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ladybug survey




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 
pherhomones?

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.

Kathy



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