The Bugs Are Coming The Bugs Are Coming


A Clue for Adrianna (Captain’s Point Stories) A romantic women’s fiction/family saga/chicklit novel written by Annie Acorn & Juliette Hill writing as Charlotte Kent.

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Chocolate Can Kill (Emily Harris Mysteries) a cozy mystery by Annie Acorn

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Okay, I admit it, I’ve been a little obsessed with bugs this summer [A Tired Older Woman Goes Bug-Eyed], but if you had lived in the Deep South as long as I did you would be, too, given the record breaking summer we’ve been having here in the D.C. area.  Been there, done that as has often been said.

I wasn’t always this way.  I don’t remember bugs being a large factor in my life during my early days in Indiana, Ohio, or East Tennessee.  It wasn’t until I discovered the pleasures of living south of the Gnat Line that my fears began to set in.

Gone were the days of leaving a comb of honey sitting exposed in a bowl on a counter.  My flour and sugar now both demanded that they have canisters.  Even opened boxes of cookies or crackers had to be sealed away, and I quickly became the Rubbermaid Queen.

It was when my friend Marjorie called me in tears, though, that I had to face facts.  It was us against the bugs, and according to Marjorie, they were winning.

In between sobs, this paradigm of good housekeeping, whose home in Atlanta wasn’t even cluttered, let alone dirty, spilled her guts out to me, having just returned with her son from the hospital’s emergency room.

Having gone to bed quietly, Junior had awakened screaming.  Nothing and no one could console him.  The ER doctor had removed a live roach from the child’s ear.  The stage had been set.  Armageddon was near.

A few weeks later, my husband’s new promotion required that our family move to Gulfport, Mississippi.  Here a lovely townhouse awaited the then three of us.

One evening I stayed up late reading in the nicely proportioned living room with its beautiful fireplace, the sliding door to the left of me open so as to allow for a gentle breeze to come through the screen.  The year was 1976, and I was feeling quite elegant in a green, elephant-legged jumpsuit with a large white sailor’s collar attached.  (Trust me, you had to be there.  It was one of my favorite outfits of all time)

Neither of our next door neighbors was at home, thank goodness.  One of them was at a conference in New York, and the other was on vacation.  There’s no telling what they would have thought of us newcomers, if they had been there to witness upcoming events.

So there I was, minding my own business, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something drop the length of the screen door that was situated to the left of my comfortable winged-back chair.  For a moment, my mind registered a pine bark chip resting on the floor by my foot, but then the chip moved.  More to the point, it moved quickly, slipping easily beneath the hem of my elephant-legged jumpsuit and proceeding to run up my bare leg underneath.

For the first time in my life, I experienced what the words “a blood curdling scream” really mean, and the horrible ruckus was coming from me.  My husband, who had just had the cast removed from a broken left foot, leaped from our bed, touched the floor briefly at the top of the stairs, and didn’t land again before he had reached the front foyer.  Son #1, who was then five, could be heard crying out for both of us from his bed, where only a moment before he, too, had been sleeping.

The wood roach, as I learned later our intruder was properly named, chose this moment to vacate my lower regions in preference for the freedom of wide open spaces and headed straight for my barefooted husband, who had the presence of mind to send a sharp kick towards the creature.

Surprised by such a response, the three-inch long, pine bark look-a-like played dead for a few seconds, giving my knight in shining armor sufficient time to retrieve a just purchased aerosol can of bug spray that was guaranteed to clear a screened porch-sized area of all flying insects.  Since a set of large shiny wings was in evidence, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Always an over-achiever, my husband then proceeded to completely bury our intruder in a mound of white foam.  For a moment, nothing happened, but then a small depression appeared, followed shortly by our visitor himself – still on the move.

Now the dining room in this townhouse was separated from the front hallway by a floor to ceiling openwork bookcase that I had taken real pains over the past couple of days to arrange with a number of our favorite books and much-loved decorative objects.  It was to this display that our nemesis headed, showing no signs whatsoever of feeling even a bit ill, let alone dead.

Sterner measures were now called for.  Undaunted, my clever husband grabbed a short length of 2 X 4 that we had temporarily been wedging along the base of the sliding door, when we closed the house up for the night.  I dashed to the other side of the room and sought refuge on the back of the couch, having decided that this type of situation obviously fell within the parameters of “men’s work.”

Swak!  The board hit the carpeted floor, barely missing our “guest,” but causing Son # 1 to stop crying.  Swak!  My husband muttered something along the lines that the Falcon’s should consider this fellow the next time they were in need of a running back.

Sensing another blow coming his way, the roach headed straight for the bookcase.

I was now screaming again.  “Don’t hit the books!  Don’t break Grandma’s vase!  Don’t squash the dried flower arrangement!”  These are the types of things that gain a primary importance during a major insect invasion, although in some ways I was relieved, believing as I did that we now had the culprit in checkmate.

