Thursday, November 7, 2019


It was a helluva long, painful spring and summer here in my Tennessee wilderness mountain abode.

They are technically extremely large and impressive hills, but it sounds much more dramatic and romantically intriguing to call them mountains.

After five years of existing in the midst of Mother Nature's appealing, yet appalling embrace, I've learned to tolerate (endure?) all of the incredibly annoying crap that goes with it. 

I've had squirrels in my roof, 'possums under the house, skunks in the garage. I've had a snake in my bedroom and two 'possums inside the house.  

Nests of mice have taken up residence in my desk drawers and clothes drawers. I found a live mouse sleeping in the washing machine. 

I won't mention the wasps, carpenter bees, hornets, horseflies, gnats, fruit flies, drain flies, and stink bugs that plagued and tortured me mercilessly from April through September.

I was delighted when the annual influx of Asian beetles didn't make their usual appearance in mid-October.

Asian beetles
Lady beetles
Harmonia Axyridis

Those are the names by which the little bastards are known. They resemble ladybugs but are more orange-brown than red in color. And they're extremely aggressive.  

When November arrived - unusually cold and inclement - I  was absolutely positive that the dreaded Lady Asians had cancelled their Tennessee invasion this year.

The Big Kahuna God of Nature must have awakened and noticed my joy.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was fairly mild. A few annoying summer bugs lethargically appeared but I didn't think much of it - - - until I suddenly started finding robust Asian beetles in the house. Lots of them.   

It couldn't be, I kept telling myself - not in November!

When I cautiously opened the front door and stepped out on the porch, the plagues of Egypt descended upon me.

Thousands - and I mean thousands - of Asian beetles were swarming everywhere! They covered the porch, the side of the house, the windows - and dense armies of them were zooming through the air.

Like an idiot, I had gone outside in my underwear (hell, no one is around here to see me but Bigfoot).
The beetles immediately descended upon me - hundreds of them - and that's when I discovered they BITE! 

I had to flee back into the house. I was covered with beetles and my legs were bitten dozens and dozens of times in mere seconds.

Not knowing what to do, I grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and doused my legs. Then I began combing beetles out of my hair.  

To make a long story short (which at this point is a complete impossibility) today (Thursday) is rainy and chilly. A hard frost is expected tonight.  The influx of Asian beetles has diminished - although I found several in my bed last night.

Pictures, anyone?  

Despite the fact that my windows are all tightly shut, the Asian beetles still manage to get in. This was my bedroom window last night.

Of course, Bosco had to get in on the action. I quickly cleaned up the beetles before he could eat any.

Beetles on the window yesterday...

And the front door - -
(this is after I used bug spray)  

 It's nearly impossible to see in this photo, but loads of beetles are swarming through the air.

Is there an end to this tale of woe?

Only if the frost kills the Asian invaders tonight.   


  1. Christ, which god or goddess did you piss off!!!! That is definitely a plague sent by a god!!! I usually get either these beetles or lady bugs at the in between period like early spring and then the very late fall getting into cooler temps. But I only seem to get them on the east side of the house and only at the one bedroom window. This fall I have seen none. I understand they like sun and the warmth that radiates off the warm windows, and they try to find water sources. I have never seen a invasion like this. Bosco is cute doing some of his own investigating. He even looks over it.

    1. You're absolutely right about sun and warmth. All of the beetles were on the front part of my house, where the afternoon sunshine is bright. There were almost none in the back part of the house - which is now mostly in shadow.

  2. What the hell? That's ghastly! We tend to get a few in each room, key word being FEW. That would have me checking into a hotel!

    I do remember a particularly bad year of them when I was a Girl Scout leader and we were staying in a cabin at a GS camp. The fluorescent lights on the ceiling were COVERED with the damn things. Some of the scouts (and ME) were concerned about them descending on us while asleep. I got on a ladder with paper towels and killed as many as I could. I haven't seen as many since. Here's hoping you have a heavy frost tonight.

    1. If the snake in my bedroom didn't inspire me to check into a hotel, I suppose nothing will. Heck, when I lived in Texas there was a scorpion in my bed!!!

      These Asian beetles arrive here in TN every October, but I've NEVER seen as many as this year.

  3. Paging Jack Frost! Lordy. This looks like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film.
    NOW I understand why my granddaughters were so freaked when the same thing happened to their home 3 years ago.

