Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Last summer was a real live backyard horror movie titled Return of the 17-Year Cicada. The sequel was Revenge of the Itch Mites.
I haven't forgotten the horror that was last summer . . . the piles of shells at the feet of the maples, flocks of gulls swarming the streets and front yards of the neighborhood as they feasted on the bugs, stray cicadas smashing into your eye, or nose, or arm, or head. The ones that got kinda stuck in your hair were the worst. And the noise. It was deafening.
From May to the end of August, the outdoors in our area was essentially uninhabitable. Just as the cicadas were finally dying off at the end of July, the itch mites came and stayed for a month to feed on cicada carcasses and eggs. and us.
The worst part about the itch mites, beside the itch, was they were so small they were invisible. They'd get under clothes and bite all over your body. Not to mention your face. The bites didn't start to itch until hours later, after the damage had been done. One night when DH was slathering me with benadryl cream, he counted over 20 bites just on my back.
Determined souls as we are didn't so easily give up our summer outdoors lifestyle. The last straw finally came one weekend after we were covered with insanely itchy itch mite bites. We waved the white flag and retreated to the house for the rest of the summer.
This is a new year. The coast should be clear and I can hardly wait to get back outside. I'm daydreaming of lazy Saturdays preening and watering while something wonderful is slow-roasting on the grill. Cicadas and itch mites are NOT invited to the party.