Asian Lady Beetles. Sure, they look harmless enough. Our illustrious U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced these little creatures as a biological control agent. On the first thought, good. But on second thought, just leave Mother Nature alone. They typically dwell in trees and fields eating aphids. The first recorded field populations of Asian Beetles were found in Louisiana in 1988. Thirty years later they have migrated north and raised their status to pest. Why? If you live next to soybean fields, immediately after the harvest, these little ladies take up residence in the nearest building. Now things are not too bad this year in our basement bungalow. Maybe because we haven’t spanned the year mark yet, or maybe because my daily routine includes sweeping up the dead and dying lady beetles as part of my morning routine. Yet again, I remember as we tore out the old basement ceiling, part of my job was to dry-vac all of the nests I found in the rafters. Tens of thousands of beetles, huddled and hibernating in the corners and crevasses. I simply renamed my job “suck and spray”. I had a concoction of vinegar, citronella, lavender and a few other smelly niceties that once I had sucked up the colonies….I sprayed the rafters in an effort to disturb the beetle pheromones. I think, to some extent it worked. We have far less beetles in the church building. Sure, you still have to remember to check your clothing, shake out coats and shoes before putting them on, but all in all, not a bad infestation. The school house is another story. The Ladies just love the schoolhouse. On this windy day I swept up another two dustpans of beetles. This will be an ongoing weekly duty as the fall weather turns even colder and the hundreds of beetles that are now huddled on the ceiling of the school eventually die and drop to the floor.
In the meantime, life continues to be peaceful here at Little Plum Place. The silver maple tree has lost all of its leaves since last week when I snapped this photo. Gloomy, windswept days seems to be the norm lately as we start to hunker down and wait for the winter snows. Until my next update, be well my friends.