Centralia Fireside Guard

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Story Time: Bettles and Birds

Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm

By Lorry Myers

Lorry Myers

I went to bed one night, telling myself that this year would be different than last year. The very next morning there was a bug on the screen of the porch, just one bug. A shudder went through me and I had my husband capture the creature in a paper cup so we would know for sure.

They’re back.

In a matter of hours, that one lone Japanese beetle called thousands of his friends and family to join him in devouring the shade tree that shades my porch. We barely survived the invasion of the shimmering creatures last year and I have been foolishly lulling myself to sleep believing that this year, they had moved on to tastier pastures.

Boy was I wrong.

It turned out to be a full blown plague as the creepy crawlers coated the screen on the porch and flew around in a mating frenzy, turning my green leaves into dull brown lace. I didn’t want to go outside and could barely stand to look out my window. The swarms of bugs attracted black bird, the kind that appear in scary movies to forecast impending doom. These slick, oily birds chased away my songbirds while the Japanese beetles continued to multiply and feed unaffected.

What am I going to do?

My husband and I stood in the plant aisle in the hardware store and stared at the empty shelves. We printed off our research guide that told us what to buy to treat adult beetles and the offspring they leave in the ground but apparently others have the same problem we do.

Japanese beetles are everywhere.

I find them in my hair, in my car and smashed on the bottom of my shoe. They fly into my windows and crawl around on the sidewalk and seem to find their way inside my house riding on my husband’s shirt, causing me to squeal and dance about in semi-hysterics.

“Get it out, get it out!”

Everyone it seems has a remedy for a less evasive way to kill thousands of insidious bugs. We were told to buy bug traps that hang in a distant tree or on a shepherd’s hook in your yard. The trap is baited with a scent that attracts the little creatures into a bag where they die a stinky death. One day after the traps went up in our yard, we took them down, unable to keep up with the task of dumping squirming bags of beetles. The traps, I thought, were attracting more bugs than we could catch and I was quite certain I could hear the sound of chewing while I slept.

For the complete column, please see this week’s edition of  the Centralia Fireside Guard.