Sunday, November 12, 2006

Box Elder Bug

For years, we have been plagued by a red and black bug at our church property. They seem harmless, but they do tend to get inside. Outside, however, they have a weird pattern. They crawl, fly, and proceed to get in every nook and crevice. You drive away after service and its the invasion of the bugs - they hang on tenaciously to the windshield and mirrors and dare you to blow them off. When they tend to breed, which is seemingly often, they congregate in piles of thousands.

So, what the heck are they?

When it crossed my mind, I looked through my reference books. No luck. No luck on the net under "ornage and black bug". Then Friday I happened to think to ask our work place exterminator. He has not failed us yet, and so I mentioned it. He was stumped. Then as he walked away, he said catch a few and I'll look at them. Then, he came back and said, you think they could be a box elder bug?

How did I know. We looked on the net together, and sure enough my old mystery stared at me.

I called my minister right away who was very amazed. Then we wondered what a box elder was. Off to the net again. Then today at church, I felt like an idiot. I caught a few frigid bugs (they are practically industructible) in the 40 F weather. And it dawned on me. Our property is filled with box elders. The seeds matched perfectly, and even though all the leaves are gone, I found a few desicated brown specimens that agreed closely with sketches. No wonder.

Anyway, thanks for sharing my "duh" moment with me. !!

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