Well, that was a harrowing three days we had on a recent weekend.
It began on a Saturday afternoon when my granddaughter woke up from her nap in a bedroom where our guests stay.
I was talking to her and saw a small brown insect on the bedspread. I recognized it from other ones we had recently seen but could not identify it.
I squashed it and then saw two more and squashed them.
I didn’t say anything to my wife because I wasn’t sure what this was all about.
I got up a couple times during the night and squashed about 10 or 12 more, creating a bug cemetery on the bookshelf.
My wife had a busy day planned for that Sunday so I didn’t say anything more because it would probably make her worry.
That Sunday night, I got up twice and squashed a few more. They sure like to come out at night. My collection was up to 15.
On Monday morning, I said to my wife, “You need to see this. I think we have a problem.”
She recognized the little brownish-red critters from a few weeks earlier when they were in our bedroom.
We were both starting to think the same thing.
Somehow, somewhere, we had brought home the scourge of insects – a name so terrible I don’t want to use it.
So, let’s just call it “rhymes-with-dead-bugs.”
We had Googled the “rhymes-with-dead-bugs” so we had a little information to go on.And a picture.
Now, what do we do?
My wife said, “We have to get rid of these because we have company coming for Thanksgiving.”
If these are what we think they are, the dreaded rhymes-with-dead-bugs, how did they get here?
From the various places we stayed on vacation last summer?
Since they seem to be concentrated in a bedroom that was not used very often, was it one of our guests who brought them?
Who do we know that has poor housekeeping or bad hygiene?
If we go anywhere, are we going to be carriers leaving a trail of rhymes-with-dead-bugs in our wake?
If we tell our friends and family, will they still come to visit us? Will anybody let us stay overnight at their house again?
Maybe we should just take the clothes we are wearing and check into a motel until it is all clear.
First, we are going to call an exterminator and take action.
We looked up a pest control business and they said they would send someone out that afternoon to identify the problem.
I collected my accumulated now-dead creepy-crawlers, putting them on a white sheet of paper for inspection by the tech.
This was going on at the same time as the Ebola virus scare was making the news. I was sympathizing with the people exposed to the Ebola virus because they had the same thoughts we were having.
We were on a much smaller scale as our problem was more embarrassing than life threatening.
Our pest expert arrived late that afternoon and I showed him my lifeless collection.
He looked closely and said, “Those look like some kind of beetle.”
What he was really saying was, “Those are not the dreaded “rhymes-with-dead-bugs.”
What a relief that was.
He checked the bedroom and went in the basement to look directly under the room.
He had two possibilities for names so he took my collection for better identification. He was welcome to them. I can get more. Anytime.
The next day he phoned us saying we had the “confused flour beetle.” I am not making this up. Look it up for yourself.
Applying a readily available insecticide with frequent vacuuming will solve the problem. That, and a thorough cleaning of our kitchen cabinets, which my wife is ready to do a little sooner than immediately.
What did we learn?
Be careful what you Google because a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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