A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Bugs.  Yuck.  Right?

Like a lot of things in my yard, I don't know a whole lot about bugs.  I know that some of them do good things, like breaking down organic matter, and some of them are simply pests that feed on plants that I might try to grow.  I suppose bugs are something I'll need to learn more about over the course of the winter and I figure out what to do with my garden.

I had a bug problem when I first moved into my house back in August.  The problem wasn't outside, though; it was inside.  I was finding bugs on the carpet in the living room and couldn't figure out where they were coming from.  I didn't know if they were some species of cockroach that kept their home inside the house, or if they were sneaking in from outside.  It was worse, though...I had bugs on the brain.  I had bites on my body that I couldn't account for, and their itchiness kept me awake at night.  I was afraid that my mattress, which had been in storage for six weeks, had picked up bed bugs in the warehouse.

Eventually, the picture started to become clearer.  I saw a couple of worms that had sneaked their way into the house, and I noticed that when I first discovered a new bug, it was usually near the side door of the living room.  The bugs were small, a quarter to half an inch in length, oval in shape, brown with black spots, and they had lots of legs.  To this day, I don't know what type of bug they are.  An entomology student friend suggested that they might be earwigs, but based on a picture that I saw, this is incorrect.  I've seen a couple of earwigs on the back patio when I was clearing the leaves, and these bugs that are getting into the house aren't earwigs.  I have determined, though, that they are outdoor bugs.  I first saw them outside underneath a brick that I had picked up to move to my pile of eyesore.  Since then, I've noticed them under and alongside rocks.  No wonder they were sneaking in from the side door; the rocks and decaying leaves on the outside made it a perfect habitat for them.  I was relieved...they weren't cockroaches.

Since then, I've done my best to abate my indoor/outdoor bug problem.  I've tried to keep the back patio clear of leaves.  I've cleaned up by the side door, moving the leaves out of the way and moving the rocks farther from the door.  I've decided that I don't have bed bugs, and the bites on my legs and arms are beginning to clear up.  Things are getting better on the bug front, and I hope it stays that way as outdoor temperatures plummet and the bugs try to find a warm place for the winter.

Related posts:

The Pile of Eyesore

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