I've been wandering around the house in a daze, humming to the tune of "Battle Scars". That's how I feel - scarred.
It was the worst fight of my life, but I won...I guess. I mean, who really wins these battles? There are always casualties of war.
But I'm still here. And they aren't. "They" are the inchworms. And this is the long story of our brief life together.
It was a beautiful Spring day - the kind of day where you want to be outside enjoying the sun with your children. And that's where we were when we first saw them - wispy strands of web carrying tiny inchworms. The kids and I loved to watch them swing down and crawl across the deck. We counted them and picked them up and let them crawl across our hand. It was a beautiful afternoon!
The inchworms and their webs were everywhere! The kids and I were quickly losing our fascination with them. We played outside on the front lawn, and I waited for the invasion to dissipate.
I kept staring out the kitchen window, and wondering when they would go away so we could enjoy our backyard. The big kids refused to go outside at all. The little guy, however, enjoyed going on the deck and squishing as many bugs as he could find. Each time I heard him say "Uh-oh", I knew another one bit the dust. (While I understand I am supposed to teach him that killing is wrong, I am secretly thankful for his courage to take on these tiny enemies one by one.)
My husband was sick of me talking about "the Invasion of the Inch Worm". He politely asked me to talk about something else. Instead of refocusing, I began to pace frantically in front of the kitchen window. I swear I could see each and every leaf on the tree slowly disappear.
Something had to be done!!! I called the landscape folks and explained my dilemma. Dilemma is fancy for problem my daughter tells me. They promised to look into a resolution and call me back by the end of the day. While waiting for the callback, I took Madison's little broom outside (no, I would not dream of using my own!) and beat the webs hanging from the trees. They just kept coming back and I just kept right on swinging.
The landscape folks never called back. I may have had nightmares about inchworms on me. I really can't remember - I have blocked out most of these awful memories. I called the pest people. They promised to come out within two days. I drank a beer during naptime just to ease my mind. This time I beat the webs with a large outdoor push broom.
I definitely had nightmares. The pest people could not come until the next day - probably because I sounded like a lunatic explaining my frustrations with these inchworms. With a face of stone, I purchased a big bottle of spectrazide, a new garden hose and some white face masks from Lowes. I fully committed to taking matters into my own hands. And I did.
With maybe 4 leaves left on the trees and a yard full of dead inchworms, I declared victory. I stood under the tree, with my cup of coffee in one hand and my push broom in the other - daring one single inchworm to fall. An empty bottle of pesticide was still attached to the garden hose lying at my feet. It did its job with valor.
I learned a lot from this fight. The landscape folks and the pest people may never return my calls again as I could be considered "crazed and dangerous". My kids will never want to hear another "Egbert the Inchworm" bedtime story. And there are just some things that my husband and I can't talk about. (In addition to inchworms, he has also banned conversations on recovering furniture.)
So the next time you are in a budding forest during the Spring and you hear what sounds like rain, there is a high chance you are being showered by inchworm poop (according to the Internet). Just go! And live to fight another day!