Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not-so-still life with insects

In our endless skirmishes with the insect world, we have triumphed over the ants. Or the Queen Mother has recalled them to the anthill. Whatever. I'm counting their lack of presence as a victory. On the fly front, mixed blessings.

Husband-cat did indeed crawl into the attic, flashlight in hand, to hunt rat corpses/central command. His search yielded one ancient desiccated specimen far too old and dry to be the culprit. Our fears of a maggoty fly farm were completely unfounded. Oodles of good healthy hysteria wasted. Nonetheless, neither of us could abide the flies any longer. They may not be carcass feeders, but the damage had been done. 

They even claimed an outside victim last week. Stormee came over to work. She sat at the dining room table, I was across the room and Baby Flails-a-lot was asleep. While tapping away at her computer Stormee was struck by conjoined flies. That's right. Giant insects fell from the ceiling like cannonballs with feelers into her lap. Big enough to be seen and felt. She leaped a foot in air, flailing and clanging against the chair and table, swatting herself and screaming in complete silence. You could see on her face that she didn't know what the fuck had just happened but nothing on earth would make her wake up the baby. The mix of "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!" and "Don't wake the baby!" was the funniest thing I have ever seen.

My assertion that they had probably died of a heart attack brought on by exertion was accepted until we realized the fly bodies were nowhere to be found. And since there were two of them, we realized they may have been being....intimate. That brought a whole level of grossness to the whole affair. Not only were they overrunning the place but now they are involving my friends in public displays of the nasty? I don't think so.

I kept trying to be zen about them but every time my eye fell on a fly lazily making its way to my food, the words, "Oh, hell no" came unbidden to my lips and death followed. The Hub said while it was true he wouldn't hurt a fly, he'd definitely kill a whole mess of flies. His concerted campaign -- twenty in one day! -- reduced the population drastically. The final combatants, now in single digits, buzz disconsolately around the skylight and peer at us from the ceiling beams. Their time will come.

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