Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid.

When the weather gets warmer here in Australia, it generally brings some form of environmental phenomenon with it. And sadly for the paranoid freaks among us, there are inevitably bugs that come along for the ride as well.

In Summer, out come the flies. Sticky, annoying, dirty flies. And even worse, are the baby flies, the ones that land on you and are practically impossible to shake off. The little buggers have the ability to get inside your house, even if your back door was only open for a split second. Also in Summer, come the Christmas Beetles. They are completely harmless beetles, but I've had a thing with them for years now, ever since we had our first pool. I remember swimming at night, and seeing them hightail it for the lights around the pool; subsequently getting stuck in my wet hair and making horrible buzzing noises.

Now I'm not a girly girl by any means, but I'm also not a fan of bugs. I don't make a sport of it or anything, but if an average sized cockroach ran out in front of me and I happened to have a shoe handy, I would be able to dispose of it. (Letting out a few girly shrieks along the way, of course.) Same with tiny spiders, I know I can stomp on them if the need arises.

But what I cannot stand, are bugs that are unpredictable. Like crickets or grasshoppers, who jump in any random direction; they freak me out. Like bees, who are able to aim their stingers at you should you get in their way. Same thing goes for those dratted Christmas Beetles, who always end up landing on you somehow. Keep 'em away, because I don't cope.

(Just ask Kirby, who just the other day was left in my kitchen when a bee had somehow gotten inside the house. Where was I, you ask? I'd ran outside flailing my arms & refused to come back in until she'd disposed of it for me.)

It isn't Summer yet, so I can hide out from those critters a little while longer. Things aren't all fine and dandy though, as Eastern Australia gets to experience another seasonal activity with bugs involved; the dreaded Bogong Moths. They can't hurt you. They don't bite. But they too, like the lights and have the bizarre habit of somehow ending up inside your house when every door and window is tightly closed.

Usually the moths don't bother me, they're just a bit of a pain when you're outside at night. But this year, they seem to have gone mental. I was bringing in washing from out on the clothesline, and no less than eight of them appeared out of the clothes as I was folding them. (Yes, feel free to imagine more girly shrieks here.)

They seem to be everywhere, and what's worse? They've gotten mean.

Instead of crazily bouncing around the walls staying near the lights, the moths have taken up dive bombing and purposely attacking humans. In the past few nights, I've had to close the bedroom door the minute that I see one is inside, for fear of being dive bombed. By a moth. I know, it's crazy. But I've heard stories, and it seems like this year the moths are going nuts. Something about their furry bodies and the gross noise that their wings make, is enough to have me scouring my room before I go to bed. Blech.

So tell me, does your region have any strange bug populations? Feel free to share your stories, if you aren't too squicked out already.


33 Comments • Labels:  

33 comments:

archi's mum said...

Your christmas beetle reminds me of our June bug
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllophaga_%28genus%29

We used to throw them at each other as kids when we'd go swimming at night. They didn't bite but had a funny feeling with their legs makes em kind of tickle when you hold em. They'd land on the water at night and we'd have bug fights :-)

The moths are fighting back, eh? Pretty scary!

mcgee said...

i'm don't really mind most bugs, but spiders?! omg...i will scream bloody murder if i see a spider anywhere in the near vicinity. ewww.

Lisa said...

Bogong Moths! So THAT's what they're called. We get that here every now and then, too. It drives me insane. What I do for fun is bring out the mosquito lamp. There's nothing quite like it.

Noelle said...

Oh, I've got bugs. Stinkbug season is almost upon me, and I am not looking forward to it.

Tina Vaziri said...

We have the June Bugs too, but I hate them all. Each and every one of them make me shriek incoherently. I don't mind spiders as much because they seem to be easier to kill, and they don't always scurry around like crazy hiding under things. Also, I have to be brave about the spiders, because the boyfriend hates them. And by "hate" I mean - "is deathly afraid of".

Mick said...

Aaaah Bugs.
I used to live out west of Sydney too and we'd get spiders, snakes, cicadas, grasshoppers, praying mantis', christmas beetles, moths, European Wasps, Bees. Anything and everything!
I guess I am pretty used to most bugs. In fact, Christmas Beetles and Cicadas are my favourite. I actually try to catch them :) I had a cicada skin collection when I was at Primary School.

As for bogongs, we are used to them here in Canberra. They descend on us every year. They can be a pain, but more for the disco flickering they give the room when they do races around the bulbs.

Spiders suck. Mostly because they can KILL YOU here in Australia. We found a Funnel Web on our property in Sydney, and let's just say I do not miss the fact that I live in a region which rarely sees these black freaking things....

janet said...

