Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ladybug or Impostor?

Is anyone else starting to get really disgusted with the ladybug infestation this fall? I keep finding dead (or pretending-to-be-dead) ladybugs lying around my house in the strangest places. And I have no idea how they are getting in! They are probably taking the same route the wasps take this time of year, but that's another story for another time.

This story involves me, leaf blowing the yard, and an innocent looking first glance, the tree looks like any other which hasn't lost it's leaves yet. But upon closer inspection, I found thousands of ladybugs! At first I thought it was kinda cool, then I got a little creeped out by the sheer amount of them climbing all over the trunk and base of the tree. Ewww! What *are* those things?!?

Well, it turns out that these aren't ladybugs at all. Nope. These impostors are actually called Asian Lady Beetles...and their specialty is swarming. In late fall (yep, it's late all) they look for a place to hibernate and try to work their way indoors or to a warm spot. You can tell a lady beetle from a ladybug primarily by the color. Ladybugs are red with black spots. Lady Beetles are varying shades of orange, with or without black spots.

So what's a girl to do about this? Not much, really. They'll be gone once it gets cold enough, and being in Indiana I know that could happen any day now. They aren't as bad here as I've heard tell in other parts of the country, so I guess I'm lucky in that respect. I do vac them up, as needed. And my 5 year old thinks they are cool. So as long as the majority of them stay outside, I'll deal.

Wanna tell me your lady beetle story?? Hit me with a comment!

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