"We are infested with ladybugs, thousands, all
over the house outside, coming in through every crack!"
It was a text message from my daughter. Naturally, it
was at a time when I was so busy at the office I could not spare a
second for anything, much less bugs.
"I got the vacuum out. Iíve killed over a
hundred inside. They are everywhere."
Iíve never heard of such a thing -- bees, maybe,
termites, maybe, "Are you sure they are ladybugs?"
"Yes, swarms of them I have probably 200 on my
window. The garage is full of them."
And so began a full-fledged episode of beetle mania. I
felt like my head was going to explode. I could not deal with one more
thing. The kitchen floor is missing thanks to a leaky refrigerator,
the bathroom toilet has been broken, I lost my car keysÖ and now
When the plumber came to fix the toilet, he had
cheerfully told me that bad things happen in threes. Not at my house.
At my house they happen in swarms.
"Call the exterminator. What is the name of that
one that came when we had termites?"
Later, another text came. ďHe canít come until
tomorrow. They have hundreds of calls. They have called in extra
people and are working double shifts."
Ladybugs are supposed to be cute and harmless.
Childrenís toys often look like ladybugs. I have jewelry that looks
like ladybugs. Ladybugs are supposed to bring good luck.
"Okay, keep vacuuming."
When I got home, I found out she was not exaggerating.
In the garage, bugs were crawling up the wall and all over the
ceiling, like a scene from a horror movie. On the outside of the
house, they crawled all over the house, especially the windows.
I found a half-full bottle of insecticide in the
garage and went to work spraying around windows and doors. My son
sprayed the garage.
Ladybugs may be cute when there are only a few, but no
insect is cute when there are a thousand of them. Besides, these
ladybugs were weird-looking. They were orange instead of red. I found
out later that they were not local ladybugs. These were Japanese
beetles, sometimes called Halloween beetles because that is the time
of the year they appear. These were right on schedule.
"Weather is getting cooler and they are looking
for a warm place to spend the winter. They are harmless, just leave
them be and they will go away on their own," advised an article
on the internet. Obviously, their house was not swarming with hundreds
The most aggravating part about the whole thing was
when I found that the government released them as a natural enemy of
aphids, which are tiny bugs that infest fruit trees. A large crop of
tasty aphids and perfect weather conditions had made them fat and
They have no natural enemies here and can do as they
please. Apparently, what pleases them is to reproduce. I guess the
goverment guys didn't notice they have WINGS and won't stay where they
I only hope this is not some biological warfare
experiment and next thing they are releasing is killer bees or fire
On the news that evening, there was a segment about
the ladybug invasion. Apparently it is not just me. They do not carry
disease, infest your food, or gnaw the house down. They do bite if
The next day the exterminator finally showed up. Even
after he sprayed, I still see a few. I can deal with a one or two
walking across the ceiling upside down, just not hundreds of them.
Good grief, there is a ladybug walking across the
computer screen now while Iím trying to type. How brazen can you
If ladybugs bring luck, I must be the luckiest person