Eventually even a Shop-Vac fills up. This presented new difficulties. One was where to empty it, because, of course, the ladybugs were all still alive inside. The other was how to prevent 10-year-old Tommy from opening it and looking in.
"Where," my husband asked, "is an insectivore when you need one?" He disposed of the bugs after dark with the help of a little gasoline. We told the boys, Tommy and his 2-year-old brother, Jamie, that the bugs had a nice funeral pyre.
But the onslaught continued. The next day my husband started talking, rather grimly, about flamethrowers. He even reminisced about 17-year locusts. "At least," he pointed out, "they didn't try to get into the house."
The exterminators arrived and sprayed the outside of our house. "This is nothing," one of them observed. "At another house, we vacuumed up five garbage bags full of them." Outdoors, all we had to do was sweep away the casualties. Indoors, we still had to conduct what the military calls a "mopping up action." Even Jamie helped chase down the holdouts. I know this because I discovered two brightly colored wings hanging out of his mouth.
Rebecca Sicree writes from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.