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E-M:/ lady beetles & other insect population booms



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Enviro-Mich message from Anne Cox <coxa@MAIL.LIB.MSU.EDU>
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Ladybugs on apples:  my observation is that ladybugs, Asian and native, are
attracted by damaged fruit.  I've never seen them inflict the damage
themselves.  I have had clouds of Asian ladybugs in my area for 3 years now,
and I see them only on fruit or plants that were previously attacked by
deer, rabbits, birds, japanese beetles, june beetles, or, my particular
bane, rose chafer beetles.  Birds did an enormous amount of fruit damage
this year, does anyone know why?  

They may not be tasty to birds, but a sunny west window in late afternoon
and a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool will wipe out the household
population.  I've seen flickers eat them, but they don't seem to feast on
them.

Along with the rising population of ladybugs, we have had an incredible
praying mantis population boom.  I assume they were released for pest
control.  Are the mantis' released native?  Both populations began to rise
in our township at the same time, about 3 years ago.

The other less pleasant population boom has been in carpenter bees.  I had
never heard of these insects before, but my house and the houses of several
geographically scattered acquaintances were dramatically attacked by them
this summer.  They do severe structural damage; think of airborne termites.


Is there an entomological survey somewhere that tracks the rise and fall of
insect species populations in the state?  It would be an interesting
research project for someone out there.



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