Monday, December 31, 2007

Invasion of the Ladybugs, Day 35

As a child, I thought about becoming an entomologist (a bug scientist), and it's probably that love of bugs that keeps me from freaking out everytime I enter my office.

We have a bug problem. A ladybug problem. Specifically, in my office.

What is it about my office, with its eastward-facing wall and window on the second floor of our house, that lures these poor things? Right now I have about 24 ladybugs cruising across the wall, the windowshades, and the ceiling. They are crawling on my fan blades and its beaded pull chain. Dozens of little corpses stud my carpet like little red jewels (I need to vacuum, but I don't want to suck up the ones that are still alive!). They fly past me as I type, and they land on poor Dozer, who leaps to his feet and starts sniffing the tickly spot.

Why are they here? What do they hope to accomplish? They are only starving to death.

Byrd and I searched the house, trying to figure out where they were coming in, but to no avail. They keep showing up, and even as the older ones die, new ones arrive to take their place. The first few days, I knocked the ladybugs off the wall, into a little box, and took them outside, but by now, I see the futility of that effort.

Perhaps I should go find a plant covered in tasty aphids and bring it upstairs...


forsythia said...

We have a cabin in Knox County, Ohio. It has one floor, plus a loft with 2 bedrooms. WAY UP HIGH in the corner of one of the inaccessible (to us) windows opposite the loft, a zillion ladybugs congregated in February 2006. We don't get out there often, so couldn't watch them day by day, but by April all of them had disappeared. We didn't have to do a thing. They just left. Last year, no ladybugs. This year, so far, no ladybugs. (Bet you aren't in much of a mood to get any cute li'l ladybug magnets for your refrigerator.)

happypitbull said...

Well, we had our first "freeze" of the year here in TX, and today it's about 40 degrees outside. Inside, it's warm and sunny in the windows, and I expected to see some ladybugs cruising the wall, but they seem to be gone. Whether they're finally hibernating until warmer weather arrives, or whether they're all dead, I don't know. I do know that I'm going to take advantage of this lull to vacuum up all the tiny dead bodies before they get ground into the carpet (and possibly stain it, I suppose).

Interestingly, after doing a bit of web surfing about ladybugs, I found out that this sort of thing is not unusual at all. Some states have annual ladybug invasions, and they are considered pests, and people call pest control to kill them. Pests!? Around here we buy them and release them so they can control our aphid population. I suppose there is such thing as too much of a good thing!