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Did you read about how they're using maggots to get rid of infected flesh? Apparently the only issue is how after a few days you can feel them moving around in you for a while before they're removed.



(Well, I'm sure that if I were in that situation I'd get over it, but thinking about it... I loathe parasites. Yuck yuck yuck.)

I think posting this was a bit like inviting people to pick at a scab. I knew it would prompt disturbing comments, yet, I couldn't resist. I'm weird that way.

Eugh. I had to stop reading when I got to the "cute" Australian cockroaches (I'm Australian). Those shiny black ones with with the white stripes are horrible. They make me scream and throw things into the air when I see them. And the brown ones in Sydney are huge and fly. But the shiny black ones are still worse. *Shudders*


I will admit the first time I saw one I screamed and kicked my boot off (with the roach attached) and both flew about 3 metres in the air. But I grew to like them because (a) they had such personality, and (b) they didn't bite or (c) were poisonous, unlike many of the other beasties I was encountering. Black flies! Green tree ants! Spiders the size of my hand! (And I like spiders.)

But I wouldn't want one in my house.


An ex-boyfriend of mine once killed a wasp by snipping it in half with a big pair of scissors. It's a disturbing yet comforting image.


When I heard about the maggot treatment I felt my stomach flip. They are my number one gross-out. I also don't like Japanese beetles, even though their shells are actually quite pretty in their irridescence. But they always cling to laundry that's been hung out, and any kind of bug in my clothes sends me into a tizzy.


Brit once sprayed WD40 on a wasp and lit it afire. He was only 18 and in his parent's garage at the time if that's at all comforting.

I can't believe you've never had a tick, Rana! Ticks, chiggers and mosquitos are common pests around here. A good romp even in our back yard (which admittedly, backs up to green space, so there's the reason) warrants a "Spread 'Em and Check 'Em, Boys."

My mother, for some still unknown and unfathomable reason, induced me to take Kaopectate as a child by warning that I would get a tape worm if I didn't.

We encountered a swarm (yes, as swarm) of yellow ladybugs once and they stung.

My only encounter with leeches has been via gross and/or war movies. I become quite hysterical if I can't get something off of me, so I hope I never meet one in person or at least not on my person.

Wow, this generated quite a lot of commentary from me, considering the subject matter.


Oh, yes. Something like that inevitably prompts the gititoffame! dance. I'm not grossed out by the Japanese beetles, but I am somewhat intimidated by them. I mean, dang, they are _big_. Even though I know they're harmless, I don't really want a close encounter with them. (The neighbors' cats do a good job catching them and eating them, at least.)


Michelle, I guess being paranoid does have its benefits! :)

I can't believe I didn't mention mosquitoes. I guess it's because they don't make that much of an impression on me; they are annoying and the bites are itchy, and that is that.

I still laugh, though, at one time I was in Wisconsin and overheard some girls from a Minnesota sports team saying "There are no mosquitoes here! That's so weird!" It's true what they say about that state. Don't do a road trip there in the summer without the DEET.

Oh, and I forgot to mention black flies (the Australian variety). They're not bad in a gross or biting way, but the way they just SIT on you... or WALK around on you. Maddening.

New Kid on the Hallway

We had ticks A LOT growing up, b/c we had dogs (and especially cats) who brought them in the house. The ticks would infest the dogs (one of my mother's less cherished chores was going over the dogs and de-ticking them), but they'd climb on the cat, get lost in the fur, never make it to flesh, and climb off again once they got inside. Usually on your bed, where the cat had gone to sleep. I once found six ticks in my bed. I once woke up with a tick attached to my eyebrow. My sister once said, "What's that green grape doing in the corner?" Folks, it wasn't a grape....

Ladybugs: last summer my small rural town was absolutely infested with these things. I thought they were kind of cute and charming until I went out to a house in the country, went to get back in my car, and found that I was COVERED with them. So was my passenger. We spent about 3/4 of the drive home sweeping them out the car window and picking them out of our hair (thankfully this was a dirt road with no traffic or I'm sure we'd have been in an accident). It was like the Biblical swarm of locusts. I pretty much went off them after that.

This is an evil thread! :-)


Heee - even after the umpteen zillion news stories about SoCal being the West Nile Virus Capital of the Universe I *still* don't believe we have mosquitoes here. I've seen, like, three, ever, and they were too pathetic to even bite through the thickness of a t-shirt. It's all a big conspiracy for the DEET manufacturers I say.

I had to kill a big green locusty-bug the other day (it was eating my mint; too pale green to be a proper grasshopper, and fatter, anyone know what those are called?) - that was gross! I'm okay with anything little but once it gets to the size where you can see the guts spurt out when you squish it... YEEEEUGH. But then the ants came out and started eating it while the forelimbs were still twitching, that was kinda cool in a temporary suspension of respect for all living creatures kinda way.


I got incredibly used to ticks when Matilda liked to come in with 7 a day and then eww, what's THAT when I petted her.

Oh, and a friend of mine once went to her family's home in Maine to find that ladybugs had taken over their entire house, so there was NO surface, just masses of ladybugs. That was it for her liking them.

Chris Clarke

Tomato hornworms are arguably icky, but I always let them be because of the wonderful adults they become.


Are you trying to put me off ever living in North America?

Jill Smith

Growing up in NH (in the woods), ticks were a reasonably common occurrence. I, too, find it hard to believe that there are people on the planet who have never had one. (My worldview is the only worldview!) ;-)

Rana - we had TONS of ants the first summer in this house. We cleaned, we swept, we tried to ensure that no crumbs of food were available, we were slowly driven to the edge of crazy. Sometime in the fall, John found a leak in the kitchen sink's drain pipe (a fairly tiny one). It was a dry summer that year, and we read that ants are not only attracted to food, they are attracted to moisture. John fixed the leak, and we haven't had an ant problem since. You might want to inspect carefully for leaks.

Ah, and there's that wonderful Italo Calvino story about an ant plague, too - called "The Ants," I think.


You have totally made me itchy just reading all of this. But I had to go look up a picture of an earwig since I didn't know what it was. My worst story: we had a moth infestation one summer when I was about 10 or so (I grew up in a very old house that was subject to all sorts of invasions). Near-sighted me was taking a shower one morning when all of a sudden there were Things Flying At Me but I couldn't see them very clearly, or get away from them because I was in the shower. Ugh. Horrible. Even though moths don't sting you or anything, just eat cloth and cardboard and carbohydrates...


Mel -- that would bother me too. Especially the trapped in the shower while sans glasses part.

You are lucky to have not known what an earwig is. :)


Garrett developed an aversion the closet that lasted about a year after he asked and was told that the box of mothballs was to keep moths away; otherwise, they'd eat your clothes. He became convinced there were boy-eating moths in there.

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