Yucky Beetles

bob_in_coloradoJuly 8, 2013

So I was just out front and there were 5-10 of the roundish garnet colored beetles. They fly and are smaller than a dime in size. They make a clearly audible buzzing sound when they fly.

Any ideas?

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I identified them as a June beetle. Mainly common in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico. One of the many species. Aka white grub.

Further proof the arid weather of the extreme southwest is moving further north. Soon there will be tarantulas, scorpions, more rattlesnakes and other yucky vermin. My neighbor actually came across a group of baby rattlesnakes in his backyard last year.

I'm in the Peyton area, 7200 ft.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beetle

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:45PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

Bob, we've had June bugs since I was a kid, and I'm certainly no spring chicken. Those blasted things used to scare the heck out of me when they were buzzing around.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:47PM
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westy1941(Boulder County, CO)

Oh please! Where is Peyton? We are transplants from near Chicago and building a house in Erie - in the meantime, living in an apartment in Broomfield and renting a plot where daughter lives in Superior - growing vegetables here is definitely more challenging than in the Midwest however now that I'm retired, it's my daily work. But snakes? I've been warned about rattlers but thought they were only at higher elev than here - and what's a 'Bull Snake' - daughter tells me they are around too. So where is Peyton???? It's too late to go out to the car and look for my atlas. DH is a golfer so if I find one - a snake, that is - I'll probably have a heart attack and no one will find me until the 19th hole


    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:21AM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Having grown up in the NW suburbs of Chicago, June bugs were a normal part of summer. Don't have any out here, and--uhh--don't miss 'em! (Do kinda miss the lightening bugs!)

When I lived down on a couple acres just north of Parker there were rattlesnakes around. (And HUGE herds of antelope too back in the 70's). Didn't know them but heard a neighbor found one in his basement one time! (A rattlesnake! Not an antelope!)

I was about to let my (little) dog out one day and when I opened the slider I saw--and heard--a HUGE snake just off the edge of the patio! It looked like it was coiled, and I swear it sounded like it was rattling! I freaked out! I looked and listened--and looked some more! I shut the door--the dog stayed IN! Called animal control and the woman I got just kept going, OH, MY!!! I asked if somebody could come to have a look at it--and to help! She said (after another oh my!) that all the animal control officers were busy and it would be up to an hour before somebody could come! After a few more oh my's she got out her book and started reading to me! Told me it could be a bull snake, not a rattler, and to go look again! It was still in the same spot so I went and looked again and realized it was "hissing," not rattling, but I couldn't actually see the tail! And it STILL looked and sounded identical to a rattler to me--and I was still freaking out! I went back in and asked if she had any idea what I should do about it (Oh, my!) She went back to her book and read to me to identify it, and if it wasn't a rattler I was supposed to "grab it by the tail and fling it over my left shoulder!" I kid you not! (By then I was about to start saying Oh, My myself! Or a not-too-civil paraphrase of if!) I told her to wait a minute and went back to see if it was still there--and it had started to slither down the side of the house! Back to the phone to some more oh my's, and the lady didn't know what else to do but reread the "directions" in the book. Went back out and it had slithered all the way around the house to the front by some brick planter boxes so I walked along the top of the brick planters to get a better look--and verified for myself that there weren't any rattles! But it was HUGE! Don't remember exactly when, but I said goodbye to the Oh My Lady on the phone--her book wasn't helping me at all!

Went back out to check on The Status of the thing, and it was still sunning itself along the brick planters. Contemplated! Didn't know bull snakes were The Good Guys at that point, but even if I had, I didn't want a snake around that looked and sounded just like a rattlesnake--how could I let my dog out?!? Since I knew there were rattlesnakes around, especially if it was after dark, I could never be sure if I saw/heard a snake if it was the bull snake or a rattler, so I couldn't even go outside myself after dark! Besides which, bull snakes eat little critters, and my dog was only about 10 pounds! Contemplated some more! Decided to kill it and thought of the spade! Was thinking they had a "flat" bottom, but when I found it discovered they're curved on the bottom--way more than I had remembered. It was still the best thing I could think of so I went out with my spade! The snake had (conveniently) moved down into one of the window wells. Seemed perfect to me! All I had to do was hit it in the right spot--right behind the head, and hit it hard enough to cut off the head! Got all lined up and smashed down into it as hard as I could! Unhappy snake!!! It zoomed out of the window well and came after me! I went screaming across the front yard! After a few seconds it turned around and retreated back into the window well. I, too, turned around--with my shovel--and peered down at it! I got a couple more chops in before it once again came charging after me! Me: running, screaming! (The house was up on a hill, visible to all the neighbors, and apparently there was nobody home to witness what was going on or I would undoubtedly have been certified!) The snake, injured now (whodda thunk a snake was that TOUGH!), retreated once more into the window well. "We" repeated the whole chop, chop, slither, slither, run, scream, scenario one more time, and the fourth time it retreated to the window well I just kept chopping and chopping until it couldn't chase me anymore. Then I waited a couple hours to be sure it was dead and got it out of the window well--with the shovel, and spread it out on the sidewalk (with the shovel!) to measure it, and it was close to 5' long!

I don't like killing things, but this thing seemed very familiar with the window well and I'm guessin' it had decided to call it home--and "animal control" had read to me that if it wasn't a rattlesnake they weren't gonna do anything about it!

Oh, how I wish I had videotape of the Chop, Chop, Run, Scream Scenario! It would be VERY funny to watch!

We had skunks down there too, and my poor little dog (poor me too!) got countless tomato juice baths!

Peyton is down near the Springs, east of Black Forest if you know where the big, house-burning fire was down there.


P.S. Pic below of bull snake. Coloration can vary a LOT, and markings can vary quite a bit too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bull Snake

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Too funny. I am not sure I would have even tried for the first time. I would have called anyone I thought might help and locked the door.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:38PM
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jaliranchr(z5 EC CO)

That's funny, Skybird! You aren't alone. A lifetime on the Plains and I have never spent the time to discriminate between a rattler and a bull snake. I'm gone and the snake can have the turf until a braver soul comes along to determine which kind it is.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 8:23AM
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I grew up in the midwest too and am very familiar with June bugs. I have seen them in Arvada on rare occasional summer evenings, no mistaking them, but not for the past two years. They are a good bit smaller in size here, but look and behave the same as they did in the midwest. Harmless, but really gross.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:26PM
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