I had another optical failure related to bug intrusion. I do not yet understand how the bugs do it, but somehow they increase my optical loss enormously. This particular optical node was not properly sealed and box elder bugs got in. They are looking for a warm place to winter. Figure 1 shows what it looked like in the field. My wife does not like these bugs at all -- I will not show her this photo.
While people may think an engineer's work is always high tech, I want to remind them that we spend a lot of time on little things -- like making sure bugs and water cannot ruin our day. Still, it would be nice if we could find a way to get rid of these horrible things once and for all from locations like this. Having the node sealed is one way to keep them out, but some bugs (like termites) can chew through the casing and worm inside regardless, which can be an absolute nightmare. I know some services exist to help keep these issues down, like the terminix pest control options on the market, so perhaps next time I will give those a go.
It really is something else to open a case expecting to deal with a burnt-out wire or some technical difficulty only to have to scrape so many bugs away instead. Hardly a sanitary thing to experience, truth be told.