Battle of the Bugs Part 2

Battle of the Bugs Part 2

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Sarah Rae Smith
Oct 19, 2010

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that my toilet paper was being taken over by bugs? Well there's been another buggy showdown. We vacuumed up the previous bugs and installed mosquito netting in our windows — but over the weekend a window without netting was left cracked open and this is what we returned home to! Ack!

After a long list of suggestions from Apartment Therapy readers, we finally determined what our little bug friends actually were. We Googled each suggestion, but only one of you had the right answer, so thanks annieoneil! We're glad we asked for help, because we never would have identified these little "buggers" on our own.

As it turns out, the bugs in question are Hackberry Psyllids, Lace Bugs, or Jumpin Plant Lice (how lovely) as they're sometimes called. Their lifecycle consists of hanging out in a little sack on the leaves of the Hackberry tree all Summer long. In Fall, they break free and go about their buggy business and then return to the tree when temperatures start to drop. They snuggle up in the crevices of the bark and hibernate through the winter months.

As luck would have it, our kitchen is now considered a tree. On Friday night after a slight incident with a pot pie gone awry and bubbling over (making the inside of our toaster oven look more like a tar pit) we cracked a window. Saturday morning we headed out for a days worth of adventures and when we returned our entire kitchen had been taken over! Previously in our bathroom, we had several hundred bugs and now there were several thousand!

The bugs came in for the warmth and stay behind anything they can or in any crack they come across. The tuck up on the back of the window ledges, the side of the plants, the inside rim of the paint can even! This explains their previous need to nest in the cracks of our window blinds, walls and toilet paper from the previous bathroom experience.

Looks like we'll be busting out the vacuum again and making sure every last window has netting! Although we've lived in areas where a few (like 30) of them will be trapped in our screens, we've never seen the massive amounts that we have in our new location. Hackberry is a tree that might be worth checking into before moving or else you might end up with the same problem we did!

Image: Sarah Rae Trover

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