Those faded lady bugs, more properly called Asian beetles, are back. They showed up even earlier this year. Guess we can blame El Nino. It gets blamed for almost everything else.
Last year, after the beetles moved out, I promised myself to keep them out, by humane means of course. I plugged up obvious holes, no matter how tiny. Then, shortly before they were due to move back in, I sprayed the attic every week with a humane “safe for pets and humans spray.” It did cut down on our spider population, but apparently it didn’t daunt the hardy Asian beetles.
The first sighting this year was on the shower curtain. I was in no state of dress to toss it out the door, so I decided to remove it in a tissue. It wouldn’t let go of the shower curtain. I squeezed a little too hard, so it wasn’t necessary to throw it out the door. I did feel a little guilty. After all, these Asian beetles are supposed to be very beneficial to mankind. They get rid of garden pests. But, then it occurred to me, we haven’t had a garden for years, and I’m womankind. Besides there were two more beetles making their way across the tiled. Floor. Apparently they were making plans for their coming out party.
I stepped on one, accidentally I assure you, with my bare foot. It crunched, affecting my nervous system like fingernails scraped across a chalkboard. That did it. I decided that as long as they stayed out of sight I could opt for peaceful co-existence. However, if I saw them, they were fame game.
Actually that gave them the whole attic to operate in. After the Christmas things are stuffed back up there, we only have room for one person to sit or stand at the top of the steps to put things back in order, and I don’t do that until it’s time to get out the Easter things.
After my crunching incident, my weapon of choice was the spray can.
Bill, my husband, told me he thought they were coming in through the fan vent. So when we’re going out for awhile, I spray around the ceiling fan vent. When we return, I go upstairs and sweep up the bodies and dispose of them. After a few days, I decided not to sweep up until I counted 10 bodies. Most of our company is family, and if bug bodies in the “little room” bother them, they know where I keep the broom and dust pan.
Upon hearing of my 10-body rule, the current resident of our guest room, my son Ed, told me the beetles had also invaded there. I offered him the spray can, but he decided not to use it until he made the bed. Guess he didn’t like the idea of sleeping on bug bodies.
Later he commented, “I guess the beetles explain the problem with the television in that room.”
“How could beetles affect the TV?” I asked.
He explained, “Every so often the picture shrinks to a red horizontal line, and it sounds like the bug zapper frying a moth.”
Oh, great another moral dilemma. Is electrocution by television a humane way to eliminate Asian beetles?
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Daily Advocate March 4, 1998.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.