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Monday, June 4, 2018

Good morning crew,

Just in case the constant repairs, the constant maintenance, the constant bills, and the constant stress of homeownership wasn't enough, the wife and I are now faced with a new challenge; clover mites, also known as the Red Menace.

They are so tiny I never really noticed them before, but the wife pointed them out to me last weekend when we were sitting on the patio, and now that I'm looking for them I see them everywhere.

They are tiny little bugs, arachnids really, smaller than the head of a pin, and they are bright red in color. But despite their bold coloration they are hard to notice unless you get down on your hands and knees, just because they are so small.

The wife says she has seen them in the yard the last couple of summers, but this year their population is really booming. It must be the economy.

So I looked them up online and the good news is that they are not dangerous. They don't attack humans or pets, like fleas or ticks would, and they generally don't do too much damage to grass or vegetation, although that's what they live on. The real threat is that without remediation their numbers will continue to grow and grow until they get into and all over everything, including the house. Combine that with the fact that they leave a tiny little red smear when they are crushed and you have the potential for an ongoing, embarrassing and expensive problem.

There are all sorts of home remedies to fight them. Right after burning the house down and abandoning the ruins, I read that soap makes a good deterrent. So I spent a large part of the day yesterday filling my 2 & 1/2 gallon bucket up with a sudsy solution of laundry soap and water and pouring it all over the patio, the grass, the lilac bush, the dog, and anything else I could think of. I must have gone through more than a dozen buckets of water and a quart of laundry soap. But the wife emailed me this morning and told me the Red Menace was back, and now they have worked their way up to the back door.

So now I have to go take things to the next level. Borax is supposed to kill them, but I don't think laundry detergent and baking soda is going to do it. I'm going to need professional help.

Believe me, I don't relish paying somebody a million dollars to spray deadly poison all over my immediate living environs, but if I don't I'm going to become roommates with about ten thousand or so near-microscopic red spiders. And that's just NOT going to happen.

If anybody has any ideas that don't involve me going Agent Orange on my own house, I'd love to hear them.

Laugh it up,


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Two old men went hunting one day. A hang glider came soaring overhead and the first old man raised his gun and fired. After a brief pause the second old man asked "Did you get it, whatever it was?"

The first old man replied "No, I think I missed it. But I sure as heck made it turn loose that poor fella it was carrying away!"

*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

When my 14-year-old son, Patrick, stepped up to the plate during a Colt League baseball game, the young announcer declared, "Now batting, the right fielder, number 12, Pathogen!"

After some confusion in the stands, the announcer came back on over the loudspeaker. "Sorry folks, that's PAT Hogan!"