Beetles are Pestering Some Kennewick Homeowners - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Beetles are Pestering Some Kennewick Homeowners

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- There's a problem that's really bugging some Kennewick homeowners.    Bugs are taking over the area near Ely  Street and 45th Avenue.

From a distance, the it just looks like gravel is everywhere, but when you look closely, you can see that thousands of beetles have infested this neighborhood.  Ryan Ratchford is moving into this area, and he explains, "The beetles showed up all of a sudden, and they showed up almost over night in hoards and masses."

Scientists say the boom in bugs probably had to do with the past year's climate. Allan Felsot, professor at WSU- Tri-Cities, says, "If their population had a soft winter, there was no major kill off, then you might have a bigger population as the summer wears on.  They breed faster, go through their life cycle faster."

There are so many of these beetles, they're even getting into homes, and really pestering homeowners.  Ratchford says, "The homeowners around here are shocked, but at the same time, we all know that it's going to pass very quickly.  If anything, the winter comes and all this stuff goes away." Ratchford is right that they'll go away in the winter.  Beetles are cold blooded animals, so they won't stick around after the first frost.

Felsot says people should just get used to the beetles coming out in hoards sometimes.  He explains, "They're just part of our system and the best thing is to appreciate what services they give us, from an ecological sense. Live with them because they're definitely not harmful and they're actually quite gentle."