The weather this fall has been frenetic. Snow, heat, drenching rain, drought. We have seen it all. Or so I thought. Last week in a middle of a stretch of Indian summer we were invaded by Mexican bean beetles. Thousands. I don’t know much about its life cycle but I think the snow and cold weather of the prior week followed by 80-degree weather coaxed a bunch of beetles out of their dormancy. Or perhaps they were just passing through.
At first we thought there were just a few. When there are ever a few of any creature (with perhaps the exception of a wasp or hornet) I look for the cute and interesting aspects of them. Like me, we are all nature’s creatures. In this case, however, the few grew to a swarm and became a new polka-dot pattern on the side of my house and all the windows. Working outside became a bit of a challenge as these unseasonal invaders took a while to determine that I was not a good food source or place to lay eggs. Within a few days they would be gone but it always amazes me how quickly nature will manifest itself in different ways. A similar event occurred earlier this year as our outdoor lights became disco central for a swarm of flying bugs.
The arrival of these new neighbors reminded me of a similar arrival years ago of citronella ants, which used to swarm in early October around our house. After years of serving them kettles of boiling water, we seem to have rid ourselves of this pest.
Perhaps this is the replacement.