October 17, 2001 - Last weekend we were amazed at the multitude of little orange ladybeetles flying around our common neighbourhood yard, our small backyard and in our house! At first it was a beautiful sight, as if we were in a dream and surrounded by colourful little angels. Well, maybe for me since I'm buggy for Ladybugs. I thought it was a sign of hope for better times to come to humanity after recent events.
My youngest child went around gathering them into a container (with holes in the lid) with his friends. Every five minutes you could hear a shout of glee, "I found a Ladybug!" and "I found another Ladybug!". Eventually, the novelty wore off (thank goodness!) and they let them go into the lilac bushes.
The orange ladies got into the house with the kids leaving the door open during their in-out-in sessions. I rescued one from a spider web in a cranny in our dining room ceiling (that goes to say much about my house keeping abilities). My brave husband disposed of the spider and the Web all the while having a chuckle about a Ladybug stuck in the Web.
They were not the usual red with black dots Ladybugs. They were more of an orange colour. I thought it was because they were immature and were getting ready to hibernate for the winter. Well, after talking with other people at work this week, I found out that they were in abundance all over Ottawa!
To quote an article in the Ottawa Citizen, these were Asian Ladybeetles: Asian ladybugs were introduced into California to control insect pests in 1916, but failed to establish themselves. They gained a foothold in the United States during the late 1970s and early 1980s when they became popular with farmers and gardeners who wanted an alternative to pesticides. They migrated to Canada during the early 1990s.
This type is known to bite but not cause any harm. They also like to eat fruit if it's laying about. All I can say after this is... at least it wasn't locusts!
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