Helpful beetle raising a stir in Green Country

Thursday, April 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

What's bugging you, and why a certain type of bug could be a good thing. The villains of our story, army worms that feast on your grass. Two years ago, they invaded our area, and professionals say it was one of the worst they'd seen in years.

Like that army worm invasion, parts of northeast Oklahoma are being invaded again. As the News on Six's Rick Wells tells us, even though, this time, the invaders are beneficial insects, the people being invaded don't like them much.

Remember the first Beatle invasion forty years ago, people waving their arms, screaming wildly. It's the same today. People are still screaming, just not for joy, but fiery hunter beetles. They seem to be all over these days, looking for food, mayflies, bagworms, and caterpillars.

Wells, "So these are good guys?" Don Bristol, exterminator: “Yes most definitely, they are a beneficial bug." Don Bristol is Mother Nature Exterminating Hunter Beetle Hunter. The folks at Freedom Express in east Tulsa called, they don't have an invasion exactly but it doesn't take many. Trish Flannery "I turned around and it was sitting on my keyboard. I screamed!" I bet, she's not the only one.

April Smith was working at her computer, and "It just started crawling up my leg." Wells, "What did that feel like?" Smith, "It's very scary, I about wet my pants. Well have you ever had a big green beetle crawl up your leg?” Wells, "No thank you very much I have not." Thanks for the thought. The beetle hunter says they are not looking for humans just other insects to munch on, they will eventually move on.

But if you want him to he'll put down some chemicals. "It's hot on their feet." Wells, "So they leave?" "So they leave." He gives 'em a hot foot. Bristol's best advice, try to ignore them, and be patient, when their food moves on so will they.

Easier said than done I suspect, particularly if one's crawling up your pant leg.