Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2.27.07 LADYBUGS!

Appearing on windows on sunny days. Lots of them. They aren’t quite as red as those I remember from childhood and have varying numbers of spots. Some have no spots at all and are just orange. They make a noxious smell and can leave a yellow stain when disturbed.

According to entomologists at the University of Kentucky, large areas of the country have been invaded by the Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis. It began to appear in the 1990s. It was brought here then for use against agricultural pests by the US Department of Agriculture. Releases were made in a number of states in the east as well as in California.

It hibernates in masses inside the walls of houses in the fall. During the winter it appears in our homes when ever the temperature starts to rise and the sun shines. They are attempting to find their way back outside to begin a new season and have taken a wrong turn. They are drawn to light and are quite confused by windows. Fortunately they are completely harmless and they do like to eat the aphids in the vegetable garden!

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