They came in droves but no one knows where from. You find them in your homes and cars, scuttling across your windows. They line the sidewalks and entryways of every building.
They’re Asian Lady Beetles, and they’re back.
But it hasn’t always been this way. The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis, was first introduced to California in 1916 by the USDA to help control pecan aphid populations and have since popped up across the country, first sighted in Minnesota in 1994. Though they are often confused with our native ladybug, these beetles are most commonly orange, instead of red, a little bit larger, and have a characteristic “M” shaped marking behind their head.
If you live in Minnesota, odds are that you are well in the midst of a full autumn invasion of the festively colored Asian Lady Beetles, but why?
The truth is, the concept of a plant or animals purpose isn’t as cut and dry as many would like. This makes sense. People are always trying to determine their purpose, their deeper meaning, and trying to answer age old questions like “What’s the meaning of life?”. When we start looking outward, we start trying to apply that same thought logic, but that’s just not how life really works. This is a topic I will be sure to explore more in-depth in a future podcast episode devoted to this idea of purpose.
That being said, everything plays a role in its ecosystem. Yes, even ticks. So what are those roles? I’ll explain!