Wearable bug pod protects you from Brood X cicadas and your dignity

Hey all you insects, neener-neener.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read

"Don't mind me. I'm just over here mowing the lawn in my wearable bug pod." 

Under the Weather

What do you get the person who has everything except a high tolerance for insect inundations? Here's an idea: a wearable upper-body contraption with screens on all sides to keep bugs from, well, bugging you. Meet the WalkingPod Mesh.  

"Consider this your go-to warm climate bubble that pops open, in seconds, to slip easily over the upper body for fully enclosed cover," the product site says. "Run errands, commute or work outside -- wherever you go, it'll be a breeze." 

The limited-edition product -- which looks a lot like a portable laundry hamper -- comes from Under the Weather, which makes pop-up protective outdoor gear that shields you from wind, rain, show, sun, and now, creepy-crawlies.

"This pod design has been in the works for some time, but with cicada season on the horizon, we decided now was the perfect time to roll it out," Under the Weather CEO Rick Pescovitz said in a statement. 

Under the Weather is based in Ohio, one of 15 US states set to see a massive influx of periodical cicadas this spring. A group of cicadas known as Brood X are now emerging from underground for the first time in 17 years to swarm outdoor spaces and mate, extremely loudly. Some people welcome the spectacle of periodical cicadas as an awe-inspiring wonder of nature, while others view it as a pesky annoyance. 

Cicadas don't bite, sting or carry diseases, but the WalkingPod Mesh guards the body from other insects that do, like mosquitos. If you stick your arms out of the clinched armholes, though, you're on your own, brother. 

The pod costs $89.99 (about £65, AU$118). It's made from fine-gauge mesh screens with a choice of trim in colors I'd call bright bumblebee yellow or gunmetal grasshopper gray. It weighs 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) and comes in one size, with adjustable backpack and waist straps. 

The getup doesn't require any assembly, but do note that wearing it might require letting go of your pride.