Friday, April 29, 2016
I grew up in the middle of a corn field. Living on a farm you see many different creatures from spiders, mosquitos, and butterflies. It seemed that every year there was a new insurgence of some creature. One year it was grasshoppers. You couldn't walk outside in flip-flops in the grass without getting a grasshopper underneath your foot. Then one year we had toads everywhere. My cats and dog enjoyed playing with those. We had ones about the size of a quarter to about the size of my fist. But there was one year where we had the attack of the Asian Lady Beetle or Harmonia axyridis. This insect is not natural to the United States. It was brought in for pest control. They eat aphids that can be harmful to agriculture, but now they themselves have become a pest. They started becoming a problem in the 1990s. I remember being at home and seeing so many in the windowsill. It was typical to find them crawling on my walls or near my windows. I had a playhouse, but it was taken over by Asian Lady Beetle corpses. This goes to show some of the effects that biological control can have.