Monday, October 17, 2016

snow bugs

"When the snow bugs start to swarm, the first snowfall of the year will follow in a week to ten days." I was taught this in my snow-country childhood, and though I don't know the science behind it, I've never had reason to doubt it.

Snow bugs (yuki mushi) are very tiny, and when they swarm, their woolly white butts make them look like snow. They are not so easy to notice in the bright light of day....that is, until you catch them in your mouth, nostrils, and eyes while zooming happily down a hill on your bicycle into an unexpected swarm.

Apparently they belong to the aphid family, but let's not give that too much thought. Do you have snow bugs where you live?


  1. Never heard of snow bugs, but love your description! ;o)

  2. side of things here: these are of the aphid family like you say. In Hokkaido they live inside the birch trees and live off the fluid in them. They can cause damage if there are too many. The white fluff on their butts is actually a waxy product of the fluid. They leave the trees when the temperature starts to drop, low enough that the wax doesn't melt. Now about the ten days til winter...I don't know but watch out for snow!

  3. None of them in Toulouse... till when? Who knows?

    1. I have never seen them in their non-flight stage, but I believe they develop wings and fly only very briefly-- maybe even just one day-- in late fall. They disappear almost right away. Their appearance is always very sudden, and so is their disappearance. And a few days to a week later, the real snow starts to fall. I read that they exist in various parts of the northern hemisphere.

  4. This is most interesting!! I learned something new, thank you!! 🌞