We had the "once every 17 years cicadas" the first summer I lived in DC. They were SICK and there were always these stories on the news about how people ate them. Ew. DC is lucky I didn't turn around and live somewhere else! I just need to move before another....14 years passes and they come back.

Nathan Pralle said...

We have interesting and annoying bugs here (such as the ever-prevalent and horribly annoying Japanese beetles), but Australia really takes the cake. Between inch ants and this guy (who we think was a huntsman, but not really sure about that), the fauna clearly has an advantage over ours. The top 10 of the world's most poisonous spiders live in Australia, along with the top 7 most poisonous snakes. And then you have spiders like that one above that aren't really all that harmful, but just annoying, and ones like the redbacks that will hurt like a mother and cause a lot of problems if you get bit, so there's just no joy to all of it. Add in cockroaches the size of cereal bowls and it's amazing Aussies make it to teenagers, let alone productive adults. :) Lucky I love the country regardless, eh?

Kelly said...

Yes... I've already had my first mozzie bite of the season!
I hate those damn moths. They are CRAZY! And flies. Yuck.
(did I tell you I ended up with a fly stuck in my ear one summer?)
Last year mum had trouble at the clothesline too - all these little bugs would land on the clothes (ony the WHITE ones) and start building nests, in the hour the clothes were on the line. She had to fight to get the clothes back!
I'm a sook, unlike you. I can't even kill a cockroach. That's the man's job.

~Kathryn~ said...

WHEN MOTHS ATTACK ... coming to a cinema near you !!!

kirby said...

You forgot to mention that I splattered that Bee with NO SPLAT! Good work me for keeping my friends kitchen window free of bug splat.
I accidently walked straight through a swarm of bees today. Didn't realise they were swarming around the tree I walked past until I was smack bang in the middle of the buzzing.... lucky. No stings. ... I did get strange looks from a blonde toddler that was standing nearby though.

Siany said...

The first thing my kitties do when I open the door for them in the morning is pounce on all the moths that somehow got themselves stuck between the door and the flyscreen during the nigh! Our house stays empty from bugs and spiders all thanks to my kitty cats. Awesome pest control!

Kat said...

Bugs, I hate bugs. Their buzzing freaks me out. We had a lot of insects this year in Germany. One of the reasons why I miss Ireland. There it was too windy for those little buggers but here in Germany we were attacked, annoyed, bitten and what not. The winter just wasn't cold enough to keep the insect population to a bearable level. In addition to that we moved to a rural area and have a farm opposite our house. That makes for a ton of flies and spiders and mosquitoes and bugs...

Ree said...

Actually, a new phenomenon this year. These teeeny, tiiiiny biting GNATS.

Fuckin' things. Hurt like a fly bite. They squish really easy but there are millions of the damn things. And. they cause me to welt. Mr. Hot doesn't welt. The Shortman doesn't welt. Me? I look like I've got mosquito bites on every exposed piece of skin.

Aren't you jealous?

Michelle said...

ew. i HATE bugs. of all kinds. i'm not afraid to kill any except bees and the dreaded WATER BUGS. i don't know if they have a more technical name but they live in your drains and will come up out of the tub and/or sink. they have millions of legs and move really fast. i scream and cry every time i see one.

Kristabella said...

This summer we had the return of the 17-year cicadas. They are harmless and stupid. But they make a lot of noise. And apparently, because of them, we have these mites. That bite. And apparently I need to cool it on the romps in the forest because I got one of these mite bites. and it was like a welt. And quite itchy.

Oh and did I mention it was near my neck? NO. NOT A HICKEY.

rachel said...

I agree with Michelle. The water bugs are the worst and scariest. I had quite an episode with one where it came out of the tub and i didn't have my contacts in, thought it was a wad of hair, and proceeded to step on it then jump 5 feet in the air, screaming and naked into the hallway when i realized it was in fact a centipeded/water bug that i had smashed.

also, sometimes, we get ladybug infestations. ladybugs can be cute, but not when there are 20 on your windowsill!

natalie said...

When I lived in my friend's garage apartment, I was flooded with tree frogs. One night when I was drifting off to sleep I felt the splat of one hit my bed. They are cute, so it didn't bother me too much, but then I realized it could be a mouse or a huge roach or something so I bolted out of bed. Later on in the year, I had an enormous collection of ladybugs that lived with me. It was so weird, I've never seen so many ladybugs in one place before. At times I counted more than 20, inside this small apartment. Crazy.

Laurel said...

Well, NYC is famous for it's legendary cockroaches... does that count? (YECH!)

These Australian bugs sound like all the more reason to move to England, don't you agree?

Margaret said...

