Thursday, April 28, 2011

Armadillidiidae in my laundry

I have bugs in my basement.  I used to call them "potato bugs", but then this morning I Googled it, and the pictures that came up are not the bugs that I have in my basement.  Now, granted, other people call these bugs "potato bugs" too, but it turns out a more correct term is "pill bugs" or "roly polies" because of they way they curl into a ball when they're on the defensive.

I have to admit, Googling bugs before 7am in the morning is not recommended, especially if you haven't had breakfast yet.  There's something about those close-up photos of insects that really turns one's stomach.  But I did think that if I was going to the effort of blogging about these little creatures, I should probably make sure I know what I'm talking about.

So why am I talking about bugs before 7am in the morning?  Well, it turns out these funny little roly polies not only like to live in my basement, but they also like to crawl into my washing machine.  I have had to make a habit of checking inside it before I put in my laundry to make sure there isn't anything that's decided to take up residence there, and more often than not, I'm forced to evict an unwanted guest or two. 

Now, I could just keep the lid to my washer closed all the time, but all good washer-people know that you're supposed to keep the lid open between loads so that your washer has a chance to dry out and not start growing things.  At least this is what I remember being told at some point when I started doing laundry...

And so I've resigned myself to being on a constant look out for these "pill bugs" when I make my forays into the basement to do my laundry.  I never venture into the abyss without wearing slippers in case I step on one, as inevitably, they are crawling on the ground around the washer and dryer as well.  I always check my baskets before putting the clean laundry back in them in case the bugs have crawled in there as well...which they occasionally do.  And I've located an excellent ultra heavy-duty set of pliers near my washer with which I can oh-so-not-at-all delicately remove any undesirable tenants from my laundry appliances before I wash my family's clothes.

I am awfully thankful that with the coming of spring, it seems that they have stopped attempting to expand their territory up from the basement and into the rest of the house.  Now if we could just figure out where all the spiders are coming from...

1 comment:

Jen said...

Ahh the small joys of home ownership :)

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