But we didn’t.

We had underestimated our enemy’s strength.  With but a second to spare, the six-legged monster shoved a large copy of Webster’s dictionary out of his way, clear through the shelf, and headed back to the sliding door, where he ran along the channel and squeezed to freedom between the screen and the glass.

“Well…”  My Sir Galahad calmly closed and locked the sliding door, remembering to wedge his former weapon into the channel as added protection.  “I guess that takes care of things.”

And with that and a quick kiss on my cheek, he was back off to bed, pausing on his way to get a drink for Son #1 as always a good father.

Still not sure who had done it, I settled down with my mystery on the couch, which sat directly across from the fireplace, my legs curled up beneath me just in case.  A few minutes later, just as I reached those two words “The End,” I heard a loud ping, followed by a scratching sound in the fireplace.

You guessed it.  One of our previous visitor’s cousins had come looking for him.

Determined to thwart further invasions, I raised the book I had now finished as high as I could and let it fly at this newest spoiler of my home’s peace, only to be surprised when I realized that I had managed a direct hit.

One potato, two potato, I began counting, seeing no sign of life before I hit the magic number – one hundred.  The book having silently remained quite still where it was, I calmly rose, turned out the lights, and joined my husband in bed.

Just as I drifted off to sleep, though, I did wonder.  What would the local librarian think when I returned the mystery I had just finished to her with an additional body stuck to the cover?

Annie Acorn

Christmas at the Cabins (Luna Lake Cabins Stories Book 6)

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Snowbound for Christmas and Other Stories (Annie Acorn’s Christmas Book 1) by Annie Acorn

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A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn

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Murder With My Darling (Bonnie Lou Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

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Love’s Third Chance (Luna Lake Cabins Stories) by Annie Acorn

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The Young Executive (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

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A Stranger Comes to Town (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

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When to Remain Silent (Annie Acorn’s Kindle Short Mysteries) by Annie Acorn

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133 Responses to The Bugs Are Coming The Bugs Are Coming

  1. I can completely understand this story as I live in Georgia. Our insect “invasion” is always the eight legged kind. Up here in the North GA mountains, spiders like to invade the cabin. I can handle anything else but spiders. EWWWW.

    • Annie says:

      Constance – I’m with you on the spider thing, and they’re hard to get rid of because they don’t groom. Hence, they don’t lick the poison off their eight tiny little feet. Best of luck as you battle on with them! Annie

  2. Carrie Green says:

    Ah, the horror! Nothing worse when there’s a bug and you only have a book in hand! Sadly, I let a few bugs live in that situation… Here in the Midwest, the problem is spiders; I used to view them as friendly and helpful–hey, they kill other bugs like ants until one bit me, over and over, while I slept. Very painful. I now kill spiders with whatever happens to be nearby–it’s war!

    • Annie says:

      Carrie – I agree. Using a book was akin to Sophie’s Choice. Still, it was the bug or the book. I agree with you about spiders, and normal means don’t work because they don’t groom. It’s pretty much hand to hand combat! Come again! Annie

  3. Lori Leger says:

    Oh my God! I laughed so hard, the tears ran down my legs! Hilarious..and oh, so familiar to me. Resident of south Louisiana here, girl, so we battle bugs all year long. Tree roaches coming in when it’s too wet or too dry, spiders, (Nothing like walking to my car in the carport at 6:30 in the a.m. and running into a huge web that wasn’t there the day before….Ewww) love bugs twice a year, Mayflies that find their way into the tiniest crevice, fire ants if you dare set foot outside, carpenter ants inside the house, flies, gnats, and lets not forget Louisiana’s state bird…the blood sucking mosquito! Due to the many winters so mild you need nothing heavier than a sweater, we get to enjoy these year round. Any brief interlude without them is a treat. My hubby and I recently vacationed in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and I was in absolute heaven. Its many acres of gorgeous indoor gardens and waterfalls were air conditioned to the perfect temperature and contained absolutely no bugs. I didn’t want to leave there…ever…seriously. I could live there.

    But, I’m home now, armed with my can of Bengal Gold (the best bug spray ever created) and Windex, which I’ve discovered is handy in a pinch. It kills flies instantly and smells nice. You wipe up the dead bug and clean surfaces at the same time.

    Wonderful post!
    Lori Leger

    • Annie says:

      Lori – I believe your comment may have been funnier than the post, and it was informative, too. I never realized that the mosquito was the state bird of Louisiana! How fitting! Oh, and thanks for the great tip about Windex! Come again! Annie

  4. Lori Leger says:

    LOL! Anytime, Annie. I blogged for awhile but discovered it was taking too much from my writing time. Mmmm…or maybe I’m just too darn lazy. Do you make it to any conferences in the area? Would love to meet you sometime.

