02/06/2005: Tweedle Bugs
It being a "balmy" 47 degrees here in Geneva...(Now, about that 6 more weeks of winter...what do you say about my charge that Punxatawny Phil and Maddy the Prognosticating Skunk are on the government down-low. 6 more weeks...my tushie!! It's a veritable Spring fever in the Windy Outback.)
Being so warm an all...my "house pet" Tweedle Bugs have "awoken" a tad earlier than expected. For those of you unfamiliar with Tweedle Bugs (Scientifically: Boisea trivittata, Classification of the insecta > Heteroptera > Rhopalidae...or Box Elder Bugs.)
One website had this to say:
"Box Elder bugs do not bite, but their piercing-sucking mouthparts can sometimes puncture skin, causing slight irritation. Their droppings make quite a mess and these pests can accumulate in great numbers in your home if left unchecked.
Warm temperatures (found in buildings such as your home) interfere with their natural cycles and biology, causing them to reproduce year-round in unwanted areas -- your home! The boxelder bug is a common pest over much of the United States. Adults are about 1/2 inch long, bright red or black in color with narrow reddish lines on their back. These insects pests feed principally by sucking juices from the boxelder tree, but are sometimes found on many other plants. In most cases, boxelder bugs cause no major damage inside homes, but their droppings stain curtains and other resting sites. This bug also emits a foul odor when crushed.
Adult boxelder bugs will enter homes in the Fall, seeking winter shelter. They will over-winter in protected areas, often in wall voids or in attics. They will then emerge in the spring to seek out host trees on which to feed and lay eggs."
Now...I tell you...MY Tweedle Bugs are well trained and would NEVER bite anyone...unlike those vicious insecta cousins of theirs, Earwigs. They just go about quietly, sucking the life out of my houseplants, occassionally scuttling across the floor. Plus, I NEVER crush them (at least intentionally) so I can't verify whether this causes their maimed bodies to emit noxious odors...I'll leave that for you to find out. (Nor do I "check" their dropping...that's not been a problem around here...)
What I like is how if they see you walking towards them, they do a "dance" of feinting right, then left, then back right. (They have good buggie-vision from their compound eyes.) It's a joke we play...as in I look like I'm going to crush them...they play "Dodge" and we both have a great laugh when it's over. Ha, Ha, Ha...
So, next time you come across a Tweedle Bug...be sure to pass along my heartfelt greetings to these, my most favored Bugs.
Karen on 02.06.05 @ 06:39 PM CST