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It’s a Bug’s Life

Latest posts by Rhonda Beckman (see all)

Every single one of us has a story to tell, one that speaks of our near death experiences, uncivilized disasters or unique rescue tactics with the little critters that buzz through the air, crawl through our peonies and pop their eyeless heads out of the dirt.

I am talking, of course, about bugs; those weird creatures that leave us in awe, wondering what the actual purpose could possibly be for something that is such a nuisance.

As Canadians, we joke that we have two seasons: freezing our butt off winters, and bug season. Some even consider it a curse, an incredibly torturous curse, to endure six months or bitter cold only to be invaded by mosquitoes on the first of May.

I wholeheartedly admit that family members have stood by as I do the embarrassingly awkward I-have-a-pincher-bug-on-me dance from one end of my lawn to the other.

My then-fiancé got a real taste of how his soon to be wife would truly be when I created new swear words and then cried for the duration of the whole 105 highway drive home after being stung by a bunch of wasps. I asked a doctor to cut my leg off when a spider decided my leg was a perfect place to lay eggs.

[pullquote]Yes, you read that right. I had spider baby eggs in my leg. And I was pregnant. It was not cool[/pullquote]Yes, you read that right. I had spider baby eggs in my leg. And I was pregnant. It was not cool. As a baby, my mother likes to tell the story of how I mercilessly gobbled up spiders and she once saw one unlucky fella’s legs hanging out of my mouth.

Over the years I have squished, sprayed and splatted (and apparently eaten) my fair share of bugs. But as I get older, I find myself becoming more and more empathetic towards bugs; yes, even for the lowly fruit fly.

The other day as I was washing the dishes, I noticed that a fruit fly had gotten its back legs stuck in a droplet of water. I found myself mesmerized by its efforts as it pulled its body weight out of the mire, dragging its soggy lifeless back legs and wings behind. As I was rooting for the guy, I said out loud, “You better get yourself out of there, little buggie.”

On a side note, I have found that I refer to bugs as a small child would with buggie and wormie being the most common terms that I use. It extends to other fauna such as froggie, kitty, and even moosie.

I can hear a lot of people shuddering right now. It is what it is.

In my mind, I believe that everything has a purpose. Evolution is an incredible thing. These creatures have all survived millions of years of environmental and genetic changes to get to be who they are today, and gosh darn it, they deserve to live out their two day life cycle, if that’s what their purpose in life is, without me going out of my way to squish them.

There is a reason they are here. I just don’t understand it, but as we’re seeing from the declining population of bees, it will have an impact on our earth.

And if you listen to my friend Lynne, who studied entomology, then squishing a pincher is actually one of the worst things to do if you want to get rid of them. Squishing them releases an “S.O.S hormone” which signals all of the other pinchers that that poor bugger is in big trouble, like dead trouble, and they round their troops to conquer the enemy. So just leave those freaky evil pinching jerks alone and they won’t send in their army.

I took it to Facebook, exposing the truth of talking to the bugs as I release them onto my flowers (which I consider a bug utopia). Lo and behold, I am definitely not alone. We all have little chats with these critters, letting them know that we just want peace, so why don’t they just hang out in our flowers and not chew on us when the sun sets, okay? Is that so much to ask? Perhaps we were all just bugs that ultimately met our demise at the end of a fly swatter in a past life and this is our chance to make it right this time. Critter karma, you know?

Disclaimer: some bugs may or may not have been intentionally or accidentally squished or splatted in the duration of time since this article has gone to press.

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