    • Annie says:

      Lori – I’m hoping to attend Murder in Magic City in Birmingham either next February or the one after. I would love to meet you, too! Annie

  5. Linda Mickey says:

    Still chuckling. We have relatives in the Atlanta area and have heard many tales of the giant bugs. For us, it’s wolf spiders that love the cedar shake roof and seem to gain access through every closed window. They are huge, hairy and very fast. We do spider patrol before going to bed. The mild winter only made things worse…no bug kill off. The mosquitoes are the size of blue jays.

    • Annie says:

      Linda – Spiders are hard to get rid of because they don’t groom. Mosquitoes the size of blue jays?!? I’m not sure that I’m buying it, but the image is a hoot! I recommend that you continue doing the patrols! Come again! Annie

  6. Having lived 20 years on the outskirts of Charleston, SC, I can attest to the accuracy of this post. I recall chasing a flying monster, not unlike that described above, around our livingroom one night while my wife screamed from atop the coffee table. Southern bugs are nothing to take lightly.

    • Annie says:

      James – I have a lot of happy memories of times spent in and around Charleston, and you’re right. You can certainly relate to my experience! I hope your wife recovered completely after her shocking ordeal! Come again! Annie

  7. You were right – this was hilarious!!! At the same time as smiling I have been slowly picking my legs up off the floor to tuck them beneath myself and I am also scratching my neck where my hair keeps tickling it!

    Glad we’re twitter buddies – See you around!

    PJK x

    • Annie says:

      Philippa – Glad you enjoyed the post. Sorry about the itch thingy! I’m looking forward to tweeting with you, too! Come again! Annie

  8. I live in Atlanta, so I know exactly how large the bugs are here. We also have big, nasty water bugs. I laughed so hard reading this post! Hilarious. I can relate. 🙂 Thanks for making my night, Annie!

  9. Melynda says:

    Well you were right Annie! This is exactly the kind of laugh I needed. I feel I have just come in contact with my long lost sister! I’ve had more than one confrontation with those pesky um Southern bugs. 🙂
    Melynda recently posted..You are gonna want in on this!My Profile

    • Annie says:

      Melynda – Well, Sis, it’s nice to finally get to know you, too! Sorry to hear that you’ve had confrontations as well, though. Come again! Annie

  10. Rachelle Ayala (@AyalaRachelle) says:

    Had a large water roach in NYC come right out of the shower head! Ewww!

    When we moved to California, we were lucky the movers drove through the hot desert. Armed with roach sprays we watched them unload. Only a single roach staggered out, barely alive, and we nailed it.

    When we visited Puerto Rico, our rental minivan was filled with roaches. We put two canisters of flea fogger inside that van and the roaches were popping out the hood, and scrambling up the windows. We parked the van in the middle of a hot asphalt parking lot and stood around with cans. Then we vacuumed the van and threw the bag away in a dumpster. Only a single large roach survived in the air condition vent. I was in the passenger seat with a spray can and dispatched it.

    We now know why Puerto Rican airports have a man selling saran wrap. He’ll wrap your luggage for $10 a piece. And he was doing great business, whistling and wrapping. You don’t want to take those bugs home!

    • Annie says:

      Rachelle – How nice to meet a fellow “pro.” Visiting Puerto Rico was on my bucket list, but I think now that I may take a pass! Come again! Annie

  11. Joelle says:

    Wow. You made TN look benign! And we don’t even need screens up here in BC!

  12. Aries Cottrell says:

    Oh yuk, we have millipedes here that go splat when you kill them. This is a wonderful story, thanks so much for the laugh, and the hibbie jibbies. Will be looking around the house all night now! 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Aries – I’m glad you enjoyed the story, but sorry to have given you the hibbie jibbies. I hope you don’t find any of these around your place! Come again! Annie

  13. Jessica Subject says:

    Oh, gosh, I HATE cockroaches. Never seen one in a house, as I live in Canada, but I can’t even stand to see them on television or at the bug museums. Saw a camel spider on Discovery channel today, and there even creepier. They have 10 legs and 2 sets of jaws. Yuck! *shivers*

    • Annie says:

      Jessica – Luckily, the wood roaches like the one I described don’t really want to be in a house, but occasionally, one will accidentally find their way there. Hopefully, neither of us will ever come face-to-face with a camel spider! Annie

  14. Borje Melin says:

    Go for it Annie. You can beat’m. My money’s on you anytime!

    Your story reminds me of a story my dad told me. When he was a young boy on the farm in Sweden (1920’s) he was used to pulling on his trousers (no skivvies) and his rubber boots then heading out to explore. One day in the root cellar he saw a mouse sharing the family fare stored there for the winter. Ever the noble protector Galahad he proceeded to stomp on the mouse. The mouse quicker than its aggressor scurried up his pant leg towards Dad’s unclad vital regions. In a desperate move my Dad managed to grab the projectile mouse through his trousers. He said he could feel the flailing legs against his very tender skin and added that it was memory that stayed with him for a lifetime and a greater appreciation for the power of a mouse.

