Buy Bug Repellent Online : Or How to Save the Environment.
Buy Bug Repellent Online : Or How to Save the Environment.
At the time of writing we're in a cold winter.
But it won't be long till spring time when flowers will be blooming and birds singing as nature becomes a kinder force for all.
But as you might imagine the bugs will be coming out in force again to spoil the fun.
Billions upon billions of them will descend upon us through the air, from underground and take hold of any nook and cranny.
If there's a free meal going on they're sure to gatecrash and they may even have you on the menu.
Everywhere you look you'll find spiders, beetles, bees, flies, cockroaches, moths, slugs, snails, ants, termites or all sorts of creepy-crawlies either eating your food, your furiniture, eating you or even eating your house.
Spiders especially are a real pain in the posterior as they leave their webs everywhere, any gap in the chair, any short distance within 2 or 3 feet between objects and they're in there, spinning their adhesive trampolines here, there and anywhere. Inside, outside, in corners, on celings and around anything that doesn't move. So wake up your grandma or keep her chair rocking.
The solution is obvious, of course, design all your furniture to be flush, without any gaps, such as the fencing around your porch or garden and then place all objects about 5 feet apart. There are very few spiders around that could spin a web across that distance and if they could then they would have to be so big that you could spot them from a hundred yards and have them arrested. Unfortunately we would probably need a neighbourhood the size of Mexico City to accommodate the wider spread of furniture.
It is a relentless and unending policing action fighting the arachnid insurgents and like expert urban terrorists they conduct their activities covertly and then disappear like Chairman Mao's metaphorical 'fish in the sea' when we arrive to reclaim our lovely gutters and virgin-white furniture. We can only organise regular patrols and keep them at bay but we know they can't be defeated.
It's a low-intensity operation with acceptable levels of violence and no end in sight. Occasionally you may discover one under a sun-lounger or clinging to the porch and the little cowards always panic. There's no sight so much like sheer panic than a spider that's been discovered, uncovered then flushed out into the open. They scurry away seemingly in terror and utmost haste;
"Come back you scumbag, come back and fight" I'd scream,
Not so busy B-Movies
They can't half move though I tell you, they're fit lads and lassies, I'll give them that. They're really swift on their feet, all eight of them.
It must cost them a fortune in training shoes, especially as they seem to wear high-sprung Adidas or 'Nike Air' most of the time, gives then a head start.
They're nothing like those B-Movies that Hollywood used to churn out back in the 1950's, such as the film 'Them' which was about giant killer-ants.
Maybe it was their size that slowed them down but they seemed to move at around 2 feet per hour.
In these type of movies the heroine would scream and stare wide-eyed in shock and terror as this big lump of plastic ant string-puppet would terrifyingly encroach at 2 feet per hour. She was cornered, she was trapped, death was certain as this huge mechanical monstrosity made it's way towards her at 2 feet per hour.
All hope was gone, all chance of escape lost, resistance was futile as this massive, oversized, working model, slowly, ever so slowly and surely, gradually and suspensefully made it's way towards its prey at 2 feet per hour.
Even worse if it was a TV series, as just as it was getting interesting, just as you thought it might reach a horrifying climax, there would be an on-screen announcement;
"Is this the end for the lovely Abigail?"
"Will she be devoured by the horrible creature?"
"Will she escape, will she be saved?"
"Or is she destined to meet a grisly fate?"
"Tune in next week to find out!!!"
Yeah, absolutely, tune in next week because that's how long it'll take for that half-baked excuse for a monster to get there at 2 feet per hour with adverts in between. Totally unreal, complete nonsense as ants, spiders and most insects can fly across a surface like a streak of lightning. Modern movies like 'Arachnaphobia' and 'Starship Troopers' got the athletic technicalities right.
The insect athletics
These buggers can move and is it any surprise since they've got six or eight legs. It would kinda give you a real advantage in the 100 metres and I'm sure they'd romp home if pitted against humans in the Olympic Games. Better than their chances in the 1950's moving at 2 feet per hour, always coming in last, even with a helpless, terrified Hollywood heroine screaming encouragement at the finishing line.
But I suppose in modern times maybe the hurdles wouldn't be their prime event as they'd end up stopping to cover the bloody things in webs instead of running the race. At the end of the day they've got to do what's natural. Kill flies, annoy humans and appear at the Oscars.
They never win anything, of course, because they take too long to reach the stage and the TV network need the advertising revenue. They were almost banned completely in 1997 when one of them had a go at Danny de Vito. It's well saying that they left Schwarzenegger alone, although I've no idea what he would be doing at the Oscars.
Apocalypse Now and Then
Once, when I was working on a campsite I put a spider in the shade of chair after accidentally soaking it and I also helped a wasp out the window so I could continue my work. But unfortunately, commercial pressures prevailed and when you've got a deadline to meet to get a mobile-home or a tent clean in preparation for a new customer then you'll slaughter anything that gets in your way.
Far from ushering little spiders into the shade you're conducting a scorched-earth policy across the cladding and the furniture, taking no prisoners and destroying all living creatures in your wake. Every insect, beastie, bug and grub of whatever description are swept aside quite literally to ensure a perfect first impression for our impressionable customers.
In mitigation I would defend myself by saying that at least many dozens of innocent flies are put out of their misery as they hang helplessly and miserably wrapped up in the spider's web like dispensable extras from another 'Alien' sequel and all passed over for the Academy Awards.
This salves my conscience slightly but at the end of the day it's humans first because they pay the money. I'm living on the frontier you know where times are tough and life is cheap. You've got to survive by any means necessary and I confess I've become more ruthless in my conquest of nature in the pursuit of riches and the progress of commerce.
