I’m not unused to insects, but I can’t say I like insects. When I come across them I try to be respectful somehow, but more often than not I’d like a certain distance between them and me. Thick glass in an aquarium in the zoo type distance. Or certain dead. Except with big spiders because they pretend to be dead so you can never tell if they’re actually dead until you’ve proven they are by stamping on them. This always results in feeling guilty: my irrational fear of those much smaller beings has won again.
I help praying mantis cross the road. Not because I particularly like them, but because I read somewhere that killing them brings bad luck. And I’m really trying to not get freaked out by them, even though I’m unconvinced that they’re not trying to get me to take them to my leader. They’re only here to take over the world sometime in the future.
Bees are an exception. A few years ago I saw my first swarm and it was otherworldly, I heard the noise first and had no idea what it was, until I looked up and saw this dark little cloud float past. A few hours later I noticed the swarm hanging on a beam in the ruin next to our house, sirup like, silent and still yet moving at the same time.
I tried to locate someone who might want them, as there are people in the area who keep bees, but they moved around, and decided to hang around in front of Villager S’ house.
I told the kids in the village to keep well away and Villager S reassured me she’d get her son to spray them later at night when they were asleep. I went a bit bonkers at her (totally accepted when you’ve integrated) and told her she was not to do such a thing and lectured her on the importance of bees and how we’d all die without them. In the end they chose to live in the ruin next to my house which is fine by me.
Come to think of it, I don’t mind ants that much. In the beginning I used to get very agitated by the sight of ants, that unmistakable black dotted line marching through the house and the fear that once they were in my house they’d never ever leave again. Especially once they knew were you stored the sugar. My friend had an ant infestation once, and they somehow managed to get into her kitchen cupboards, high up and the only thing she could do against them was insecticide nuke them. And they returned.
Convinced they were a super Galician species I was petrified the first time I found them all over the table in my kitchen. I began to massacre them quite frantically , hunting the little bodies and squishing all I could, but when had killed all, more arrived, or so it seemed. Because it was difficult to locate how they got in, I felt quite overwhelmed and scared. What if they would never disappear now they found us? Would I have to resort to having little tables with legs standing in ant poison, like I’d seen people do in India?
But then I remembered coming across a weird article about how you could ask unwanted creatures to leave and I thought I’d try this on the ants. It involved asking them to leave in a kind manner, rather than forcing them to leave,. With nothing to loose apart from my sanity, I thought I’d try it.
Hey ant, you know you’re pretty amazing and all and I truly admire your organisational skills but I’d prefer you go somewhere else I’d you don’t mind.
I didn’t go about killing, I merely swept them outside with a broom and calmly repeated I’d preferred them to leave. They were gone that same day. I have barely had any problems since, and when I do come across any in the house, I simply ask them to leave. It only works on ants.
On the subject of invasive insects, we tend to get quite a few wasps in the house and there are most likely nests in the roof but they never bother me that much.
It’s the flies which truly annoy me, apart from the first fly in early spring. That first fly evokes a Pavlovian type of reaction where your body suddenly realises summer is on the verge of returning and you can practically feel the warmth of sun on your skin already.
And that one fly is the opening act for The Sound of Crickets.
Odd, and sad for the flies perhaps, that the sound of crickets won in the world of relaxing insect sounds, and their own soft monotone buzzing never stood a chance.
It’s an unfair insect world.