Waging wars but with little victories

It’s been a week of waging war on many fronts, mainly against insects of one kind or another on some recent October days that I would classify as bonus weather days for this time of year – days laced with warmth and sunshine, the kind of weather that lulls a body into delusions of a winterless world and exposed toes in December and January.

Yeah, right. This is Ohio, Janice.

The bug battle has included confrontations with stink bugs eager to make their way into the house. They want the warmth but don’t want to split the gas bill if you know what I mean.

Yuck! Stink bugs move at the speed of annoyance, just fast enough to get in your way or land on your head or buzz by your ear.

They have this creepy little shape and an even creepier robotic strut. They seem quite invincible and very adept at doing somersaults.

Stink bugs stick to the storm door screen as if they have some sort of built in Velcro.

How much time I’ve invested flicking them with my fingers I can’t say. What I do know for sure is they’re persistent little buggers.

Just when I think they can’t be anywhere close at hand, there’s one doing cross-country training on my ceiling.

“Step on it,” Better Half scolds me when he sees me releasing one to the great outdoors.

No can do. A big game bug hunter I’m not. Sadly, I’m the unofficial president of the Bug Humane Society.

If the stink bugs are unnerving, what does that make those little red beetles that initially give you the impression of being sweet little lady bugs?

I came home several days last week to find the front of our white house looking as if it had the measles or had been decorated with red polka dots.

How lovely.

Just your usual make-themselves-at-home Asian beetles stopping by for an unwelcome visit.

They got the old Janice finger flick, too.

I’ve made little headway with the stink bugs and Asian beetles, but the fly world is mourning a bit of a population loss.

Upstairs bedrooms for some reason tend to attract the kind of flies that aren’t real fast or real smart, but they’re still real annoying.

Anyone who says little things shouldn’t bother you has never had a mosquito singing in his ear or a NASCAR fly racing inside a lampshade just as you’re about to doze off.

We decided to fight the flies, not the spray can way, of course. Better Half is a very anti-aerosol kind of guy. No deodorant or hair spray stuff. And no bug spray either. Nope.

We opted for the good old-fashioned fly strips with no insecticide, no aroma, just sticky stuff that a stupid fly accidentally gets trapped by.

Talk about a guilt trip. All I could think of was an animated film like “Antz” or “Nemo” or “Bugs” when I monitored fly strip progress and swore I heard a fly plead for pardon.

I should have just whacked them with a fly swatter and got it over with.

Or maybe called a truce.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)