    • Annie says:

      Borje – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and that it brought back a memory for you, too. Believe me, I can still feel that thing on my leg as well, even after all of these years. Annie

  15. Glynis Smy says:

    Lol, love the story. Bugs introduced themselves when I moved from UK to Cyprus. Weird bugs.

    • Annie says:

      Glynis – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece, but I’m so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with them, too. Hopefully, you picked up some good tips! Annie

  16. Jan R Miesse says:

    Funny. What dilemmas we get into. Enjoyed the easy reading. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Bloom on.

  17. Lola Karns says:

    This had me laughing and swatting at imaginary bugs. I grew up in the midwest and although I’m happy to have escaped chiggers, nothing else there competes with Southern bugs.

  18. JJ Toner says:

    I knew there was a good reason we put up with our miserable cold, wet climate!

    “Quite elegant in a green elephant-legged jumpsuit” The mind boggles. Bugs are rare here, but we had a family of jackdaws nesting in our chimney for years, and the nest was infested with cockroaches that used to fall down the chimney from time to time. I found one giant roach trapped behind our fireguard one evening. Must have been 3 inches long. I never told my wife, so keep it under your hat, okay?

    [btw, there’s a typo in your post: bug stray.]

  19. Jennifer SHirk says:

    ACK!!! Hilarious (because it happened to you and not ME) Me and bugs don’t do well together. I’m staying away from the south. LOL

  20. Daniel Quentin Steele says:

    Just read this. Cute. If you want nightmares, don’t think about flying roaches. In NE Florida they’re bad, have no idea how people live with them further south. Flying roaches are big, about an inch to an inch and a half long, and they FLY. Which is not the worst part. They fly at night. In the dark. And invariably, even though there is no reason under God’s Green Earth to do so, they invariably attack in the night. By that, I mean they fly into you as you lay in bed, usually winding up in your hair. Worse in your clothes. When you turn the lights on, they vanish and hide. So you have to do a strip search of your entire bed, surroundings, under the bed. And when you try to find them, they will not just sit there and supinely let you crush them. The suckers will scuttle away or try to fly away. Even one bout at night means you don’t get a lot of sleep for the rest of the night. It is possible to get rid of them. We haven’t been bothered for a few years, but they are the WORST thing about Southern living.


    • Annie says:

      Daniel – Florida is one of the few southern states in which I have never lived. Think I may give it a miss! Annie

  21. Julie says:

    Oh my word, not only what an experience, but what beauty you have in making an experience you had in to an experience for every reader.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Annie says:

      Julie – What a lovely comment! Believe me, I can still feel that thing on my leg all of these years later. Come again! Annie

  22. Mary Pax says:

    Congrats on your book! I wish you all success.

  23. Bill Kasal says:

    Annie! In the southwest we have “Date Beetles,” which I’ve learned over the decades are really an American Roach. When you mentioned that your hubby picked up a 2×4, my thought was, “That’s only going to make the bug mad…” The method I developed over the years is to grab a toilet brush and whack them really hard. They get partially impaled, but mostly just jammed up in the bristles. Then I whack the brush on the edge of the toilet, dropping them in, a flush! It’s been the most expeditious method I’ve devised to date! Thanks for the laughs!

    • Annie says:

      Bill – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece, but I think your comment may be even funnier than my post. Than YOU for the laugh. Come again! Annie

  24. Chicki Brown says:

    We moved from New Jersey to Atlanta in 1994, and I’m still not used to the invasions of creature here! One year it was huge waterbugs (roaches, actually), another it was tree frogs, another we had salamanders, and a few springs ago we had bats. I told my husband living in Atlanta is like living in the jungle. LOL! I keep a can of Raid on each level of the house…

    • Annie says:

      Chicki – I lived in Atlanta for many years. Believe me, I understand. Then we moved to Albany, GA. People there were known to let lizards live in their houses, because they would eat the roaches. You might say that for you the best is yet to come! 🙂 Annie

  25. Maria Hammarblad says:

    Hahaha! Funny story, and I can relate.
    I’m horrified of bugs. I’d rather meet an angry large animal than a bug any day. When I first came to Florida, my husband and I lived in a little apartment, and I sat on the bed working on something when I felt a tickle on my arm. It was a four-inch tall Palmetto bug taking a stroll. I had never seen one before, and it was ON me. Panic! I bounced to my feet trying to shake it off, and I bet most of the apartment complex heard me scream, LOL!

  26. Yelle Hughes says:

    OMG! This was hilarious. I’m from Ohio and I can completely relate. I am now bug free and so glad. Thanks for pointing this out to me. I got my laugh for the day.

