Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Photo Today

Our off-island readers often tell me that this blog helps them feel connected to Ocracoke. They remember fun family vacations here, and enjoy seeing vintage photographs that remind them of simpler times.

Readers like to think of Ocracoke as an idyllic island community of friendly natives; an unspoiled beach where they frolic in clear, warm water; a town known for great music, quality shops, and excellent restaurants; and a village surrounded by opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and other water sports. 

Ocracoke, of course, is all of the above...but it's not perfect. Every once in a while (not very often, mind you) I think of something less than wonderful about my island home but I seldom share those thoughts in this blog...but I will today!

The other day I poured Lachlan a glass of one of my favorite drinks, cream soda. I set the half empty bottle on my kitchen counter. The next day I decided to have the left over soda with my lunch. I knew it would not be fizzy, but that was OK. I put ice in a glass and poured the soft drink. Out came a big old water bug. It was very disgusting, and I was so glad I hadn't drunk directly from the bottle!

Now, aren't you happy I didn't post a photo?

Water bugs can be a nuisance anywhere in the south, and Orcacoke is no exception. I have been fairly successful in combating these pests with borax. I sprinkle it under the steps, near the outside doors, and behind the kitchen appliances. As a result I have remarkably few water bugs in my house, but it seems impossible to entirely eradicate them all.

So, if you rent a cottage or a motel room on the island and find an occasional water bug, please know that the proprietors are not neglecting their sanitation routines. Even the cleanest and best of island homes is invaded now and then. If you are nimble and fast you can probably stomp on most water bugs you see scampering across your floor. And they really look more disgusting than they probably are.

Our most recent Ocracoke Newsletter is a compilation of humorous stories told by or about islanders. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news092113.htm


  1. Vickie P.7:02 AM

    I would like to have seen that photo:)

  2. Anonymous8:41 AM

    i would like to see the bottle. did this bottle not have a cap? do you not place soda in the icebox? who is to say this bug was not in the soda to begin with/factory installed! Due to a design flaw in my dishwasher design, a large opening vs a perforation (for air pressure) a bug climbed in got stuck and caused the water to back up and shed on the left side of the BOSCH dishwasher. the repairman /guessed it was a bug as I described the problem over the phone. This 90 dollar bug removal gave me pause . expensive appliances like this are on "display" but you do'nt see the design flaws of the machines. ..... it was attracted to water but I call this bug a roach.

  3. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Is a water bug the same as a roach?

  4. Bear MacDonald9:56 AM

    My understanding is that water bugs are often mistaken for, but not the same as roaches. I once had an apartment with plenty of both and it is not too hard to tell the difference.
    The largest problem in the Northern Delaware area lately are stink bugs. During the spring and summer they seem to be mostly in the fields, ruining the crops. After the harvest, the seek food in residential areas. When they get in, my cat loves to play with them, which induces them to secrete more stink.

  5. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Hah! That's right about stink bugs. We have them here in SW PA as well. They're a sometimes odorous (but non-biting) nuisance we began noticing about four years ago. As to the matter of water bug/cockroach, I also took them to be one and the same, so your note, Philip, while it won't allay the heebie-jeebies of discovering a water bug skittering across a floor, DOES shed a better light on one or two of the island homes we've stayed in over the years when we've encountered those critters.

    Once again--as always--your posts here continue to be a service to the community of Ocracoke, even when the subject is the island's least savory residents.