Dancing Echoes

Beats Stumbling Around in Silence


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Sewer Fly

Clogmia albipunctata

Sooty little sewer fly
You creep me out, I cannot lie
While sitting down to take a pee
I spy you perched there, judging me
And while I know you’re just a bug
Your attitude seems rather smug
Well camouflaged to look like ash
You think I cannot briskly smash
You on the tile and then we’ll see
Who rules the bathroom, you or me
But as I look around I find
I am outnumbered by your kind
You have a lot of little friends
Whose sinister aplomb portends
That maybe I should think this through
Before my swatting starts a coup
And so you’ll live another day
But mark my words, I’ll make you pay
To facilities I will complain
Please, someone clean this filthy drain

Let’s face it, sewer flies, also called drain flies or moth flies are creepy. Where do they come from? What is their ecological niche?

For those of you that like to geek out, the common drain fly has the following scientific classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Suborder: Nematocera
Infraorder: Psychodomorpha
Superfamily: Psychodoidea
Family: Psychodidae
Genus: Clogmia
Species: Clogmia albipunctata

Note they  are in the order Diptera which are the insects known as the true flies. And of course I laugh at their genus Clogmia as in “clogged drain”. Get it? Now you can’t forget it!

There are over 3,000 species of drain flies worldwide but most are found in the tropics or hot and humid environments and for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing these little guys up close and personal, they are a small delta shaped fly –about 4-5 mm with fuzzy dark bodies, wings and antennae which give them a moth-like appearance. Their wings have simple venation and may have lighter or white spots. Their flight is slow and erratic, almost like stealthy hopping but hard to track with the eye so they appear to land out of thin air.

The reason they are often found in bathrooms is because they reproduce in drains that are infrequently used or dirty. They love the slime layer that forms on stagnant water or wet organic matter such as sewerage, grease or compost piles. So they are important decomposers that feed on organic buildup and the good news is most moth fly species are non-biting and are not known to carry disease (I merely jest in my video for entertainment purposes).

Drain flies live approximately two weeks but can reproduce every 48 hours. The females can lay up to 100 eggs in the organic layer of a drain which then hatch in about two days. The larval stage then lasts 8-24 days with 4 instars (their rate of growth is temperature dependent) and the pupal stage lasts 20-40 hours after which the adult fly emerges. This is why you usually see a swarming of numerous drain flies in a bathroom (shudder).

While you can get rid of them using spray pesticides, an easier way to eliminate them is by pouring boiling water down the drain every day for about a week. If a drain is accessible clean it of any organic matter. You can duct tape the drain at night to catch any survivors that might try to escape. Bwahahahaha, who’s afraid now?

Hey, please check out and follow my new YouTube video link: Sewer Fly

Music from Epidemic Sound: Creepy Crawly by Arthur Benson

YouTube: Packrat Poet

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6 Comments

Mothers

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A uniting force
Keeping mewlings safe and sound
Neighborhood mothers

While I was lucky to have been raised by an incredible mother, I was also privileged to have grown up in a neighborhood of warrior mothers. I had a sense of a sound safety net. That I would never go hungry. My skinned knee would be immediately doused in Bactine in front of whichever house I crashed my bike. A snow day meant making the rounds of homes for hot chocolate in between hours of sledding or skating. Some mother was always looking out for me -or relaying inappropriate behavior if warranted. Born during the depression, that generation of mothers had a rough childhood so they made sure we didn’t. Almost all the warrior mothers of my childhood are gone now as that generation fades into fond memories.

In response to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word Challenge: Mothers.


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Heavens

Man made heavens
A meretricious imitation
To trees covered in birdsong

Don’t get me wrong, I am in awe of the human capability to create beautiful art, but nothing compares to the cosmos which is what inspires our art in the first place. Waking up under a canopy of trees by a birdsong alarm is my idea of heaven (even if my old back is stiff from sleeping on the ground).

In response to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word Challenge #185: Heavens


16 Comments

Grace

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Grace does not come easily. It is a product of hard work and rugged determination. It is the steadfast willingness to move through the pain without blame, shame or disappointment. It is the ability to drown out the noise and attack life with laser like focus. It is the resolve to rise above the messiness of all that is human and embrace all that is beautiful. 

Struggling
To keep my shit
In one sock

In response to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word Challenge #159: Rugged

 

 


15 Comments

Giants

On Wednesday:

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Giant is
A matter of perspective
Bug’s eye view

By Saturday:

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Formosan termites
A giant pain in my ass
Just nature doing its thing

I put the top post together on Wednesday. The idea was that giant is a matter of perspective. A flower that comes to my knee is as giant to an insect as a redwood tree is to us and everything in the universe is a matter of scale. So much for light and pretty. By Saturday the insect world had taken a dark turn in my life. I had a termite inspection and needless to say the house failed. Badly. Formosan termites had gotten into the first story floor via a covered area under the stairs. These rat bastards can reduce what in scale to them is a giant house to pulp in a year. Saturday while cleaning up the damaged wood with four letter expletives pouring from my mouth I realized that the only reason I was pissed was because the termites were breaking down my house instead of a dead tree. That what they are doing is vital to the earth’s survival. Imagine if nothing broke down, nothing was recycled and energy was never transferred. Then life could not be sustained. In a weird way I am grateful they exist and eventually, these little guys will have their way and the house will be rendered back to the earth. It just better be long after I have moved on. For now I am taking evil pleasure in watching these little buggers squirm in the sunlight.

In response to Pic and a Word Challenge # 108: Giants and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale.


6 Comments

Harvey

2017-06-14 18.23.05-4

My heart goes out to my Gulf Coast neighbors. I want to say that the storm will pass and there are rainbows ahead but right now that seems trite and doesn’t bring solace. The impact of these devastating disasters lasts for years. In the current climate of divisiveness and anger, it gives me hope to see folks coming together and showing the best of humanity under such horrible circumstances.

For anyone who wants to help, here is a link to the Hurricane Harvey Facebook page with options for donation.

In response to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word Challenge #101: Rainbows