Conversations with Creepy Crawleys (Insects)

I have never been, I am not, and will probably never be, a fan of insects. I know they do not literally have fans. What I mean simply is I don’t like them. Pardon me you Entomologist. I just find there’s nothing to like about them, well, that may not be the whole truth. Perhaps I do like the Ladybug’s dotted wings or the butterfly’s amazing colours, but that is where the love ends.

Over the years my fear of insects has been overtaken by courage – born out of a dislike for what these creatures have done and attempt to do – and has since grown in leaps and bounds from the days when I was a teen terrorised by cockroaches in my parents’ house. I thought they had a vendetta against me. I would sometimes hear them flying above my head to and fro or flipping the pages of my novels at night. Did they even know how to read or was it just to irritate me?? And then one night as I was struggling to sleep, a big (huge is probably a better word to describe it) cockroach flew toward me. That night I was ready. In my fear I found the courage to ‘slap’ it with a book I had in my hands. It fell to the floor, wings spread, dazed by the impact. I had a measure of satisfaction. Years later I managed to expel every single one of them that dared enter my house. Even the ones that come with shopping bags from Shoprite (no apology there) cannot stand living in my house. Thanks to that green leaf stuff. I would kiss that stuff if it were not poisonous. I live peacefully.

Not completely. I am still dealing with other insects I despise: Flies. They seem to think I want to play fly and duck with them. I am a human being. I cannot fly and I do not play with insects. When they sit on the wall or on the ceiling and flap their wings, I feel like they’re mocking me. Then they fly away leaving their black marks (droppings) behind, I cannot stand that. They also think we should share food and utensils. No! Sit elsewhere outside on a leaf or a tree, eat your fellow insects if you can, just not in my house.

The mosquito is also top of my list of most disliked. Oh I’ve read about how they and other insects contribute to the amazing cycle of our eco system but damn! They sting and it itches for days. At night especially in summer, I just want to lie down and sleep quietly and peacefully. But then one comes buzzing in my ear, that irritating sound that disturbs my sleep. Sometimes they come quietly and suck my blood. Hell no! Go find your own juice, and no you don’t live in my house. The rent we pay is for my family, for people not for insects. Even if I did not have to pay rent, you would still not be welcome.

So what has made me even more furious lately? One day, I went to the bathroom. Nor sooner had I entered than I saw a mosquito zazzing around as if trying to draw my attention. It circled lower and lower and landed on the cistern. This was my chance to slap the sting out of it. I aimed with all my strength. The next few minutes that followed had me reeling. I had lost the feeling in my right hand. My fingers were numb. The mosquito was nowhere to be seen but the excruciating pain that followed was enough to remind me that I had missed and instead hit the cistern in vain. Maybe if I had seen it dead on the floor, I would not have minded the pain so much. My grudge against these creatures is now consuming.

What exactly do they find fascinating about humans? Are we so interesting that they want to sit on us, share our bed, food and even take a bite out of us? We don’t go round looking them over and analysing them. Of course the entomologist does, and maybe the insects should stick to them and leave some of us alone.

I have no words for the Spider. Yes, that 8-legged, long-limbed alien. What exactly is your purpose? Yes we know you eat insects but why not do so outside, not on my ceiling, creating a white tent or web for yourself. Again, our rent does not include you. If you love camping so much, how about doing it outside under the stars?? Trust me the view is pretty magnificent out there than in my house. By the way, all that web is extra work for me and my house help. Once, at the office as I was busy at my desk slaving away, I felt a light, gentle brush on my leg. I ran a hand over my leg and kept on working. The gentle brush again. I decided to take a look. Lo and behold! A big spider crawling up my leg. Yes, the very one with long, long limbs! I instinctively swept it off, jumping to safety while trying in vain to suppress a scream and disturb my co-workers.

Before this thought escapes… There is an insect I have a huge dislike for. The one that builds what I can call dirt ‘hills’ and ‘dunes’ in keyholes, window frames, curtain rails and everywhere else. It is in the group of Wasps or is a wasp. There’s plenty trees around my yard with good shed but they chose my house. Sigh. I will end here lest the insects respond.

Thanks for reading.