Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ladybugs, Praying Mantis, and other So-called Beneficials. Are They?

The native polished lady beetle, a good one
I recently published an article on ladybugs, better called lady beetles, in Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. My purpose was to explain that not all lady beetles are beneficial. Unfortunately some are introduced species which disrupt the ecosystems, competing with and even killing some of the native ones.

Polished lady beetle larva (Cycloneda munda)

In writing the article and later reading people's responses, a more serious problem caught my attention. Companies that sell lady beetles are causing more damage than good. Well-intentioned gardeners buy them without realizing the consequences of introducing non-native lady beetles or the pests that they carry.

An invasion of Asian lady beetles. More trouble than they are worth
This led me to want to learn more about other bio-controls or biological pests controls being sold to unwary gardeners. I will be writing in the future about praying mantis and their commercialization. This seems to be a bigger problem than that of lady beetles. For now, just look at these pictures. More coming up later on.

Tenodera sinensis sinensis (Chinese Mantid)


© Beatriz Moisset. 2013