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TINA COMEAU: June bugs – the end to the horror can't come soon enough


YARMOUTH, N.S. – When I was younger and a majorette – yes, a hidden talent – I remember our group stopping for ice cream in Meteghan coming home from a parade. 

From our bus we watched in horror as a June bug climbed up the back of a woman who was ordering. She was oblivious. We were all pointing and screaming, “June bug!”

Fast forward to my Grade 12 year. My friends David, John and I were driving to a friend’s camp. On the way David kept complaining from the back seat that there was “something back here.” We told him he was imagining things but he insisted he was not alone. We turned on the interior light. “June bug!”

I pulled the car over and we all stood outside as the June bug flew around the inside of the car. We debated for several minutes about who was going to be brave enough to coax it out.

Fast forward again to one recent night when I went onto my deck. I shut the screen door behind me. Minutes later when I turned to go back inside I saw not one, not two, but six June bugs hanging on the screen door.

I gasped. I screamed.

I was trapped outside my own house.

And not only were they hanging on the screen door, they were flying around making that horrifying click-clack whizzing noise.

I’m ducking. I’m screaming. I’m trapped in a June bug apocalypse.

Eventually I muster the courage to slide open the screen door and run inside.

The next morning I look outside and see a June bug lying on the deck. An hour later it's still there. It’s on its backside and can’t right itself. Because I’m a softie I scoop it up with a dustpan and release it in the woods.

Presumably enabling it to come back after me that night?

Yes, even I confuse myself at times.

Later that night I’m in the kitchen when I hear a distinctive noise yet again. But it’s not coming from outside. OMG! There’s a June bug in the house! With me!!!

I see it on the floor so I start throwing everything within reach on top of it and then go get my husband to handle it from there.

“Where is it?” he asks.

I point to the pile on the floor. “Under there,” I say, and take a step back. I keep expecting it to lunge at him as he’s pulling back the layers, but nope, it just sits there when he gets to the bottom of the pile. He kills it.

Crisis averted.

The next night I see a large unidentified flying object flying in the kitchen. I’m praying it's a moth. But of course, it’s not.

This time I go get my son Justin for help. He comes into the kitchen and the June bug is on the floor. (Note to self: I’m not sure why they terrify me so much as they’re relatively easy to sneak up on and kill.)

After he kills it Justin tries to scoop it up with a piece of newspaper. As he attempts this he keeps flinging it in my direction. Great, now I’m being attacked by a zombie June bug. Here it comes. Here it comes again.

“Stop doing that!” I yell.  

By then he’s just messing with me.

Out of curiosity I later Google, “What are the benefit of June bugs?” I never did find a compelling list to demonstrate their importance, rather just a lot of other posts by people asking ‘What is the purpose of June bugs?’ The popular consensus seemed to be they exist to make our lives hell.

“They feed from dusk through the evening hours in order to avoid predators,” I read in one article. Ummm….newsflash. They are the predators!

I’ve noticed over the past week or so there’s been fewer June bugs terrorizing me. Phew.

I do hope they live up to their name and vamoose once July hits.


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