At least that’s what we have always called them. The proper name is- Ten lined June Beetle.
Let me describe this little creature, in case you don’t already know about it. My most sincere apologies to anyone with a bug phobia! I can hear my sisters now saying ‘Ewww!’, and now laughing.
When I was growing up, this dreaded little bug struck fear into the very depths of my being!
I was an outdoorsy farm-girl. I loved frogs-and still do-I played with worms, ladybugs and rolly pollys (sow bugs).
I baited my own fishing lines for goodness sakes!
So what is it about these tiny crawly-critters that I hate so much?
First of all, they are not tiny. They are 1- 1 1/2 inches in length and up to 3/4 inch wide, off-white in color with greenish-brown stripes on their hard outer shell. They have large, fuzzy antennae.
But the worse feature is their long ‘sticky’ legs. By sticky, I mean they stick to things- like screen doors in the summer evenings…and skin…and hair! Makes me cringe just thinking about it.
They come out in the heat of the summer, usually in the later part of the day, and are attracted to the light. So just about every evening, we would find at least one or two of them clinging to the screen door. We could examine and poke at them from the ‘safety’ of the indoors, but wouldn’t dare go out there and risk having them land on us.
Many years ago, after I got married, all the family gathered at my Mother’s house in the summer for a hot dog/marshmallow roast. It was dark outside and we had a big, roaring fire going. It was great fun. But all of a sudden, we were invaded!
June bugs love light and heat, and they began flying all around- oh yes! they fly, too!- and we all started ducking and flailing around, putting whatever we had over our heads, because you do not want one of them landing in your hair, and we dashed for the house! A few of the critters hitched a ride inside with us. Oh my! What an exciting time, right?! Oh, I can laugh about it now!
I forgot to tell you one more thing about June bugs. They hiss! Loudly!
One particular summer evening, two of my sisters and I were rehearsing some songs, using microphone equipment. It was hot and stuffy in the room, so we had opened the door.
All at once, we heard a sound…a hissing sound. We looked around, and there it was.
Sitting on Debbie’s shoulder was a huge June bug, the microphone amplifying it’s already loud hissing! I don’t recall Debbie’s reaction, but I’m certain that if it had been me, there would have been some screeching, and jumping, and carrying on.
I know the unique June bug has a purpose in the balance of nature, although I could do without them!
More information and pictures in case you want to know more:
(photos- public domain)