For the record – I do not do bugs. Lice totally freak me out. I can’t bear the thought of ants in my kitchen. Fruit flies disgust me. Mosquitos adore me which is definitely not reciprocated. I once had to hunt down a dozen live crickets that my boys let loose in the house. The intended recipients (the lizards) were summarily donated to the middle school. Stinkbugs are just that – stinky, and if you are from Maryland you can commiserate. Ditto Locusts. In addition, one of the many reasons that I disliked our year in Tampa were the squirrel-sized palmetto bugs. It is amazing that I have survived as a Diplomat’s wife where sometimes you co-exist with critters for years on end. However, there is one exception to my bug-a-phobia – LADYBUGS – which is a good thing since they appear to be escaping the sudden cold of the Czech Republic en masse by moving into a warm home. Mine.
I am not sure why I like ladybugs. Maybe it is because I was told from an early age that they are good luck, or maybe it is just that their name sounds so ladylike and friendly. Whatever the reason, I rescued one yesterday and now am mulling over a name for my new pet.
Being perfectly honest though, I tried to kill it before rescuing it; not intentionally, so please reserve your homicidal thoughts. As I began to wash up for the night last evening, I belatedly noticed “Lady” in the sink bowl as I turned on the tap full force. “OMG, I think I drowned a ladybug”, I shrieked. “Isn’t that bad luck or something?”, I directed at Steve as I quickly scooped her out with a tissue. “Don’t you think that is sexist”, He replied and then went on to say, “I mean what if it is a male? Isn’t that emasculating?” This exchange over our dental flossing ritual was not helping me feel any better about killing a creature.
In the hopes of revival (because my CPR training might cause accidental ingestion), I left “Lady” on the tissue and went fitfully to sleep. To my surprise, “Lady” was laying on the other side of the tissue this morning, but sadly not moving. It was as if she gasped for her last breath and was now resting peacefully on the other side. Resigned that I had killed her, I wanted to dispose of the ‘body” in a respectful manner. Should I flush her or just place the tissue in the trash bin? Don’t ask me why, but the toilet seemed more humane. So I did. Which is when Steve stepped out of the shower laughing as he exclaimed, “It came back up!!!! it is swimming in the bowl trying desperately to get out!” To which I reached right in and rescued her a second time from a watery grave. She immediately flew off towards the window frame where a companion of hers was waiting. Steve, acting as the voice of my new pet, says in his best ladybug impersonation, “Quick. We have to stay on the move or otherwise she will try to flush us!” Ha, Ha, Ha! I ignored his sarcasm and took the opportunity to video the event, just as if it had been my child taking his first steps.
I take my rescue efforts seriously. Just ask Diplo-Dog. Lexi went from living on the streets of Tijuana to sleeping on a sofa with decorative pillow and fleece blanket every night (after a cookie treat, of course).
Have You Wondered: What Do Ladybugs Eat? Well being a responsible pet owner, I was sure as hell going to find out! There is an entire website dedicated to this http://www.ladybug-life-cycle.com/what-ladybugs-eat.html which is amazing unto itself. Happily I learned that not only do they eat other bugs, but they also survive on plants and mold (which I am hoping is NOT why they are in my bathroom)!
During Czech language class today, I also learned that the proper term for “ladybug” is slunéčko sedmitečné — the direct translation of which is “Little sunny thing with seven dots”. I know my classmate will be rolling her eyeballs upon reading this, but it was important information to properly communicate to my Czech housekeeper, Eva, that I did not want her to dispose of them. By the time I returned from class, I had spotted seven new potential house pets. Upon telling Eva this, she starting running for the Hoover Vac!!! “Ne, Ne, Ne”, I ran after her screaming, “oni jsou moje nové domácí zvířata (they are my new pets)”! Diplo-bug (and friends) is safe for the moment, at least from Eva’s “death by vacuum”; that is if I don’t accidentally try to drown her again. By the way, I have decided to name her “Sunshine”. After all, who doesn’t need more of that in a place like Prague, which by all accounts will now be dreary and grey until May.