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November 01, 2003

That's No Lady

The Sainted Wife just counted 19 ladybugs on the ceiling and walls of the living room. There's a somewhat exasperated look on her face.

Well, not ladybugs, exactly. They are actually Asian Lady Beetles, a species that established itself in the 80's and 90's after it was imported to combat aphid infestations on organic farms, as well as other places where pesticides could not be easily used. So , as much as I would like it to be, the foreign presence in my house is not the food hippies fault.

The Asian ladys are orange as opposed to the red of the native North American Ladybugs, and typically overwinter in caves and rock crevices in their native habitat. Come October, they start seeking out similar haunts--similar in this case being our house and the others in the neighborhood. Supposedly they have become so common because they have no natural enemies in this hemisphere, but I've seen several spiders feeding on them, so at least some creatures are attempting to eat Asian Ladys.

Most are perfectly content to overwinter in the wall spaces, so the ones we're encountering are the losers in the Darwinian race, house interiors being too hot and dry for the Ladys to survive. From the daily descriptions of Lady activity emailed to me by the Sainted Wife, ("Ngnat called the outside of the house polka-dotted today") I suspect the between two and three thousand have crammed themselves into the cavities and small cracks on the outside of the house. There are another 500 or so in between the windows and the outside screens; no one is allowed to open any of them until the Ladys within are stiff and dry.

"Until after they've gone through menopause, in other words" I told the wife, a witticism that went sadly unappreciated, as was "Radybug, Radybug, fry away home."

Tough crowd. It's probably best that I didn't try out the Ping-Pong ball material.

Posted by Bigwig at November 1, 2003 10:23 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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