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Beetles

Posted on 2003.10.09 at 09:50
Mood: creeped out
Music: Mazzy Star - Bells Ring
I have an unnatural fear of beetles. My apartment is being overrun by beetles. Two types, to be exact. There are the Japanese Ladybugs, which are more annoying than anything else. And then there are Box Elder Bugs. Those two facts do not make for a pleasant time at home for a couple of weeks before these things die off. The ladybugs are a nuisance. They fly against lights and die, and are a pain to clean up. The Box Elder Bugs are creepy. On some days in the past, I've come home to thousands of them crawling on the wall outside my apartment. If you're not careful, you'll feel them walk across your feet when you're sitting still (a couple get inside every year somehow). There is no easy way to kill them.

For example, when a couple of them creeped me out last night, I grabbed a book. I pounded that thing a couple of times. When I stopped, the thing got up and started walking as if nothing happened.

I beat it again. It got up. It wouldn't die. It was like a horror movie monster. Finally, after the third time, it was dead. When I woke up this morning, the carcass was not there.

This is the only thing that I hate about fall. The rest I love.


Comments:


Bake, Love, Kickbox.
sistermaryeris at 2003-10-09 06:58 (UTC) (Link)
Ladybugs are fun! (Except the dying on the light thing). Those Boxbeetle things are scary!! My cats eat giant bugs usually but it takes them a while too. You should try the computer dust remover thing and freeze it!! *cackle*
The Frog Queen
losgunna at 2003-10-09 07:06 (UTC) (Link)
Actually, those Japanese Ladybug thingys *bite*, and I'm not even talking like a mosquito bite. The little guys take actual chunks of flesh. I realize I'm not helping, but...

The box elder beetles are completely harmless, but are a pain in the ass. If you smash them, the let off a red dye that is impossible to get out of anything.

I've found that bleach bathroom cleaner can kill most any bugs :)
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 07:11 (UTC) (Link)
From what I understand, the Japanese beetles don't bite so much as excrete acid, which in turn breaks down your skin, which they in turn eat. Nice, eh?
The Divine Miss M
mightyafrodite at 2003-10-09 07:13 (UTC) (Link)
A mixture of detergent and bleach or just dtergent and water works well.
The Frog Queen
losgunna at 2003-10-09 07:14 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, now that *really* creeps me out. Sounds like some form of torture....
la_deesse at 2003-10-09 07:36 (UTC) (Link)
um... no... the thing you linked to says they do excrete an orange substance when stressed, but it's harmless. and i've never had one bite me either, although i would imagine they might try it when they're stressed out.

and they're awesome little critters -- they eat aphids. as someone who fancies herself having at least a greenish-brown thumb, i view this as A Good Thing.

i didn't know they were japanese though! doesn't that just figure!
The Frog Queen
losgunna at 2003-10-09 07:39 (UTC) (Link)
The real ladybugs are Good Things, and eat aphids. The stupid Japanese ones may or may not eat aphids (I honestly don't know), but they do bite (or whatever) like mad. My poor father gets attacked by them every year, and ends up with welts everywhere. (Bugs like him - a lot. They flock to him. This isn't a joke :)
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 07:47 (UTC) (Link)
Ahh. You're right. I don't remember where I head that from originally.

Yeah, apparently they were introduced as a predator for aphids, and they have become a little too effective, like most introduced predators.
la_deesse at 2003-10-09 07:53 (UTC) (Link)
you know what i think might be happening? they release the orange stuff when they are stressed. if it feels like it's eating into you, perhaps they're biting you at the same time. so the bites might usually be a stress reaction too.

and from what i read on that page you linked to, the really hilarious part is that the introduction for the purpose of destroying aphids didn't take, for some reason. they were introduced successfully later on... by accident. some asian ship was apparently carrying a few and they entered the country in louisiana. doesn't that just figure.
Clearly Canadian :)
canuckgirl at 2003-10-09 07:09 (UTC) (Link)
We have the box elder bugs here, too. MANY of them!

Fortunately, I haven't yet gotten any INSIDE my apartment, which is a good thing.
roane
roane at 2003-10-09 07:11 (UTC) (Link)
Oh the ladybugs do not bite. They're just a hassle and they're driving my cats CRAZY. We've got 'em here too, and since my bedroom window faces the sun most of the day, it's covered with them. I can't open it without letting a bunch of them in, where they just seem to crawl onto my bed and die. Ugh.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 07:31 (UTC) (Link)
The normal ladybugs don't, but the Japanese variants (usually orange or yellow in color) do excrete an acid, which feels like a bite.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 07:47 (UTC) (Link)
Nevermind the acid thing. I'm not sure where I heard that, but it was wrong.
Stormy Brow
stormy_brow at 2003-10-09 07:21 (UTC) (Link)
Gah! There were three of those bloody Japanese beetles in my room last night. They're so noisy when they fly, because they keep bashing into the wall.

