Thursday, July 19, 2007

My World is Infested

With so much going on in my world right now, the title of this posting has far too many meanings. I'd love to go into the inner-workings of creepiness crawling into my brain right now, but it's impossible when there is creepiness crawling all over my apartment.

In droves by the hundreds of millions.

Literally dying in piles both upstairs and down.

Box elder bugs; and they're sucking my will to live.

When I first found my disco-fabulous apartment last March, I was thrilled at the prospect of a funky place with a loft. It's in a great area, and there's actually room for my boatloads of kitsch I can't seem to live without. When I found the apartment, it was snowing outside, and the whole place looked pest-free.

Then it warmed up, and I realized that box elder bugs lived inside my apartment's every nook and cranny. I had to vacuum several times a week to keep up with the piles that would die on all the windowsills and corners. It was a nuisance, but for some reason last summer it wasn't that bad. Last summer I had a few other things to worry about-- big things like the air conditioner that conked out for the whole month of July.

Fast forward to this summer where the box elder bug piles are so high, I'm four-wheeling over them with my vacuum on a twice-daily basis. And the keep flying at my head. As I sit in bed, they're flying toward the lit computer screen and every few minutes I feel that familiar tickle on my arm. Ever see the cockroach guy in Creepshow? Pales in comparison to the pets I've inherited.

Besides wash them down the drain, vacuum them up and light them on fire, what's a girl to do with box elder bugs? Tonight after flicking one so hard across the room I nearly broke my pinky finger when I misjudged the placement of my dresser and smashed into it, I finally turned to my old friend Google. Okay, first step is to learn about my adopted pests, Hemiptera: Rhopalidae, Leptocoris trivittatus, the box elder bug. Description, yep, got that... can see the black and red thorax because it's currently crawling down my leg... yeah, definitely box elder bug which can "number into the thousands." You think?

"They are primarily a nuisance as they crawl or fly about the room." This is an understatement, I consider it more than just a "nuisance" when you get them caught in your hair and fall down the stairs while flailing one's arms screaming, "Get it off! Get it off! Get it off!" Having to go to the grocery store is something I consider a "nuisance" seeing the crawling silhouettes of several freaky-looking bugs all over your laptop screen while you sit in bed is a major freak-out.

The box elder bug becomes a pest in many houses each year in fall and spring." And we'll just go ahead and throw in Winter and Summer right here. "They do no damage by feeding, but their excrement spots on draperies are difficult to remove." It's true. Just like Alli on a good pair of khaki pants, the box elder bugs have actually left spots on my 900 thread-count sheets. "The bugs cause little damage to trees." Oh good, because the trees are paying rent to live in this shithole. Great. Maybe the trees could pay my car payment, take out the trash and float me a loan while they're at it.

What this article doesn't mention is you will also find bits of legs and antennae laying around on every counter and smooth surface after you have tried vacuuming up the carcasses.

What's a girl to do? According to, not a damn thing. Not that I put much faith in a "Do your own pest control" Web site, but according to them, " Once boxelder bugs have become established in the home, there aren't a lot of treatment options. There are not a lot of recommended chemical measures at this point." You're screwed. Pack your bags. Head for the hills. Make sure you don't bring the suckers with you because they'll infest your next place and you won't be rid of them until they drive you to a nice padded cell where you sleep in your slippers.

It's time to call in the big guns-- a product called "Buggslayer." I will be Buggslayer! But after reading further, this stuff is like Satan in a jug and will apparently burn my nose, eyes and skin. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

After reading Beware of Box Elder Bugs, I'm going to sleep.

In a hotel.

In Guam.


McCallan said...

I LOVE Happy Fun Ball! Rare are current SNL skits that incorporate such brilliance!

Oh, and 900 thread count sheets? Count me in!

Holly said...

True... on both things. ;)

Holly said...

BTW: McCallan? Justin Timberlakes SNL "Di-- in a Box" skit got nominated for an Emmy. FINALLY, some recognition for probably one of the funniest SNL skits in a LONG time!!

Brian said...

Actually, Buggslayer Insecticide is quite safe:

and, it will keep box elder bugs out of your home!