Bug of the World

October 24, 2009

autumn, pests

Have you been invaded by ladybugs lately? We have. Last week the temperatures were below freezing; but this week, it’s been very mild– near 70 degrees today! And all this week that the temps have raised, the ladybugs are EVERYWHERE. We had a swarm swirling around our back door and our living room window. A few dozen have sneaked in the house, somehow. Livvy finds them entertaining.

LivvyBug

Bugs in Wind

I guess we’re not alone. My fellow New Yorkers have been inundated with ladybugs, too. The bugs even made the nightly news at 9wsyr!!

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – We’ve gotten calls and emails from many of you wondering what’s going on with an infestation of ladybugs and other types of beetles.

It’s the time of year for them to find shelter, but some years are worse than others, especially if the population had a strong summer.

Central New Yorkers join people from Illinois to Massachusetts in dealing with swarms of ladybugs, most of which are seeking the sunniest parts of people’s homes.

“Some of them will have lots of black dots and some of them will have almost no dots,” says Cornell Cooperative Extension entomologist Kim Adams.

But there are similar species who are also making their presence known, particularly the box elder bug.

Yeah, we’re also getting a lot of the chinch bugs here– and they are not anywhere as cute as the ladybug. They are actually pretty creepy; good thing they crawl slowly– I can squish them easier. I don’t squish the ladybugs, though. Ladybugs are good for the garden. I remember as a girl, my mother purchased some through a mail-order gardening catalog. After a few weeks waiting, a small box came in the mail. When she opened the box, billions of ladybugs emerged from the box and poured into the yard. What an experience– bugs in the mail! I’ll never forget that sight of the boxful of a red, squirming mass with gazillions of little black legs.

They’ll go away soon, once we no longer have any warm or sunny days.

But if you just can’t stand to wait, Adams recommends you use the vacuum cleaner to collect them, and then release them outside.

“I don’t recommend using any sort of pesticide in your home,” says Adams.

Ladybugs in particular will stain fabric if you crush them, but these insects are not endangered, so the choice is yours.

I don’t mind them. I won’t kill them. But they are INTENT on suicide missions, it seems. They divebomb for spots under our feet as we walk, or cuddle around the bases of light bulbs in the lamps only to be fried with a disconcerting ZZZZAPPP, or make their way into Livvy’s paws and mouth. Oh well.

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One Response to “Bug of the World”

  1. Jay Says:

    This week our windows have been infested with ladybugs, too! I guess that explains it! I hope they go away too, because although they do eat other insects, I think they are gross! (Coming from a guy, I know!)