    • Annie says:

      Yelle – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and also that you are bug free. My dad earned his PhD from Ohio State when we lived in Columbus. Come again! Annie

  27. Nancy J. Cohen says:

    Living in Florida, I understand your bug complaints. We have an infestation of flying moths that seem to be originating from my cartons of books. The bug man is coming tomorrow so we’ll see what he says. In the meantime, I’ve been transferring the books to sealed plastic containers.

    • Annie says:

      Nancy – By all means get those books into plastic containers. There were times when I considered living in one myself! Come again! Annie

  28. Philip Whiteland says:

    One of the benefits of living in the UK is that everything (and particularly insects) is just a little bit more compact – it has to be if we’re all going to fit on an island this small. I had a Cockchafer land in my hair one night, which was an experience I wouldn’t want to repeat, but I’m pleased to say I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. Great writing, keep up the good work!

    • Annie says:

      Philip – Thank you for the kind words about the piece. My paternal grandmother and great-aunt came to the U.S. from England in the early 1900s. They were amazed when the arrived in New York through Ellis Island to discover lightning bugs twinkling in the evening air. Come again! Annie

  29. Mel Mongie says:

    We have ghekos (miniature lizard) in Cape Town in summer. I (mostly) try to catch an insect I’m about to throw out a window under a paper tissue. I’m told I’m like Buddhist is that respect, that is, trying not to kill any living thing. But when I caught a gheko this way it actually squeaked! They also loose the end of a tail which I’m told grows back on. Now I use a ceiling brush and try to make it scramble for an open window – or if there’s a man around just scream – definitely the best policy!

    • Annie says:

      Mel – We have ghekos in the Deep South as well as larger lizards that like to get into cooler homes. As for what to do when the need arises, I say definitely scream if there is a man around anywhere near you! Come again! Annie

  30. Liza OConnor says:

    I wondered why your husband didn’t just step on the monster, but with a hurt foot, I could see he really wasn’t up to the chore. Good book throw. Growing up in Arkansas, my main problem was black widow spiders. Once as a kid I stuck my hand down a hole I’d been digging for my barbie dolls (they wanted a well) when a large wolf spider ran up my arm. I kept slapping at it always an inch behind it. Finally smacked it. Now I had a large full bodied spider squished in my hair.
    I must have washed my head twenty times that day. I enjoyed your blog. glad I stopped by.

    • Annie says:

      Liza – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. I can joke about wood roaches, but spiders scare me to death! Come again! Annie

  31. Jackie Buxton says:

    Absolutely hysterical! Sorry to take pleasure from your pain but very well told. Poor old hubbie with his dodgy leg and I’m loving the sound of that jump suit. Come live in England, ok, it rains (a lot – and generally all summer these days) but at least the bugs can’t survive either 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Jackie – Glad you enjoyed the piece! My paternal grandmother was from England, and I was raised to love all things British. You, though, have given me yet another reason to feel myself drawn to life across The Great Pond. Come again! Annie

  32. R Lee says:

    The one about the bugs was funny, in a way, but I can kind of understand your feelings for the pesky creatures. I live further up north, NWPA, and we have different pesky insects, and it is an ongoing task dealing with them. Thanks.

    • Annie says:

      I understand exactly what you mean by an ongoing task. It is truly a case of us against them. Come again! Annie

  33. Darrelyn Saloom says:

    Thanks for sending. I needed a laugh today.

    Since I live south of the Gnat line, I’m quite familiar with thowing books and such at the beasts.

    For those visiting down here, I’d like to advise you leave your car windows rolled up, for I was nearly knocked out by a bug that landed on my forehead as I drove down a highway.

    • Annie says:

      Darrelyn – I used to drive in the late evening from Dublin, GA to Savannah along I-16, and I wondered many times if the huge bugs I was hitting were going to crack the car’s windshield. Glad you enjoyed the piece. Come again! Annie

  34. Tyrean says:

    That was hilarious! I would have screamed right along with you. I live in the Northwest, where it rains enough to keep all but the wolf spiders away.

    • Annie says:

      Glad you enjoyed the piece. I visit Son #2 and the best daughter-in-law in the world frequently, but I’ve yet to meet a wolf spider. NOT something that’s on my bucket list, believe me! Come again! Annie

  35. JccKeith says:

    Living in Indiana, we lack those monstrous bugs in the deep south but we have our fair share of bug invaders. Water bugs and garden spiders. Those inch to two inch long garden spiders cover our entire front porch with sprawling webs every spring and summer. They are harmless but they are scary as can be.

    • Annie says:

      J – I was born in Crawfordsville and spent my early childhood in Columbus, Ohio, so I know exactly what you mean about the water bugs and garden spiders. Every region comes with its own challenges! Come again! Annie

  36. Cat McMahon says:

    LOL! I so enjoyed your hilarious story! At the same time, I’m thankful for living in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, we have our pests here, but they are not giant marauders who will carry you off when you’re not looking. I sleep well at night knowing my home isn’t easily invaded. Thanks for sharing your entertaining experience.

