Thanks to everyone who wrote. It is amazing how many places they have been
introduced into this country -- right now it seems they are all over the
eastern coast, and going out towards the Mississippi. I am not sure who
released them, state or federal government, or both, or neither? I got a
kick out of the insurance suggestion. My own suggestion is that the drug
companies did: create a new illness, then sell an enormous amount of
medicine for the cure.
I appreciate the information about the "bite". Being an insect-phobe, I
have never actually studied the mouthparts (or any other part) of any kind
of bug, but they all seem to know me and take special delight in tormenting
me. I got the same information about butterflies, that the reason they are
attracted to people's heads is to seek moisture. That might explain why
hordes of them attack me (don't laugh) all summer. My head must sweat a
lot. But the ladybugs don't seem to be attracted to heads. They more
typically land on limbs (arms or legs), immediately crawl under the
clothing, and BITE (or HOOK). And yes, it is quite painful. It is about
like a horsefly (not housefly) bite. They only seem to do this when they
are swarming, preparing to hibernate. Maybe some of us give off ladybug
A little more about the ladybugs: they (reportedly) don't eat in the fall or
winter when hibernation season occurs. The ones inside my house don't, nor
anyone else in this survey, anyway; if yours are feeding, they are probably
natives. I thought that would be a great way to help control an aphid
infestation in my greenhouse area a couple of winters ago; no such luck.
There is a photo available at the web site I mentioned of a man looking at
his living room wall that has several thousand MALB on it. Check it out.
FYI: 2 years ago, our upstairs hallway walls and floor were so covered in
the things, you couldn't see the walls, and they crunched when walking. I
didn't stop to take a picture; I just vacuumed them out as soon as I could.
Susan, it sounds as though you are as fed up as I was. I tightly taped shut
all the windows, caulked, did everything I could to seal the house, and
relatively few got inside. It took me several days, but I think it was
worth it. Other people tried other methods. Very few seemed to be very
effective. I am not willing to use severe chemical insecticides in or on
our house for the 3 months they swarm here, so that is out.
Whoever would like some, just give me your address and I will send thousands
(literally). Do you care if they are dead or alive? Are there any regs
about sending bugs overseas? I don't think I want to send them to you in
England, Geoffrey, but I got a lot of useful information from you. I
appreciate it. I have forwarded it to the head researcher at the local
project. Can I give him your name if he requests?
And don't forget: exactly who not only "recommended" but paid farmers to
plant kudzu: US government! Our tax dollars at work.
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