Bugs. Everywhere.
I’ve been feeling particularly bug-phobic here lately, which is bad because it’s springtime and the suckers are everywhere. The Snook thinks I should just learn to live with them, but I prefer the “kill-them-all” approach. I submit to the jury…

  • Moths. A couple of weeks ago I started noticing moths in our kitchen. I figured they’d come in the window from the garden. No big deal. They were annoying and I’d kill them, but they kept coming back in greater numbers. We’ve finally accepted now that we have a full blown infestation. The Snook cleaned out our cupboard tonight on the hunch that some neglected bag of flour was hatching the bastards. He ended up throwing out about twenty packages of food. Seriously. Four or five bags of rice, several bags of flour, barley, seeds, everything. The buggers were everywhere. We think we’ve gotten rid of all their hotspots, but I’ll be watching closely to see if they return.
  • Ants. You know our little lemon tree in the garden? Some of the leaves look like they’re being chewed on, so I examined it closely the other day. I discovered thousands of ants all over the plant! We think aphids are eating the leaves and the ants are milking the aphids (or something similarly gross). I don’t know how to get rid of them without killing the tree. (The Snook says to pick them off, but I’m not going there.) Any suggestions? Oh, and apparently the ants are telling all their friends about the prime grub on our tree, because several new little ant hills have appeared between the garden tiles. Again, I use the term infestation. I’m gonna declare war on them, I swear.
  • Mozzies. Ah, the yearly ritual announcing the coming of summer: the first mozzie bite on my forehead. They’re not too bad right now (courtesy of the drought), but there have been enough to annoy. We need a new mosquito net for our bed. The only problem is that most of the ones I’ve seen for sale are the round “hoop” kind. We’ve got a four poster canopy bed, so we need a square one (preferably with doors on each side). The futon store up the road has one, but it’s over $200! I’m thinking there has to be a cheaper solution. Time is running out though, and if I get many more bites my sense of self-preservation will trump my frugality.
  • Cockroaches. I don’t think I’d ever seen a cockroach in my life til I moved to London. You just don’t get ’em out in Indiana. Here in Newtown they’re an accepted fact of life. It’s an old neighborhood with lots of very old houses. Again, I’ve been told I need to just accept them. So far I’ve only seen two in this house: one on the floor in the bedroom (which I squished with a shoe), and one on the freakin’ corner of my desk. The problem is, Australian cockroaches are HUGE. They look like the fake anthropomorphized ones you see in commercials. They’re scary. I’ve decided to remain anti-cockroach. I shall be ever vigilant against their encroachment.

See what I mean? I feel surrounded by creatures all the time. (And you know how I am about wildlife.) I don’t have OCD, and I don’t require that my home be completely sterile. But is it too much to ask that the Great Outdoors remain, you know, outdoors??


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  1. Ahh…This is my field.
    Moths are best removed by the natural means…that is with some lavender or stuff in the closet. You can get moth balls but the natural methods work just as well and even better in some cases with alot of companies just putting in actives to bypass having to do any rigorous testing on the natural products.
    Ants are difficult to control and generally are considered to by the pest control industry to be the most challenging pest insect. There is a new product out in Australia called “Mortein Ant Sand” (Shameless self promotion by the way). This stuff works extremely well and is best suited to outdoors. It consists of simply beach sand impregnated with actives and as such can be sprinkled round the lemon tree keeping all the ants away in the process. It can also be sprinkled over the courtyard to prevent the ants returning.
    Cockroaches are tough. Its interesting that pest control companies that come to your house will guarentee the removal of the big cockraoches (Australian and German), but not the smaller varieties you sometimes see. One or two cockroaches aren’t a bad sign but if you start seeing more you need to find their nest and destroy it.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Ah, thanks for that. I’ll definitely be checking out the ant sand. The Snook agrees with you on the cockroaches. He told me last night that since we’re only seeing one at a time – and upstairs, not downstairs where the food is – they’re probably just wandering in and don’t have a nest. So that made me feel a little bit better. And hey! You sent me an e-mail? Something went wrong and I didn’t get any text on it.

  3. There was nothing in it I dont think. I was sending something to a guy at work and just got screwed up. I’ll get you some of the ant sand from work, and give it to you when I see you next…

  4. You sure they’re cockroaches? My flatmate said she had spotted one once and when I investigated it was a beetle! Aren’t cockroaches quite bad?

  5. They’re definitely roaches, Martin. I had the Snook verify. Big long antennae. Nasty. I think they’re bad if you have a nest – like Major was saying – because they’re near impossible to get rid of. If you’ve just got a few, they’re wandering in from outside, which apparently there really isn’t any foolproof way to prevent.

  6. What about those devices you plug into a power outlet? I think they emit frequencies which most insects hate, so it keeps them away without causing irritation to humans or pets. They’re always advertising them on those silly infomercials.

  7. Oh right! I’ve seen them advertised on Good Morning Australia. Hmm, might have to look into that!

  8. Or just fart! That keeps the little blighters at bay.

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