You can have too much of a good thing


By Evelyn Richardson - Here and There



It isn’t the fear that one of them will crawl in my ear during the night and damage my hearing that aggravates me most about the plentiful pesky ladybugs.

It’s not the impression of untidiness that they leave. Every time I look up, there are additional ones on the carpet, crawling on windowpanes and on tabletops I just dusted.

Their circling around the rim of my glass or having to be dipped out of a bowl of food is disgusting, but I handle it and go on.

It’s not the fact that one that I see can beat me to a hiding place before I get to him and I lose him.

The apparent evidence that they are multiplying faster than I can eradicate them isn’t terribly frustrating.

It’s not even their pungent, repulsive smell that disgusts me most, although it means having to wash hands each time I am lucky enough to catch one.

It’s their design.

They can see me coming and draw in those speedy hairlike feet, settle right there on a flat surface and the only way for me to be sure I can pick them up is to bring out the twenty-pound vacuum cleaner. The hand-held’s suction is not strong enough.

My fingertips are no match for its smooth, oval shell; there’s no way to get a grip. I wet a paper towel or tissue and try to pick it up, not often with success. Of course, I could smush the bug and reshape it for possible pickup, but that would release that stink that permeates my nostrils and elevates my anger. Stepping on one presents the same problem.

Sometimes I can coax the ladybug (which by this time I’ve come to call something other than its nice-sounding name) onto a thin card or sheet of paper. This method carries the risk of my catch flying to the ceiling before I can deposit it in the bleach and water collection jar.

I guess it’s that human thing of not wanting to lose. For the ladybug to sit there quietly under its natural defense, not do a thing and yet come out the winner is pretty hard for me to accept graciously.

I try to tell myself that ladybugs are good for nature’s environmental balance; they eat aphids that damage fruits and garden vegetables and flowers. I answer myself in defense, “That’s when they are outside and not in my house!” And I add, you can have too much of a good thing—an old, old adage.

Gotta go. I see one crawling within easy reach.

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By Evelyn Richardson

Here and There

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