Monday, March 17, 2008

Boxelder Bugs - fun for all the family

As I type this there is one on the lip of my coffee mug. Another one's traipsing across the table. They used to repulse me but I'm starting to find myself strangely amused by them. They are Boxelder bugs, and 2008 is year 10 in their 10 year population explosion cycle.
Until a few months ago when they started popping up all around my house, I didn't even know these little black & orange fellas existed. But after doing a little research and finding out that they are pretty much harmless, I've taken it upon myself to carefully pick up any I find inside the house and gently throw them at my bug-phobic boyfriend. It's great fun.
Continuing my Boxelder research tonight, I came upon a forum for victims of the Boxelder bugs and have just spent the last hour unable to tear myself away. Here, for your pleasure, is a selection of my favourite comments.

weeks says:

My 18 month old boy picks them up all the time. He crushes them between his fingers, he eats them, laughs when they crawl on his arm. He tries to hug them but more often than not his head smashes them. ;) It's great entertainment and he's never gotten sick from them. They are harmless! (I’d be more concerned about the fact that my 18 month-old son was, in fact, a spider.)

SG says:
I live in the Portland. In October, we see 100,000s of them on our house. It's like a Hitchcock scene - the house literally swarms with them. Regardless that they don't bite, it's still an insanely gross experience. I'm a guy ... a big burly, guys guy. I ate worms and bugs as a kid to gross out the girls. I served in the USMC. I've seen war time. Yet, they gross me out big time. You ever have hundreds of them crawling all over you, swarming in your nose, your eyes, in your ears? You open a window and 20 minutes later, you’ve got a hundred of them in your bedroom. For some reason, they love the back of my neck. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up with them crawling on the back of my neck. I've gone to work, been sitting at my desk, and then one crawls up on my neck - it had hitchhiked a ride with me to work, then crawled on my neck. I was having sex with my wife once, and she had 3 of them on her legs. We can't have guests over because it's just plain disgusting, and your friends, no matter how much you explain it's just a bug infestation, nothing to do with your hygiene, they all think you’re a sick S.O.B. and won't come by any more. Ever have one crawl across your dinner plate? I'm not making any of these up.
I will kill them. I will decimate them. I will murder every last one of these bastards. Blow torches, chemicals, soap sprays - I don't care what it takes, I will eradicate them at the first signs. This is war. Not one I'm going to lose.

Anonymous says:
I've been in my house 3 years and every fall it's the same thing. This year has been the worst. I was at the theatre a few weeks ago and I felt something crawling on my face. Yep. It was a box elder bug. At work, all of a sudden, they're dive bombing my head. I know they are MINE, stowing away in my coat, clothes, hair, something, following me EVERYWHERE.
I've taken to naming them, and talking to them. I don't even vacuum them up anymore. I now stash empty Aquafina bottles in every room, and scoop up the bugs to keep as pets. They stay alive in there for DAYS AND DAYS. Then I watch them lie on their backs and kick while they fight for their last breaths. This one was actually rolling a dead bug over and over with his feet, like a circus performer. It was awesome.
I think I might be going slightly insane.

Dr. John says:
…it is, undeniably, somewhat satisfying to stomp them.

I agree!

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