ladybugs!

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I hate the *%#$@ things! I know I'll be accused of being a troll but you really have to be here to understand my hatred. My open front porch is on the south side of the house. At this time of year it is virtually unusable thanks to those red and black spotted menaces! Opening the front door is like to walking into a swarm! Actually the front door simply can't be used at this time of year. I wish the jerk who imported these things had to live with them like I do. Kill a ladybug, save an aphid!
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They usually prefer western sun exposures for hibernation purposes. It is possible to discourage them from using your porch without harming them much:
Rig up a vaccuum cleaner (one with a hose, not beaters) with a fresh bag in it, or a nylon stocking or loose cheesecloth in front of the bag or a nylon stocking stuffed down the front of the hose. Vaccuum the ladybirds into the sack or stocking, to be emptied on the property edge or nearby woods, underneath or in the folds of a black tarp that can be permanently located (perhaps near a compost heap or along the west edge of a tool shed or garage), or deposit the sleepy ladies in the hollow of a rotting tree. They want a relatively dry slightly warmed place to hibernate, & rotting wood or west-sunned dark surfaces stay warmer than the atmospheric temperature, so can be better attractants than porches or the insides of walls. When they emerge next spring from out of a black tarp or tree hollow, they will take note of where they are at, & if struck them as a good place to have wintered, they may return to the same spot the next winter.
Ladybirds have "scouts" which find ideal hibernation spots & somehow the news spreads among them & they remember the spot for generations; they arrive in autumn from a considerable distance, then emerge in spring to scatter far from your gardens, so the person with the most ladybirds hibernating often end up with the fewest when they're needed in spring. When they fixate on a specific spot they'll return to it year after year in increasing numbers, but if the mass-hibernation spot is frequently disturbed, such as by vaccuuming them up & moving them, their "scouts" look for safer refuge, & whether or not they continue to return to the tarp-spot provided for them, they eventually stop using a porch because they'll have learned it gets disrupted.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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wrote:

I appreciate the information but I don't think you understand the magnitude of the problem. This is a two story house and the south side is just covered with ladybugs. Getting a vacuum up there would be pretty tricky. If I do try this you can be sure I'm not going to let them go - gas and a match it is! Sorry I realize this probably offends some but enough is enough.
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In the fine newsgroup "rec.gardens", "LAH"
< on 08Oct 2004:

I haven't read this group in a while, and checked in and upon seeing your post, I sort of have to agree. I have the same problem with them every year (though, not yet, too early) and those things are agressive and bite (yes, these "lady"bugs bite. The first year I bought my house they found their way in via the basement and I've never found a hole to plug, but they haven't been that bad since. But outdoors, they swarm in the fall. I like the idea of vaccuming them up and relocating them.
--
Cheryl

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on 08

Yesterday I tried vacuuming. It was sort of like trying to drain Lake Erie with a tea cup - sounds good in theory but not very practical nor very effective.
Lois
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OTOH, my peonies didnt have any aphids or "dew" on them this year. flower buds were clean as a whistle. so maybe they are doing some good out there. Ingrid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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on 08

Where do you live?
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on 08

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Last winter when we were house hunting we went into several vacant houses that had a zillion of the little things, mostly dead all over the floors. It was kind of eerie since I had never experienced this large of a population before. After living in the south for a year, I have realized just how many bugs (all varieties) there ARE down here and can see why these too would be unnerving.
Since we are taught as children that Ladybugs are our friends and they are all cute and lovable there is always the fear that killing one will bring on disapproval and criticism. However, even a beautiful flower growing in the wrong place can be considered a weed. Have you considered an exterminator?
Kate
on 08 | Oct 2004: | | > I appreciate the information but I don't think you understand | > the magnitude of the problem. This is a two story house and the | > south side is just covered with ladybugs. Getting a vacuum up | > there would be pretty tricky. If I do try this you can be sure | > I'm not going to let them go - gas and a match it is! Sorry I | > realize this probably offends some but enough is enough. | | I haven't read this group in a while, and checked in and upon seeing | your post, I sort of have to agree. I have the same problem with them | every year (though, not yet, too early) and those things are | agressive and bite (yes, these "lady"bugs bite. The first year I | bought my house they found their way in via the basement and I've | never found a hole to plug, but they haven't been that bad since. But | outdoors, they swarm in the fall. I like the idea of vaccuming them | up and relocating them. | | -- | Cheryl
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If your porch is set up so you can do this, blast 'em with water from a hose set on jet. You may have to do it repeatedly, but they'll eventually decide your porch ain't the best place to be.
wrote:

