I don’t know what’s going on this fall, but I have never seen so many bugs inside our house. I can’t go take a shower without finding a bug, there are spiders spinning webs from the beams up above, and the flies are everywhere. Now this is not an entirely new phenomena. In winter, the WCS’s (Western Conifer Seed Bugs) routinely seem to take refuge in the house. But the sheer amount of bug we’ve seen the past six weeks is surprising.
I’ve always said if you want to live in the mountains, you have to learn how to coexist with the wildlife. But somehow in my mind, when I said that, I was thinking more of the larger wildlife that lives outside — animals like the deer, the coyotes, the bobcat, the bears — those kinds of wildlife. Now I’m finding out you have to learn to accept the bugs that share the house with you. The dog’s water bowl is filled with flies almost every day. In terms of cause, the only thing I can come up with is the very dry and warm last month we have had, and the early frost we had in August. Perhaps the best thing about sharing the house with so many bugs is that I’ve sort of become immune to seeing them everywhere. When I throw back the shower curtain only to find a cricket, I’m not even surprised, and simply scoop it up and release it outside.
But it’s not just the bugs, but I’ve suddenly developed a mice problem in my car of all places. A few weeks ago, I left a sealed bag of trail mix in my car that I had bought for a hike. The next day the bag had been nibbled into and most of the trail mix was gone. It happened with a small bag of pretzels a couple of nights later. After that, I found mouse droppings on the floor mats near the back seat. How in the heck are they getting in my car with all the windows completely closed and what to do about it? In desperation, I took everything out of my car, thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned the carpet and seats. But I have a small litter bag in my car that I keep debris like coffee cups or wrappers in. Today I found a wrapper a mouse had chewed through. Apparently at one point, the mice had gotten into the house, because when we took a trip for a week last month, upon return, we found a dead mouse in the middle of our living room rug, courtesy of our cat, Zuni. Maybe I ought to just put the cat out in the car for the night to take care of the problem?
With the bugs and the mice, winter can’t come fast enough. Surely if we get some sub-freezing weather and some snow, the mice and bugs will leave. In the meantime, I will do my best to keep a clean car, and live with the bugs… If you’re so inclined, you can do a little snow dance for me!