23 July 2012

Reign of Terror

Every year there seems to be an overwhelming population of some kind of insect.  A few years ago, massive amounts of mosquitoes came in with the floods as well as a boom in the dragonfly population who thankfully feast on mosquitoes in all their stages.  Last fall, we were graced with the presence of twelve-spotted lady beetles.  And, of course, there never seems to be a lack of stable flies, house flies or Asian lady beetles around.  This year, however, it was the summer of the sap beetle.
Normally the tiny black and yellow beetles roam the garden and munch on fruits and vegetables that have split open or started to rot.  We first learned of sap beetles when Jack plucked a honeydew melon from our second-year garden, only to find it full of the little insects.  Though it grossed us out, it was a veritable buffet for the old flock.
The problem with their overpopulation is that they moved beyond their normal food source and raided out picnics every time we ventured outside.  They have an incredible sense of smell and as soon as the food was set out, they descended in mass.  They landed on everything: people, uncovered drinks and food to arguing over the crumbs left on the table.
They're more tolerable than most of the other biting insects we have around but their little nips are quite obnoxious.  Thankfully with the help of the chickens and the hot, dry weather, their reign of terror seems to be over.
At least for this year.


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