Surviving the Summer

Tips for insects

with Carl Cutworm, Ph.D., BFD, LSMFT.

Greetings fellow bugs! Ants, grasshoppers, earwigs, white flies and Boxelders. We’re talking to you. This month we will focus on how to stay out of the path of humans this summer and thus how to survive until fall. Keep in mind that, although incidental contact itself with these strange creatures can be deadly, many of these people are actively out to get you. While most of us are forced to co-exist with these brutes of the planet a little common sense and applied knowledge can make the difference between eradication and the big buzz.

First off, one has to understand the long history of animosity between bugs and people. Flying or crawling we always seem to get in their way. While some of us sting and some of us bite most of us a harmless enough and just want to be left to our own devices. Scenario: An innocent boxelder takes a wrong turn and ends up in some country kitchen. Instead of carefully escorting the hapless insect out the door the human steps on him, squashing him so that even his closest family member cannot recognize him.

It’s murder! It’s cold-blooded but the hand that wields the fly swatter rules the world. We all know that. Often insect intruders are met with sprays, powders and blows to the head. They say we deserve it in that they don’t buzz around our faces or crash our picnics. How do they know? How many ants are crushed when a human walks across his lawn? How many hornets are baked or smothered when caught in a human’s car on a hot day?

There are no fool-proof answers to this life and death riddle but here are a few tips: 1.) Avoid crowds. People often gather in tight spots leaving no clear escape route for us.  2.) Watch out for open doors and windows. What you seek inside may not be worth it. 3.) The night time is the right time. Bugs have the advantage after dark. 4.) Always look up. Even though humans tend to charge, then retreat the attacks usually come from overhead. 5.) Stand your ground. In many cases they are more afraid of us than we are of them.

From our perspective crashes into windshields at 60 miles per hour, sticking to fly paper or ending up on the wrong side of a shoe cannot be countered, but one does not have to put himself at further risk. Know where you are and plan an escape route. Don’t travel in the company of other bugs…you make an even bigger target. Vary daily routines. Try to show a little control: What bug can so no to a juicy burger or a sweet dessert left out? Tempting as these victuals can be they are dangerous. It’s always better to wait until people throw out scraps and then hit the garbage. For some reason they are not as sensitive about that.

Some insects, like flies, give us all a bad name. I for one could give a tinker’s damn when I see a fly get smashed or even caught in a spider’s web. They are bastards, all. Be aware too that, like the spider, there are plenty of other insects out there that will do you harm. Take for instance the Assassin Bug or the Lady Bug. They are in cahoots with the powers that be and can spell instant death for the unwary. Stop fighting amongst yourselves. If we all stick together we can defeat the oppressor. Remember: In the end, after the humans destroy themselves, we shall inherit the earth, not just cockroaches and beetles, but all of us. Be patient.

In closing we would like to remind all of you that humans are way uptight about us eating their plants or laying eggs in the soil. Although these are perfectly natural acts they can get you real dead. Of the multitude of sprays watch out for Bacillus thuringiensis, Neem oil, 1600 X-clude, Pyrethrum spray and assorted fungicides. Contact with these and other chemicals often prove disastrous. Sure, the humans use organic methods to try to run us off. Teas, garlic, horseradish, fertilizers, soaps, pineapple weed or sagebrush extract are gentle to plants but can disorient most insects, leaving them spaced out and easy prey for predators. Why do they like their plants so much. And what’s  with this affinity for birds? They just crap all over everything. At least we’re a bit discreet.

Next month: Sociopathic Gardening. Passive aggressive methodologies that get results: “Accelerated growth in spring – watching them die in the fall.” Don’t miss it!

Filed Under: Soft News

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