Gardner Variety: I hate June bugs


I hate June bugs.
No really, I hate them. It’s odd, because I’ve never been one to proclaim hatred of anything. Hate is such a strong and ugly word. Each living entity must have some sort of redeeming quality, right? Something that makes even their most repugnant traits slightly easier to deal with?
June bugs serve one pur- pose, and one purpose only: to cause aimless havoc and strike terror in the hearts and minds of their unassuming victims via overly loud helicopter wings.
It’s not that June bugs — or Phyllophaga, as they’re stupidly referred to — pose any sort of physical threat to myself or my loved ones. It’s just that I can’t think of a single thing they do that isn’t idiotic.
When the sun goes down, it’s on. They swarm any and all light sources, because that’s all they’re capable of doing. They recklessly crash into walls, the ground, and, without fail, my face.
How these mindless, vile beetles ever survived natural selection is beyond me. What about them could possibly have been advantageous? Their tactical brilliance in battle, a.k.a. slamming head-first into things? Nope. Their ability to find that single light source hidden away on some vast stretch of land? Nope. June bugs actually die after becoming exposed to light for too long, again demonstrating their genius.
Here’s the only logical argument I can come up with. Female June bugs each lay about 70 eggs over a period of roughly two weeks in the middle of the summer. Their survival rate, at least in the larva and pupa states, is quite high. Basically, they all hatch and live long enough to lay more eggs, damning humanity to suffer through their injustices for the rest of time.
Side note: A June bug once flew into my then 6-year-old brother’s mouth. At the time, it was one of the most hilarious things I’d ever seen. It really was. It must have taken five full seconds for the heartless creature to finally fly out of my poor brother’s pie hole.
As funny as it was, I now realize the horrific nightmare it must have been for my lil’ bro. If those things are alarmingly loud outside my head, I can only imagine it being at least 10 times more terrifying than any visit to the dentist.
In fact, I’ve come to realize that even one June bug entering my home is immediately a viable threat — mentally, at least.
Let me walk you through it.
I get home, open my door with lightning kung-fu speed, and shut it just as quickly. It’s called June bug mitigation. I read about it. In a book. All is well, I think. But one June bug made its way in. It stupidly flew behind the stove, unwittingly trapping itself there for hours, but at the same time, masking its presence to me, the unassuming victim.
It always happens when I’m laying down to go to sleep. I’ll have my phone out or Nintendo — a.k.a. light source — quietly minding my own business before attempting to get some shut-eye. Then, I hear it. Bzzz. It’s faint at first. Bzzz. “Surely that must be outside,” I delude myself into believing. Bzzz. No, that’s definitely inside. BZZZ. June bug dive bombs my face, causing
instant panic.
And it isn’t a bug thing. I have no problem with spiders. I even calmly took care of my first scorpion encounter. No, this is personal. This is something that will likely never change. My kids may some day try to tell me that I’m just set in my old ways, holding on to some deep-seated prejudice. And perhaps I will be.
But I hate June bugs.


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