Mercy has always been one of Grumpy’s most endearing traits, but not when it comes to these five bad bugs. If the Big Guy granted me absolute power, I’d exterminate every single one of them right now.
Doomed Bad Bug #1 — Yellow Jacket (above)
Who has anything nice to say about yellow jackets? They build nests in crevices, holes in the ground, and other places undetectable by humans until you stumble upon one. Then yellow jackets sting by the dozens and each can sting multiple times. Because they’re strongly attracted to sugar, they make life miserable during picnics and late summer outings, swarming around food and drinks. One even crawled into my beer when I wasn’t looking and stung me when I graciously spit him out.
Pre-Armageddon controls — yellow jacket traps, wasp & hornet sprays.
Doomed Bad Bug #2 — Imported Fire Ant
Undoubtedly, some bleeding-heart ecologist will claim fire ants play an important role in the ecosystem. I think I speak for the remainder of Southernkind when I say I don’t give a flip. They’re not native for one thing — they were accidentally brought here from Central and South America. They sting to death people, ground-nesting birds, livestock, and other animals. They even eat fruits and veggies. They must all die.
Pre-Armageddon controls — for season-long control for large areas like lawns, quick-acting, long-lasting fire ant granules you apply with a lawn spreader like Ortho Max Fire Ant Killer work better for me than slower-acting baits containing fipronil (Over ‘N Out). To treat individual mounds, you can use Amdro Firestrike or Ferti-Lome Spinosad Fire Ant Killer. The latter is a natural product derived from rum. Some folks claim you can kill a mound by pouring a liter bottle of club soda on the mound. The carbon dioxide drives out the oxygen and the little creeps suffocate. I’m good with that.
Doomed Bad Bug #3 — Mosquito
Hyperbole isn’t necessary to make the point that the world would be a much better place if mosquitoes were annihilated. They kill more than a million people every year by transmitting diseases like malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and encephalitis. And now the South is home to the loathsome, heat-loving Asian tiger mosquito that bites 24 hours a day. Adult mosquitoes live about two weeks on average. That’s 14 days too long.
Pre-Armageddon controls — using repellents containing DEET or picardin; eliminating pools of standing water where mosquitoes breed; treating birdbaths and water features with Mosquito Dunks that use a beneficial bacterium to kill mosquito larvae for 30 days; using fans to keep the air moving around outdoor sitting areas.
Doomed Bad Bug #4 — Cockroach
Cockroaches must be eliminated not just from the Earth, but all of the Milky Way galaxy. They do absolutely no good and can survive practically anywhere — even a place as hostile to life as the Atlanta airport. There’s one crawling up your leg right now.
Pre-Armageddon controls — hiring an exterminator; roach traps; roach sprays; boric acid; not leaving old food piled on the floor and countertops for more than 28 days; lowering the house temperature to -15 degrees.
Doomed Bad Bug #5 — Monarch Butterfly
I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. Really, I’m just kidding.