The lady beetle infestation

A couple months ago we lamented the cucumber beetle army which was attacking our cucumbers, squash, beans, sun flowers and pretty much everything else. We smashed hundreds of them and even resorted to Pyrethrin once. The cucumber beetle battle lasted throughout June, but at the beginning of July the striped forces of evil began to falter. In one final assault they razed most of our green bean sprouts and then virtually disappeared. We now see only a few derelict individuals flying aimlessly through the garden, while the cucurbits sprawl with unchecked vigor.

In the resulting power vacuum, a new menace rose. Ladybugs! Ladybirds! Lady beetles! Coccinellidae! They may at first appear to be cute and harmless, but tell that to the carnage of shredded aphids left in their wake. And yet, they were everywhere: settling on the sorghum, lounging on the legumes, sunbathing on the sunflowers, and ambling on the artichoke.

Worse still, while the cucumber beetles fled in terror before humans, lady beetles go about their business with brazen disregard. Some have even been known to dangle confidently from dill plants while being menaced by cameras.

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5 Responses to The lady beetle infestation

  1. Ann says:

    It’s really interesting that you should post this. I’ve noticed a return of lady bugs this year. We’ve had infestations of Asian Lady Beetles (Harmonia axyridis) in our house for many, many years. Since our upstairs renos and the vapour barrier we’ve put up, we have virtually none. (They really stink up the shop-vac, especially considering the quantities we used to vacuum up – yuck!). This is the first year I’ve noticed “true” lady bugs again, the seven-spotted kind you’ve photographed.

    I wonder if they’re staging a come-back again?

    • robin says:

      We see a lot of them every year but this year it looked like a lady beetle bomb had been dropped in our garden. We’ve never seen so many before. We also get a lot of lady beetles in our house every fall. I’ve never noticed them smelling so this year I am going to look at them closer when they come in. We love having them in the garden and hopefully they are massacring aphids left and right.

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  3. Elizabeth says:

    (Photo #6) Ahhh, ladybug orgy! I hereby declare this post NC-17.

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