Thursday, October 30, 2008

And Tippi Hedren thought SHE had problems...

Imagine Dancing Rabbit as Bodega Bay, and the birds as ladybugs. You'll have an idea of what's going on today (our lives in 1:40, below)...

Ladybugs. Cute little ladybugs. Unless they're not.

Ugh! We're in the middle of an infestation, a Ladybugapalooza, the ladybug version of a flash mob. And they're not even real ladybugs. They are foreign imposters.

In the 1980's the Department of Agriculture released the Asian strain to help keep aphids off of pecan trees.

Asian lady beetles, a non-native introduced to the United States as beneficial insects, ones that eat pests -- have become a major headache. Hundreds or even thousands of the orange-colored, black-spotted, pea-sized bugs invade homes in fall. Living, crawling clusters form in attics, corners and basements.

Apparently the ladybugs are more active between mid-October and mid-November because they are trying to find protective places for wintering. Which makes sense. Two nights ago we had our first frost, followed by daytime temperatures in the high 60's. I like nature. But euuuuwwwww. They're all over the side of the house, and all over the clothes on hanging on the line. And when you brush them off? They smell. Really, really bad.

The problem seems to be worse in the south (here's a really interesting New York Times article focusing on Kentucky) although I've read blog entries about infestations as far north as Wisconsin. I'm trying to find a way to pin this on George W. Bush. Everything else is his fault...

Tom Cowan just forwarded this info from Ohio State. EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know about these biting, stinky creatures.

Fortunately we don't have very many in the house. While Fionn (the cat), who enjoys stalking and eating spiders and any other bug he had nab, steers clear of them, Kurt handles them with the vacuum; odd, but apparently that is one of the most benign ways to get rid of them.

Hoover on, dude!

1 comment:

Mother Earth said...

ours drop down from the exhaust fan of our bathroom while we take a shower, it's too bizarre

ladybugpallooza ... toooo funny.