Tuesday, December 6, 2016


For years, each spring, I would lace my garden with lady bugs--the natural predators of aphids and other noxious insects. Hundreds came in bags for sale at the garden store. My children and I would set them free and at first it was like a crowded day at Disneyland. Eventually, they would dissipate throughout the garden; some would fly away, and others made their way into the house, especially when the weather changed.

Ladybugs are a sign of good luck. They are cute, cute, cute, and never could I think of them as ordinary insects in the kitchen. Over the years, I have tolerated the occasional good-luck presence of a ladybug. This winter, their presence has been especially prolific! When I find one in the morning, it is feasting on the pomegranate scraps left on a plate, or a dried drip of juice on the cupboard.

 I suspect I shouldn't not mind ladybugs in the kitchen, after all, they are insects, and insects have no business in my kitchen. Beetles are a bane to any kitchen pantry and the ladybug is a member of the beetle family.  However, I just learned that ladybugs were invited onto NASA's 1999 space shuttle, and consequently were a part of the shuttle's kitchen. There were four, and their names were Ringo, John, Paul, and George. The beetles were part of a gravity experiment, which I understand, they did very well in a non-gravity environment.

 My winter invasion is caused from ladybug hibernation patterns. They most likely cluster underneath the outside house-trim. Because of the southwest exposure to the sun, the outside walls warm, and they move inside.

It is even possible to keep ladybugs as pets! As long as the pet-keeper moves them into the garden in spring.