29 September 2011

An Unexpected Party

When Mother Nature does something in Iowa, she usually doesn't do small.  So when Evelyn first pointed out a twelve-spotted lady beetle, it wasn't long before it was two.
Then ten.
Then a couple hundred.
Then thousands.
The weather just happened to be perfect for them, compounded by the commencement of harvesting--their corn and soybean forests had dried up and were being razed down, leaving nothing for their voracious appetites.
It's funny what they're attracted to--mostly the white siding on the house and the vibrantly colored plastic toys.  We didn't spend a lot of time outdoors while they were around.  If they weren't scaling the walls of the plastic jungle gym, they were swarming the air.  When they landed on any exposed skin, they were more often than not inclined to nip.
I won't complain too much.  At least they, like their cousins, the charming American ladybug, munch on harmful aphids.  I'd take an unexpected party of lady beetles over bloodsucking mosquitoes, stable flies or something worse, like cockroaches or bed bugs (shudder) any day.

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