Bugs, Critters and Creepy Crawlies

WoodlouseWhen we lived in London, I never really noticed bugs apart from the ubiquitous wasps, the occasional spider and an invasion of Pharoah Ants . Since moving to the middle of nowhere I have noticed that there are a lot more insects. I am not a fan of insects, they give me the heebies, so having a lot of them about is a bit of a bore. They are roughly split into 6 catagories:

  1. Bees. I like bees, they do shit. They make honey, they’re kind of furry, so a bit cuddly. They generally go about their business, collecting nectar and co-existing with other animals and insects in a benign way. They’re happy to live in houses. You have to really piss a bee off to get it to sting you. I see bees in the garden and I think: ummm, English summer, Pimms on the lawn, the sound of willow hitting cricket balls – all that Vicar of Dibley stuff.
  2. Wasps. Wasps are crap. They’re like the ASBOs of the insect world. It’s all beer, fighting and anti-social behavior. Having lunch? They’ll try and eat your sandwich. Fancy a beer? So does a wasp. Wine? They want a sip. They don’t do anything! (before the dog-on-a-string brigade starts giving me the whole ‘but they’re an important part of ecology, natures garbage collectors…’ : I don’t care, okay?) They’re bored, so they just want to cause aggro. Where do they build their homes? The most annoying places they can find. They will also sting you, just for a laugh, just to show off to their waspy mates. Wasps should be eradicated with chemicals or we should set a small army of little boys with magnifying glasses on them.
  3. Spiders. The spiders out here are massive (now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute, my Antipodean friends. I know what you’re about to say: ‘That’s not a Spider! This is a spider! Our spiders are as big as dogs and have iPods and Facebook pages…’ I know, but by English standards these spiders are whoppers). I don’t mind spiders, I see them as bug killers and fly catchers and that can only be a good thing. Picking a spider up out of the bath and relocating it outside is a fun thing to do. But some of them of about the size of my hand and that’s not cool.
  4. Woodice. Woodlice are not technically insects, they’re crustaceans (the sad truth is that I looked that up. It’s true, living in the middle of nowhere turns you into a moron). But they seem to thrive in Gloucestershire and the second it starts raining they suddenly appear, trundling along, going about their business. What is their business? I dunno. They wander over to somewhere, stop and think: ‘now what the hell did I come over here for? I can’t remember…I know! I’ll go back exactly the way I came…’ and then back they trundle. They meet their maker in 4 distinct ways: 1.They get stepped on. It’s a hard world (literally, as we have wooden floors) and they’re small. Deal. 2. They flip themselves over and can’t right themselves and lose the will to live. ‘I’ll just try it, once, just to see if I can do it…yeaaahhhy…oh oh, little help over here…hey! Guys!’ 3. DS squashes them for shits-and-giggles. 4. They just die. That sucks. They just die for no reason, how harsh is that?
  5. Assorted critters. We occasionally get these big-ass beetles that wander into our house, I don’t know what they’re called, but I don’t like them. Oh no. We also had a grass snake once, which was very exciting. I thought DS was going to have a cardiac arrest.
  6. Ants. We have a few red ants on our disaster of a lawn. We have some black ants, but there is so much food encrusted on DDs high chair and the floor underneath that the ants don’t come anymore because I think they need to lose weight. Or they have a full pantry.

That’s it really. I didn’t include flies because flies are so crap that they don’t merit a mention and fruit flies are the eternal after thought of the insect world.

My feelings on insects, generally, can be summarised in one word: RAID.

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