Ah, summer in the South. Hot days, hopefully spent by the water somewhere with a refreshing drink, good reading material and company, and a hefty breeze. Some days, I get to live this relaxing description of life. Others, I’m out exploring new homes with clients, in and out of an air conditioned car, and if we’re lucky- air conditioned homes. This time last year, I was showing homes to clients from out of town, where the power had been turned off, due to no one living in the home. Oh, the audacity! Not that I want to pay that electric bill, either (Pro-tip: It will help you sell your home faster, if it’s on and working well). What did many of these homes, and many others around the Lowcountry, host? Bugs.
Grossed out? Don't worry, no actual images of bugs ahead. Not to go all Forrest Gump on you, but we have palmetto bugs (yes, they’re different from cockroaches), cicadas, mosquitos, termites, and no-see-ums, to mention a few. Move along if you’d like*, but it’s a fact of Lowcountry life. So much so, that we have a jewelry line designed around the palmetto bugs, the Goldbug Collection, by the oldest family-owned jewelry store in Charleston, Croghan's Jewel Box. And it’s cute. And I own the crest ring. Those clients from out of town were introduced to a palmetto bug that had seen better days, while I showed off my ring and how we embrace our buggy friends.
Nearly a decade ago, I had my first experience with a palmetto bug. I was visiting South Carolina for the weekend, walked into a friend’s bathroom, and found one dead on the floor. Oh, bless their heart, I thought. I couldn’t dare mention it, thinking I’d be critiquing their cleaning skills. Now I know, clean or not, your home is going to have a surprise friend from time to time. Sure, there are ways to keep your home ‘bug lite’ with exterminators I could recommend from around town or some homemade remedies. It’s even required by most loan under-writers to get a CL-100, a termite clearance letter, before buying your home.
The musical artist, Ben Folds, knows about bugs in the South. Just last month, my husband and I were at his show with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, when he stopped mid-song and said, “What the hell is that noise?”. And everyone replied like true South Carolinians, “Cicadas!”. And so he composed a song about them, right on the spot (full of colorful language, so beware).
We have a state bird, reptile, spider, dog, duck, and fish. I hereby declare palmetto bugs our state bug.
What ways have you seen the Lowcountry embrace our bugginess? These engagement party invites from Ink Meets Paper, a local letterpress shop, are modern and fun.
*Of note: I am not afraid of bugs, snakes, or many things in general, but put a clown in front of me and I will lose it.