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.
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 Whatsthatbug.com, 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.