Dungeons and Dragons (AKA: Fighting the good fight)
I saw my first dragon yesterday. It was not in a dungeon though.
I think it looks like a dragon, and many folks have no idea what this little thing is. Particularly since they look nothing like the adults. If you haven’t seen these emerging in the spring, they are lady beetle (AKA ladybug) larvae. The most common species people are used to seeing are the spotted ones, most often the red spotted with black.
Some fun facts about lady beetles:
There are over 400 species in the US, 6,000 species worldwide
The larvae and adults feed mostly on aphids and other plant feeding insects
The bright coloration (reds, oranges, yellows) is a warning sign that they are toxic
Adults can “reflex bleed” and exude drops of their toxic body fluid to deter predators.
They can eat up to 5,000 aphids in their lifespan
Females can lay around 1,000 eggs
You can buy lady beetles
Lady beetles are often seen as a sign of good luck
Ants can attack lady beetles when they go after their "herd" of aphids
They are the official state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Tennessee
From a pest control standpoint, there isn’t much to do at this point. And this is where some "fighting" can happen because folks can get scared of what they don't know. These are very beneficial insects and don’t cause any harm to people. However, homeowners can decrease the number of lady beetle surrounding the structure by reducing their food source: the aphids, scales, whiteflies, etc.
This is the time to remind customers that some species, like the multicolored lady beetle, will congregate in the fall and invade homes. While they won’t cause damage, having a few hundred (or more!) beetles invade your structure is not on everyone’s wish list. Now is a great time to remind folks that plenty of other pests will be emerging this summer and having some regular service to inspect and treat (when needed) can help prevent those fall invaders.
You can be the hero and slay the pests before they even become a problem. And we can be your wizard to help you with the magic potions to do it better and faster and score more points with your customers. Contact us now!
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