Sunday, September 16, 2007

I Prefer only Invited Guests

I came into the kitchen and discovered the fire ants in the back yard had invaded. Two crisp slices of bacon, left draining beside the stove the night before,had definite movement over them. (I guess the fact I left them out overnight says something about me, but oh,well.) They weren't swarming over the bacon, but they were definitely there.

So what did I do? I tapped the paper, which sent most of them diving for cover, rinsed the bacon under hot water, to make sure they all were gone, dried them on a paper towel, and put them in a baggie, thence into the refrigerator, which I should have done in the first place. And I cleaned the space where the bacon had been. Did I go after the fire ants.? Naw. Those of you who deal with the critters know why: they will sting and hurt you. And raise pus pockets, and itch and hurt.

But I got to thinking. Why do I consider ants "clean"? If it had been cokroaches on that bacon, I would have thrown it away and torn apart the kitchen.

If you have a drink beside you and fruit flies fall in, do you flick them out and go on drinking? Maybe you just shrug and mutter, "more protein", and drink. But what do you do if a housefly buzzes into the same drink? Ewwww! I throw it out, I thoroughly rinse the glass (note: true hygenists would get a fresh glass,) amd get a new drink.

What we tolerate and don't tolerate differs widely. As a caseworker in many homes, I learned a lot of people cohabit comfortably with cockroaches. They are not necessarily dirty people. Many of them bathe daily and wear clean clothes. But when they sit on the couch to watch TV, they will flick an encroaching bug off the couch without thinking about it.

In college, I had a friend who was the son of missionaries that went to India. He said flying cockroaches-- big ol' things-- would fly into their food and they would simply spoon them out, hopefully hurling them at another sibling, and go on eating.

Me? My ex-husband used to joke that he was afraid to put rat shot in the .22 for fear I would start aiming if we got a cockroach.

The ants? Got to find my ant bait or go get some new stuff. They are not to be tolerated, either. You Yankees just don't know how good you got it. No chiggers, no fire ants, no killer bees. At least we share mosquitoes. I think we do better as a nation if we share SOME tribulations.


Matt G said...

House flies in my drink immediately call for a new drink in the cleaned glass. I'm with Alanis Morrisette on that one.

But a fruit (not a "black") fly in my Chardonnay? Flick it out, and figure "the alcohol will sterilize it."

Babs RN said...

Dab a little bleach on those fire ant bites and they won't raise pus pockets and itch and hurt you any more.

KD5NRH said...

Don't tell my wife, but if you look really closely around my house, you can see some spackled ratshot patterns where I've given up on the flyswatter for particularly persistent, agile bugs.

A couple of spots in the linoleum are "extra-textured" from dealing with mice, too.