Monday, March 31, 2008

don't bring that near me it smells like ladybug


One of the great and dreadful signs of impending spring in New England is the infestation of ladybugs. Actually about 2 months ago they came out on an unseasonably warm afternoon, it was seriously akin to the plagues in Egypt, (which had Moses story been set in New England I am sure the plagues would have been ticks and mosquitoes, ladybugs and Japanese beetle bugs)- they were swarming everywhere- I remember my son dashing in from the bus- coat pulled up over his head trying to battle his way to the front door all the while being bombarded by the tiny flying beetles! I opened the door shouting to confused child to run for it- he made it over the threshold we slammed the door and stopped to breathe and take in the collateral damage over 60 lady bugs were now crawling on the inside of our entryway window). And lo the season is upon us- now let me state for the record- there are few things I truly hate- but definitely at the top of my 5 HATED THINGS is the smell of ladybugs- when I talk about this most people think I am crazy. It is a little known fact that when a ladybug feels threatened it exerts a foul smelling liquid from its legs. This my friends is the worst part of lady bug season. I am not cruel to ladybugs and actually engage my children in a humane ladybug resettlement program, they capture them by the containerful and move the stinking suckers outside. My oldest tried to create a distracting lure out of legos for them yesterday when that didn't work he moved on to a and then a slightly more forceful bionicle ball shooter to "blast them off the high parts of the window" so they would drop down to reaching length.
Now the worst part is the ladybugs favorite hangout-- my bathroom window-- they seem to prefer places that get morning sun this much I have learned (or maybe they just think I am really HOT!) Whatever the reason, they flock to this window 40 or so at a time- and this makes my bathroom stink like ladybugs! So if i smell very strongly of my favorite escada perfumes these days- it is for my own benefit to overpower the foul ladybug stench. Truly few things cause me such dismay- I remember laughing because a friend in jr. high once put down her greatest fear was... nuclear war? famine?, economic crisis? no...killer bees-- and well i guess to be honest by comparison my fear of ladybug stink is quite wimpy by comparison. I am sure my children will growing up remembering their mothers classic line "Don't bring that near me it smells like ladybug!!"

15 comments:

Chel said...

I really haven't ever been around lady bugs-- I mean I've seen them all and had one crawl on my arm.. but I didn't know that enough of them together would cause a stench. Yuck!

This was such a cute post!

Sonja said...

Wow, we rarely see ladybugs around here and I didn't know they stink. How crazy!

smart mama said...

you guys definitely need to come experience ladybugs en mass

Cathy said...

I agree, the stink is awful.
When we bought our home, I called my realtor thinking that the builders did something wrong, like forget to seal the windows. How else would ALL (hundreds) of these bugs get into my home? It was brand new. She explained something about a warm fall. It's typical, no big deal. HA!
I find these critters to be more of a nuisance in the fall/winter. I have resorted to vacuuming them since there are so many on my windows. I then must throw out the bag so it doesn't stink the next time I vaccuum. Ugh!

Arlyn said...

Hello...I'm a stranger here. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the idea of a lego ladybug trap. And to say that I didn't know they could stink! I do know they're good for gardens and roses!

Amber said...

They look like such pretty, innocent little things! I didn't know they had a smell either.

LL said...

WHY i have never experiences the stink. We were hosting many a lady bug in our upstairs and I didn't notice a smell. perhaps I did and I blamed it on the boys!
oh well, better lady bugs than TICKS! that's the next seasonal treat.

smart mama said...

okay LL- must perform science experiment- go pick up some of them shaketrhem around in your hands for a second and smell- or get your boys to do it with clean hands - you must smell the ladybugs!!

Suzie Soda said...

who knew lady bugs stink....I learn something new from you everyday. I am a grandma again...check out my new blog:
>
Here's my link: http://suziesoda.blogspot.com/
>

Courtney said...

I never realized they stink either. Living in the desert, we get very few ladybugs.

We're Wingin It said...

Wow, that is gross--and kinda funny. I was bit by some ladybug looking things (although they were orange and it was fall) in Chicago. They were everywhere! I couldn't believe I was being attacked by them. I can understand how gross and annoying they can be.

Cathy said...

Someone told me (at length during dinner) that these are more of the beetle family. I'm not sure that's true, but read this article I just found.

http://www.clemson.edu/hampton/local/pdf/ladybug.pdf

Oh, and no, I will not put them in my mouth.

The Orton's said...

I too must admit that I have never experienced the lady bug smell - nor do I really want to. I do have the infestation of the lady bugs though. (yuck!) But not yet because we still have 3 FEET OF SNOW on the ground.

Anonymous said...

The middle of January and one of those orange ladybugs just landed in front of me. I know it sounds crazy but I'm terrified of them. I have to have someone else kill it and show me the body before I can go near the room it was in again. Am I alone in this ?

Abby said...

They really are ladybugs - the Multicolored Asian Ladybug (Harmonia axyridis), to be exact. They are well-known for biting and home invasion, and of course that awful smell! They are still beneficial in gardens, because like all ladybugs they eat a LOT of insect pests like aphids, but overall it wasn't a great idea to import them from Asia! They are threatening the populations of our native ladybugs, and if you're a wine-lover, you won't like knowing that they eat grapes in the fall and sometimes wind up being turned into wine - which then tastes terrible!

I love ladybugs, you might be able to tell...but the Multicolor Asian Ladybug I could sure live without!