Friday, June 18, 2010

The Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz

During our final Master Gardener class at the end of April, Dr. Mary Gardiner, from the Entomology Department of The Ohio State University in Wooster, OH, paid us a visit and talked about one of my favorite insects - the lady beetle or ladybug.

Mary educated us about the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz program, which is studying the effect that non-native lady beetle species are having on the native species, which has been in decline.  Ladybugs play an important role in natural pest control in agriculture.

Volunteers in the program will place yellow sticky traps in their gardens for one week in June and one week in August, then identify any lady beetles that may have gotten caught in the traps. The sticky traps are then sent back to Wooster for evaluation and inclusion in all the data collected for the study.

I'm participating in the study and this is the first week for the trap in my garden.  It's placed in the middle of Max's Garden, where the plants are the most plentiful on our property.  I checked it earlier today and while there were many insects caught on the trap, I didn't recognize any lady beetles.

That doesn't mean there aren't any lady beetles on the trap though. Dr. Gardiner had brought specimens of lady beetles and I was surprised to see that we have some here that are no larger than a pinhead!

In 1975, the Ohio legislature named the ladybug Ohio's state insect.


Mary G said...

Hi Kylee, thank you for blogging about the BLBB, your garden is amazing!! I am really excited to see the June results from everyone. Mary

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It will be intersting to see if you capture any ladybeetles. I wonder what kind of bugs you will get.

Anonymous said...

Sure to be an interesting project. :)

F Cameron said...

I especially notice the non-native ladybeetles that try to come inside my mudroom door when the weather turns cold. Can I put a sticky trap inside my house? :-) I'll send thousands!

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