Bugs: An Easter Story

I’m gonna be honest – I haven’t written any sort of recount since High School English. However, I think it’s time to give it a go, because I had an interesting Easter weekend.  It was fun, in the way a horror novel might be fun to start with. You know, before people start dying. (Don’t worry – nobody died. Well, a lot of bugs.)

So for Easter my family head up to a property we own with a little old transportable home on it. It’s not the nicest house, but it’s actually a really nice set up. Basically, we get all of the benefits of camping without going to the toilet outside and sleeping in a tent. Usually.

This Easter, my Grandparents were the first to arrive. Now, at this point, we should probably know never to let my Grandparents get there first. The first time they did this, we found the whole thing ransacked by some interesting robbers. (They stole some interesting things, like half a vacuum cleaner, a kitchen drawer, and a hair dryer. But that’s another story.) Since then, every time they arrive first, they seem to have something bad to tell us. This time was no exception; there were, apparently, bugs everywhere.

I’ll be completely honest, I thought they were exaggerating when they said there were bugs all through the house and that you could barely move without stepping on one. But nope! That wasn’t an exaggeration.

Thanks to their warning, we decided to tow the camper trailer up with us just in case we couldn’t sleep in the house. It was a good thing we did.

These things were, actually, everywhere. Kitchen sink, the fridge, the washing machine, inside the kettle. There was nowhere that they hadn’t been. There were thousands of dead ones, thousands more alive over the walls and ceiling. The outside wall of the house was a favourite. My Grandfather had started the removal of bugs, and had a large pile of them in a wheelbarrow. This wheelbarrow would later become some kind of trophy. People would arrive and we’d say “Hey, look how many dead bugs we’ve collected.” It was pretty full by the end of the weekend.

Now, I have never really been afraid of bugs, as such. There not my best friends, sure, but I could always deal with them. Turns out, I’m not a fan in big numbers. So the millions of bugs around the house? Yeah, not for me, thank you. The sheer number of them made me feel like I was in the beginning of a really bad horror movie or something. We even started talking about what we nicknamed ‘Stephen King moments’. Like the time I flushed the toilet and hundreds of bugs fell out of the cistern and into the toilet bowl. Or the time my Uncle removed a horseshoe and a heap of bugs flew out from behind it. (Come to think of it, I’m not sure why the horseshoe is even there. Did I put it there? I can’t remember doing that. It was probably there when we bought the property in the first place.)

No, my parents and Uncle are the real heroes of this story. They strode in there on that first day armed with a broom, a dustpan, and a vacuum cleaner. And they cleared out probably a good few thousand bugs. Which was why it must have been so disappointing for them when they got up the next morning (after camping out overnight) and found that they had made practically no difference at all in the amount of bugs around.

So then we went to the local hardware store. There we found out that yes, these bugs were basically a plague effecting the entire local area. No, we were not the only ones with this issue, and yes, you may take these chemicals formulated to destroy bugs. So we returned, and Dad started having fun spraying bug spray everywhere.

This turned out fun, because all the bugs seemed to like the spray. They all flocked to the wall he’d sprayed, had a drink or something and then dropped off the wall. We sat outside watching them drop for a while, actually. See, this is what you do for entertainment when you don’t have TV.

Mum had made a game of sucking up bugs with the vacuum cleaner. Apparently it was fun when they got sucked up. She kept doing it, too. Every couple of hours or so she’d return to the house for another game of ‘let’s suck up the bugs’.

That night we set off a couple of bug bombs, and apparently the next morning it looked like there was some kind of bug apocalypse. So, Mum and Dad got back to cleaning up the bugs, and I wandered around hiding plastic Easter eggs. Because we are fully grown adults and no bugs will stop us from having an Easter egg hunt! It was a joyous occasion for me, because four of the eggs contained notes saying ‘April Fools’ instead of the usual tokens I let them trade in for chocolate. My poor Uncle found three of these. It was fun.

And, as the day went on, more bugs made there way into the house. Granted, there were significantly less of them after the bug bomb. But it was still kind of ridiculous. More bombs were set of that night, and the next morning Mum and Dad once again got to work. I had the very important job of sitting with the dog. (Okay, I’ll admit, I was avoiding the bugs. I didn’t like them.)

When we left the house last weekend, we were starting to get on top of the bug problem. But not enough, which is why my parents decided to return this weekend. I decided not to go, as it turns out I really don’t like bugs.

I’m not entirely sure exactly how they went this weekend at this stage, I’ll have to find out. But I will leave you with this life lesson;

If you have a holiday home that you are leaving for many months, make sure that it’s sealed properly. As in, don’t have gaps under the door, or holes in the roof, or any other thing that the bugs can get in. Bug house parties, it turns out, are wild and don’t seem to stop. Ever.

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