The Great Pumpkin Bug Hatching!

And so they come again… those hordes of tiny, orange, Lady Bug interlopers. Arriving with the Indian Summer they coat the outer walls, doors, and windows of campus. They do not differentiate between buildings, advancing across brick and clapboard, old and new, all alike, all with the same devotion and intensity. They explode into being and at every opening they make entrance. Screens, doorways, cracks, the tiniest spaces give them passage to your room, your home and eventually (after the egg laying) their death. They are everywhere and some say they stink too. The orange lady bug, a.k.a.: the multicolored Asian lady beetle. Or depending on who you believe they are traditional lady bugs which have been cross bred with Japanese beetles. I like more substantial stories.

For instance, I’ve heard an urban myth that these orange swarms are the result of a University of Connecticut experiment gone wrong. Somehow they were released upon our corner of the US to torment windows and doorways of the Quiet Corner. I’ve also heard they are the long lost brethren of the deeper red and truer species of Lady Bug. Mostly I’ve heard students, faculty, and staff ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at their multitude. How can there be ten to fifteen of them every square foot over the entire side of Warren Hall – a 60′ building? (Just do the math!). Apparently, they’ve even made the local news. The funny thing is, it is not just a problem here in Woodstock, CT.

In writing this blog I’ve learned that I am one of millions in the United States to be captivated (read: assaulted) by these multi-specie, trans-global bugs. Wisconsin? Yes. Ohio? Yes? Pennsylvania? Yes. Kentucky? I could keep going! (I won’t, don’t worry). Be these facts as they may be, I am happy for the return of the Great Pumpkin Bug Hatching! I don’t mind them frankly. The event is a reminder of upcoming Halloween and the cycle of nature. It is a reminder of our over management of nature and her whimsical, if not torturous, ability to play with us. So, as they fly in your face, clog up your vacuum, enjoy this little bit of fall color in a quarter-inch package.

Best, John