When my family moved to New Mexico four years ago, I was completely unprepared for the wide variety of insects living in and around our property. Insects I’d never once seen let alone knew anything about. The second night at our house (which stood empty a few months before we purchased it) nearly sent me packing when my husband and I watched a scorpion wiggle out of the wall from behind the plate cover of an electrical outlet. The first time a vinegaroon cornered me in our garage, I believed the end was near. The aggressive scuttle of the unexpected beast coupled with the foul odor it emitted after I finally mustered up enough courage to kill it with a broom left me frantically searching the internet to learn what my opponent even was. We didn’t know any better to hire an exterminator BEFORE we moved in with our kids, furniture, and cat. Lesson learned.
After two years of having our bug problem under control, my son, now four, developed a passion for all things six and eight legged when the spring invasion of miller moths hit the Southwest. He began referring to the moths as “Franks” (still don’t understand the connection there or the need to rename the species but we went with it) and has filled countless canning jars and various containers with the flying pests. His fascination, much to my chagrin, expanded to include ALL of the insects he could find in the yard and the occasional one that would slip into the house despite the preventative border. He amassed such a collection during the first Stay at Home movement that we built a “Bug Museum” in front of our house. He carefully collected bugs and displayed them proudly in the front yard. The bug museum serves as an ironic memorial to those early days of infestation in New Mexico.