    • Annie says:

      Cat – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece and equally glad to learn that you consider the Pacific Northwest to be relatively pest free, since I plan to retire there eventually to be nearer to Son#2 and the best daughter-in-law in the world. Come again! Annie

  37. Jason Andrew Bond says:

    Ugh, thanks for sharing… I think. 🙂 This reminds me of a roach fight I had in Honolulu. Those things are bullet proof. They seem to be very ‘leg-oriented’ too. In my case the roach was crawling long the wall. I hit it with a sandal and it landed on the floor and came right at me. It ran up my leg and up my chest. Can’t… type… because… of… the… chills. 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Jason – I’m glad you ‘enjoyed’ the piece, but I’m so sorry to learn that you endured a similar experience. The worst part is when they fly at you. Here in the D.C. area we are now gearing up for one of our every-seventeen-years cicada invasions. Can’t wait… Come again! Annie

  38. Paige Kellerman says:

    Oh my gosh, I found a cockroach in my pants once and I about had a heart attack. If I ever spot a roach that’s three inches long, we may have to move. Love the blog and your writing style!

    • Annie says:

      Paige – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. So sorry to learn about your similar experience, though. Come again! Annie

  39. Justin Huggler says:

    Great piece of writing! I really enjoyed it. Sorry to hear of your experiences. I grew up in the UK, where we don’t have too many creepy-crawlies, but I had some similar experiences travelling around the world. Got stuck overnight in a jungle town in north-east India once where the hotel room was so alive with insect life you could hear them moving all night. Only thing to do was have a drink, turn the lights out and try not to think about it. And in Istanbul I had a giant dragonfly in my apartment. My friend thought it was an ornament, said “I like your new artwork” and touched it. At which point it flew up and he fled in terror. I wondered what was wrong with him, then saw the dragonfly and followed him out the door.

    • Annie says:

      Justin – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. The worst part, as you so rightly point out, is when they fly at you. Hopefully, such experiences are behind us both. Come again! Annie

  40. Lizzie T. Leaf says:

    I feel your pain, Annie. Growing up on NC memories of the daily battles with various creepy-crawlies still plague me.

    • Annie says:

      Lizzie – I’m so sorry to hear of the permanent damage your psyche has received at the legs of these critters. It is, I’m afraid, a neverending battle. Come again! Annie

  41. Geena Bean says:

    What a great story to begin my Saturday morning! How funny! But by no means, do I wish to laugh at your previous predicament. We’ve never dealt with roaches or anything the size of your blood curdling friend, but we have been invaded by Cicadas!! They are quite unattractive and have come by the millions! When I walk the dog, I literally have to make sure to look down every other second to make sure I don’t step on these blind visitors that are here but momentarily. They pay their visits every 17 years and they crawl up out of the ground. Only to make their way up trees and telephone poles where they sit for days and then fly around us for one month. This year, they arrived early in Summit, N.J. so we have the privilege of their company for a little over a month. I’ve never seen anything so gross in my life. I was bringing in the dry cleaning the other day and one was buried within the plastic cover of the clothing. I jumped out of my skin and ran to get one of our boys to fight to the death with this harmless, yet, very intimidating and large insect. What is it about bugs that turn us into weenies? lol

    • Annie says:

      Geena – I now live in the D.C. area, and we’re do for a cicada invasion at any moment. Needless to say, I am NOT looking forward to it. Believe it or not, the wood roach I wrote about was about twice the size of a cicada – something in the neighborhood of a size 3 dress! 🙂 Come again! Annie

  42. Reese Ryan says:

    Gotta love living here in the South. I’m originally from Ohio. In 39 years there I never met the likes of the wood roach, or a good deal of the bugs I’ve been introduced to since moving to North Carolina four years ago.

    • Annie says:

      Reese – I did love living in the South, but like you I had spent my early childhood in Columbus, Ohio, so the snakes and bugs were a bit of a surprise. Come again! Annie

  43. Dani says:

    As a fellow southerner, you will appreciate a piece I have running hopefully next week entitled “Death…Burial…Resurrection: The Day Insects Ruled The House”. 🙂

  44. Lisa Ricard Claro says:

    This story reminded me of the night my dad chased a bullfrog all over the house. LOL We live in Georgia, and the bugs in the South are, as you say, enormous and plentiful. We’ve sprayed Raid on a few that considered it a recreational drug. We’ve lived here for over 20 years and I’m still not used to the bugs!

    • Annie says:

      Lisa – LOVE the concept of the bugs considering Raid to be a recreational drug! You’re a woman after my own heart. Come again! Annie

  45. Janice says:

    Yuk yuk yuk!!! My romantic vison on the ‘deep south’ certainly does not come with bugs – but then I’m in Scotland – and your romatic vison of this bonny land probably doesn’t include the dreaded make-life-a-misery summer midge!

