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Prepare for Asian ladybird beetle invasion

Soon, on a day when we least expect it, Asian ladybird beetles (let’s just call them Asian ladybugs) will invade homes by the hundreds and thousands. These insidious creatures were brought here purposely for insect control and now they are the ones that need controlling.

Asian ladybugs can squeeze through the smallest crack or hole, and sometime each fall, they enter our houses in droves. The worst part is they don’t always go into hibernation but, rather, make their presence known by crawling upon walls and ceilings and even people while they sleep. And these ladybugs bite. Unlike our domestic ladybugs, which have mouths that are too small to bite, the imported variety is perfectly able to gnaw on our thin hides.

So if in winter you wake up with bug bites, you can probably rest assured that the culprits were Asian ladybugs. To add insult to injury, the pests emit a foul odor when you squash them.

The best and only defense against these unwanted intruders is to not let them in in the first place. That means checking doors, door frames, windows and any other possible points of entry. It also means not leaving doors open for more time than it takes for access and egress. You may not keep them all out with these measures, but at least you can keep them from entering en masse.

By the way, Asian ladybugs all exit buildings at the same time, on a warm day in early spring. That’s a time to celebrate.

In the garden

All my bean varieties have gone by except for Serengeti French bush beans, which are putting out lots of new blossoms. These are sweet and tender and I’ll certainly plant them next year.

History note

From The Republican Journal, Dec. 27, 1900: “John Hopkins’ friends are pleased to hear that he gains fast. John Tate is quite sick with typhoid fever.”

Weekly quote

“The time will come when winter will ask what you were doing all summer.” — Henry Clay