To squash, or not to squash?

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, July 29, 2010

Is there any other natural reaction to not think and just squash when you see a bug of any sort? Granted, some folks have their phobias, so they up and scram whenever they see anything with more than two legs.

They jump on sofas, chairs, tables and counters, or they throw whoever is standing next to them in the direction of the bug. And they call us their “loved ones.” Truth is, if those little monsters are in sight, we’re expendable if it means they make it out alive.

Bugs only bother me if they travel in bulk. If a swarm of cockroaches scurries through a room (or worse, a bathroom or kitchen), that would gross out even their fellow roaches. But the occasional critter wandering through an unfamiliar room shouldn’t necessarily warrant reactive violence. But it does.

I’m guilty of it. I squash. Sorry, PETA. If I can help them back outside by somehow directing them towards an open door, I’ll do it. But sometimes they only want to seemingly terrorize my quality of life. What’s a bug’s agenda? Do they possess these evil qualities we often imagine they proudly exude, or are they just lost?

Up close, the poor guys look like monsters. Yes, monsters do not exist, so how could we know what a monster looks like to compare an insect to one? Fair point. But they give us the stinking willies for whatever reason.

This week, I spied an eight-legged creature scampering across the office floor to some unknown destination. It was the biggest spider I’d ever seen in person, though not quite in tarantula territory. Once the room was alerted to the intruder, most humans (all gigantic from the spider’s perspective) sprinted to the other side of the building.

Resembling a venomous brown recluse, we thought we shouldn’t take any chances without any nearby open doors. Regrettably, sometimes there’s just a little collateral damage.

If you can avoid rolling up a newspaper, picking up a shoe or blasting half a can of Raid to spare whatever roach, spider, millipede, flea, tick or ant you encounter, at least try. If not, I reckon it’s you or it.