Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a tale of two insects

We moved into this house in 2001 - fully restored it before we put one stick of furniture in.

We used to walk by it on the way to the park, as we lived a block down the road. The "Craftsman 4 square" was built in 1911 as a single-family dwelling. But several years before we even paid one bit of attention to it, the woman who owned it (a widow battling cancer trying to maintain her independence for as long as possible) converted two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs into apartments, complete with their own entrances.

Taking it back to a single-family home was a fun task, especially because the old lady, now deceased, kept the architectural elements, french doors, sleeping porch windows, and had them stored in the basement. She must have known one day that a young family such as ours would want to put everything back the way it used to be. I am thankful for her wisdom.

During the process of renovating the house, we rewired all the electrical. Our electrician was creative enough to suggest rather than ripping holes in our stucco walls, he could pull all the baseboards off and run the wire behind them. While the baseboards were off, we could clean behind them and paint them.

Amazing what we found behind them - stuff ranging from a small handful of coins (a silver dime dated 1910), a Catholic saint charm bracelet, jade-colored hairpins, a receipt for coal, and then in one corner in the back of the house we found coffee grounds.

Odd. Why would someone pour coffee grounds back there? I got our contractor to come with me to look. "Uh. Those are not coffee grounds, honey." That is the evidence of roach infestation.
(insert bad case of shivers here)
Hey, wait a minute, this post was supposed to be about Asian Lady Beetles. Somehow I got off track.....
Anyway, we moved in. That next winter we noticed a few of these cheap Asian ladybug knock offs.
"Oh, I hear it is good luck to have a lady bug in your house," I optimistically told the kids.
(we only had #'s 1, 2, and 3 at that point)
They were fascinated with the one or two we found. We went to the nature store and bought a bug house and tried to keep them alive.
Well, I may as well have gone to the bad part of town and gotten some ink artist to tattoo the words "stupid idiot" across my forehead. Now we have a ladybug infestation! They are everywhere. They smell nasty. If you accidentally step on one, not only do you get the willies from the crunch they make underfoot, but they leave an orange stain in addition to the beetle juice smell. My vacuum is ruined, as I have vacuumed up more than I even want to imagine.
Any of you have any creepy bug stories? Or have any of you been victim to the ladybug invasion?


Catherine B. said...

We were infested a few years ago at Christmas. Like y'all there were EVERYWHERE! Somehow they came in through the living room, where the tree, gifts, nativity everything was. Ugh! I had Stuart caulk everything, all the upper and lower molding, which helped tremendously.

vcrick said...

Ahh! I remember the "coffee grounds".

Bia said...

i'll never look at coffee grounds the same way ;0)