This past Saturday was the Annual MMC Bug Splat Rally that Donna and I put on since 1999. Over the years we have noticed a steady decrease of bugs available for knocking out of the air with the fronts of Miatas. After the first 7 or 8 years we ran the same course up and over the dam at Clarks Hill. Since then we have moved the loop around to a couple other spots in the hopes of find a more dense insect environment. We haven’t had much luck. Every time we have a bug free or near bug free run, which seems common now, I say that maybe it is time to ask an bug expert where the bugs are.
Saturday was the clincher, so today I Googled “South Carolina Entomology” and it led me to the web site of the South Carolina Entomological Society. So I wrote an email to the President:
Hello. My name is Brian Bogardus and I am a member of a car club located in the Central Savannah River Area that is centered around the Mazda Miata.
So why is a car club member writing to the President of the South Carolina Entomological Society you ask, it is about insect extermination. Specifically about killing bugs with the front of Miatas. For the past dozen years or so I have run an event called the Bug Splat Rally where the Club gathers in a spot somewhere in the CSRA, goes for a 40–50 mile drive in the summer evening/night and ends up at a Sonic for ice cream and the awarding of prizes.
When I first started doing this we would meet in Augusta, GA and drive up over Clarks Hill Dam and back into Augusta. After a few years it seemed like the amount of insects and their related death signatures decreased, so I started varying the start times and routes hoping to change that. The last 2 years we have met in North Augusta, looped up to Edgefield and then back to Exit 5 off I-20. While it was a lovely drive on back roads it left a lot to be desired in insect activity.
So, enough background, my question to you and/or your membership is, “When would be the best time of the year and the best time of day to do a back roads drive that would have the best chance for splatting big bugs on the noses of small sports cars?”
Not long later I received a reply:
This rather an interesting perspective that I have not seen before. By any means it sounds like a successful 2-year event that attracted some people. Here are my views about where you may find highest numbers of insects.
1. Roads that goes through wilderness, marsh land, ponds or woods. If road goes through cultivated crop lands like corn, cotton or peanuts, these days we use mostly genetically modified varieties and crop varieties those are resistant to insect damage, you may not find lots of insects. Besides farmers spray agrochemicals to kill them too.
2.Summer is the best time where insects are active. Insects are cold-blooded creatures, they need optimum temperature for flight. When it starts to cool down, flight activity declines.
3. During the day insects do not fly much at peak sun hours or if the temperature is too high during mid day. Most of them fly when temperature in a day is optimum.
4. Some insects are called “nocturnal” like moths are active at night, dawn and dusk. They are attracted to beams of headlights and may be you can kill them easily.
5. Insects have certain period of life cycle, you will not find all types all the time, but at a given time there are plenty of them available. After all, they are the most successful organisms on the face of the planet.
Hope this helps.
Wow, thanks, but most of that stuff is not really news to me.
1. That is why I started with a loop around the lake. All the other routes we’ve changed to have been through 2-lane back roads. The farm info I hadn’t thought of before, but it is a non-issue around here.
2. This is why we run the event in August.
3. Start time has always been near dusk and
4. Finish is always after dark.
5. Don’t want all kinds, I’ll take any kind as long there are lots of them.
Maybe I should ask an exterminator…