Friday, October 23, 2009

bugged!

It's that time of year! Every October, the minute we get a sunny day after a period of cold, we are inundated with Lady Bugs. Well, technically, these are not "Lady Bugs" as in the native version of the Ladybird Beetle. These are actually Asian imports, brought over to the US for agricultural purposes. These little ladies (and dudes) eat aphids all summer, then migrate into buildings for winter. Apparently, we have a very healthy population of them in this area, because every winter our walls and ceilings are literally crawling with them.

What harm do they cause? Well, none, actually. I hear they taste bad, so, you know, I try to avoid eating them. They keep our cats occupied for a few weeks. And they vacuum up fairly easily once the novelty of having hundreds of bugs in the house has worn off. For now, though, it's a somewhat charming reminder that winter is coming.






They come in a wide variety of color shades, anywhere from pale tan to bright orange to fire-engine red. And unlike the native Ladybird Beetle, who can be distinguished by breed depending on the number of spots, these guys can have no spots at all, or upwards of 20 (based on our particular sampling). Fortunately they are all pretty darned cute, as far as bugs go anyway.






Is your skin crawling yet? Well, c'mon over on a sunny fall afternoon and stand on our front steps for a few minutes. In the time it took me to snap a few photos, I had several dozen crawling about me, in my hair, on my arms, on my feet, and all over my clothes.








A rather festive way of decorating your jammies, don't you think?





2 comments:

Ashley and Nathan said...

Holy cow! We have them at home, not bad though. We are in Indianapolis right now, and on the way we stopped at a rest stop and I was covered in them lol!

michelle grimes kindig said...

Lady Bugs are good luck...You know we always have some in a brown paper bag in the fridge. I wonder if you captured some and kept them in the fridge (they hibernate when it's cold) if they would still be alive in the spring. We release them in the garden after a rain to munch the aphids.