When Moths Attack

“Bugs.  Why did it have to be bugs?”  Is essentially what I tell myself every time I walk into the cabin upon my return.

This time when we walked up to the exterior of the cabin it was entirely covered in spider webs.  I couldn’t stop myself from singing  “Their house is a museum, when people come to see ‘em, they really are a scream, The Addam’s Family.”  It did look like the place that creepy family would spend their summer holidays.  “Chateau Fosho’s House of Terrors” had a nice brochure ring to it.


Having been at the cabin just 3 weeks before I could only imagine that a Napoleonic size army crew of spiders could have accomplished so much in so little time.  I was terrified to open the front door to see what awaited us inside.


Luckily by some miracle it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  While definitely having a stop, drop, and roll reaction upon getting through the initial mudroom entryway the actual inside was bearable.  Bearable meaning there wasn’t an arachnophobia inducing spider party happening with disco balls and 8 legged pole dancers zipping up and down the wooden rafters but still enough webs to make a nice sweater out of.

It was definitely time for a summer scrub down.

I got out the broom, swifter sweepers, cobweb brush, Raid, and went to work.   I would say by the end of the day there was a terrible disturbance in the spider world.  The casualties were many and it would take two very large glasses of wine to get me to stop lurching every time a stray piece of hair touched my neck.


I had some help though in my cleaning….this little guy kept sneaking into the cabin.  I was wondering if I broke into song if he would pick up a broom and start sweeping ala Cinderella.  Unfortunately all he did was play hide and seek with my broom every time I tried to kick him out, then he would sit on the windowsill and watch me till he got another chance!  Sneaky little bugger.


Feeling joyful at the thought of sleeping that evening without looking up into a ceiling full of webs I started to get into cozy time.  This is when it came to my attention that custom window screens in the summer were to become as essential as snowshoes in the winter.

The spiders were just a forewarning of summer bug season.   This being my first official summer trip up I hadn’t yet gotten the full picture.  Since it was warm out I had the few working windows open to the delightful mountain breezes sweeping across the lake…


As the last light started to fade I popped a couple lamps on in the house.  I was not prepared for the kamikaze attack that was to unfold.  The gnats were first.  I had no idea there were that many tiny bugs in the universe let alone now inside my cabin.  Then came the moths……

Growing up in New Orleans where I myself had coined the turn of phrase “Kamikaze Cockroaches”  you think I would be an old pro at dealing with flying insects of all kinds.  There are some things that are better left in the past lore of childhood….

I quickly shut all the windows but it was too late, they were already IN.  I realized my mistake immediately and knew now in the future I was to close all the cabin windows before turning on any lamps, then before I opened any over night windows to shut every single light off in the house, then wait a spell before re-opening any of those keyholes to the bug kingdom.


But as of now they were in and so was I.  The moths were everywhere doing a tap dance against the lamps.  What was even more frightening was each place where there was a lamp next to a window there were a million of their little friends beating against the glass trying to get inside.  I had a terrible moment where I wondered what would happen if the glass broke.  The scene from The Mummy where the tornado of beetles attacked danced it’s way across my brain.

I went to bed, shut off all the lights and hoped for the best.  I had dozed off and was just settling into a deep sleep when one of those kamikaze moths flew right into my forehead.  SMACK.   I was thankful it wasn’t my mouth.  Wide awake now I armed myself with a flashlight and a fly swatter and went to test my batting average on the entire cabin bug population.

They had their revenge a couple nights later when I had a mosquito soar it’s way into my ear canal.  I imagine that this is exactly what losing your mind must feel like.  A mosquito knocking around in what feels like your brain.  Disgusting doesn’t quite sum out how I felt when I used a q-tip to clean mosquito guts out of my eardrum.

The pleasures of cabin life.

The custom screens had just worked their way up to the top of the cabin repair list.


I wish I could say that after all these lessons I had the whole nighttime pest thing under control.  While I had gotten the bug situation sorted out enough to live with for the time being, I did not however factor in larger things getting into the cabin in the night.

About a week later I awoke to a fluttering overhead that I am fairly sure was a bat.  I lurched my way out of the bed and onto the floor.  Quickly grabbing my flashlight and fly swatter again.  Although I’m not sure what I was hoping to do with the fly swatter.  That thin membrane of plastic probably wasn’t designed to deal with blood thirsting mammals.  I had houseguests so in an attempt not to wake them I slunk around the bedroom pointing the flashlight into all corners of the rafters.  I had either scared it away or it was under the bed latched onto the springs plotting it’s Dracula style attack on me later in the night.  Sleep was to remain an elusive friend that evening.


Next morning as I was chatting with one of my guests she confessed she also had heard it and thought for sure it was a bat as well!   I can only hope that we were both mistaken and it was a rather large moth on steroids and not a rabid bat.

What’s funny is that a bear had gone to town on the log behind my bedroom window at some point the week before ripping it to shreds and we had also discovered a fresh scratch on the side of the cabin but it wasn’t the bear I was even remotely losing sleep over it was the stupid BUGS!




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