Bug Me! ~ Ladybug Houses


Bug Me! Ladybug Introduction House

Ever get tired of being bugged by the bugs? The Dali Lama says it all starts with annoyance and that if we just simply love, everything would be great. Could be it's all in the approach and our fighting, fighting itself empowering the war ~ like "the terrorist". What if a war with insects only empowers them and that war itself doesn't work. What if we try empowering Nature and our insects. We can never win an insect war.

Fossil remains show that when the first ancient reptiles crawled outta the oceans they met highly developed dragonflies with 6 foot wing spans and 3 foot ants already working in colonies. This early gator-like critters had no lateral movement and chemical reactions in their heads instead of brains. Not flying or social for sure. Mammals show up much much later ~ we seem a sort of Mother Nature's after thought with our simple 36 paired chromosomes. Chromosome number and complexity develop over time and today, insects have hundreds of chromosomes and hundreds of each of those. Say some insect has 500 chromosomes. It might have 10 of the first one, 30 of the next, 300 of the next, one of the next, 600 of the next, one of the next and so on. Think mutation and realize that they can completely change from one generation to the next on any traits where they have just one chromosome. Where they have hundreds ~ they have hundreds of genetic choices in their hundreds of offspring. Some have more chromosomes for a trait than offspring. This is called genetic potential. Humans and mammals have no such genetic potential within one generation.

I just love all that Cleopatra shared with Western culture. The ancient Egyptians were the largest wheat farmer the world has ever know AND the most successful for over 14,000 years. Just living in Florida for 5 years I've learned how grain bugs love the tropics and note how African bugs eat Florida bugs before breakfast where they have been accidentally introduced!!! Do U really think the Egyptians developed a whole religion around beetles/scarabs just because they thought they were cute? Or were the world's most successful organic wheat farmers on to something? They loved and worshiped a ladybug cousin, a mealy bug predator! Well Duh! U see, wheat was free in Egypt being holy from Ra. It was nurtured, loved and empowered in everyway by everyone. Small beetles laid their eggs in the fields and hatched in storage. When their silos were emptied, where the most beautiful wheat had been stored were left these cute little happy healthy beetles! They meant life to them and they worshiped Life. When Cleopatra was forced to increase her wheat shipments to Rome she included in the contract that the wheat must never be sold and that her ladybugs had to be respected. Their "Dole" is the origin of welfare system and our love of the ladybug today!

Beetles (Coleoptera) are the largest order of insects and the most diverse. There are 6,000 species of ladybugs (coccinellidae) with 98 native in Florida, 16 species being commercially sold in Florida. They range from neon blue to beige to black. Only one is red with black spots. The orange 7 spotted ladybug (eats aphids) and the tiny black with 2 red dots, twice stabbed ladybugs (eats fruit scales) are two of our most important Florida natives. Convergence ladybugs (what you buy at a nursery) are broad range California imports eating adult garden pest. And why do we call them ladybugs? Well, Europe continued to respect Cleo's scarabs up until the Protestant Reformation where they were damned as idolatry and heresy. The name was changed to honor Queen Mary (or Bloody Mary for her love of folks on pikes and murder). She is the Lady of ladybugs and was much hated. They were and are called ladybirds in England, continued to be much loved and respected becoming the subject of much pro-environmental, anti-Queen Mary art. Today's ladybug art does conjure quite a different emotion from our cockroach/termite ads. Look to John Lennon or Volkswagon!

The Romans had much pro-beetle art and named them Coleo-ptera or armored wing, a name showing great respect from a warrior people . Today that armored wing has become an issue. Much beetle armor will no longer absorb pesticides. The chemical companies never foresaw this resistance coming. These companies have made much worse chemical and are poisoning the whole world. Why not let the insect eat the insects ~ like they have always done and are naturally designed to do? Put their genetics to work for us instead of against us. Make friends with them. Take one to lunch. Any kinda critter will stay around if you feed them!

Bug Me! is an insect introductory program designed with an integrated sustainability approach. We must not only start working together as communities but integrating into and sustaining nature. Nature MUST take the lead at this point. The Chinese use water and flooding to control insects/weeds/drought in rice. Masters of integrated sustainable agriculture and biological control, we might look to some of their more ancient devices ~ putting pottery snake holders in their springs to give their snakes (rodent eating water guards) a nice home or the bee hive giving the honey makers a nice manageable place to thrive. Management as opposed to kill everything could work. The Bug Me! bug house is made of cypress and can be reused. Get ur neighbors involved! It's a good way to meet them and start building an integrated sustainable community built to nurture Nature.

Bug Me! come with house (4"x 4"), canopy, a prepaid insect order form postage included, 3 cups of insect diet, water bowl and instructions for $29.95. Pint of insects is divided into 3 parts and introduced every 2 weeks. Keep ladybugs in refrigerator until use.

Contact Pat High at 386-546-6554 or email pmhigh@yahoo.com. Check www.pmhigh.com for updates!

9 species of Ladybug Larva


How to Love a Ladybug Colony

Ladybugs are everywhere. Especially where there is food. Each ladybug species eats a different insect diet. There are 126 ladybug species in Florida, 100 native species and 26 introduced species. Some eat scales. Of the scale eaters, the Twice Stabbed Ladybug is the most broad based in diet and most effective in Florida citrus scale control. Of the bug eaters, the 7 Spotted Ladybug is the most broad based in diet and effective overall predator in Florida. The 11 Spotted Ladybug is the most effective aphid control on Earth, esp. the larva! Adult flying ladybugs patrol so your plants have many ladybugs on patrol already. They are attracted by the pheromones (smells) put off by their insect prey. The adult flying ladybugs patrol in grids searching for smells and colors then swoop down, crawl around and eat bugs AND bug eggs. They might stay there awhile crawling around looking for more. They might even lay eggs, most especially if there is a lot of their diet around. We can use the existing insects as our “bait” to attract the ladybug species we want. The goal is to attract them to lay eggs and have ladybug larva near your garden. Remember, ladybug larva are the most effective insect predator on Earth more so than the adults patrollers. Larva can be species specific or broad range eating as many as 14,000 eggs a day.

1. Put Bug Me! Lady house where you have a large area of plants you want patrolled by ladybugs. In the tree area, near base of trees or garden area 1 to 3 feet from ground.

2. Keep sponge wet with water. During spring, prepared ladybug diet or sugar water can be used to stimulate colony ~ get them going early so to speak.

3. Replace sponge often. Ladybug screw up sponges like crazy.

4. Clean out once a year in summer. Disassemble and soak in 5% bleach solution for an hour. Rinse, let dry and reassemble. Let dry until wood swelling from soaking is gone.

5. Replace in same or better spot. Best not to move it around.

6. Different species are attracted to different colors. One might try and discover what is “your ladybugs” favorite color. Where shirt and use paints that are “your” color. They are usually attracted to their own color and ladybugs come in every color of the rainbow ~ most ladybugs are black in color but are attracted to white!

7. You won’t really notice your colony in the Ladybug House until cool weather when they cluster. Do not open often when cold. Cypress wood and heavy top are good insulation for colony.

8. Keep sponge wet with clean water year round.

Good Luck & Good Bug Blessings

Bug Me! Ladybug Introduction House

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