Friday, November 09, 2007

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home....please! It's that time of year again, when ladybugs seek out places to hibernate in the cold parts of the country. It is said they hibernate under bark and such, but they also like my house... ...especially my ceiling fan. Can you tell how many there are?
That's right, six...plus the dozen or so hanging around the kitchen light, not counting the two dozen I've already sucked up with the vaccum cleaner! I hate to kill them, but it gives me bad dreams to know they're crawling all over the place.
I want to know if there's an entomologically sound way to help them hibernate and keep them out of the house. I bought one of those wooden "ladybug houses" with the "hormone lure" that's supposed to make them want to use it, but so far they show no interest. Maybe if I offer them cable...

11 comments:

Carol said...

Maybe you could take them out to your garage, if you have a garage, and that would be warm enough? I also hate to kill them inside, but really, there isn't room for all of them indoors!

vonne said...

Cable... heh
Carol is right, if you have a shed or garage, you can gather them up and take them out there. I do that all winter. I took a cup of coffee out the the sunroom the other day, set it down to go get the bird book and came back to a ladybug HotTubbing in my coffee! Wonder how hot it was in there? Yeeouch!
BTW- the only thing that lives in MY ladybug house is wasps...

Bob said...

Lisa, you could always dress up like a giant aphid and lure them outside. HE HE.
I think that it is a testament to all your critter friendly organic gardening. (good for you) In many areas of the country beneficial pest are vanishing because of pesticide use.
Maybe your ag extension in the area would have a suggestion on how to help these friends winter over in a better place.

Let us know how it goes, Bob

lisa said...

Carol-That's a good idea...in fact, I bet if I hung the "house" I bought in a spot that's sheltered from the wind, they may be more interested.

Vonne-Ack! They tend to kamikaze dive-bomb into my cooking sometimes, too! All the more reason I'm looking into alternatives.

Bob-Heh...interesting idea! You know, there was a man from Baraboo, WI that dressed like a whooping crane in order to entice the females to lay eggs, so I guess you never know! ;-) Thank you for the "props", and I really appreciate the Extension office suggestion...I tend to forget them as a resource, but they have the most local and pertinent information of all!

chuck b. said...

They're cute!

guild_rez said...

Lisa,
in fact Lady beetles, also known as ladybird beetles or ladybugs, are beneficial insects which help control many pests. I don't remove any from our house. The beetles doing a wonderful job hunting and eating any aphids and other insects in my winter garden.
My flowers and plants are happy too:-))
cheers Gisela

lisa said...

Chuck-They are cute, until one dives into your food! And contrary to some online info, if one gets under your collar and you try to remove it, they bite!

Gisela-That's why I hate to kill them, since they are so beneficial. I just want them to hibernate elsewhere...or if they must be in my house, then hibernate already! ;-)

Rurality said...

They're alien invaders and I squish them! Really, yeah they eat bad bugs but they are not native and they have no natural predators. Plus of course they stink and bite!

lisa said...

Rurality-I'm in agreement with you mostly...I mean, they never seem to actually survive winter in the house, just dive in my food, crawl all over, stink, and bite! But I cannot bear to smash them...so I let the vaccum be the "bad guy".

marci said...

I tried, I mean REALLY tried, to
live and let live, but when I woke
up last week with one crawling
around my ear--very nearly IN my ear--had to break out the vacuum

lisa said...

Marci-OMG!! I am going to vaccum up every single one I see when I get home!