Do you hear that? Listen carefully. That low-frequency rumble … that’s the sound of zucchini growing in your neighborhood. And it might be coming to get you.

Many people have vegetable gardens where I live, and one thing the gardeners have in common is a taste for success. Oh, they will try to grow kiwi or cumquats, but to get that satisfaction they plant something that will grow well in our area, be it tomatoes, potatoes or cucumbers. But to really insure that their gardens will be bountiful, they might plant “just a little zucchini over in that corner.”

Of course it grows well here. All squashes are native to the Americas, although zucchini has a more complicated story. Sometime in the 1600s American squash was apprehended by Mafia vegetable bounty hunters and taken to Italy, where we all know what they do over there with vegetables: they put it in pasta. But by the end of the 1800s they also arranged marriages among squash clans and may have even converted the gourds to Catholicism and soon they created the variety of squash they called “zucchini” which is plural for “zucchina” because the name spaghetti had already been assigned to a different squash. It’s suspected that Italian immigrants brought the new cultivars back to America in the 1800s.

The zucchini is a summer squash which is garden-speak for a squash that is best when harvested and eaten in the summer before it gets too big, the skin toughens, it starts wearing a bandana and joins a neighborhood gang. Hubbard and spaghetti squashes are considered winter squashes like pumpkins. These can be left to harden and mature and still be edible even after a long winter of storage down in the root cellar. If you don’t pick zucchini soon enough it too can mature but then you have to cut the skin off, remove the seeds and cook the bejesus out of the remaining flesh. With enough firepower you can make it taste almost as good as young zucchini. Not really.

The reason zucchini grow so big is because gardeners don’t pick and consume them fast enough. Let’s face it: they aren’t the best bonbon in the box. They aren’t as delightful and delicate as Pattypan and they are needy compared to their wealthy cousins the Butternuts. However they are prolific and determined and that’s exactly what makes them so dangerous.

There are red flags to alert you that zucchini are invading:

• Getting home from the local farmer’s market and discovering zucchini in the bottom of your bag that you did not buy or steal.

• Finding zucchini at your door delivered anonymously; this might appear to be a nice gesture from a generous or desperate neighbor but you have to allow for the possibility that the zucchini is massing for an attack on your house and you just discovered the forward scouts plotting at your doorstep.

• Being invited out to dinner and realizing that all the items in the meal include zucchini. Bread, pasta, salad, fritters, ratatouille can all be corrupted with the z-gourd. Even dessert is suspect.

Know that there is a zucchini dessert pie that in some people’s opinion eclipses pumpkin pie but these are people who have already fallen prey to the zucchini influence. You’ll need an unhealthy dose of whipped cream to cover up the top of that pie which is the color of mud with a hint of green algae. It’s not at all like a golden pumpkin pie straight out of the oven, but horror movie props seldom are.

If we let down our guard the zucchini could end our way of life. They could spread fake news, gerrymander our election maps and pack the courts with gourd-friendly judges. In the end, we could be facing the Zucchini Apocalypse where giant mutant gourds will arise from our gardens, invade our homes and attempt to destroy all of our sauté pans.

In 2005 an Ontario gardener found a zucchini in his garden measuring almost 8 feet. One in England weighed in at over 64 pounds. These may be Guinness world records but definitely show an alarming trend.

What’s that? No, I’m not an alarmist, but shouldn’t we all be sharpening our vegetable knives and stocking up on garlic and butter? I’m going to build a wall between the garden and the house. And believe me, I’m going to get the zucchini to pay for it.