My father is an entomologist. He's also a virologist. He studied bugs' roles in transmitting infectious diseases. Lyme disease, mostly.
So, of course, I'm bug-phobic. I dislike bugs. Tropical bugs, especially. And I am positively, breathlessly terrified of roaches.
The other day, I noticed a solitary beetle crawling on my computer screen, but didn't give it much thought. He was a little guy, and I figured he'd probably die in a corner of my apartment somewhere, to be vacuumed into oblivion later.
Last Sunday, as I left work, I picked up Monica, who noticed that the interior of my car was swarming with... beetles. Dozens of the same tiny beetle that had crawled across my computer screen...
I had a mini-freak out, but pulled it together, and the beetle infestation of '11 ended quickly, or so I thought, after a couple days of driving around with my windows open and parking my car in direct sunlight to bake the little motherfuckers. I thought the problem was solved.
When I went to sprinkle PAPRIKA of all things, on my dinner. The paprika had clumped (or so I thought) and after banging the container on the counter, I sprinkled it all over my dinner. Although, it wasn't just paprika I was sprinkling.
IT WAS PAPRIKA AND BEETLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Both dinner and the paprika were promptly discarded, and I checked nearby spices for evidence of contamination (none found).
My first thought was that I need to get the fuck out of South Florida - I'm tired of storing every foodstuff in my kitchen in Ziploc bags, and freezing bags of flour for a couple days after purchase, to kill any creepy-crawlies that may lurk within.
It really didn't help that I saw a two-inch long roach in my trash room as I was tossing my beetle-covered dinner.
I'm at a loss here. The paprika container was sealed shut. I bag EVERYTHING, and keep my spices closed tightly against humidity. And it's not like hot Hungarian paprika is a welcoming environment for bugs... sprinkling it on my food makes me sneeze...
Aside from not keeping food at home anymore (already, when things are open, if they're not already in a gasket-sealed container or in a Ziploc bag, they get stored in the fridge...) and aside from bombing my place (I don't want to throw away my hundreds of dollars of spices...) WHAT THE HELL CAN I DO TO STOP THESE OCCASIONAL UNPLEASANT SURPRISES?!
Tips? Suggestions? I'm all ears. Because I already go through tortuous routines to avoid scenarios like the one I encountered tonight, and if these bugs are tough enough to live in hot pepper... it's just another reason to want to move back up North, where the bugs are less hardy, and where I'm certain that I'm not going to shake some paprika and have stinkbugs tumbling out...