It’s summer. We are just past the height of the Solstice. My hollyhocks are blooming; hummingbirds buzz through the garden. Twilights are long and the nights are warm. And there is one other ever-present feature of summer: bugs.
Insects are important, of course. They fill critical niches in the ecology. I know this and I regularly send annoying emails to my elected representatives about saving bees and monarchs. Insects can be great if they are outdoors. Recently, however, I have had adventures of the insect kind indoors.
The first was the cricket under the floorboards. It sounds like a cliché but trust me, that thing gave a whole new meaning to the word “loud”. Think jet engine running up for take-off. In your living room. There was no way I could get the thing out short of tearing up the floor and I’m not sure that would have worked. I could have tried to kill it by saturating the floor and the room with bug repellent but that would have probably killed the humans and left the cricket untouched.
I did research. The bug was almost certainly male, advertising for a mate. (Hello, crickets, try the internet instead.) We resigned ourselves to hearing the poor cricket’s lonely song for a few days and maybe wearing earplugs.
Then one morning I saw one of my cats staring at something on the floor. It was The Cricket! I scooped up The Cricket and took him outside and considered the problem solved. Until two days later when I found the second cricket under the scrutiny of my other cat. I relocated this cricket also. But now I’m worried. Was the second cricket a female? If so, did she leave lots of cricket eggs to hatch and swarm through my house forming rock bands or wailing country music under the floorboards at some future date?
And that’s just crickets. Then there is The Spider. He appeared on the chair in the bedroom in the dim light at midnight. He was fast, so I never caught him or got a really good look at him. What I did see was an arachnid about ten centimeters long. Well, maybe I exaggerate just a bit, but that thing was big! He was hairy.
I know spiders are not insects. I actually kind of like spiders. Outdoors. The one who lives in the bedroom (and I hope there is only one) has now been named Boris. That’s in honor of The Who’s “Boris the Spider”, which I have been humming. So yes, it’s summer.
Look, he's crawling up my wall
Black and hairy, very small
Now he's up above my head
Hanging by a little thread
Boris the spider
Boris the spider