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Small Talk: We have company

During these months of quarantine, my daughter and her spouse have begun distracting themselves by naming the insects that get in the house.

It’s pretty funny, actually, as all spiders — primarily daddy longlegs, are now dubbed Bob. Since they share the long legs of that spider, my son-in-law also dubbed our resident mosquito hawks as Winged Bobs.

There is a pair of spiders on the ceiling of their room, now named Bob and Sally. They can be heard saying, “Hey, Bob. Hey, Sally. How’s it hanging?”

These creatures are permitted to remain unscathed in the corner, because my daughter won’t kill anything ever and my son-in-law is deathly afraid of spiders.

I will leave them alone, because they are, at least, making themselves useful, having caught several small insects in their web.

However, most crawling things that show up in my house meet with a swift and painless death. These are primarily spiders of various sizes and shapes, and silverfish. I’ve put out traps. They avoid them, insisting on doing the classic insect thing of popping up where and when least expected.

The only successful insect elimination I can claim this year is with pantry moths. It is a glowing testament to my mother’s housekeeping skills and enormous freezer in the garage that I never knew about moth infestations until I was out on my own.

One day this April, I opened a cupboard suddenly full of winged intruders. I’d be happier if they were bats.

I vacuumed to a fare-thee-well and then bought sticky traps for all our cupboards. I’m shooting for no more mad-moth surprises.

These traps work like magic. They not only captured first-hatched moths, but serve as an alert that a major moth visit is coming. Since the rest of my family insists on eating cereal on a regular basis, this is likely to be an ongoing struggle.

If you think I’m being fastidious, you are wrong. I’m pretty sure I have far more bugs in my house than most.

I have mentioned before, I believe this is because my husband insists on an organic, pesticide-free backyard. It is a noble effort that would work better if our house was hermetically sealed. Sadly, we have a bunch of old, ill-fitting doors and windows, sporting, I believe, tiny, insect-sized welcome mats.

At least winter is coming. I’m counting on those 65-degree cold snaps to do the trick.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer muddying up her karma. Contact her at [email protected].