Carrie gets a voracious no-prize for bringing us news of the region's latest insect scourge... Japanese beetles:
Last summer's rains coupled with this season's scorching temperatures and tropical humidity have fostered what entomologists call the perfect climate for Japanese beetles to thrive. What's more, the region's lush green foliage has accelerated the beetle's reproduction activity.
"It's warm 24/7, so the beetles are up in the trees partying. They're feeding; they're mating," [Mike Raupp, who has studied insects at the University of Maryland for decades] said. "It's a big beetle party right now."
They bounce off of me regularly on my bike rides, like little buzzing marbles flying through the air. Worse still is when they manage to land on me... one actually started crawling on the strap of my helmet, right next to my ear, on a trail ride last week. I stopped so hard and so fast I could smell the brakes on my bike. And other rider's reactions? I mean, come on... just because I suddenly stopped the bike, threw my helmet off, and began swatting at my head like it was on fire... sheesh... it was like they thought they had a license to gawk...