October 22, 2009

Ladybugs Come Out In Massive Numbers

Swarms of ladybugs are causing problems for many Americans this season, and even pest control workers are not immune to being bugged.

"Every night when I get home and it's dark, I turn on the lights and I have them to greet me. A lot of them," Gene Scholes, entomologist for Reliable Pest Solutions in Quincy, Illinois, told the Associated Press.

Scholes uses his household vacuum cleaner to eliminate the massive ladybug swarms.

Experts claim that ladybugs form larger swarms on warm days after cooler weather.

This year, the insects have been witnessed in increasingly high numbers in portions of Illinois, which Phil Nixon, entomologist from the University of Illinois, said could be caused by the presence of soybean aphids.

"Based on casual observation, many think we haven't had this many Asian lady beetles before," Nixon told the AP.

"People don't like them because they smell bad," he added, referring to their ability to keep predatory birds from eating them using their bad scent.

Swarms have been sighted in Massachusetts and even Canada, according to the AP.

"I thought I was going crazy. I've never seen so many of them in a group like that before," Toronto resident Carolyn Weaver told the Toronto Star. "They just looked so beautiful "” like some ladybug conference "” because of the red color against my black door."