What They Don’t Put on the Postcards

Florida postcards are usually all beaches and sunshine. Maybe a cute alligator, or a cartoon mouse. This is propaganda. What they neglect to include on the postcards (or what is cleverly retouched out of the photographs) are the bugs. Swarms of itchy, buzzing, creeping, crawling, bloodsucking, life-altering, soul-stealing, death-defying BUGS. No wonder the South lost the Civil War – they were too busy waging war against the ravenous insects. To be fair, Wisconsin has bugs, but they’re the normal kind – not the prehistoric variety thriving down here. I had my first encounter a few days ago.

It started out innocently enough – a few teeny tiny (and I do mean teeny tiny) ant things. Now they were scurrying all over the kitchen counters, but okay – a little spray, a little better clean-up of food crumbs after dinner. Ants I can handle. But then I went to empty a laundry basket of clothes, and there was a LARGE (a good 3/4 of an inch long) bug. I don’t even know what it was, but it was moving and it was in my clean clothes!

The last straw however was the spider. In the bed. That I was lying in. I threatened an immediate return to the North if an exterminator wasn’t on my doorstep within 24 hours. NavyGuy is no fool; the Orkin man arrived promptly at 9:00am the following morning with his cocktail of Raid and napalm. Alas. What fun is it to live in a world where you have to assume that any speck you see on the floor is alive and out to get you (and not a chocolate chip you possibly dropped earlier that day)? I fear it may be weeks before I can stomach another load of laundry (luckily, my love of sleep has won out over the disgust of finding a “bed bug”).

If all goes well, this will be my only post about insects. God Bless Orkin.

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