Bugs. Spiders. Death to Them.

My last house–which was not in my current homey Mayberry-esque town– was, I think, built on an old Indian cricket graveyard. We moved into our dream abode after many months of weather delays and city planning commission delays (as in, they passed us on our 4-way inspection, then right before we moved in said, "Oh wait. Your roof is too tall. You must saw off the top 4 feet." I am not kidding. And I am not bitter. Okay, I am bitter. Someday I won't spit in their general direction every time I drive by. But for now, spitting is fun.) We adored that house. We had designed it, built it, sawed the roof off.  It was a lovely clean crisp vaulty place to wake up in every morning.

And then the haunting started.

I was sweeping my polished hardwood floors one day when I heard random chirping coming from the walls. It was odd. Couldn't quite pinpoint the location, but generally it seemed to be in the foyer (which, if you are cultured and live in the town where we used to live, you would pronounce "fwa-yay." But we aren't, even though we did. So we say "foy-errrrr." Thought you should know.) 

Well, I searched and searched but found nothing. So I gave up and went to bed. Wrapped in the comfort of living in a new house with hermetically sealed walls and doors, and which I was able to keep spotless because I only had one kid. That was one clean, impenetrable home.

Next morning I went traipsing down my stairs, humming a little tune about how my window cleaner leaves no streaks,  then stopped in horror. There, laid out in a perfect little circle on my shining floor, were the bodies of three very large, very disgusting, much grosser than should be allowed, crickets. Dead. As bodies are wont to be.

"EW! EW! EW! PUPPYKNEES!" (That's what I used to call my husband. "Puppyknees." I'm lying of course. I only called him that to see if I could flap his unflappable-ness. It didn't work. So I moved on to Angeldimples and Muffinhead. Still didn't work. I should write about my huz's stolidness and my 26-year-long effort to shock and/or otherwise discombobulate him.)

My huz came clattering in alarm down the carpet runner, shot past me, nearly squished the dead bugs to death, managed a last second leap to the other side, then spun and stared. At me. Because, like, why was I screaming if the house wasn't on fire or there wasn't an intruder? 

"Crickets." He gestured as if I had asked him what was lying on my floor doing the post-mortem statue-dance.

"Yes I know. Who put them there?"

"What do you mean, who put them there?"

"Well, look at them. That's not natural. They're lying in a circle. In the center of the fwa-yay. What cricket does that?"

"Dead ones."

"Mmmmhm," I did not roll my eyes, "how do you think they got there?"

*stare* "I think they probably walked."

"Then what? DIED? Just like that?"

"Yes. Looks like it. Why don't I just clean them up?"


And we went about our lives. Vacuuming, dusting, raising a child, polishing the hand-carved mantle piece on the hand-bricked fireplace. All was well.

Until the next day when the bodies showed up again. New ones. And there were four. 


This time the huz jogged, he did not clatter. Clearly he thought I was overreacting. Well, I wasn't. How would he like to find dead crickets arranged like my foiiyure was the Salisbury Plain and they were a stone circle? WIth no explanation as to how they got there?

"I'll just . . . "

"Yes, please."

Well. This kept up for about two years. I'd hear the occasional chirruping wall, and then there'd be bodies. CSI should be so lucky (And by the way, you should know that CSI stands for "Cricket Scene Investigation." Truth.) Huz would remove their icky crackly leggy bodies, and I'd try not to say much. Except "SERIOUSLY? YOU THINK THIS IS NORMAL? WE'RE BUILT ON AN INDIAN CRICKET BURIAL GROUND, I TELL YOU! AND THEY WANT US OUT!"

After quite a while my huz got sick of playing bug undertaker–although not my dulcet plaintive voice, I'm sure–and we moved to the delightful little cricket-free neighborhood where we live now. Kind of near a lake and sort of near a cave. It's peaceful and quiet and there's a lot of marvelous history here that we didn't have at our old digs. Plus there's an un-chopped roof. But, there are no crickets, that I can see. 

(All right. There was also a teensy matter of me quitting work so I could raise my then 2.5 children, and the necessity to sell our large investment-home so I could do the whole Stay At Home Mom -thing.  BUT STILL. CRICKET BODIES WERE A DEFINITE FACTOR.)

And now we have peace.

Except for the occasional wolf spider.

Which I occasionally see.

And one of which is sitting on my window staring at me right now. On the outside, not the inside. Right?


About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. Hi-larious! and I really needed the giggle this morning. We have an Asian Beetle problem here. Think beige lady bugs that stink. Eew. Rumor has it that there is a house near Griffy Lake [remember Griffy Lake?] that has thousands of them. Thousands. Thou. Sands. [skin crawling….]

    • Ew! Ew EW! That’s disGUSting. I’m so sorry. And I’m glad you got to giggle! But I’m sorry you needed to so much. I hope things got better as the day went along.

      I remember Griffy lake! And now, I never want to go there again. Ew.

      • The one and only time I went to Griffy Lake to hike with a pooch was the year of the Asian Beetle invasion, the air was THICK with them. Flying at you, in your hair, ears. Didn’t dare open my mouth. And yes, they stink AND they bite! That was the year we were sweeping them up and they would swarm on the south side of buildings for the warmth. Hey Janiel…do your wolf spiders jump? Mine do.

        • Okay, that’s just sick, bad, and wrong. And did I mention sick? Ew.

          My wolf spiders don’t seem to jump. But they are stunningly fast and get VERY LARGE. I had jumping wolf spiders in my room when I was a teenager. I was up until 1:00 in the morning chasing one around with a vacuum cleaner after a date once. I would approach, it would jump, I would scream, my mom would pound on the floor. Ridunkulous. And narsty.

  2. Would it help if you knew that since I moved to Kaysville I’ve had to discard two dead squirrels, a dead rat my neighbor shot (that then crawled into my yard to die, thank-you-very-much!), four dead birds, and one persistent door-to-door salesperson. Oops, wasn’t supposed to mention that one…Calling on my dad, who lives only two blocks away and was clearly created to take care of such things for tender little things like me, got me detailed instructions on how to get rid of them. I’m sure the neighbors had a great time watching me try to shovel these things into a garbage bag while hopping on one leg saying “Ew! Ew! Ew!” (The hopping on one leg made me feel less like I was making contact with the dead things. Not sure why)
    One time there was a sickly bat that my dog wouldn’t leave alone, so I called a neighbor who worked for Animal Control. Like my dad, he gave me detailed instructions on how to take care of it. INside my head I was screaming (but it’s really, really icky!!!!) Two minutes later he called back and said his wife had told him to get over here and take care of that bat. Thank goodness for wives! Married women are a civilizing force for goodness, charity, and all that is right in the world.

  3. By the way, these did not all happen at the same time, lest you think there is some kind of poisoning going on. It was one dead animal a year for the first few years. There were no dead animals in my yard in Orem!!! Except a few spiders…that I killed mercilessly.

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