Letter to the editor: Maine bugs’ disappearance strikes ominous word


Growing up in central Maine in the 1950s, every time we filled the car’s tank with gasoline, we had to wash the windshield because it was covered with the remains of many moths and insects.

As a kid, I loved going out into the front yard and seeing lots of lightning beetles fly across the lawn. They were fun to catch and release before bed.

At a fishing camp in Rangeley Lakes in the 1970s, the camp kitchen had a screen door and one very humid warm night, I vividly recall, was covered with hundreds of moths attracted by the light in the kitchen.

Here we are in summer 2021. Since the start of the insect season, I no longer have to wash our car windows. Maybe there is a single moth or whatever. When I think back, I haven’t had to wash dead insect bodies off the windshields or the fronts of our cars in many years.

This summer I saw two lightning beetles in our garden trying to find a mate.

The lights are still on in the kitchen on the banks of one of the Rangeley Lakes, but there are no moths on the door on warm, humid nights

So where are the mistakes? If there are no bugs, what do the birds eat? If they don’t find any bugs, what happens to them? And the next question is: who is going to leave next?

Bill Lucas

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