I hate beetles.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 07:32 (UTC) (Link)
Beetles and I never really got along. One of these days I'll have to write about how one of them burrowed into my leg.
Stormy Brow
stormy_brow at 2003-10-09 07:35 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, that is really squicky. I honestly don't know if I could read such a story. You've mentioned it before.

Ewww! Ewww! Ewww!

I suppose my imagination isn't nearly as bad as it actually happening, but, you know, I have a very fertile imagination.
Bake, Love, Kickbox.
sistermaryeris at 2003-10-09 07:41 (UTC) (Link)
I'm seconding that ew! Holy scary bug torture. *shudder*
la_deesse at 2003-10-09 07:38 (UTC) (Link)
i hate most beetles, but not ladybugs. they're the only one i can stand. i'll even let them crawl on me.

they're driving me nuts in my room, though. flying around the light bulb and occasionally bouncing off of it... scrape... scrape...
Stormy Brow
stormy_brow at 2003-10-09 08:15 (UTC) (Link)
Apparently, I've been giving people the wrong information. See this post for more detials.
zerbie
zerbie at 2003-10-09 09:18 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, man. Box Elder bugs were the WORST thing about Michigan falls. I remember coming home from school and standing in the driveway, eyeing my front door in fear because it was crawling with the damn things. My mom would have to open the inside door for me, and then she'd throw open the screen door and I'd run through. Blargh.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 09:32 (UTC) (Link)
They're still better than spacebugs, I'd imagine.
wundergeek
wundergeek at 2003-10-09 09:45 (UTC) (Link)

wherin I whore

Oh my God. I'm having flashbacks to my own, eerily similar runin with huge, frighteningly strong insects. I'm so glad we got rid of them after a few days.

Good luck with the beetles. *shiver* I hate beetles.

The Frog Queen
losgunna at 2003-10-09 10:38 (UTC) (Link)
Okay, it's official. Stoopid Japanese beetle thingys do something that hurts like a bitch. One landed on my thigh while I was out walking, and it suddenly hurt. So I knocked the damn thing off, and I now have a bit of a red welt.

(I should also mention here that results may vary....I tend to be very allergic to bug bites, and very prone to them due to a high body temp.)
(Anonymous) at 2003-10-09 11:00 (UTC) (Link)

Apology in advance, then...

For the shock you'll get tonight. The exterior of our house is absolutely crawling with both box elders & ladybugs, and the ladybugs have started to get inside.

I've now seen one of the ways they're getting in - crawling in through the bathroom fan vent. I don't know how they got in, since the damn thing was running at the time. They're not biting anyone, though. Just crawling over to the nearest light fixture until it cooks them, then dying with a momentary acrid stench and dropping to the floor.

In the kitchen.

How appetizing.
Cathy
crwilley at 2003-10-09 11:52 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Apology in advance, then...

Fortunately the box elder beetles don't seem to have ever made it into the house.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 11:58 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Apology in advance, then...

Good. Those are the ones that freak me out. The Japanese lady beetles I can deal with.
Judy
bluedragon73 at 2003-10-09 12:53 (UTC) (Link)
Call the office please and tell them. They will come tomorrow and spray.
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shawnj at 2003-10-09 12:55 (UTC) (Link)
The thousands haven't come yet. I've only seen the three that I killed last night, and two of the Japanese lady beetles. Still want me to call down there?
MadShrubbery®
madshrubbery at 2003-10-09 14:54 (UTC) (Link)
Everything in the Phylum Arthropoda should just die.
Catherine Prickett
shiftercat at 2003-10-10 20:59 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so that's what those beetles are called. Box Elders. Hmm.

Most insects I can take or leave. I don't understand your hatred of beetles, but then I get squicked out by caterpillars.

We get wasp problems in the fall. Not only are they a menace, and damn near indestructible, but tashiro gets freaked out by them, having been stung badly as a child. He won't go near one if he can help it. This leaves yours truly to deal with them, of course.

How I deal with insects and spiders:

Get a large transparent cup. Get a piece of card, thin enough to slide under the glass without leaving a crack but stiff enough not to buckle. Trap the bug inside the glass. Slowly slide the card underneath the cup. The bug will either crawl onto the card or up the side of the glass. Drop the bug out of the nearest window or door. If it's a spider, make sure to sever any lines that it may have attached to the cup or card.

Of course, if it's a hostile or parasitic bug, like a mosquito or earwig, it gets death. Those which are simply going about their buggy business in blissful ignorance get mercy.
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