By Mary Lynn Bruny

One of the “charming” factors of my old house is that Western conifer seed bugs show up inside – just three at a time – when we have a temperature dip like during a cold spring rain or snow storm. In terms of bugs, I like them. I think they’re kind of cute, and find it interesting how they crawl very slowly and deliberately with their long legs and tweaky antennae.

They have always piqued my interest. I imagine some entry point where a beefy bug bouncer maintains this strict inside bug allocation. That’s a lot of house square footage per bug. Obviously they’ve been successfully practicing social distancing from the get go.

I usually gently pick these bugs up and relocate them to the great outdoors. My husband says I send them out only so they can come back in, and that it’s a never-ending loop with the same three bugs. It’s like they go out and get some fresh air, then keep coming back.

But now, as my stir craziness is seriously ramping up, and I’m looking for new ways to entertain my small but active brain, I’ve decided to let the bugs have free reign of the house and see what they get up to. Let them “shelter in place” with us and be part of our “pandemic pod.”

There is one that comes in our living room window and then crawls over to our bookshelves. Usually I remove him before he gets too cozy there. But now I think we can play a game: Which shelves will he make it to? Does he go for classics or easy reads? Kind of like Bug Bingo. Sure it will be a slow process to watch, but with music, drinks and snacks it could be fun. (Secret: Just about everything can be fun with music, drinks and snacks.)

Another bug comes in a window of my second floor office (obviously a very serious and hard worker), and then crawls across the floor and down the stairs to the first floor. I usually pick him up en route. But now I’m wondering, where is he trying to go? This is a mystery I apparently now need to solve. Is he, like me, just heading to the refrigerator?

The third dude starts in our bathroom, hangs out there for a bit (it’s warm and moist after all), and then saunters into our bedroom. Once, and only once, one bug crawled on my face just as I was falling asleep in bed. That, it turns out, is not a good feeling.

You think that would have put me off these bugs, but no. I hold no ill will against the majority for one bug’s crossing of the social distancing line. It was probably young and thought social distancing was unnecessary, something only old bugs need to do.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn is a Boulder freelance writer. Contact her at ml.bruny@comcast.net.