Last night a massive bug flew through the open window, scaring me half to death. With a mechanical sounding wheeze it made a bee line for the lamp then slumped, noisily on the table beneath. Quick as a flash I jumped up and flicked it into an empty box before it could lay any eggs or start eating the carpet. It was a weighty fellow, about the size of a cockroach with distinctive white triangles painted down the side like go-faster stripes.
But this bug was going nowhere fast. The box was sealed and taken into the Rentokil offices ready for identification. Andrew, our fumigation expert was first in line to take a glance. He cautiously peeled back the masking tape and peeked inside. By now a crowd had gathered around the box.
“Well it’s not on its back which means it’s still alive,” Andrew declared. The crowd stood a few steps back. Andrew expertly eased the bug from the box and caught it in his hand. It was about 30mm long with a nasty looking pointed segment on the end which looked as though it might sting.
“Cockchafer or Maybug,” he stated. “Completely harmless.”
Maybugs fly on warm evenings in May and can live for four years. They have hard wing cases to protect their hind wings and a long pointed abdomen which the females use for egg laying.
Although harmless to home owners (they can’t bite, sting or eat carpets) the grubs can be an agricultural pest as they feed underground on plants.
If you want to keep the cockchafers or other bugs such as moths out of your home on a warm summer’s evening make sure you keep the curtains closed when you have the lights switched on.