Oct
21
2007

It’s a bug-eat-bug world: Ladybugs called in to clean up apartment complex

Cleaning up: A ladybug has its eyes on an aphid that it could likely snarf up and eat. A company called Planet Natural is providing ladybugs as a natural alternative to insecticides in getting rid of insect pests. (Flickr photo by teece)
Cleaning up: A ladybug has its eyes on an aphid that it could likely snarf up and eat. A company called Planet Natural is providing ladybugs as a natural alternative to insecticides in getting rid of insect pests. (Flickr photo by teece)
Just yesterday when I arrived home, there were a ton of ladybugs all over the front door. Little did I know they might be hanging around for more than the scenery.

A New York City apartment complex has turned to the little critters to tackle a big clean-up project on the 80-acre complex. It’s shipped in nearly three-quarters of a million ladybugs to eat other bugs that are destroying the ornamental landscaping features of the property.

The bugs come from Montana and have a big hunger for aphids and mites, insects that live and devour plants and flowers. The building complex owner is trying this natural solution to the problem in lieu of using chemical insecticides.

The natural method also helps to keep “the good guys,” other non-destructive bugs, around while chemical applications kill pretty much all of the insects in the area.

The apartment complex purchased the lady bugs from a business called Planet Natural. You can get a box of 2,000 ladybugs for $16.50.

On average, each ladybug can clear an area measuring about 19 inches square, eating about 50 nuisance bugs a day plus any eggs they may have also laid in the area. The commercial cleaners are also a different strain of ladybug than the Asian ladybugs that have become a common, swarming presence in urban areas.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

$16.50? A couple hours of work for 2,000 ladybugs...
Not a bad deal. Especially if they can clean my house.
And I wonder if you can eat them.

posted on Sun, 10/21/2007 - 10:11pm

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