[Market-farming] Aisia beetles

Mary Jo Forbord sustainablefarming at hcinet.net
Fri Oct 10 10:23:38 EDT 2003

I understand that these beetles have been introduced as a predator for the soybean aphid.  Does the problem start from having too many soybeans grown as a monoculture?
Mary Jo Forbord
Starbuck, MN   56381

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bill Shoemaker 
  To: Market Farming 
  Sent: Friday, October 10, 2003 9:12 AM
  Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Aisia beetles

  The beetle being described here is NOT a beneficial, even though it's a lady beetle, specifically the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle. It is a pest on soft fruit, like raspberries, peaches, plums, grapes. They can also be a pest in apples if the apples have a crack or wound they can get into. They feed on the high-sugar tissue prior to hibernation. They bite because we feel like soft fruit to them and they're trying us out. 

  Ever notice how foul they smell when you crush them? Try crushing grapes with a few in the clusters. Wine made with the bettles in the grapes ought to really make an impression. 

  That's why I call them a pest, not a beneficial. To make things worse, we've had an introduction of their favorite food into the Midwest, the soybean aphid. The huge populations of this aphid (which are here to stay) support the population of this lady beetle. When the soybeans mature and the leaves begin to dry up, the aphids begin to move to their overwintering sites. The beetles begin looking for alternative food sources, particularly soft fruit. They also look for their own overwintering sites. Our buildings are ideal. 

  This should be a new era of relationship with lady beetles!

  Bill Shoemaker
  Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
  Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jill Taylor Bussiere <jdt at itol.com>
    To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
    Date: Friday, October 10, 2003 7:41 AM
    Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Aisia beetles

    These Asian ladybugs taste really bad.  I guess it would be worth it if one had a really bad toothache.

    We too are infested with them, here in Northeastern Wisconsin. 

    I wonder if Asian ladybugs taste worse or better than the friendly kind?


      If you have the measles or a toothache, you are in luck! From an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Oct. 8th:

      Noble history: Ladybugs are considered a symbol of good luck in many cultures. In the 1800s, English doctors used them to treat measles. They also believed that mashed ladybugs placed in an aching tooth cavity would control pain.


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