But it's a hard life being an insect, unless you've got some financial value then you're nothing in this capitalist world. It almost makes me feel sympathy for the spiders and at least they help out by eating the competition. Who spares a thought for the flies and moths in the Darwinian existence of their world.
The bugs fight back
But at least spiders are clever, at least they have guile and know-how to conduct an insurgency campaign, merge into the background and strike when you least expect.
As for wasps and hornets, they're just screwballs, they really don't give a toss. If you attack them they'll take you on, every time.
No tactical retreat, no running away to fight another day, they just bring it on and they'll go for you no matter what.
They have no fear. I'd batter one of their small honeycomb nests from off the corner of a gutter and the next thing you know the headcase is having a square-go with me, full on, no punches pulled. It doesn't matter that I've got a huge brush in my hand that could inflict a severe concussion on his cranium, that doesn't put him off, not one bit.
Then you have the curious spectacle of Shinboy here dancing on his toes and flailing about in fresh air with a brush pole while startled onlookers gaze in bemusement whilst wondering who's the lunatic. What they don't realise is that I'm engaged in a life or death anti-airborne attack with some psychopathic buzz-bomb who wants to murder me.
We got the upper-hand though when we introduced 'Raid' into our battery of anti-insect repellent. But I haven't lost all my humanity my friends because I do wonder what Raid does to the poor blighters. Do wasps feel pain? Do wasps sufffer the agony of the death throes under the napalm onslaught of the aerosol attack.
They don't seem to enjoy it much, wriggling around under the gutters before plummeting to the ground. I assure myself, safe in the possible delusion that it has anaesthetising qualities that dispatched them mercifully and humanely. I fear this may not be the whole truth.
The horde of the flies
Having said that, of all the insect life I've encountered of all the bugs I've battled against, flies are the worst for sheer irritation and frustration.
At least you know where you are with wasps, they'll have a go before they eventually disappear or I run away in terror.
Most spiders you don't see and ants vaingloriously march in military lines like redcoats to the front-line making them easy pickings. If you're in a hot climate then you may be lucky as lizards can take care of them most of the time anyway.
Mosquitos leave a trail of damage on your dermitus that itch like merry hell and you never know when they've been as they undergo the same training as the spiders. I had spots all over my leg one summer, geometrically aligned almost into a rugged collection of perfect squares with outlying satellite spots. I could've played 'join the dots' in my spare time and drew a picture of Clint Eastwood.
But flies just annoy you to death as they won't take a telling, they won't take the hint. This I found out under canvas in my tented existence one summer;
"It's my dinner!!" I'd scream at the end of my tether,
"I have a right to sit naked to the waist in my own tent without you landing on me every 30 seconds"
"Get out ma tent!!"
"Let me eat in peace!!"
You can only give enough warnings and eventually I would reach for the glass cleaner. There was no fly-spray around but when all else fails, glass-cleaner will never let you down. So I'm sitting there, fork in right hand scooping bolognese into my cake-hole and spray-gun in my left, ready and waiting to blast the irritating arsehole as soon as he lands.
He's quick though, light on his feet and it usually takes a few shots to get him by which time my food is ruined and the floor of the tent is so bright and shiny I could go ice-skating of an evening.
Strife on Earth
But what about the professionals, what about the esteemed collection of scientists that encounter these wretched creatures? Do the expert Zoologists, Anthropologists, Naturalists and the various students of nature ever get bothered by these pestillent hordes?
It made me wonder if Sir David Attenborough ever got to the end of his tether with all the bugs, insects and flying nitwits that he must have encountered in his travels around the world. He's been to every place accessible, studied every creature imaginable and he's never lost the rag at all. At least not in front of the cameras;
"Aaaahhhh!!!!! Bloody fruit-flies!!!!" screams Attenborough
"Hold on David" shouts the on-site director,
"I'll kill 'em, I'll kill 'em!!"
"Calm down, lets take five" says the director
"Don't tell me to calm down" Sir David roars,
"OK, OK!!" says the cameraman,
"I can't concentrate on the chimpanzees with these little bleeders hovering about me all day"
"Well, shouldn't we take a little break then?" suggests the director,
"Absolutely!" agrees Sir David, "It'll give me a chance to destroy every last stinkin one of them!!"
"I don't think we should......."
"Never mind what you think, get me a can of 'Raid', I'll sort them out!!"
"He's never acted like this before" said the soundman as he and the cinematographer search for the bug-spray,
"Are you jokin mate, this is getting to be a regular occurence"
"Yeah!, I think he's getting crotchety in his old age"
"Oh! I haven't been working for the BBC for that long"
"Well, I have and it's not as if it didn't happen years ago either"
"Wow! I never thought that"
"Believe me mate, he has his moments"
"When I look back at that footage of him with the gorillas" said the soundman, "I can't believe anything would faze him"
"Nah!! That was all for the cameras" sneered the cinematographer
"You mean the same stuff happened way back then?"
"Oh for sure!" confirmed the cinematographer, "He almost throttled an Alpha Male for giving him lice"
But it's a precarious life being an insect, you just never know the minute, life is cheap and before you know it you're snuffed out by newspaper, magazine, flip-flop, soup-ladle or whatever modern weaponry is engaged, they don't stand a chance.
The real slaughter takes place when the chemical weapons are deployed. Ant-powder, fly-spray, bleach, detergent, or simply good old glass-cleaner. Indiscriminate and unforgiven. The insects get it hard.
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