Monday 21 July 2003
Random Interesting Thing
We’re under a full-scale bug attack here at Stately Tino Manor. We’re trapped in the house; if we open a door to go out, the bugs will come in and take over. The thing that looks like a giant bird’s nest in the photo at right is actually a swarm of mayflies around some floodlights. Clicking on the photo will pop up a larger version.
There are so many bugs that the bug zappers aren’t any good even for entertainment any more. Those ultraviolet-light gadgets don’t really do much about the bugs, but they make you feel a little better. They allow you to believe that you’re giving as good as you get.
Earlier tonight, one of our bug zappers became so clogged with bugs that it actually caught on fire. This is one of the drawbacks to living in the woods. In some parts of the country, mayflies are so numerous that clouds of them actually show up on weather radar; here, they’re more unusual. This Spring was wetter than usual, to put it incredibly mildly, which probably has something to do with it.
We’ve sprayed mint oil around all the exterior doors. I’m not entirely sure whether this will do any good, either — Imperial Mint Ltd. says it’s just the thing, but I think they may be be less than perfectly honest about the merits of mint oil — but it might prevent a replay of this morning, when we came downstairs to discover that approximately one zillion of these bugs had managed to crawl under the doors and die on the floor. In the garage, it was particularly impressive; there was a spray of bugs radiating out from each corner of each garage door, where the seals intersect and leave a little gap. It almost looked like someone had come around with a tank full of bugs and shot them in under the doors.
I spent most of the day vacuuming up bugs, both inside and outside the house. Just outside the doors, it was incredibly bad. Most of the doors in this house are mostly glass, and the bugs are attracted to even the slightest bit of light coming through. A few managed to make it into the house past the closed doors, but most of them just bounced against the glass for a while and fell dead outside I had to vacuum the deck and doorsteps to keep us from tracking these things inside. This is a photo of the scene just outside one of the garage doors. The black substance in the gravel isn’t soil; it’s a half-inch-deep layer of dead mayflies. (Click on the photo to pop up a larger version.)
I’m heading off to bed now, so I’ll have time to clean up the mess in the morning.Posted by tino at 23:57 21.07.03
Posted by: Paul Johnson at July 24, 2003 11:58 PM