How to Save the Environment : Buy Bug Repellent
How to Save the Environment : Buy Bug Repellent
Everyone loves spring time when flowers are blooming and birds singing as nature becomes a kinder force for all.
But as you might imagine the bugs come out in force again to spoil the fun. Billions upon billions of them 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 furniture, eating you or even eating your house.
Spiders especially are a real pain in the posterior as they leave their webs everywhere, spinning their adhesive trampolines inside, outside, in corners, on ceilings and around anything that doesn't move. So wake up your grandma or keep her chair rocking.
It is a relentless and unending low-intensity operation fighting the arachnid insurgents and like expert urban terrorists they conduct their activities covertly and then disappear like Maoist 'fish in the sea'.
"Come back you scumbags, come back and fight" you scream.
Not so busy B-Movies
They can't half move though I tell you, they're fit and really swift on their feet, all eight of them. It must cost them a fortune in training shoes.
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, at 2-feet per hour, approach her most terrifyingly. She was cornered, she was trapped, death was certain as this huge mechanical monstrosity made it's 2-feet per hour crawl towards its victim.
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 you mugs!!"
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 bloody 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 'Arachnophobia' and 'Starship Troopers' got the athletic technicalities right.
The insect athletics
These diminutive post-Corinthians can fairly shift and they would have a real advantage in the 100 metres as 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 them 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 at Hollywood of course, because they take too long to reach the stage. 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 when you've got a deadline to meet.
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.
It's a living on the frontier where times are tough and life is cheap. 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 their Darwinian existence.
The bugs fight back
But at least spiders are clever, at least they have the 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 hoot. 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 in a life or death anti-airborne attack as some psychopathic buzz-bomb wants to murder you.
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. But flies just annoy you to death as they won't take a telling, they won't take the hint.
"It's my dinner!!" I'd scream at the end of my tether,
"Let me eat in peace!!"
You can only give enough warnings and eventually I would reach for the spray. 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 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 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'!!"
"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"
"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, "He almost throttled an Alpha Male for giving him lice"
It seems a precarious life being an insect.or any creature tangling with Sir Dave.