    Great post. Happy to have found you and friended you on Twitter, Annie!

    Janice xx

    • Annie says:

      Janice – Actually, everyone from Scotland who has read this post has mentioned the midge, so I feel like we’re old friends. I would imagine they’re similar to what we refer to as gnats. They fly around your head in little clouds and are particularly fond of hairspray! Come again! Annie

  46. Phyllis Burton says:

    Great post, really enjoyed it. From the number of posts about this one, the majority of people have a thing about bugs of all shapes and sizes. I live in southern England, and we have our share, but nothing quite like the time when I was in Cairns in North Queensland Australia, while visiting my sister. My brother-in-law chased me round the house with an enormous ozzy spider – and they are quite big – three inches across…urgh. and that was the body!

  47. Johnnie Alexander Donley says:

    Living in Florida, I understand your bug angst! (And I can just picture that elegant green pantsuit!)

  48. Janice Spina says:

    Thanks for the like and well wishes. This was quite an adventure and very funny! Hope all is well now for you and bug free . Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your books too! Keep in touch. Review my book and I will review yours.

    • Annie says:

      Janice – I don’t know about the bug, but I removed myself from his cousins and currently reside in the mid-Atlantic area. Glad you enjoyed the piece! Annie

  49. Christy says:

    Boy, can I relate! I live in S.E. Alabama and we’re infested this year. It’s rained almost every day for 60 days, so as you can imagine, the little critters are everywhere! My bug man is about to quit, I’m sure…

    • Annie says:

      Christy – At one time or another, I have lived in Dothan, Montgomery and Birmingham, so believe me, I can relate! Come again! Annie

  50. Emma Boling says:

    Hi Annie,
    I could most certainly relate to your horror of bugs. Down here in Australia we have a grotesque collection and quite a few poisonous crawling things.
    I had a fly-out-of-bed-screaming moment the other night after traipsing back up through our paddock from a bonfire I had checked at 1am. All was well and sleep was finally creeping over me when something else did as well. A leech to be precise, and it bit me. Leech and I went flying, my hero husband rolled over, grunted and put the pillow over his head leaving me to bang the nasty little critter with an array of shoes. Of course like your bugs, leeches don’t die easily do they? Stuck to the bottom of a shoe, I dropped it in the sink and proceeded to spray half a can of fly spray until it looked covered in whipped cream. Since then I have been carefully checking both bed and clothing before climbing in! Good luck with your bug blues – nice to connect.

    • Annie says:

      Emma – Okay, now my skin is crawling. I wonder if salt applied to a leech would have the same effect as it does when applied to a slug? Come again! Annie

  51. Annie, thanks for the retweets on Twitter. My being here is proof that Twitter (and the Pass-It-Forward theory) work! (-: And it is fun as you promised. (-:

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter ( .

  52. Dean M says:

    You should try an Australian king brown snake on for size. Even their young can put you into a coma for weeks – and that’s if you get the anti-venom in time…

    This post made me smile.

  53. Julia says:

    Hi Annie Acorn. Thanks for the link to your bug story and for the Twitter follow. I’d say move to the Pacific Northwest, where I rarely see roaches, but I have been known to chase bats out of bedrooms with a window screen. Hope you’re winning the bug wars!

    • Annie says:

      Julia – Actually, I plan to retire to the Northwest. Son #2 and the best daughter-in-law in the world live in Seattle! Come again. Annie 🙂

  54. Hi, Annie.
    Thanks for the link – this post cheered me up no end – sorry!

  55. Tammy Rizzo says:

    Oh, my, that was funny! I can so totally relate! I’ve lived in so many places in my life, and many of them were in bug country, from Florida to Texas. I learned all about how palmetto bugs, the first cousins of your wood roaches, can fly quite fast and quite well, and how flying bug spray doesn’t do a thing to them. Roaches of all sorts are obviously alien invaders, immune to any chemicals we can throw at them. The only thing that really works is the sharp, sudden application of extreme force, and that only occasionally. I’m sure the librarian was properly horrified at the condition of the book, but then, I’m sure the librarian had lived in town longer than you had, and had seen all sorts of such damaged books.
    Tammy Rizzo recently posted..ROW80: checking inMy Profile

    • Annie says:

      Tammy – I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. All you can do when such things invade your space is laugh. Otherwise, you would spend the rest of your life screaming. Come again! Annie 🙂

  56. EW Greenlee says:

    I used to use my mother’s hairspray back when I was child to attack a fly in her bathroom. I’d shut the door and then pretend to be a WWI fighter pilot with two cans of spray close to my face, hailing bullets (spray droplets) on the fly. Sadly, it takes 2 cans to bring down just 1 fly. I’d hide the cans of WMD’s and take no ownership of the sticky mess I had left. It was only until my mother (with very flat hair) sat and stuck on toilet seat that I heard her scream out my full name. That’s when this decorated WWI fighter pilot sought retreat under the bed.

