Thrips, flies and wasps – some thoughts!

PARTY (For Thrips) by Maurice

PARTY (For Thrips) by Maurice (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The other day I had a thrip on me – just one solitary thrip! I remember the heydays of the ‘thunderbug’ at the height of the harvest, loads of them tickling your arms and in your eyes and working their way inside photo frames!! It was not until I saw it crawling over my arm that I realised that I had hardly seen any for years!!

Then I had a large house spider wandering around in my living room during the day – odd as you usually only see them in the evenings. A day or two later it was dead in the middle of my carpet. I can only speculate but could it have died of starvation? I no longer get many flies in the house, the occasional bluebottle drones around the house before I shepherd it out, but not the swarms of flies that used bother us when I was younger. Maybe that spider just could not find enough to eat in my fly free house? The car remains comparatively clear of the fly and moth carcasses that used to collect on the bonnet after a long journey – another sign that things are not what they used to be.

And the wasps have gone – you occasionally see one or two but they are not the menace they used to be on picnics, and annoyingly buzzing up and down the windows trying to get out. We used to get lots of hornets nests in the dormouse boxes in Little Linford Wood but along with the mice and dormice, we get very few now.

All these things are great for us – less thunder bugs, flies, spiders and wasps. ‘Hurrah’ we all say!!

But its not really good is it!! No wonder our swifts, bats, pied flycatchers etc are fewer in number. They say that when humanity has destroyed itself all that is left will be the insects but we seem to be doing a pretty good job of decimating them as well!!

There is not much else to say – the culprit is us, yet again!! But I miss the buzzing hoards. At least 2017 has been a relatively good year for butterflies 🙂

Julie Lane