Think you’ve got bug problems?



From the David Grann website.

Bugs are always important, and we’re always talking about
them, if it’s listserv chatter about whether or not Japanese beetles are
rampant or waning this summer, or if it’s scary warnings about ash borers, tent
caterpillars, Asian long-horned beetles, and gypsy moths. Sometimes destructive
bugs are grave long-term threats, sometimes they’re just temporarily worrying. Sometimes we talk about insects we love.

Bugs were put into perspective for me last week when I
listened to The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly
Obsession in the Amazon
(David Grann’s book on Amazonian exploration) on the
way to the beach. My god!  Chiggers
that eat human tissue, millipedes that squirt cyanide, gnats that fly into your
pupils, maggots that set up shop in your knees, ants that can eat all your
equipment in a night, and “kissing” bugs that might cause a fatal heart attack
years later. On these expeditions, it was simply assumed that ticks and mosquitos would feed off you every second of every day and night.

Can’t get too excited about some nibbles on a rose leaf
after that. It’s a great listen (and I am sure great read), by the way.


Previous articleThe strange case of the hosta flower
Next articleLook ma, no stakes!
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Thanks for a fun post! I’m convinced that if insects could get organized, and wished to drive us off the planet, it would probably take them less than a month to drive us all insane.

Comments are closed.