Ladybug Apocalypse

How do I know that fall has arrived at The Wallow? The Ladybug Apocalypse has begun!

I’ve been here two falls now, and apparently this will be a tradition. As the temperature starts to drop, there’s the sudden appearance of ladybugs around the windows in the house.

Barely live ladybugs that are soon dead ladybugs.

Piles and piles and piles of dead ladybugs.

Photo by: The Pug Father

It would be impossible to exaggerate this situation. Every single window sill in the house, and any flat surface near the windows like tables or the floor are covered in the corpses of ladybugs. It doesn’t make much sense to clean them up, either, until it’s all over, because by the time you’ve wrapped up the cord of the vacuum cleaner, 6 more have died in the newly clean space.

Last year my bed was situated underneath a skylight. This had two unfortunate effects. One was that as I tried to sleep, I could hear ladybugs falling dead onto the bed. Ew.

The other problem is that The Ladybug Apocalypse coincides with the Wasp Invasion. These are very similar except in scale and in the primary mode of death. There are gazillions of ladybugs, and they die on their own. There are a handful of wasps a week, and I try to kill them as soon as I see them. The wasps are going to die anyway, so they are exempt from my bug-relocation program. I kill them so they don’t sting me from their death beds.

When my bed was under the skylight, I would lay in bed afraid that wasps were about to attack me at any moment.

My bed is now in a different location.

My office desk is kind of halfway between two windows. This means that as I sit here during the day, both wasps and ladybugs go whizzing by my head, and ladybugs crawl half-heartedly all over my desk.

It’s very strange, but I’m beginning to make my peace with it (which is also strange, I guess.) Last year I was terrified of the wasps, and killed them by sucking them into the vacuum cleaner, which I could do from a distance with a long attachment. This year I just whack them with whatever’s nearby and go about my business. Although I do keep a daily tally like it’s some kind of bizarre cage match. Last year I tried to clean up after the ladybugs as it happened. This year I’m going to settle for being entertained by how big the piles can get before the whole thing is over.

I just think of it as a “feature” of living here.