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Good idea!
wrote: | >> | >> > I hate the *%#$@ things! I know I'll be accused of being a troll but | >you | >> > really have to be here to understand my hatred. My open front porch is | >on | >> > the south side of the house. At this time of year it is virtually | >unusable | >> > thanks to those red and black spotted menaces! Opening the front door | >is | >> > like to walking into a swarm! Actually the front door simply can't be | >used | >> > at this time of year. I wish the jerk who imported these things had to | >live | >> > with them like I do. Kill a ladybug, save an aphid! | >> | >> They usually prefer western sun exposures for hibernation purposes. It is | >> possible to discourage them from using your porch without harming them | >> much: | >> | >> Rig up a vaccuum cleaner (one with a hose, not beaters) with a fresh bag | >> in it, or a nylon stocking or loose cheesecloth in front of the bag or a | >> nylon stocking stuffed down the front of the hose. Vaccuum the ladybirds | >> into the sack or stocking, to be emptied on the property edge or nearby | >> woods, underneath or in the folds of a black tarp that can be permanently | >> located (perhaps near a compost heap or along the west edge of a tool shed | >> or garage), or deposit the sleepy ladies in the hollow of a rotting tree. | >> They want a relatively dry slightly warmed place to hibernate, & rotting | >> wood or west-sunned dark surfaces stay warmer than the atmospheric | >> temperature, so can be better attractants than porches or the insides of | >> walls. When they emerge next spring from out of a black tarp or tree | >> hollow, they will take note of where they are at, & if struck them as a | >> good place to have wintered, they may return to the same spot the next | >> winter. | >> | >> Ladybirds have "scouts" which find ideal hibernation spots & somehow the | >> news spreads among them & they remember the spot for generations; they | >> arrive in autumn from a considerable distance, then emerge in spring to | >> scatter far from your gardens, so the person with the most ladybirds | >> hibernating often end up with the fewest when they're needed in spring. | >> When they fixate on a specific spot they'll return to it year after year | >> in increasing numbers, but if the mass-hibernation spot is frequently | >> disturbed, such as by vaccuuming them up & moving them, their "scouts" | >> look for safer refuge, & whether or not they continue to return to the | >> tarp-spot provided for them, they eventually stop using a porch because | >> they'll have learned it gets disrupted. | >> | >> -paghat the ratgirl | >> | >> -- | >> "Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher. | >> "Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature. | >> -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers" | >> Visit the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com | > | >I appreciate the information but I don't think you understand the magnitude | >of the problem. This is a two story house and the south side is just | >covered with ladybugs. Getting a vacuum up there would be pretty tricky. | >If I do try this you can be sure I'm not going to let them go - gas and a | >match it is! Sorry I realize this probably offends some but enough is | >enough. | > |
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great solution, Paggers!! madgardener
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We are but one thread within it.
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LAH wrote:

A number of companies sell asian ladybug traps. They run about $30, though it sounds like you might need more than one. They use a combination of a battery-operated light and a pheromone lure to attract the ladybugs into a collector.
Gardener's Supply sells them, as does the Vermont Country Store, and Cooper Seeds.
www.gardeners.com www.vermontcountrystore.com www.cooperseeds.com
-Kelly
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kelliptical-at-yahoo-dot-com wrote:

