Except for this

September 10, 2009

So here's a little addendum to my glowing post earlier this morning about loving country life...except for: the infestation of bugs in my house. I grew up in the country. I don't have any fears of bugs (despite my history of being bitten by a brown recluse spider and an allergy to bees). I actually think bugs are interesting and usually love joining the kids in their bug explorations. Mosquitoes, fleas, and fire ants are the exception to this. Never been a fan of those creatures. But I am now faced with a daily influx of bugs that are driving me bonkers: bees, ants (lots of differents types of black ants) and flies. We can not seem to keep them out of the house. We have screens and screen doors. I have been sprinkling baby powder near all entrances (someone told me that would work). It all came to a head this morning when I had my first morning alone in the house since moving here. I unrolled my yoga mat, turned on the music, and started to get back into the flow that I love so much. My eyes were closed and I was starting to relax. Until the first fly landed on me. And from there my blissful yoga session turned into a violent one. I tried to ignore the flies. I tried to meditate and go within. I tried to convince myself that I should be able to continue without becoming distracted. But I couldn't. I swatted. I cursed. My movements became jerky and angry. And I ended my time on the mat resolved to battle the bugs. I hate to use toxic stuff but I am at the point of having to do it. Wish I was a more evolved and tolerant. Just doesn't seem right to contemplate ways to destroy other living creatures while doing yoga, but I am not there yet. Anyone have tips on keeping ants, bees, and flies outside?
Emily said...

That's hilarious. I love the idea of you plotting destruction from the confines of your yoga mat. We put a few ant traps in the house (and a few outside, too) and haven't had any trouble since. Someone once told me a line of chili powder outside your kitchen window would work, but I think ant traps outside the window work better. Other than that, just make sure housing gave you good screens and wait till the end of the summer. Most of the bugs go with the season. Good luck!

Pam said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning!!! Best of luck with the Battle of the Bugs! I say...spray away, sistah!!!

boatbaby said...

Too funny! We have fly issues too during the summer. I usually do a night time stalking with my swatter and clear them all out. Only to have a little person leave the door open again and let more in. I sigh and wait for high winds or the first frost.

morninglight mama said...

Oh, I wish I had advice to give. During our bug study, I repeatedly found myself emphasizing that mosquitoes do not fall under the category of Interesting Insect, and that yes, you are very much encouraged to squish them. :) Good luck!!

Karen (South of Rome) said...

Hah! We used to have swatters in every room of the house, even next to the bed. Living next to a sheep farm brings not only flies, but wait till the wind shifts! Maybe it won't be as bad in Marinai. In Mineo it could get bad. You could sit at the park and look into the sheep pen just on the other side of the fence. Plus, in summer, they burned the hills surrounding us. Man did that smoke get into everything!

KC said...

We don't have trouble keeping the flies, bees, and mosquitoes out (for the most part) because we have screens too. I guess we're just really careful about opening the doors and shutters. But we had a big problem with ants all summer long. Someone told me that they hate coffee, and to spread grounds around where they enter, or even better, to make a coffee perimeter around the house. I wasn't able to do either of those things, but I did contain them a bit by spreading grounds in places where I found them most often. I know that some people have success with diatomaceous earth, but I had no luck tracking that down here.

Tisra said...

I'm an all-natural sort, but after trying things the natural way for years, gave up and went with the big guns. It was worth my sanity!

Whatever the bug guy used on the ants 2 years ago is still working (scary, I know) because we haven't had a problem since. Two blissful years without ants in our food, without worrying if we left a dish in the sink, without fretting over a stray crumb on the floor. Ahhhhh.

likeschocolate said...

I heard baking soda works around the door for ants. However, welcome to Europe. Sorry, they drove me crazy too.

Anonymous said...

Borax (detergent) helps with fleas. Not sure about the the other stuff.

Jan

Dana said...

Fly paper? No, seriously! When I lived in Naples, I remember folks having fly paper hanging about their house. Yuck, I know.

We have screens that usually keep them out. Good thing because we 3 detest them more than you :(

You might have to pull out the big guns & use some chemicals....

Good luck!

Gemelli in Sicilia said...

I remember when we first moved there the ant season hit and was asking all of the neighbors what they were doing about it. Then the flies and then the bees.... I guess you just get used to it. Believe me it pales in comparison to the traffic in Catania and the cutting on the ski slopes! Keep up the yoga....

Martha said...

I use a brand of spray window cleaner that is mostly alcohol on the ants. They party and die. Not as toxic smelling. Works on Flies too but takes a few sprays. We have fly strips that hang from the ceiling because after it has gotten cold and then warms up the fly eggs between the roof and ceiling hatch. The fly strips get those. You can order them online and have someone send them to you.

Weasel said...

I think I shot a little afternoon tea out my nose as I read your post. Too funny. Seriously, we have been dealing with the all too familiar house fly problem here at the beach. I have planted basil and cucumbers in my garden as I have been told that flies hate the smell of both of these yummy things. . .so, I keep bowls chopped up of the stuff everywhere. Does help a bit, but I would think that you may need the heavy guns when trying to find your inner zen.

Tara said...

I can think of something worse: ticks. We had a tick infestation in our house, particularly in my closet. Even though I shook my clothes, I would still feel ticks crawling up my back. At this house, we've had infestations of spiders, mice, ants (the kind that eat your house and inflict a painful bite), scorpians, fleas (the regular and bath drain kind), roaches, flying squirrels, and snakes (just one day when we found three different baby snakes inside the house). Also a toad jumped out of the toilet when my mom was trying to use it. Wanna visit? :)
Tara B.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Ok...glad to see I am not alone in the bug department....and Tara, you win the prize for infestations! (but we would still visit you!). Thanks for all of the good advice and empathy. The baby powder actually seems to be working on the ant situation. This was the first day without ants! Hooray! Still dealing with flies but I think that has more to do with certain small people who forget to shut the screen doors.

The Clan McCawley said...

Oh girl, you had me laughing at that visual! I feel your pain friend. North Carolina is a hotbed of spiders, creepy crawlies, ants and other funky little critters. I'll send toxic bug thoughts your way!!

Francesca said...

Flies are maddening. When we had sheep and goats as our closest neighbors, flies were a serious problem. Screens work well, but in my opinion fly swaters are excellent complements. Plant geraniums (they do well in vases too) and citronella (can't remember the name in English, something like lemon bush/balm) all around your house next spring: they are very good deterrents against flying insects.
For ants, baby powder works very well when you find the point of entry. But ants are clever, and will soon find an alternative point of entry if they so want. Our ants here are super clever, and some years they've even streamed out from power sockets (in those cases masking tape worked ... for a few days).
PS will get back to you re: rome this week.

Cami said...

Raid around the outside of the house once a year kept our ants at bay in MD. But I'm with you on the fly battle. There is not a way to keep the flies out during the mink slaughtering season. Ugh. SO, I used all sorts of things, but our favorite is the electric fly swatter. That's the only way to get them mid-air. We also have some spray things outside, but they don't work SO well.

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