Tonight I decided to do laundry. Normally this doesn’t involve any rescues or huge bugs, but tonight was different. I was waiting for the washer to get done, when I heard some gasps and squeaks of fear and surprise come to me from over by the folding shelves.
There, lying on its back and struggling to get upright, was a truly HUGE beetle, about as long as my index finger not including the antennae, and shiny black. Everyone was freaking out. I watched it for a bit, saw it get to its feet, then sit there – barely moving.
One woman asked me to kill it. I said “No way, then I’d have to deal with the body! ” In truth, I neither had the implements nor the desire to squash this big bug, since it looked big enough to carve steaks off of. I didn’t want to see bug guts in that quantity.
So I left it alone, where it sat there and did nothing while people around were wondering if it would attack them. Finally a little Asian lady came in and asked “is that dangerous?” and I was driven to act. Nobody else was, after all.
So I rummaged in a trash can, found a newspaper, tore off a couple big chunks, and gently prodded the beetle with one till he climbed onto the other. He still was happy to hold still, so I took him outside well away from the light and left him on a bush. All done, nobody hurt. I went back in and finished the laundry, all the while thinking “wow, that’s the biggest bug I’ve ever seen!”
Upon further net research, I think the reason why it didn’t want to move is that it was a Palo Verde beetle, which is nocturnal and does much better in the dark. It was probably disoriented in the bright lights of the laundromat. Unfortunately, they aren’t the best of flyers and sometimes stray into areas where they didn’t intend to go.