I tried to research why we had such a large number of ladybugs in our attic. I read that most ladybug infestations are the Asian Lady Beetle variety. As soon as there is a hard frost they look for a cool, dry place to spend the winter. If the temperature rises indoors the ladybeetles’ metabolism gears up for summer again, but if that happens too soon a high metabolism and no food can cause them to use up their winter reserves and die. I guess the attic might get quite warm with the sun blazing down on it in winter, so perhaps that is the reason there are so many dead ones?
One ladybug I found at the cottage was rather different in colour to traditional ladybugs. It was an orange-spotted lady beetle.
Another interesting beetle I found was a Red Soldier Beetle. It is amazing just how many little bugs are crawling around when you start looking for them. I have not always been successful in identifying them.
I haven’t been able to track down what this little green guy is.
This bug came inside the cottage and had lovely markings on it. It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug and is actually considered a minor tree pest in North America. It feeds on the sap of developing conifers and causes developing seeds to wither. We have both Eastern White Pines and Scots Pines, which are two of the trees it likes to feast on, but I am not sure that they are causing a problem for us and we moved it outside and let it go.
I was very surprised to find that this little chap is a firefly. We have enjoyed watching them dancing at night and I had no idea what they actually look like. It was bigger than I expected a firefly to be. I guess when you see those tiny white lights dancing you are only seeing their lower abdomen, where the bioluminescence occurs. It gives the impression that they are much smaller because you don’t see the rest of the beetle in the dark.
One very splendid bug we found on the side of our car was a Katydid, which looks like a leaf. They are related to crickets and grasshoppers, which you can see when you look at the legs. They also have wings and can fly. They too make a sound of repetitive clicks and calls, although this one was quiet when we saw it. Apparently it sounds like someone saying, “Ka-ty-did, which is why its common name is Katydids.
Thankfully, we don’t get many deer fly. When we were looking for property, some places seemed to be a magnet for deer flies and one of the things we noticed about our place was the lack of deer flies and mosquitoes. Predators of the deer fly include nest-building wasps and hornets, but we didn’t see a huge increase in deer fly last year with our resident hornets evicted. Dragonflies and some birds are also predators of the deer fly and we do get lots of dragonflies.
On the subject of wasps, while going through my photographs I discovered I had missed talking about one type of wasp that we found when I was blogging about wasps. It is the Braconid wasp and I believe from what I have read that it is female because of its long ovipositor.
Whilst I am not keen on finding bugs in the cottage, I do enjoy finding them outside. They are fascinating to watch and can be quite impressive, especially ones like the Katydid. I have been using the word “bug” loosely, but a “bug” is actually an insect that can use its mouthparts to bite or suck. There are hundreds of thousands of insects, bugs and spiders in North America, so I think observing and photographing them is going to keep me busy for quite some time!