You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

Location: Kentucky, United States

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Hey lady, ya bug me!

Our house has been invaded by ladybugs again. According to an article that I found on the web, someone had the bright idea of importing a non-native ladybug to Vermont to take care of a pest species there. This foreign ladybug emits a foul smelling odor when threatened or crushed. They did not consider however, that nothing in the local ecosystem would want to eat this odorous bug.

This time of year ladybugs are hunting for protection from the coming winter. A few to several handfuls will gather in an aggregation. The aggregate site can be anywhere that protects them from the winter cold, logs, under rocks, beneath leaf piles, anyplace out of the weather. So now every autumn, because of the population explosion of ladybugs, the aggregations are coming into homes through the tiniest cracks and are taking over. I have counted over one hundred and fifty on our bedroom ceiling alone. Yesterday there was thirty-plus on the inside of the storm door. You can't swat them or they leave a yellow stain on the wall or furniture, and if you try to clean them out with a vacuum cleaner you have that awful odor to deal with.

I did not realize how wide spread this was till I googled lady bug plague. I found this letter sent to Dave Barry's Blog. I understand just what the guy is going through.

From Dave Barry's Blog

I live on the Illinois/Iowa border out here in a place called the Quad Cities ("your home for Mississippi River flooding.") And it's ladybug hell up here right now. You might go, "Surely a ladybug or two is nothing more than a funny little menace. They're cute and friendly, right?"

Normal ladybugs are red. You might see one or two during the summer. Neat-o, they look like little VW's and they're cute.

THESE new critters are more of a yellow and hail from what I'd guess to be either the 3rd or 4th plane of Hell. And when they buzz your head, they make a shrill buzzing noise that definitely is ladybug for, "Yes, I DO mean you harm."

Let me put it to you this way -- between the time I left my office and made it to my car today, I had three of them go down my shirt and swatted another 7 off my clothes. That's 10 bugs in a 1/2 block walk. THAT'S how bad it is. It's like bordering on John Carpenter movie kind of horrific.

And the damn things BITE. Or maybe they PINCH. Nobody knows for sure. They just hurt like heck.

And when you smoosh 'em, they EXPLODE into a pile of rancid yellow ooze. That reeks. I'm serious, you can smell it off the sidewalks as you walk down the street, and it's that noxious.

Articles on the things are literally running on A-1 in papers throughout the Midwest, because these little boogers are out of control.

I'm a guy whose only irrational fear in life is BEES. I'm deathly allergic to the suckers, and I act like a complete and total ninny around them. So it's extra fun to now have a whole new strain of yellow, bee-sized non-bees flying around your head all day.

Come help us kill them, Dave.

I know! Let's bring in cobras and piranhas to eat all the ladybugs! Then we can have mongoose and, uh, whatever eats piranhas.

Great white sharks!!

No, that's saltwater.

Let me get back to ya on this.


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