Insect phobics, here’s your supporting evidence.
Amy Stewart’s new book “Wicked Bugs” profiles dozens of creepy crawlies that are out to do us harm — bugs that sting, bugs that devour our crops, bugs that suck our blood or inject us with poison or infect us with disease. It’s a darkly witty look at the evil side of a group of creatures that is, in all fairness to bugs, largely beneficial to humans.
Stewart explores the ick factor in depth. She tells us about Christopher Columbus’ crew members, who were made so miserable by toenail-burrowing chigoe fleas that some of them evidently cut off their own toes. She explains how Formosan termites ate away at the seams of the floodwalls built to protect New Orleans, contributing to the floodwalls’ failure during Hurricane Katrina. She recounts how leaders of the ancient city of Hatra fended off invading Roman soldiers by pelting them with clay pots filled with scorpions.
And, curiously, she leaves her readers itching to know more.
“Wicked Bugs” is published Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. It sells for $18.95 in hardcover.
How do you fix your lawn when Spot leaves, well, spots?
NatraTurf ’s SpotGone! is designed to repair patches of grass that have been burned by dog urine. It also helps repair areas of a lawn that have been damaged by deicers.
The organic pellets contain calcium sulfate. You shake the pellets onto the burned patch, where they work by binding the excess nitrogen salts in the urine or deicer so those salts can be flushed away by watering or rain.
The product can also be added to cat-litter boxes and the cages of birds, ferrets and rabbits to eliminate odor, the company says.
SpotGone! can be ordered at http://www.natraturf.com or 800-255-8196. A bag containing enough pellets to treat 200 urine spots or 200 square feet of deicer burn costs $19.95, not including shipping.
Buyers get discounts for buying more than one bag at a time.