Friday, October 23, 2009

Hail The Halloween Bugs

Right on schedule, they have made their appearance, clustering on window screens and on corners of ceilings, falling into food and making a nuisance of themselves. The only thing I can say in their favor is that they're cute: they are pumpkin-colored ladybugs, not as striking as the true red ones, but far from ugly as bugs go. Still, they drive Vermonters crazy, even crazier than black flies, because of their numbers and persistence.

Need I say that they are not native to the area? They were introduced into this country from Japan to prey on some pest or other and have been making their way up from the south along with the milder winters and hotter summers of this apocalyptic era.

Still, they're not as bad as what Marylanders call “Halloween Bugs” because they too appear at this time of year. Those bugs are in fact Female Box Elder Bugs (“female” modifies “box elder,” not “bugs”). They are about half an inch long, black with (again) pumpkin-colored decorations on their wings. And again, if there were only a couple of them they wouldn't be bad. But they come in hundreds, and make themselves at home in your house, and poop orange poop (I'm not kidding) all over your windows and furniture. Which poop is extremely hard to get rid of.

People around here also complain about “cluster flies” about now, but I'm not sure what those are. Otherwise, bug season is on the wane. The spiders have calmed down in their frenzy to become part of the family. The mosquitoes are long gone. And everybody's hoping for a good hard winter that will vanquish the legions of ticks that hide in the New England woods.

4 comments :

  1. bugs here are pretty much done for the season, though there was a giant fly in the living room last night. we can tell that boscoe's deafness is progressing, because he paid it no mind. in the old days, when he could hear, he'd be off the couch and up the stairs (backward, laboriously) the minute it started buzzing.

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  2. I cannot get the vision of Boscoe going up the stairs backward to catch a fly out of my head!

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  3. I'm fond of box elder bugs for some reason. When I was a child the box elder bugs would end up squished between the hinge side of the door frame and the edge of the door. For years I thought my mom painted a zig-zag bug patter on the inside of the door frame. I can still see it in my mind's eye.

    Those orange ladybugs though -- they are a pest!

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