Bugged by bugs?


Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles

 Spring in Iowa is too fleeting. Rare are those 70-degree days with cool nights before the air explodes with humidity and bugs begin their annual invasion. I can look at healthy green potato plants today and know that in a week or so the Colorado potato beetle will begin its defoliation quest. Same is true of the lush rose bushes that succomb ever earlier to the dreaded Japanese beetle, a copper-colored foreign invader.

   Because of the devastation they wreak on my plants, the Japanese beetle and potato beetle rank number one and two on my list of “bad bugs.” I was enjoying my backyard garden last night trying to think of others when a mosquito bit my leg. Mosquitoes= #3.

Colorado potato beetle

Colorado potato beetle

   Here are the others: 4) gnats or whatever those little black bugs are that bite behind the ears. 5) chiggers – not an insect, but larvae of a specific family of mites – the Trombiculidae. If you’ve ever suffered through chigger bites, you’ll know why these are on my list. 6) wasps – I try to leave them alone, but they seem ubiquitous this year and more aggressive – building wherever they take a liking, which includes my back porch and my sons’ club house.  7) ticks – again, not an insect, but my general worry over them keeps me from enjoying the outdoors at times. 8) Ants – luckily we don’t have  fire ants like they do in the south, but they’re just a pain when they decide to come in the house. 9) termites – again a general anxiety thing. 10) Emerald ash borer – not here in Iowa yet, but a preemptive disdain for a foreign invader that will someday devastate our ash trees. 

Emerald ash borer

Emerald ash borer

   What makes your list? I’m sure I’ll think of more, now that our perfect spring days are in the past.

7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mosquitoes! They love me, but I hate them. Their bites turn into huge welts on me.

  2. 2

    biggrovewalker said,

    The emerald ash borer has been getting a lot of discussion in my neighborhood, and I am wondering whether to cut down the two small green ash trees and plant something else.

    In all the years of growing potatoes, only one year did we see Colorado potato beetles.

    We had a large apple crop last year, and the Japanese beetles swarmed on my five trees. In the end, they moved on and we had a great apple crop, but leaved that looked like bits of brown lace. They ate a few of the early apples.

  3. 3

    Chiggers said,

    Nice post. I was wondering what those beetles were that was eating my garden alive. At least they look like those Colorado beetles you got pictured here. Those guys ate everything including the ground. Not pretty see what happened in a fays for sure.

    Chigger are high on list of things to avoid as well. Other things I seem to be able to avoid if I can see them, not so with chiggers. It is like a case of hide and seek. I hide and they seek. And they usually find.

    Have a great summer and avoid all those critters if you can.

  4. 4

    cindy hadish said,


    You didn’t say if you’re in Iowa or not, but the emerald ash borer hasn’t been spotted in the state yet and it could be years before it reaches your area. If they are healthy, might be best to enjoy your ash trees while you have them.

  5. 7

    […]    Both insects made my top 10 list of bad bugs: https://cindyha.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/bugged-by-bugs/ […]

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