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May 2008
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Article about Ladybugs

Was looking around for some natural animals of insects in order to avoid usage of chemicals and pesticides, and came across this article on ladybugs. The article can be read at this location:

Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are a very beneficial group. They are natural enemies of many insects, especially aphids and other sap feeders. A single lady beetle may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.
Although they look dangerous, lady beetle larvae are quite harmless to humans. After feeding on insect prey for several weeks, the larva pupates on a leaf. Adults tend to move on once pests get scarce, while the larvae remain and search for more prey.

The article essetially talks about the ladybugs found in Kentucky such as Coleomegilla maculata, Harmonia axyridis, Hippodamia convergens, Coccinella septempunctata. Another major lesson from this article talks about what can be done to maxmize the beneficial impact of ladybugs:
* Learn to recognize the different stages of these beneficial insects.
* Make insecticide applications only when necessary and use selective insecticides or limited treatments to avoid killing lady beetles.
* Add plants that can provide pollen and nectar for lady beetles. These are important components of the diets of some species.

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