Kevin Haas: Beetles always in the mood

Kevin Haas

If there is one thing I know about gardening, it’s that if something eats your plants, you savagely murder it.

You can’t stop to identify whether it’s a bug, rabbit or vegetarian neighbor that’s eating your plants. You must kill it or risk having your garden be the laughingstock of a group of retired women on a neighborhood walk.

But Japanese beetles don’t care about your reputation with your grandmother’s friends. Which is why my family had to find their weakness and kill them before all our plants looked like mesh.

The beetles’ one weakness is that their appetite for sex apparently outweighs their appetite for being alive.

A Japanese beetle trap works by sending out sex pheromones that bugs can’t resist. Soon enough they’re flying toward it and — pardon me for using scientific terms — humping each other until the hump-fest gathers so many beetles that they fall into a bag and can’t escape, killing them all in a glorious death orgy, which would be a good name for a Quentin Tarantino movie.

Eventually, we decided that getting the bugs laid before killing them was too humane. Also, as Catholics, we couldn’t condone allowing the bugs to have premarital sex, then kill them before they had a chance to go to confession.

So we decided on the more innocent approach of catching them off-guard, drowning them, then laughing about the number of bugs we’ve drowned.

Kevin Haas wants to remind you that if there is a Humane Society for bugs, none of this ever happened. He can be reached at 815-544-3452 or