    Why is it those pesky monster bugs cause us so much grief? But it is nice to know your Knight demonstrated that chivalry is still alive, and that modern WMD’s are still ineffective against ancient monsters of terror and doom.

  57. Ronna Mandel says:

    Annie, you truly captured the emotional reaction surrounding bugs and all things creepy. For now I am remaining in quake territory rather than risk a run in with a rodent-sized roach!

  58. Robbie Pink says:

    Just had the chance to read your funny story.
    Once when the hubs was stationed at Ft Bragg my two girls and I decided to go for an evening walk. (They were around 16 and 14 at the time.)
    As we were walking, all of a sudden my youngest squealed and then pulled off her shirt. I don’t think I have EVER seen a shirt come off someone so fast in my life-I mean less than a second and this thing was gone.
    My daughter was squealing and whimpering and I was fussing trying to get her shirt back on her AND figure out what was wrong-when WHAM-a flying, HUGE Palmetto bug came flying out of her shirt. Needless to say, this very, very dedicated non-runner and her two daughters-RAN.
    I hate those things. I know God had a reason for them, just not sure what!
    Have a great day and God’s Blessings.
    Robbie Pink recently posted..Tuesday’s TaleMy Profile

    • Annie says:

      Robbie – I’m still trying to figure out that reason thing, and I’ve been working on a solution for forty years. Glad you enjoyed the piece. Come again! Annie 🙂

  59. Ane Mulligan says:

    Well, you promised me a giggle, but I guffawed. Too funny! You must live in Georgia. I do an Funny post!d when we first moved here, we went to the tennis court, where I saw one of those bugs. I thought we’d made a wrong turn and were in Africa. Nobody told me there were bugs that size in Georgia!! Great post. Fun!!

    • Annie says:

      Ane – I did spend a good deal of time in Georgia – Atlanta, Dublin and Albany, as well as in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Bugs everywhere! Glad you enjoyed the piece. Come again! Annie 🙂

  60. Tracy Stella says:

    Annie, Hilarious! I hate bugs. Reminds me of the time … oh never mind. I don’t want to have nightmares thinking about my invasion of the bugs episode. Eeek.

    • Annie says:

      Tracy – Probably best not to go back to what sounds like a horrific experience. Invasion? Glad you enjoyed the piece. Come again! Annie 🙂

  61. Annie, your story is funny! The “R” bug is the one I hate the most. When I was a child we lived closed to an apartment building and there was no way to get rid of them. Not long after we moved, Paul Harvey began advertising “R”proof. It worked! No more bugs. Even now, boric acid is the first thing I put in my house any time I move. It has served me well. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Annie says:

      Martha – Glad you enjoyed the piece. It’s a funny story now, but at the time, it was a nightmare! I’m with you. Boric acid rules!!! Come again – Annie 🙂

  62. Angel Drew says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! Hilarious. I’m in Ohio and I freak out over the spiders. As silly as it is, I find my fear getting worse as I get older! Silly! Have a great day!

    • Annie says:

      Angel – Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the piece. I spent my early years in Columbus, Ohio, as you’ll see if you graze through some of the other blog posts. I’m the same way about spiders, although I’ve never been bitten by one so I can’t explain it either. Come again! – Annie 🙂

  63. Becky says:

    I loved your article THE BUGS ARE COMING THE BUGS ARE COMING. I’ve heard these little stinkers called palmeto bugs, cockroaches, ugly little critters but never wood roach. I’ll have to look that one up.

    Love it!

  64. Ah, the South. I can relate well to your dismay as I grew up in New Orleans and those large, flying roaches were embedded in the city’s very soul. Surprisingly, in Southwest Florida they are considerably smaller and rarely seen.
    Jorge Montero recently posted..Welcome Friends!My Profile

    • Annie says:

      Jorge – LOL! We say plenty of them in Albany, Georgia, just over the state line. NOLA is one of my favorite cities. Come again! – Annie 🙂

  65. Annie, thank you so much for sharing your very moving story of courage and survival in the face (and elephant pants leg) of such an egregious, horrific attack! The tears spilled down my face like a tsunami as I read, and because of that (and other reasons), I am now dangerously dehydrated… but you have my most heartfelt compassion! Best to you! – Andrea. Glug glug glug…

    • Annie says:

      Andrea – I’m so glad you…er…enjoyed piece, especially since you appear to have noted some of the more subtle nuances of my humble narrative. Come again! – Annie 🙂

  66. Totally enjoyed the article! Thanks for sharing on Twitter.
    Deborah Ann Davis recently posted..Final Exams Study ScheduleMy Profile

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