Monday, June 9, 2014

"Release the bugs," I say!

This year instead of joining the homeschool group like we normally do, we bought lady bugs and released them on Promise Farm for a handy form of natural pest control.  I'm not sure if the stuck around very long, but we did see them for about a week after we released them.

We reviewed what we knew about Lady Bugs and discussed how we would gently release them.  We looked at the different lady bug parts as well as what the eat.

Some of the facts we reviewed about lady bugs this week: 
  • Ladybugs are related to beetles.  Beetles and ladybugs are insects.
  • Ladybugs are considered good luck by many!
  • Ladybugs come in many colors--yellow, orange, pink, and red. Some ladybugs are black with red spots. Some have no spots at all, several we had were spotless and many had just a few spots.
  • Birds don't eat ladybugs because their bright colors are a warning that they don't taste good, which is good because we have a lot of robins.
  • Ladybugs use their feet to smell. Do you use your feet to smell?NO!  Bear said, some people have smelly feet!  UGH  6 year olds!
  • Ladybugs have sticky feet too.  
  • Ladybugs like to form large groups, like families.  It helps to keep them warm, according to scientists. 
  • Ladybugs experience four stages of growth.  --Like other insects, ladybugs will go through four stages. They are egg, larva, pupa and adult ladybug.
  • Ladybugs can fly about 15 miles per hour.  --The highest speed of most ladybugs is about 15 miles per hour. That is much slower than other insects. (Some dragonflies can fly 60 miles per hour).
  • Ladybugs hibernate.   -- During the winter, when it is very cold, ladybugs will hibernate. That means they rest until it gets warmer.
  • A female/girl ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
  • Aphids are a ladybug's favorite food.
Here (Ladybug Fact Sheet) is a fact sheet I created.  Feel free to download and print for your own personal use.

We also got some Preying Mantis egg pod things.

These little guys were a lot smaller than I thought they would be. 

Have you ever released little critters in your yard?  Next on our agenda will be looking at bat house designs.  Hubs spied some bats the other night.  I think that's kind of awesome, and a great way for us to have fewer bugs!

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