Monday, August 18, 2008


When we started to telling people that we were moving to Nashville, we heard nothing but great things from friends and strangers alike:

"You are going to LOVE it there!"

"Nashville is so cool!"

"You will get so much house for your money!"

"Wow, I am so jealous!"

"It is so nice living in the South!"

"The weather is great in the winter."

There is just one thing. None of these "Friends" told me that we would be encountering some scary-ass critters.

Exhibit One:

When my friend Laura and I went for a walk with our kids Friday morning, we encountered a strange HUGE red and black striped ant. The girls were chasing it, but it was quick and not hanging around to let four little ones poke and prod it. I commented to Laura that it really seemed to have the body of a yellow-jacket but it was, well, RED and BLACK and didn't have wings. When a bug is red, I think it means, "DANGER" When I got home and Googled, "BIG Red ANT," I got this:

THIS is called a Red Velvet Ant, or Cow Killer. According to, it is actually a wingless female WASP whose sting has been know to kill cows because of the pain. Suffice it to say, if I ever see the winged male variety, I will probably soil myself as I run away screaming like the girl I apparently never knew I was.

Exhibit Two: Ever since I've gotten here, I have had the feeling that bugs have been on me, but when I shoo them away, there is nothing there. I thought I was going loco. Until, that is, I started getting itchy ITCHY bites all over my legs. Genna has them too. I initially thought they were mosquito bites, but I am pretty sure they are CHIGGERS!

OMFG! Have you ever had these? The itching is driving me absolutely insane. I am also losing my mind because I can't see them. I have been told by two of my co-workers from the south that I am going to have to cover the bumps with clear nail polish so that the little darlings will be suffocated. I am not sure why Corey and Ella haven't gotten them, but I am grateful.

Exhibit Three: I think I killed a beetle that looked an awful lot like this in our house this week:

I wasn't too concerned at the time because I hadn't run into the Red Velvet Ant yet. Now I am not sure sure I should have been so blase about it.

And finally, Exhibit Four:

I was talking to my friend Lori on the phone yesterday afternoon, when I came across this on my window:

This is a stick bug (um, I guess it was impossible to come up with a more original name.) I know they are harmless and I know that they are often kept as pets, it isn't ever going to be a pet in MY home. Anything that is longer than six inches in the insect class is going to freak me the hell out.

Keep in mind, I wasn't afraid of bugs or critters up until this week. I've even killed lots of nasty bus and snakes and mice. One co-worker told me today that I need to toughen up. My other co-worker told me to prepare for the first wolf spider or black widow to come into the house. I am taking no chances. I am calling ORKIN tomorrow. Or wrapping myself and my home in Saran Wrap.


Mike said...

I don't mind bugs so much it's the size of them that gets me. When they start to grow as big as a small child, its time to move.

Good luck...

Anonymous said...

Funny you mentioned the red bug on the phone yesterday. I was watering the bushes at the end of the drive and about fifty ( not kidding) flew out. Yes, red and with wings. They did not seem interested in me at all. Nasty.... Lori

Mo said...

And that my friend is one of the things I do not miss about the south.

Not one stinkin' bit!

Texas had big furry tarantulas. I hope you don't encounter those on one of your walks or in the house.

kia (good enough mama) said...

In your own very wise words, OMFG is right!!! Ew! I think I'd have to live in a bubble!

Anonymous said...

Chiggers! I remember them very well! I can still hear my southern aunt sayin' the name in her southern accent! *he he he* Yeah, some of those bugs are pretty scary 'n' nasty and one of hte reasons why I like it up in colder climates :D

Three years ago I was down in Nashville visiting my grandma, MAN O MAN, I saw so many bugs I didn't even know existed! And the lizards on the walls of buildings, my LM got a kick out of it!

Uh, good luck with the Saran Wrap, because I think the Orkin Man is losing his job...

kimmyk said...

i hate chiggers.
and yep..nailpolish. and witch hazel.
hate those things!!!

yeah i dont do bugs either so i dont blame ya. and that ant? ick. just ick.

Issas Crazy World said...

I hate chiggers. I got them once in Texas. Try swimming in a pool with clorine. It seems to kill them. Takes the itch out as well.

Arwen said...

Chiggers are the worse! Witch hazel is good, there is also a balm you can get at Whole Foods called sting stop that will relieve the itch really well.