Kickin' back, musing, observing, and gathering inspiration from the hills of East Tennessee.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The Ladybugs are Back!
It happens every year. The Asian ladybugs come out of the woods and the trees and try to find a place to hibernate for the winter, inside our home. They like warm, sunny, light-colored surfaces. They usually come the end of October, but they are early this year. What does that mean? I don't know, other than that we didn't get around to putting the cloth sprayed with bug spray around the back door where they come in the most, and it also means that we'll probably have to have our get together that we had planned to have outside on Sunday, inside. The ladybugs are a nuisance and they fly at you when you are outside, occasionally pinching you (they don't bite). If you kill them, they make a bad stain and a disgusting odor. Seeing them all over the house and on the windows reminds me of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
We moved here in September of 2004, before the emergence of the ladybugs. I'm glad we didn't see the ladybug problem when we looked at the house or we might have passed it up, and we love it here! When the ladybugs came, it was a bad year for them, and our roof was a metal roof and had no vapor barrier underneath it! We had not only ladybugs, but all kinds of other critters getting inside. So the following year we put a shingle roof on with the help of our kind neighbors, and we included the necessary vapor barrier and now we don't have the ladybugs and other bugs in our house, other than a few that do get in. Being in the south, we have to expect some bugs!
These aren't the cute little red and black ladybugs I saw as a child. These are from Asia and they are orange in color. They were imported to the USA to help control the aphid population, which they do and I'm glad they are of SOME use! We have no aphids in our garden. But in the USA they generally have no natural predators so their population grew out of control, although I did read somewhere that the braconid wasp is a predator they have here in the USA. They can be found in some areas of the country more than in others.
They come, they stay for about a month, then when it gets cold, they disappear once again. A good website for reading about them is: www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef416.asp
Rabbits cookin' coffee -- that's what the locals call it. But here in this little hollow in East Tennessee, when the hills surrender their misty hostage to reveal the stalwart cedars growing by the stream in our pasture, I know there is no place on earth I would rather be. The welcome mat is out! Come and sit on the porch and chat with me awhile!