The Bug Man Cometh

And the ongoing conflict plays out on my little plot of land.

Ann Anthony
Human Parts
Published in
4 min readMar 18, 2024

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Photo by Chase McBride at Unsplash.com

I am getting those reminders again. ‘Time for your quarterly pest control treatment.’ Filled with dread, I mark my calendar and try to forget it.

But still, the bug man is coming to my house. I detest these visits; they are my dirty little secret as an environmentally conscious citizen. I pace internally for days before, trying to get a workable perspective, and failing.

The guy (it’s always a guy) is young, friendly, professional, and efficient as he circles our property with his magic wand, spewing the least damaging liquids I can get. The seemingly innocuous visit distresses me on several levels.

Why are these young guys doing this work? I want to pull them aside, talk to them about their yellow-tinged eyes, how the ‘protective vest’ they are wearing won’t really protect them over time from these chemicals seeping into their cells. Luckily, there seems to be a lot of turnover, so I am hopeful these guys are leaving to get better, healthier jobs.

The last guy, Seth, showed me his new baby pictures and I wanted to shake him and tell him to drop the chemical wand and run! I planned to have a standoff in the driveway with him on the next visit, but he did not return. I am sure it’s not me — I am a loyal customer!

A reluctant loyal customer

But I don’t want to be a loyal customer for this service. It sullies the very ground I live on, to say nothing of my reputation as a protector of the land. Of course, my (very) little plot is not really worthy of the grandness of ‘land,’ as in square feet versus acres.

We’ve improved our small plot as conscientiously as we can, our limited budget requiring creativity and minimalism. We briefly envisioned adding solar panels on our roof when we moved in a few years ago, but the continual cloud cover and the cost deter us. The only place we can fit a wind turbine, according to the wind energy consultant, is smack dab in front of our picture window overlooking the lake, which is, in the realtor’s crass terms, ‘the money spot.’ Placing a humongous metallic spider footing for the turbine in that (only) valued spot is not an option for me.

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Ann Anthony
Human Parts

Writer, Enthusiast, Lifelong Learner. A novelist, essayist, and screenwriter, a partner, a reader and an activist wherever I can make a difference.