Sunday, 15 April 2012

Nasty Bugs

Saturday 14th April 2012
I dragged my ailing body out of bed for this one.

As if there weren't enough hostile bugs to worry about in the garden, in the last two days I've been hit by two completely different types.

I was so looking forward to 14th April, for it was this precise date last year that the potential of my farm to attract migrant birds became apparent, with a Black Redstart and a Wheatear spending the day in the newly planted orchard. It would be a huge coincidence for anything similar to happen this year, but I still had to check, until...

I knew it wasn't right that I felt so dodgy on the trip across to the Scilly Isles on Thursday morning. I've never even shown a hint of sea sickness on the many voyages I've undertaken before, so why this time? Well, on the evening of Friday 13th (I'm not superstitious, but this was not a good one), Bug Number One hit me. Not the sort of bug that can be repelled with companion planting. For the next 30 hours my body did not know what had hit it, and I am still making a very gradual recovery. Trust me, you don't want any more details!

Bug Number Two...well, I refuse to be stigmatised by it. The home equivalent of catching headlice. BED BUGS! Uuuuuurrrgh.
Sue had been getting bitten by a mysterious overnight culprit for a few days now. We suspected, but we could not prove, nor could we work out how they might have arrived. I was a bit miffed they had spurned my blood. (Maybe they knew about Bug Number One)Then, on that same Friday 13th, Sue managed to take a couple by surprise and capture them indelibly in folded sellotape. My eyes aren't what they used to be, and without  a magnifier they could have been bits of wool, except Sue said they were clearly crawling!
Turn a pair of binoculars round the wrong way and hold them really close to the target and, hey presto, giant target! - definitely an insect, a bit like those pictures on the internet, but are bed bugs really this large?

Our reading also told us that this was no job for a sprig of lavender, or even wormwood. A specialist destruction agency would need to be called - at a specialist destruction rate!
He arrived, did his stuff, told us that what we had captured were babies (!!), and left. Problem sorted...hopefully.

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