|Melyridae (Soft-winged flower beetle)|
Thus, we reached a domestic crisis when a number of the creatures pictured here began falling out of every rose bloom that I, her knight-in-shining-armor, so chivalrously tried to gift her. And as I examined my roses closer, these were everywhere, hiding in the open blooms and running around or abandoning ship at the first sign of human interference or disruption. The blooms seemed to tolerate these free-loafer tenants without damage, but the bugs were surely putting a strain on the whole "I'm sorry for breathing, here are some roses to make up for it" sequence of my marriage.
Melyrids were once recognized as the "Bug of the Week" by someone calling herself "The BugLady," who appears to work for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Field Station. These beetles may contain batrachotoxins, potent heart and nerve toxins that are also found in poison dart frogs in the South Pacific, so I would recommend that you do not make Melyridae a mainstay of your own diet even though you'd have to eat your weight in them to be harmed. I think I'll keep the latter information from Mrs. ProfessorRoush, lest she begin shaking the blooming roses over my soup du jour.
Regarding my melyrid infestation, I view them as a simple byproduct of my religious conviction to not indiscriminately use insecticides in my garden. If I were spraying the roses with Silent-Spring-inducing poisions instead of allowing nature to find the controls for me, I'd have less melyrids, but also less ladybugs, and I would increase the chance that some insect that the melyrids normally eat would proliferate and cause more damage. So, I'm going to let bygones be bygones and simply shake out the roses a bit more carefully before presenting them to Mrs. ProfessorRoush. And hope that she forgives me.