Tuesday, June 08, 2010

'Tis The Season



There are plenty of heebie-jeebies-inducing bugs in Florida all year round, but this time of year our space is being invaded by the Eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera or R. guttata, depending on your source).

The lubbers are fond of most vegetation, but in my yard, they are especially fond of our grape leaves - which we harvest and use to make stuffed grape leaves!

They also seem to enjoy just hanging on the pool enclosure. Go figure.

They give me the creeps.

31 comments:

Jan said...

I'm delighted to see that there is a bug that isn't in my back yard.

Brooke said...

GAH! I hate bugs.

More than anything, I hate the cicadas that come out in cycles here in Ohio. They're huge, they stick to you and they swarm. UGH!

cube said...

Jan: I know everyone has bugs, but these grasshoppers are toxic and, therefore, have no natural enemies save the loggerhead shrike and humans, they'll eat just about anything, they hiss and spit out a noxious liquid, and they are HUGE.

Ack! I'd gladly take any one of your bugs in trade for this nasty one.

cube said...

Brooke: I hate bugs too. We get cicadas here too, but not in the huge swarms other places get them. I know Mr. Cube has had them go after the hum of his power tools and they can be quite persistent.

Chuck said...

We're headed your way this week. We are at Disney for a week. I think the bug looks kind of cool

Granny Annie said...

Build it a little house, put it on a chain, name it something like "King" and call it a pet.

Jenipunch said...

Holy crap Mom. I stumbled across your blog and jumped out of my skin seeing that!!! POST A WARNING!!!

BeckEye said...

We've been getting those stupid stink bugs a lot. I have no idea where they're coming from, but it's like a local epidemic all of a sudden. But anything is better than New York's roaches.

cube said...

Chuck: Cool beans. I hope you like the heat because we are reaching the 90's every day and the humidity can get a bit oppressive if you're not used to it.

BTW look around in the bushes and you'll probably see one of those nasty lubbers.

cube said...

Granny Annie: LOL! I really did laugh out loud when I read your comment.

Jenipunch: I have warped my own child's psyche... I'm such a failure as a mother ;-)

cube said...

BeckEye: I lived in Manhattan for 7 years and the only roaches I ever saw were the German ones which can be hard to eradicate, but but are small. They are nothing compared to the HUGE roaches we get here in Florida. And they fly too. Ugh. I'm getting the heebie-jeebies just writing about them.

Z said...

the 'creeps'? I'd stay indoors through the whole season those are out. Do you put SADDLES on them and ride? THEY"RE HUGE! Oh, Cube!!!

(send stuffed grapeleaves!!) have you tried that easy lahmajoon recipe yet? I have two bags of the lamb toppings in my freezer waiting for guests to show up!

cube said...

Z: Saddles...lol! Believe me, when I go anywhere near bushes, I've got my eyes open and my feet ready to run.

These foul critters are really doing a number on our 3 grape vines.

As far as the lahmahjoon recipe goes, I haven't made it yet, but I'll be right over for your lahmahjoon and I'll bring our stuffed grape leaves ;-)

birdwoman said...

Hath you hardened your heart, pharaoh?

speaking of pharaoh, our local mcdonalds had place mats commemorating the cleopatra exhibit at the local science institute. Part of the place mat had a search and find the 6 basic machines - only they mis-identified the inclined plane and the lever. Like, how dumb do you have to be to think a lever is an inclined plane? Jeez.

(*)>

cube said...

birdwoman: Actually, my heart couldn't be more hardened towards these bugs that it is right now. I'm looking all over for them and when I find one, I make Mr. Cube kill it. It's easier to kill them when they're in the juvenile stage than when they become the 4 inch adults.

Anonymous said...

Virtually 100% protein. Fry them up in a light oil until crisp. season to taste, salt, pepper, lime juice, etc. that sort of thing, have a feast.

:)

Anonymous said...

I missed it before. I see you say they are toxic. Major bummer. Well catch, crush, burn or bury.

cube said...

Anonymous: Yeah, it's a shame that they are toxic. The lubber's only natural predator is the loggerhead shrike and I haven't seen any of those around here.

Unlike most bugs, these grasshoppers sit out in the open without a care in the world. It's as though they know they can invade our space with impunity.

Mr. Cube likes to shoot them with a BB gun. I don't care how he kills them, as long as he kills them.

Brooke said...

Are they so toxic that they might hurt the dogs?

I say get Mr. Cube to string up a bunch of their slaughtered corpses as a warning to the rest... Maybe some heads on toothpicks, too.

cube said...

Brooke: I read where a possum vomited for hours after eating one. Our dogs are much larger, but we still keep them away from the BB-shot carcasses. Better safe than sorry.

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