Pages

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ladybugs

Until we moved to this old house in the country, I never had to contend with Ladybugs (Coccinellidae) in any significant quantity. Some years we get just a few inside the house. Some years it feels like a full on invasion. This is one of those years. Some years the autumn is tough; others late winter into spring. This year it is the latter. They tend to be more active on sunny days or when the house is warm. We keep the house at 54F (12C) overnight and 60-62F (15-17C) in the daytime, so a string of unseasonably warm, sunny days like we’ve had lately can get them revved up. They’re easy to catch; we just flick them into a jar. When we have a bunch we (and by we I really mean Chuck!) take them outside. But, if I could put little radio collars on them, I’d bet I could prove they just turn right around and come back inside. We’ve done a fair amount of sealing and caulking over the years, but they’re tiny and determined.

Yes, most of them are pretty. Yes, many of them are beneficial. But they can be extremely annoying. Their worst feature is a defensive one for them: they smell atrocious! Hmm... what other creature uses an offensive smell as a protective mechanism? That’s right, skunks. So, as far as I am concerned, Ladybugs (Coccinellidae) are teensy flying Skunks (Mephitidae). Which is probably why the rhyme was invented: Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home... - - - please?

6 comments:

dancingmorganmouse said...

I'd rather lady beetles than ants though! Does Chuck sing the little song as he sets them free?

John's Arts & Crafts said...

Great Blog! & Art work!
New blog on the Hx. of the Ladybug: http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Eeeeewwww! Ants! Hate 'em!
And no, Chuck seldom sings the little song...
;o)
- Lee


Hi John -
Thanks for the kind words!
And thanks for the link.
;o)
- Lee

Wendy said...

We too have a lady bird infestation. for a few years now ,since we have loved in victorian houses. apparently they lay eggs in wall cavitys and then the blighters hatch ! most are the horrid black ones with 4 red dots that kill the other good ones. I have them in the bathroom here in my new place and they irritate the heck out of me! ladybid ladybird ly away home indeed!

dancingmorganmouse said...

I say very rude words to the ants that come into our house, very, very rude words.

Sue said...

I've never had a problem with lady bugs and didn't even know they smelt bad. I'd rather that then cockroaches or spiders (not sure which are worse)...