I was enjoying a quiet evening at home this evening watching The Middle on TV and preparing to watch my new favorite show, This is Us when I went to the kitchen to get a drink of water (and maybe another spoonful of that delicious Pumpkin Ice Cream from Stater Bros), when my eye caught sight of something whitish, powdery-like on the coleus branch I was rooting in a glass by the kitchen window. "No!", I cried, "Mealybugs! Mealybugs in the house, in the kitchen, the coleus!" How could this be, I wondered. Actually, I cussed, spewing the F-bomb, (yes, I know some choice words...and have been known to use them). Dammit, I thought. In the house? I immediately grabbed the faucet hose and held the branch under running water and when I was sure I had washed every last one down into the garbage disposal, turned it on and ground them up like some madman in a Stephen King movie. Then I threw the poor almost-ready to plant coleus branch out the kitchen door.
Okay, this may seem a bit over the top. I admit I was probably not as crazed as described above, but I have to say I was very mad. "Why? Why are these mealybugs everywhere all of a sudden?" I asked the no one in room. No answer came from that same no one.
For a couple weeks I have been fighting a battle against the mealybugs who keep invading my six-foot red hibiscus out front. I had already killed my double-yellow in the backyard with soapy water. (I didn't rinse it off quickly enough...maybe I didn't not at all...okay, I didn't know I should). It was amazing how quickly it lost all its leaves and became a bare branch bush. I am hoping it might still come back. Hope springs eternal, they say. And I think the same thing happened a few years ago. Some fools never learn.
So getting back to the red one out front, I have tried the soap thing, this time rinsing it off...to no avail. I got a environmentally safe for humans and pets insecticide that seemed to work sort of. So now I go out with the hose, turn the nozzle to "Jet" and blast the suckers into oblivion. They seem to be on the wane. It seems to me there are fewer and fewer each time I wash the bush. But geeze, it makes me mad.
I have talked to neighbors who also have been finding mealybugs in their hibiscus. So many theories and advice up the ying-yang, but I won't list them here. I guess my point is I am just so over insects from hell who prey on something like my lovely hibiscus. I've got enough to contend with. And there it is: the real issue here. Mealybugs are really just one of those things that come into your life to test you; along with all the other big and little frustrations and challenges like clogged freeways and hurricanes, expired credit cards that force you to update all your automatic payments and earthquakes, pine needles in your mulch and fires in the canyon. Frustrations, challenges, pains in the derriere, and heartbreak. All of it muddled up in tangled Christmas light fashion for you to sort out. And deal with.
And ultimately, it all relative and all how you deal with it. And that's my tale for this blog post. I will now take a deep breath, maybe sigh, and then carry on. Because that's what you do. Mealybugs or no mealybugs.