Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When the Outside wants to Come In

It happens about this time every year. One day the temperature creeps above 60 degrees. The wind picks up from the south. The combines are roaring as the crops are drying down. You come home from delivering dinner to the field and ...there they are. The ground underfoot crunches; the air around you swarms; you can't get the mail in the house without carrying in countless.....ladybugs.

Or Japanese beetles or whatever the technical entomological title is. However we designate the eras of our lives, "back then" (as in, "back then" it snowed more) there wasn't this epidemic/avalanche/plaguey nuisance of ladybugs in the fall. I think I can almost pick out the year it first happened, but even if the calendar date escapes me, the shock of the sheer numbers inside the front door and the stink of frying beetle in the light fixtures seem like just yesterday. And what they do to the inside of one's sweeper!!

Well, enough of that invasion. While in Virginia this last weekend, I met a new and also aggressive insect. While preparing for a nice hot bath, suddenly a medium sized insect crawled out from behind the shower curtain. I am not particularly squeamish about bugs...macro bugs that is. I become hysterical around thrips and apoplectic about aphids. At any rate, I was willing to live and let live when this particular bug attacked me. It made a 18 inch leap at my knee cap and when I dodged, followed me around the bath rug relentlessly. I lured it out the door, into the exposed hallway and ....SQUISHED it with my sock. It was a bold action requiring lightening reflexes.

Ben tells me this thing is a "greenhouse camel cricket". It seems an unwieldy title. Maybe the word "jumping" is in there too. At any rate, another one of those strangers that one must beware when the outside starts to come in.


  1. Just when I stop being "jumpy"(pun intended) from the latest suicide jump of these greenhouse camel crickets, they make a bounding leap right close to me and I'm forced to attack like a crazy person. Not fun. They don't come in windows or doors, must be an infestation in the utility room. I want to put the Mizzou draftcatcher in front of there but Ben doesn't like it. Well I don't like jumping bugs all over my house more, I will win this one. Sorry they attacked you.

  2. They don't come from the closet. Period.