1.08.2010

Box Elder Bug Warfare


I had a severe encounter with Box Elder Bugs about two months ago. It was bloody, it was violent, it was tragic. But in the end, it was contained. Until now.

Backstory: as the temperatures in Utah plunged into the teens this winter, anything living began to migrate to warmer climates. For some species of birds, this annual frosting means literally picking up and flying South. For some species of Humans, this also means picking up and flying to Florida.

Unfortunately for me, however, winter in Utah this year meant the entire species of Box Elder Bugs (Boisea trivittata) was not flying South, but indeed, was flying to Bountiful, Utah. And for whatever reason, it decided that my office was the best place to congregate when it arrived.

 En Masse, as the French would say.


The worst part of being invaded by hundreds of seemingly innocuous, ugly bugs? They get into and onto everything. For example, I have a window behind my desk in my office. It's nice. It lets in sunlight and often reminds me that there is life going on outside the walls of my job. Sadly, I'm not the only that likes my window.

The Box Elder Bug army set up base camp on the glass, basking in my sunlight, as if to say "Just try to do something about it."


I distinctly remember responding to that challenge one November morning. "Damn them," I thought. And pulled out my legal pad and threw up the blinds.


Two hundred (I'm not exaggerating) Box Elder carcasses later, and my office floor looked like this.




The janitor came in later that afternoon, eyes glued to the floor and then to the abattoir of a legal pad in my hand and expressed the following sentiment: "!Dios mio! Cuantas moscas!"



I thought I was done with them after that. I had won. Shock and Awe. The Nuclear Winter of their short little lives had set in and I had triumphed like some Russian Czar facing an invading Napoleon in January.

It was too cold, they were spread too thin, and starvation would soon set in.


Boy, was I wrong.

They're back. And instead of invading in large forces, they're coming at me one at a time.

My wife, trooper that she is, picked one off my shoulder a couple of weeks back. As soon as she realized what she'd done, though, she promptly squealed and ran away.

One of the Judges I work with watched in horror as one of the bugs dive-bombed my head in the middle of one of our meetings.

Just today, I had to destroy one that had entrenched itself comfortably in my desk.

In short, they've turned Guerrilla on me.


So not cool.

4 comments:

Christin said...

I can't believe that she actually touched it. Your 'wife' has grown my friend.

Matthew said...

Try a blow torch ... way more therapeutic. Burn, buggers, burn!

Kenny said...

That is bad, but for what its worth... it could be worse.

Seriously. One bedbug infestation is about all it take to convince anyone that DDT should come back into use for residences (the bird egg problem comes from crop use anyway).

ebv said...

Ah, Kenny, I remember that story. In the midst of the NY bed bug infestation if I remember correctly. Only months before the economic dip.

And after watching my sister deal with them in Guatemala (long story), I'm convinced that they are the Spawn of Satan.

Kill count yesterday: 17.