Among the plethora of lessons to learn from this current pandemic: we’re reeling in real time from horrifying discoveries about political leadership; the role of science; heroism in unlikely places; our own mortality; the world’s fragile interdependent economy. Etc., the list goes on. Personally, I learned that it’s easier to train a dog to sit and stay than it is a science-denying Republican or evangelical pastor.
But there’s less obvious lessons as well, as I discover when I visit the message board at The Verminator, an on-line trade magazine aimed at working pests such as rats, cockroaches, bedbugs, maggots, mosquitoes, etc. Did you realize that these critters are in panic mode because of COVID19?
Why? With bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, airplanes, parks, beaches, etc. either inoperative or working reduced hours, the food supply for vermin that infest these establishments is drastically reduced. And with fewer people out on the streets, inside offices scarfing down lunch at their desks, or shopping, another source of the nutritional supply chain is sharply diminished.
Some of the stories of rats unable to gather sufficient food for their families are heart-breaking. One relayed her tail (see what I did there?) of trying to get help from a Salvation Army food kitchen, but was actually refused! By the Salvation Army! Something about her being a rat.
In south Florida, whole nests of roaches at our ubiquitous Chinese buffets have been abandoned, the occupants taking to the streets and back alleys where they’re prey to lizards, frogs, iguanas, and scorpions. It’s a jungle out there! One roach reported losing his entire family (“I’ll make more, of course!”) to a crazed, violent home owner with a rolled-up newspaper who attacked them mercilessly just for wanting to crawl under his refrigerator to scrounge some crumbs!
In an amusing sidebar, a mosquito posted her story of raising wrigglers in a permanent puddle created by the AC unit on the roof of a Truly Nolen storefront. Irony abounds. I suspect Truly Nolen itself is seeing some significant downturn in business as a result of all these food establishment closings. Maybe some of their more ambitious agents will hire out as hit men – is the extinction of 4- and 6-legged critters substantially separate from 2-legged? The Mob is always hiring, although I understand the retirement plan isn’t super generous.
I suppose with everything else in the world so topsy-turvy, this is just something else to (wait for it) bug us. Or is that a bugus consideration?