Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What's that bug?

Back in my student days, most of my dinners were soups, stir fries and casseroles that I prepared in large quantities and froze away in meal-size portions. I rarely had dinner guests, so when I did, I found myself scurrying around to get all of the dishes done at approximately the same time. On one such occasion, I was well ahead of the game, with chicken cooking in the oven and the salad all ready to toss. All I had to do was get the rice cooking, and I would be ready to take a breather before the imminent arrival of our guests.

I dumped the rice into the boiling water, and, to my horror, little living somethings floated to the surface. They were about the color and shape of rice, and definitely not something I wanted to eat. Fortunately, Gene was willing to run out to the local market to buy replacement rice. He got back just before the guests arrived, and they were none the wiser.

Only later did I stop to wonder what the heck those annoying bugs were.

Now if I find a bug I can't identify, I go to What's That Bug? This is an excelllent site for learning about bugs you find in your house or in your yard. There are also helpful hints for ridding yourself of the most pesty.

What was in my rice? It wasn't a pantry beetle. More likely it was some kind of meal moth larvae . The only way to get rid of them was to throw all the infested stuff out, and even then there were reinfestations. May you never find out what they look like.

Other good sites: Insect ID from the University of Wisconsin, and BugGuide.net

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