Wednesday, August 09, 2006

If You Can't Beetle, Join... le

I've been locked in a human vs. arthropod battle with these little fuckers and I think the human is losing.

The Japanese beetle. They're beautiful to look at -- they have this metallic-y rainbow shell, and I think they're filled with creamy nougat -- but they're eating the shit out of this great little tree in front of the house. I've looked up ways to battle them, but most involve digging up the soil in the off-season and finding the larvae and shit, so that's never gonna happen.

One site said to get a bucket of hot soapy water and just pluck them off the tree and drop them into the bucket. It's supposed to be more humane than my other method, pressing them ever-so-gently between the bottom of my Chuck Taylors and the driveway until the nougat squirts out. I was talking about the soapy water bucket with a friend recently and he said, "Why don't you just spray the soapy water on the tree? I think that'll do the same thing, won't it?"

If I had been a cartoon version of myself, that's when my head would've turned into that of a donkey with giant teeth going, "HEEE-HAWWWWW, HEEEE-HAWWWWW!!!!" I'm such a fucking moron.

But then I realized that I actually enjoy plucking the things off the tree and plinking them into the bubbly cauldron of death. Every morning, while I drink my gallon of green tea, I circle the tree in search of my little metallic friends. I locate them, pick them up 'tween my thumb and forefinger, and then "Ploit!" into the drink. It's quite soothing, actually. Even moreso than the tea. And when the tree is clean, I walk the bucket over to the sewer and pour them 'neath the earth, to their sewage-y sepulcher. It's kinda like meditating. But without the sitting still part.

So I guess it's not a battle, after all. It's the circle of life. Just like that Joni Mitchell song that we used to sing at camp that always kinda scared me... "The Circle Game."

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted [beetles] go [into the bucket of soapy water]
We're captive on the carousel of [lawn maintenance]
We can't return we can only look [into the sewer]
From where we [just returned from after pouring the beetles and the soapy water into it]
And go round and round and round
In the [killing of the Japanese beetle] game

Thanks, Joni. Now I get it.


Lacy said...

reason #89059 why Boys Are Gross: you pick them off the tree with your fingers!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

isn't it possible that you are fingering the same beetles day after day? I am thinking that beetles can fly and the sewer drain is basically dry unless it has been raining. maybe crawling up the side of the pipe, drying off and flying back to your tree. I think you should tag a few with fingernail polish and see if they are return.

crabbydad said...

First off, Lacy, I don't want to hear about gross. You're using the same popper stopper that was in that booth in 1995.

Two, anonymous, the only way they are the same beetles is if they are zombie-beetles, 'cuz they are quite dead when I pour them into the sewer. But you may be onto something. I'll try the fingernail polish... although their fingernails are EXTREMELY tiny. I might have to use an electron microscope to apply it. Plus, I'll need to find a shade that won't clash with their shells. It's a challenge I'm up to, though.