Bugs come with life in the Lowcountry

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By Lee Scott

Lying in the hallway under a plastic cup sits a large Palmetto bug that I just caught. My spouse, who is out working in the yard, has not agreed to come in and kill it and so I was forced to catch it. He, the bug, was running as fast as he could but I managed to trap him. Now two cocker spaniels are being kept out of the hallway because I know one of them will walk over, tip the cup over and let him loose. They are not fast enough to stop him.

He is doing circles around the cup seeking a way out. There is enough pile on the carpet that he is still getting air. He gets up every once in awhile and does another circle. I get up from my desk and look at him from a distance.

When I moved here, I realized I was going to have to put up with certain things. Long warm winters, a beach nearby, Palm trees blowing in the breeze and sunsets that take my breath away. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the Palmetto bugs. Let’s face it. We know what they really are and I don’t want to acknowledge that word. I will use the other popular name, Water bug.

We did order the Termite and Pest control service when we first moved here. The problem emerges every time we have a very heavy rain or when the bug control guy comes to spray. I swear I can hear the little spiders and bugs yelling under the house. “Everyone go upstairs. That man with the suit is spraying!” I know that because for at least twenty-four hours after he sprays, I find dead bodies around.

This one sitting in the hallway under the cup was brought in by accident. I had an old baby gate outside for several weeks and brought it in the house before checking it. He was hiding behind the gate and I didn’t see him until I started to wash down the gate. I’m not sure who jumped higher, him or me, but I did manage to get the cup in time to catch him before he disappeared into a wall.

Fortunately, I hear my husband’s movements in the garage. He is coming. My little friend will soon be a memory and the plastic cup will go into the trash.