I've never seen one in use except in photographs, but don't think the useful ones are battery-operated. Pheremone ladybird traps really don't work -- or they do work moderately well for sampling during spring breeding, but that's not useful for getting rid of lots of them or for house invasions when they're trying to hibernate, not reproduce. But light-traps do work very well under specific conditions.
Most of these light-traps incorporate one to several flourescent black lights, which require starters & ballasts, which I'm not sure are ever battery-operable, but maybe. You wouldn't need a lot of them, as the traps are useful only in capturing the ladybugs during their mass-overwintering when they might invade homes or garages where they cannot go completely dormant due to the spaces being heated; or to get them out of interior walls of heated homes.
The traps only work on warm days after the ladybugs have gathered. Since they tend to gather when warm days are over, the traps turn out to be useless in the unheated outdoors where the ladybirds do go completely dormant.
Light traps as tested at Ohio, Georgia & Florida universities are VERY reliable in capturing warmed winter gatherings of ladybirds from enclosed areas where all other light sources (including starlight or streetlight through windows) has been extinguished or well-blocked. The traps do not harm the insects, nor even cause them to release their protective smell as vaccuuming does.
Here's a PDF file from USDA about black light traps for ladybugs: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/br/lbeetle/001030.trap.pdf
Some of the commercially made ones like Cooperseeds' product are very pricy ($65 to $140 for the device). If one didn't have an ongoing use for such a trap, it would be too much to pay. This one is cheaper: http://www.gaipm.org/factsheets/ldybttltrap.cfm but the company discussed, H&T Alternative Controls, seems to have no website, only an address, phone & fax. The H&T Alternative trap seems to be a variation of the Ohio State University ladybird trap, which can be built at home for next to nothing.
Some vendors of the expensive ultraviolet traps state that incadescent visible-light traps aren't as good, & the USDA seems to back that up. But Ohio State University has reported on tests of their own incadescent bulb trap which they say works very well, & it has the significant "plus" that you can make it for about $10 without any skills at making things, with a hanging light fixture, a couple of plastic milk bottles, some black paint, & talcolm powder to make the sides of the milkbottles unclimable. Here's the plans: http://ipm.osu.edu/lady/blt1.htm Same as with ultraviolet traps, it won't work on an open porch or when it is cold; it will work after a warm day, generally indoors, in a space that has no other light source. In those conditions, any of the light traps can capture nearly all the ladybirds without harming them.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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The house next to mine will be up for sale within 3 months. I need you for a neighbor. The existing neighbors are really boring. :-)
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Thanks, I'm going to look into this and give it a try. We've had cloudy and cool weather the last couple of days and the ladybugs are back down to a more tolerable level. Not sure what will happen if we have some sunny, warm days. Thanks, Lois
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I just have to say this... DAMN! You are one smart little lady!
Kate
| kelliptical-at-yahoo-dot-com wrote: | | > LAH wrote: | > > I hate the *%#$@ things! I know I'll be accused of being a troll but you | > > really have to be here to understand my hatred. My open front porch is on | > > the south side of the house. At this time of year it is virtually unusable | > > thanks to those red and black spotted menaces! Opening the front door is | > > like to walking into a swarm! Actually the front door simply can't be used | > > at this time of year. I wish the jerk who imported these things had to live | > > with them like I do. Kill a ladybug, save an aphid! | > > | > > | > | > A number of companies sell asian ladybug traps. They run about $30, | > though it sounds like you might need more than one. They use a | > combination of a battery-operated light and a pheromone lure to attract | > the ladybugs into a collector. | > | > Gardener's Supply sells them, as does the Vermont Country Store, and | > Cooper Seeds. | > | > www.gardeners.com | > www.vermontcountrystore.com | > www.cooperseeds.com | > | > | > -Kelly | | I've never seen one in use except in photographs, but don't think the | useful ones are battery-operated. Pheremone ladybird traps really don't | work -- or they do work moderately well for sampling during spring | breeding, but that's not useful for getting rid of