injected some sort of liquid that was supposed to anesthetize the bug. Oh god, what a relief. And then, just as they were preparing to in, the bug started up with a vengeance.  So, one nurse held my head while the other tried different tools to dig in and get the bugger out. When finally out, they showed it to me. It was a beetle about a 5/8 inch long. They put it in a jar and asked me if I wanted to take it home.  I just shook my head.

I, up till that point, had never been a bug killer. I would find even an ant and would gently pick it up with paper and put it outside. As a matter of fact, I had seen that very bug earlier in the evening and had placed it in the livingroom among my plants. I was so innocent. In all my life it had never occurred to me that a bug would ever dare to violate my body. Ever!

Once home, I laid down to sleep and sleep would not come. I had to cover my ears. I went into my sewing room and tried to design ear covers out of chiffon and elastic. But they didn't stay on. I suffocate under blankets so that was not an option. I tried a headband but it would slip off during the night. Insomnia. It took months to get over it. One night I was just too tired and I fell asleep.

Every night, even to today, I watch for bugs in the house before bed. I don't just decide to go to bed. It is a process. In the apartment I am in now, the screens are broken and I have fixed them somewhat but I have to stuff them with towels a bit because they don't fit flush to the frame. I should get an electrical tape. That would be the best thing to do. I just never expected to be here this long. So I will take care of it tomorrow.

I killed this bug today, and I feel badly about it. I only had a natural bug spray for house plants and it was too weak for this Mud Dauber and I ended up having to hit it and the violence was unbearable. I am not supposed to be killing things. I am appalled at how affected my mind became from one single night 20 years ago!~~~

I just watched the movie "Capote" with  Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing the part. Everyone should see this.


  1. Wonderful entry, Pauline! I think you may have dreamed the bug-in-the-ear episode though (just kidding). Never heard of that happening to anyone before. I agree though. There are bugs, and then there are bugs.

  2. she lives! she lives to destroy marauding insects! Please don't use spray indoors - it's really bad for your health!
    I'm worried about you - write to me!