You have to add the artichokes silly or it isn't the same and it will taste funny. I promise that everything tastes good together. Just don't really look at it or smell it before baked. :)

Audrey said...

We get Miller Moths around here in the summer, which look exactly like your Bogong Moths. And sound like they behave exactly the same way. When I was growing up, our family dog LOVED to catch them in her mouth and eat them, so that helped control the inside-the-house moth population. We would also put a bowl of soapy water underneath a lamp that we left on all night -- the moths would be attracted to the light, end up in the bowl, get covered in soap so they couldn't fly, and drown. It's a good way to control them if your dog thinks bugs are not fit for eating.

Chiada said...

Here's my bug story from a week ago. http://colorfulllife.blogspot.com/2007/10/lacking-imagination.html

Leslie said...

Here in the southeast U.S., we battle mosquitos. I am allergic to them. Oh yeah! We're talking welts the size of golfballs. We have two deadly spiders here - the black widow and the brown recluse. I dressed as a black widow for Halloween one year to work.
Other than the mosquitos, the worst is the big, fat-ass brown spiders that make their web right over a door and then in the morning you can't see the web and you walk right into it! I HATE that!!!
Yes, the southern United States are pretty buggy, so be prepared when you're here next year!

elise said...

Haha, reading everyone's bug comments has me simultaneously squirming and cracking up! Are Christmas Beetles like June Bugs?

My least favorite bug ever has to be the mosquito. Ugh, they are EVERYWHERE in East Texas and they are just evil.

elysa said...

We have a serious bug problem in Texas in the summers. Mosquitos and June Bugs take over. I don't think I have ever known anyone in Australia (how sheltered am I) so I am still a little thrown by the idea that you are about to have summer.

Brie said...

In Florida we have cockroaches, palmetto bugs (giant cockroaches), mosquitoes, yellow flies, love bugs (which don't bite, but mate everywhere and get all over your car ruining your paint finish), noseeums (no see ums- small gnats that bite)....

Eris said...

What about the giant spiders? Don't they eat these bugs? Maybe you should collect a few....

Snoskred said...

My kitties love bugs. They love to chase them around.. ;)

Cheers!
Snoskred

Hayley said...

In a neighborhood in which I used to live, these horrible black flies would descend in late summer. They would completely coat the back of our brick home, presumably to absorb the last bits of heat as it would turn cold. To make things worse, the only place they could get in the house was my bedroom window (though I've looked for cracks and I have no clue how they could get in). It is a window seat, with curtains blocking off the entire area, so they would sort of get trapped in there. It was something akin to a Hitchcock movie. I just grabbed a can of bug spray, bravely stuck my arm through the curtains, and sprayed. They made a horrible sound. Also, they dive-bombed humans as well, only to then fall to the ground, apparently unable to get back up. Strange.

bugfeaturesfromkc said...

you big wuss, they are bugs i know you have eaten them before

Debbie said...

I stay in south africa, we have those disgusting brown christmas beetles -cringe- i am absolutely PETRIFIED of the f*ers!! I can pick up a moth or spider.. But dont even want to be NEAR a christmas beetle :-S they have gross scratchy little legs and slam against my windows and walls and doors!! I have butterflies in my tummy just thinking of them!! Its totally irrational but they freak me the hell out!!

BugHater! said...

CHRISTMAS BEETLES! They're the worst. They are EVERYWHERE here in Sydney. I am terribly afraid of them, they're honestly the most horrifying things.
They get into my hair, and onto my arms as they're crawling up my legs!
IT'S INSANE!

It's Christmas soon and I will seriously be walking around completely covered in bubble wrap at night.
NO WAY ARE THOSE CRITTERS GETTING ANYWHERE NEAR ME!!

They're evil little buggers
x

claire said...

bugs...uhgg! Its like i have bugaphobia. Im not a girly girl... kinda, but i hate bugs. 1 time mosquitos layed their eggs or how ever they make babies in my moms air conditioning and when she turned on the air conditioning in her blue mini van hundredes of mosquitos shot in 2 the car. So my mom decideds 2 drive with the side door open hopeing to get all the bugs out. So here i am thinking all of her stuff is going 2 fall out the side of the car. it didn't but when she would turn a corner it would all roll over to the open door. im just not good with living things with a weird amount of legs. Another story(it has nothing 2 do with bugs but its lol) when when i was in japan over the summer before i went into 7th grade i got 2 hold a sea cucumber & like i said im not good with living things. So the sea cucumber got scared when i started poking it, & now i regret doing that, it desided to spit its guts out at me. I got so scared, grossed out, & suprised i through the thing out of my hands and it landed in i fish tank across the room.





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