lots of them or for | house invasions when they're trying to hibernate, not reproduce. But | light-traps do work very well under specific conditions. | | Most of these light-traps incorporate one to several flourescent black | lights, which require starters & ballasts, which I'm not sure are ever | battery-operable, but maybe. You wouldn't need a lot of them, as the traps | are useful only in capturing the ladybugs during their mass-overwintering | when they might invade homes or garages where they cannot go completely | dormant due to the spaces being heated; or to get them out of interior | walls of heated homes. | | The traps only work on warm days after the ladybugs have gathered. Since | they tend to gather when warm days are over, the traps turn out to be | useless in the unheated outdoors where the ladybirds do go completely | dormant. | | Light traps as tested at Ohio, Georgia & Florida universities are VERY | reliable in capturing warmed winter gatherings of ladybirds from enclosed | areas where all other light sources (including starlight or streetlight | through windows) has been extinguished or well-blocked. The traps do not | harm the insects, nor even cause them to release their protective smell as | vaccuuming does. | | Here's a PDF file from USDA about black light traps for ladybugs: | http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/br/lbeetle/001030.trap.pdf | | Some of the commercially made ones like Cooperseeds' product are very | pricy ($65 to $140 for the device). If one didn't have an ongoing use for | such a trap, it would be too much to pay. This one is cheaper: | http://www.gaipm.org/factsheets/ldybttltrap.cfm | but the company discussed, H&T Alternative Controls, seems to have no | website, only an address, phone & fax. The H&T Alternative trap seems to | be a variation of the Ohio State University ladybird trap, which can be | built at home for next to nothing. | | Some vendors of the expensive ultraviolet traps state that incadescent | visible-light traps aren't as good, & the USDA seems to back that up. But | Ohio State University has reported on tests of their own incadescent bulb | trap which they say works very well, & it has the significant "plus" that | you can make it for about $10 without any skills at making things, with a | hanging light fixture, a couple of plastic milk bottles, some black paint, | & talcolm powder to make the sides of the milkbottles unclimable. Here's | the plans: | http://ipm.osu.edu/lady/blt1.htm | Same as with ultraviolet traps, it won't work on an open porch or when it | is cold; it will work after a warm day, generally indoors, in a space that | has no other light source. In those conditions, any of the light traps can | capture nearly all the ladybirds without harming them. | | -paghat the ratgirl | | -- | "Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher. | "Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature. | -from Peter Newell's "Wild Flowers" | Visit the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl: http://www.paghat.com
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Hmmmmmm, interesting! I'll have to look into it. Thanks
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YES they are miserable, and they BITE, (I have been told they're drinking the moisture on the surface of the skin). And they show up by the millions! Thanks!

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I have experienced the same problem of swarms of ladybugs covering the sunny side of my house and making it impossible to open the door without having them swarm inside.
It isn't the regular ladybugs doing this, but some invasive oriental strain which showed up in New England about 10 years ago. They are colored differently than the good ones that you want to control your aphids. Unfortunately, these invasive foreign lady bugs have no natural predators here and are a problem. They were written up in our newspaper some years ago which is where I learned about them.
They seem to be attracted to yellow things, which is the color of our house, hence the swarming. There isn't anything I can do until they go away which they do in a week or so. Meanwhile, I go in and out via the garage door on the side.
If you squash them they leave a nasty yellow stain. When they get inside I scoop them into a container with a piece of paper.
They are truly loathsome. If you haven't run into them, consider yourself lucky. -- Jenny - Low Carbing for 5 years. Below goal for weight. Type 2 diabetes, hba1c 5.7 . Cut the carbs to respond to my email address!
Jenny's new site: What they Don't Tell You About Diabetes http://www.geocities.com/lottadata4u /
Jenny's Low Carb Diet Facts & Figures http://www.geocities.com/jenny_the_bean /
Looking for help controlling your blood sugar? Visit http://www.alt-support-diabetes.org/Newly%20Diagnosed.htm

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