Archive for Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ladybugs released to fight pest problem

The Lawrence Parks and Recreation Horticulture Department tries an alternative to pesticides, releasing tens of thousands of ladybugs in city parks and other spots around town.

June 26, 2008


Eighteen-thousand ladybugs now have a new place to call home.

The city's horticulture division released the tiny insects Thursday evening at 14 spots around town, including Buford Watson Park and the Union Pacific Depot.

They hope the beneficial bugs will be a pesticide-free alternative to fighting the aphid problem that's plaguing flowers in the city's parks this year.

"The aphids have an unusually high population this year because of the cool, cloudy weather that we've had, and it's also a problem in many of the local greenhouses," the city's horticulture manager, Crystal Miles, said. "We think the populations have perhaps built up a resistance to any kind of pesticide treatment we might use, and maybe this is a better alternative for us to try to control them naturally."

The ladybugs were released in the evening during what's typically their quiet time when they're less likely to fly away, Miles said. And Thursday night you could already see hundreds of them hard at work.

She said the price was right, too. The parks and rec department purchased all 18,000 ladybugs over the internet from a company in Montana for just $43.

They hope to see results in the next few days.


gr 9 years, 10 months ago

One wonders if there is any means to determine if this program "works". How would they determine if it's successful?Oh wait, I know. If the aphids disappear in a few weeks, that is all the "proof" we need. Global warmists would go with that idea: large number of aphids, release ladybugs, fewer aphids = don't need to consider anything else since the correlation proves success!

kugrad 9 years, 10 months ago

I've used ladybugs (just went out and caught em by the river) to get rid of aphids on my roses and it worked like a charm. They will move on, but not before they eat. It was very effective. They were released in the morning, gone by the next day, and the aphids were history.

TKELuke 9 years, 10 months ago

18,000 ladybugs for $43 sounds like a good deal to me.The people up in Maine have been doing this sort of thing for years now. They use dragonflies to control their mosquito problems. Even Wasps have been used to fight off Japanese beetle infestations. It's so much better to use bugs to fight bugs than to put poison in our parks!

EarthaKitt 9 years, 10 months ago

My family owns green houses in the region and has relied this year on lady bugs rather than pesticides to control the population of undesirable bugs. After a single season we have seen great success. A bonus for the consumer is that they may take these cool little bugs to their own gardens for personal pest control. (Euw.) What harm does it do to give this tried and true strategy a whirl? For 43 bucks you can't go wrong.Fodder for you perpetual commentators: 1. Trying out lady bugs first is a heck of a lot cheaper than out of state pest control consultants.2. Maybe the city should have released ladybugs at Last Call!

50YearResident 9 years, 10 months ago

Breaking News: Lady Bug Outbreak!Lady Bug infestation can be controlled by $50,000 treatment. Without treatment infestation takes over entire city.

Toto_the_great 9 years, 10 months ago

One exotic to control another? Is this going to be like the Simpson's episode when the lizard's are running rampant...Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?Skinner: No problem. We simply release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!Skinner: No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

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