One of the great and dreadful signs of impending spring in New England is the infestation of ladybugs. Actually about 2 months ago they came out on an unseasonably warm afternoon, it was seriously akin to the plagues in Egypt, (which had Moses story been set in New England I am sure the plagues would have been ticks and mosquitoes, ladybugs and Japanese beetle bugs)- they were swarming everywhere- I remember my son dashing in from the bus- coat pulled up over his head trying to battle his way to the front door all the while being bombarded by the tiny flying beetles! I opened the door shouting to confused child to run for it- he made it over the threshold we slammed the door and stopped to breathe and take in the collateral damage over 60 lady bugs were now crawling on the inside of our entryway window). And lo the season is upon us- now let me state for the record- there are few things I truly hate- but definitely at the top of my 5 HATED THINGS is the smell of ladybugs- when I talk about this most people think I am crazy. It is a little known fact that when a ladybug feels threatened it exerts a foul smelling liquid from its legs. This my friends is the worst part of lady bug season. I am not cruel to ladybugs and actually engage my children in a humane ladybug resettlement program, they capture them by the containerful and move the stinking suckers outside. My oldest tried to create a distracting lure out of legos for them yesterday when that didn't work he moved on to a and then a slightly more forceful bionicle ball shooter to "blast them off the high parts of the window" so they would drop down to reaching length.
Now the worst part is the ladybugs favorite hangout-- my bathroom window-- they seem to prefer places that get morning sun this much I have learned (or maybe they just think I am really HOT!) Whatever the reason, they flock to this window 40 or so at a time- and this makes my bathroom stink like ladybugs! So if i smell very strongly of my favorite escada perfumes these days- it is for my own benefit to overpower the foul ladybug stench. Truly few things cause me such dismay- I remember laughing because a friend in jr. high once put down her greatest fear was... nuclear war? famine?, economic crisis? no...killer bees-- and well i guess to be honest by comparison my fear of ladybug stink is quite wimpy by comparison. I am sure my children will growing up remembering their mothers classic line "Don't bring that near me it smells like ladybug!!"