Faculty and students of Lewis and Clark Community College have noticed a bug problem this spring. Asian Lady Beetles, which are closely related to the common ladybug, have infested cracks and openings throughout campus.
One way to distinguish an Asian Lady Beetle from a normal ladybug is that the non-native insect has a white head with black spots in the shape of an “M”. However, ladybugs are known to have black heads with small white dots.
The Asian Lady Beetles come from eastern Asia, were brought overseas to eat aphids and other plant sap eating insects. The invasive beetles were first discovered in Louisiana in 1888, and have since then spread across the U.S. and parts of Canada.
Reid Memorial Library is one area that has been a hotspot for these bugs.
“As far as I can tell, they don’t do any actual damage. They’re more of a nuisance than anything,” Greg Cash, assistant Director of Reference Services, said. However, the Asian Lady Beetles do leave stains and can produce an unpleasant odor.
Cracks and crevices in bathrooms, classrooms, hallways, and Reid Restaurant have been turned into a home by the Asian Lady Beetles.
“I’ve noticed the Asian Lady Beetle problem at school, I think as long as they aren’t a threat to the students then it’s nothing to be concerned about. They’re just bugs and ladybug-ish bugs at that,” Radio Broadcasting major Makena Carmen said.
L&C is aware of the present bug problem that may be nothing more than annoyance, but still requires attention.
“The college uses Garella Pest Services and they have done spot treatments at various locations on campus where the beetles have been a problem. Garella will also do a campus-wide treatment this fall to reduce the beetles’ presence next spring,” Gary Ayres, L&C vice president of administration said.
For those wanting to dive deeper into the insect world and learn more about their behaviors and makeup, L&C offers an applied entomology class to those interested. The course description can be found at http://catalog.lc.edu/, along with all other offered classes.
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