    1. Myra, EVERYTHING in Texas and Tennessee has been like a Hitchcock movie. There was a hard frost last night and most of the beetles are gone - but one was just crawling across my computer screen.

  4. I would panic like mad if my house was invaded by beetles etc. And it's not just one, you have big gatherings of intruders. Whooooo I'm shaking at the very idea.

    Changing the subject, I want to thank you for your kind words re my stories. I do appreciate it. THANK YOU, JON.

    1. Valerie, your stories are always well-written, interesting, and inspiring.

      I was really shocked to see this massive influx of beetles in November - but there was a hard frost last night and now most of them are gone (not ALL, but most....)

  5. A friend of mine said she used her vacuum & was sucking them up while they were in mid air inside her house. I saw a yellow one. CRAZY! I only had a few. I do have a bird stuck in my chimney hope it gets out & doesn't die in there. I had to buy a new gas heater so I got a ventless one from Lowe's.

    1. Nanc, when I first moved here there were hundreds of dead beetles in the house. I initially thought they were ladybugs.

      I'm glad you got a new heater, and a ventless one sounds wonderful. Last year the repair guy told me I should probably get a new furnace - but they start at $2000 so I'll try to hang onto this old one....

      It gets so COLD in my bedroom that I'm going to start sleeping in the small room where the piano is.
      Take care & Luv

    2. Was your old heater a gas one??

    3. Yes & it was 2x the size of the new one. Have to wait till next month to see if its more expensive to run. I shut the back of the house off & Am staying in the small room across from the bathroom. Life is just too hard any more. Am very very tired. Work has aged me a thousand years. I should be sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch crocheting! Not working at McDonald's. Take care if you need me I'm just a call away.

    4. Your small interior bedroom should be warmer than the other one. I keep praying that you can quit that damn job and relax. I always thought life would get easier as I got older - but instead it's 1000x harder.
      Take it easy and keep in touch. xxx

  6. Holy crap, that's one swarm of nasty right there. I've never seen those bugs before either. I'm thankful not to especially when you say they're aggressive and by the way they swarm your house like that. Creepy ...

    1. I never heard of Asian beetles before - I had to research them on the Internet. When I first moved to Tennessee I thought they were ladybugs. They usually arrive in October - but I've NEVER seen as many as this year. And I never saw them in November. Fortunately the frost last night seems to have killed most of them (I think.......)

  7. When I lived in the country with no neighbors in Wisconsin we got box elder bugs like that! Thousands of them. Yes, you feel like you are in the middle of a biblical plague. I had never been swarmed by them or bitten by them, though--OMG! That's terrifying!

    Maybe that's why I like our winters way up north here. Winter with lots of snow does kill off a lot of bugs. ;)

    1. I never heard of box elder bugs, so I did an Internet search. I certainly wouldn't want to be plagued by thousands of them!

      I was stunned when I stepped out on the front porch - - I was IMMEDIATELY covered with those beetles and they all started biting at once. Fortunately the bite isn't very painful or dangerous.

      Winter truly is a blessing because it kills off the bugs - - but I was surprised to find these beetles in November. Weird!

    2. OH. MY. GOD., Jon...your photographs of the plethora of Asian beetles (especially the ones on your windows) instantly reminded me of the movie, "The Day of the Locust!"

      "although I found several in my bed last night." YIKES!....I would have FLIPPED OUT.

      Well, hopefully the frost killed them off. And speaking of frost, we just got our first few days of cold, cold weather and I am LOVING it after the horrendously endless summer we just had.

      Have a great weekend, my friend. And stay safe!

    3. Ron, my blissful life in the wilderness seems to yield one unpleasant thing after another. Tennessee gets these beetles every year, but I've NEVER seen this many - - and never in November.

      The day of the Big Attack was sunny and mild. There was a hard frost that night, and the next day (yesterday) was only in the 30s. So far most of the beetles have disappeared.

      I'm looking forward to a bugless winter!!


    1. Ron, many thanks for sharing this interesting and very informative article.

  9. Colorful little buggers but nasty too and sorry to read and see photos of this invasion, Jon. Just when I hope that cooler weather will bring you some relief from annoying critters, there's yet another invasion. I do hope that you get some cold weather fast to hopefully kill these invaders and fast. We are forevcast to get a wintry mix this week and sure wish I could send it your way!


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