Bug Invasion

I hate bugs. They scare me and creep me out and I’m too much of a city slicker to have ever learned to “appreciate” them*.

That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Paris: This city doesn’t seem to support much of an insect population. I’ve rarely seen anything apart from little ants or a small spider indoors. The one time I’ve ever seen a Parisian cockroach was four years ago in an office building—certainly a change from New York City.

Well, I don’t know what’s going on but the stuff of my buggy nightmares is coming true.

It started about a week ago when I was making dinner. I had boiled some broccoli and was set to drain it when I saw this white, bloated wormy caterpillar floating on top. I screamed and Dman rushed over. He tried to tell me that it meant the broccoli was healthy and not drenched in pesticide—of course not, because I only buy bio (organic). But despite his sound reasoning, I couldn’t bring myself to eat more than one floret. All I could think about was the worm crawling in and out of my food and laying its gross wormy eggs. Beurk! It’s enough to make a girl want to buy commercial produce.

A few days after that, I heard little D shouting about something one morning. Turns out she and Dman had discovered a giant black spider right outside her room. Dman scooped it up and threw it into our courtyard. “Why didn’t you just kill it?!” I shrieked. “It can come right back in our house!” Dman, however, takes a live and let live approach to the bug world.

So what do you think happened?

That spider crawled right back inside two days later! This time Dman trapped it underneath a glass bowl but it escaped, causing me to lie awake that night even after BB had gone to sleep after a feeding. I poked Dman, “I can’t stop thinking about the spider. What if it comes and bites the baby??”

Luckily for me, our cleaning lady found it and stomped on it as it chased Dae across the hallway. She then said she’d found an even bigger one upstairs and had killed that one, too. Two gigantic spiders—”the biggest I’ve ever seen in France,” Dman informed me solemnly—in our house! And does that mean that the one Dman chucked in the courtyard was a third spider?! The cleaning lady theorized that Dman brought them back in his luggage from one of his faraway travels because spiders like these do not belong in France. I am not happy about this. At all.

Finally, I was making dinner again last night. I brought out a head of garlic and pulled off three cloves to chop. All of a sudden, I saw something black and shiny crawl out from between the rest of the garlic. It looked like a mini scorpion and I jumped, hysterically screaming my way out of the kitchen.

Dman came over and poked it around a little bit before finally killing it and saying it was one of those bugs that crawl in your ear and attack your eardrum. WTF?!! It’s an earwig and according to Wikipedia, it doesn’t actually crawl into your ear. But it’s disgusting and totally frightening-looking and why was it in my head of garlic?!

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Like a cross between a cockroach and a scorpion—horrifying!

Needless to say, I am traumatized and incapable of touching any organic produce or making dinner of any sort or going to sleep or hanging out downstairs where the overgrown spiders might be nesting…

This sucks.

*There is one exception when it comes to me and bugs. When I’m in the countryside, I’m more relaxed about them. Probably because they belong there—and not in my home.

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16 thoughts on “Bug Invasion

    • Vix, I still remember this NatGeo show I saw about the horrible dangers that await in Australia from all the creepy crawlies—by land, sea and air. This is why I’m apprehensive about ever visiting you!!! :-D

  1. I share your bug-phobia Maggie and I live in Australia. I have red-back spiders in my garden! But you learn to deal with it … I can even kill them on my own now :)
    Very funny about the earwig and Dman’s story that they crawl in your ear – my Mum used to terrify me with the same story when I was a little girl.
    But please don’t let all of this stop you from visiting Oz – we’d love to have you here!

  2. Considering that eating insects is healthier for us and better for the planet, one would think that those little protein surprises in organic produce would be a welcome bonus. However, I have yet to bring myself to willingly eat an insect that I can see. I can’t even eat the worm from a bottle of mezcal. As far as those godzilla spiders, I’m with you. If they encroach upon your living space, make sure they don’t come back. However, I don’t mind ladybugs, dragonflies, and butterflies one bit!

  3. You could get one of those little handheld vacs that removes but doesn’t kill the bugs. You would be a safe distance away, and not physically have to touch the thing. A nice compromise for your and your husband. Love your blog!

  4. I feel your pain, I do. I’m ok with bugs unless they’re sting-y, or if they startle me into thinking they’re a spider. I loathe spiders with every ounce of my being. I think it stems from my childhood in New England, with too many big brown “barn” spider encounters. I put barn in quotes because they also live in my parents’ finished basement, making watching tv down there a dubious proposition.

    Seeing Vix’s comment with the bird-eating spider reminds me of my own Oz adventure. I saw those golden orb weavers everywhere there. Even in the downtown areas. They were huge! Like, larger than a credit card big. Then, we traveled up north to Port Douglas (not far from Cairns) and into the rainforests. The webs were human-size MASSIVE. The spiders in there were bigger than my hand. The scariest experience I had was coming back up on a trail I had just walked down, and noticing a particularly gigantic spider and web. What freaked me out was that I only noticed it *on the way back,* which meant I had to have walked past it on the way down and NOT noticed. How many other spiders did I not notice??? *shudder*

  5. Your post had me speaking fluent French: “ick!” (Ok, more German there, but points for being in the right continent?) “eeeuuuwwww”, “aaarrr*phlegmsound*gh” and “hunh,hunh,hunh,hun” being the sound of internal retching and heeby jeebiness.

    I’m not going to go and locate the bug spray.

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