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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lady bug, is not a lady?

Posted Sunday, November 4, 2012, at 9:12 PM

(Photo)
Coccinellidae conglobata lady bug visiting our farm
Some of you might be experiencing the invasion of ladybug as the weather turns cold. Except for one year a few years ago, we have been one of those homes as well.

At our garden club meeting last Friday one of our members told us that she had heard that they were actually NOT ladybugs. Over the years, I have been 99.999% convinced that they were, but rather than get into an extended conversation, I decided to do some research.

After an hour or more of internet searching, I am still convinced they ARE ladybugs but there are MANY different types of ladybugs as seen in this page http://www.ladybuglady.com/ladybugweb9.h... and our friend might be talking to someone who is as confused as I could be with the wide variety.

I took a look at several of our winter visitors and concluded that ours are Coccinellidae conglobata based on the coloration and layout of the dots.

If yours are like ours, they will soon be everywhere and apparently they leave telltale scents from last year that says your house is a good place to winter, so getting rid of them will be a chore.

Since we are a gardening family and choose not to use toxic chemicals, we welcome them for taking care of aphids, some molds and probably other insects we do not know about. They can be annoying but....


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Did you know...when ladybugs prepare to overwinter, they are attracted to warm cracks and crevasses, and anything that resembles those places. That is often why you will find them invading your home! They are considered to be good luck in many of the Asian countries.

-- Posted by wildwoman on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 8:14 AM

I heard that "ladybug" came from an incident in 1870. A lady and her gentleman were riding in an open carriage and the gentleman noticed a multi-colored tiny bug fell from the ladie's skirt, and crawled on his shoe. He said "a Coccinellidae conglobata from your skirt, is on my shoe.". She said "how dare you call me that, apologize or I will slap your face". He apologized and told about it during a Queen's gathering, and he then called the bug a "ladybug", because he thought the Queen may not like the sound of the species actual name, and he may loose his head.

-- Posted by Grits on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 12:32 PM

I'll take the luck. We will have many thousands before Spring.

Grits, I have to admit, I've never heard a story about why the lady bug is called a lady bug. I will have to remember that, even though I'll have to write it since I have no idea how to pronounce the species name and I too might get slapped.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 7:25 PM

Sometimes words meanings mean something entirely different to a ladies ear. I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Rio De Janeiro one after noon, and a chaperone came in and sat at a nearby table with her girl. The girl kept smiling at me, so I went over and told the chaperone that tomorrow was pay day and I would like permission to take her and the girl, up on the mount corcovado cable car, to visit the statue of Christ. The chaperone stood up and slapped me very hard. I went back to my table rubbing my cheek. A waiter came over and said "senior, paydaa is a very bad word in Portugese".

-- Posted by Grits on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 9:39 PM

I've seen that happen to a fellow trying to use his French one night at a restaurant in Quebec. I never knew what he said and I don't think he knew either, but we BOTH learned to not get too sure of ourselves, especially when talking to women.

I went through an extensive explanation to a waitress in Japan one time, trying to get my niece's steak cooked to her liking. After the about 5 minutes of explanation, she finally brought the manager out and I tried again.

A few more minutes and the guy said in perfect English, "you mean she wants it rare"? He enjoyed making me sweat and you could almost hear the other restaurant patrons sigh of relief that my request had finally been resolved.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 10:15 PM

leave out pieces of cotton soaked in hummingbird water, then put them in the garden in Spring :D That is, if you don't mind sharing some space with them haha

-- Posted by craftin_mom on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 10:25 AM

A very pretty woman may not understand that it is a compliment when a man refers to her as "she's cuter than a bug's ear". Or "she's sweeter than a honey bug".

-- Posted by Grits on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 1:43 PM

We have put out sugar water and they seemed to enjoy it but we really don't know if it saved them or just prolonged their visit.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 7:55 PM

The ladybugs that invade your home in the fall in great numbers are actually asian ladybugs (sometimes called japanese ladybugs). They are a relative newcomer, altho I do not know if they were intentionally imported for some purpose, or are an accidental invader. Either way, they are here to stay. The native north american ladybugs do not swarm, but rather hide away for the winter individually.

-- Posted by lazarus on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 9:48 PM

You got my curiosity up, so I did a little research. The asian ladybugs were imported on purpose by the agriculture industry. Their swarming habits probably lend to commercial applications, and they will eat more different insect pests than our native ladybugs.

I also stumbled across the source of their name. They were used during the middle ages to control insect pests in vinyards, and were called "our lady's bugs"

-- Posted by lazarus on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 9:57 PM

Since LBs started overwintering in our house and greenhouse, we have had very few issues with other insects that could be more harmful. Whiteflies and spider mites in particular used to be a problem.

I don't notice their activity but they must be doing something. AND PITA does not bother them. What a great combination!

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 7:22 AM

Opened up my pump house yesterday and was greeted with numerous clusters of ladybugs. I can only imagine what they must be like in m,y outside walls.

Hmmm, do they provide insulation?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 5:21 PM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.