Monsoon brings more than rain to the desert; it brings bugs, too

Monsoon affecting southern Ariz. bugs

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The buzzing has begun. As the clouds roll in during monsoon season so are everyone’s favorite creepy crawlers.

“They sound like an ocean in the desert when there’s enough of them.”

That's how Daryl Kelly described the sound the cicadas make up in the trees. Down at the pond at Christopher Columbus park, it stays pretty quiet while he fishes.

But being from Tucson, he knows all it takes is stepping outside the house to run into something or have it run into you.

"It scared me, I don’t know what it was it was that big.” said Kelly, describing a recent run-in with a Palo Verde Beetle.

These bugs are more focused on the bark than their bite. Take the Palo Verde beetle for example.

Bugs and monsoon (Source: KOLD News 13)
Bugs and monsoon (Source: KOLD News 13)

"They have giant mandible chompers that are really scary, but they actually eat nectar and fruit,” said Reptile Keeper Courtney Christie with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Christie says the less people bother them—the less they’ll bother people.

"It doesn’t want to interact with us like most animals out here its just looking for love or maybe some food or something.”

Their shot at looking for love got a little bit of a late start this year, thanks to little rain in the winter and so far this monsoon.

"So the numbers are a lot lower and they’ve come out later this year,” said Christie.

Meaning those flying friends could be sticking around a little later this year. But even though they might look intimidating they’ll typically leave people alone.

"Unless you’re picking a bug up or harassing it in some way, they’re not going to cause any harm to you,” said Christie.

They’re simply looking for something sweet to eat, and a sweetheart until the desert goes quiet once again.

Want to learn more about these kinds of bugs, there’s an opportunity this weekend at Insect Insanity at the Desert Museum.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.