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The MTC Green Team has tee shirts for sale with this logo on the front. Small and Medium Tee shirts are $12.00 and will be ordered. XXLarge Tee shirts are $13.00 and will be ordered. We have 3 XLarge and 8 Large tee shirts available for immediate purchase. Please contact Elena Martinez-Vidal (vidale@midlandstech.edu) to get yours.

Profits from tee-shirt sales go to the Congaree Swamp fund and also help the green team purchase more recycling bins.

So Why the ladybug?

Ladybugs

Ladybug! Ladybug!
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire
And your children all gone.
All except one,
And that's little Ann,
For she has crept under
The frying pan.

MOTHER GOOSE NURSEY RHYME

Have you wondered why the MTC Green Team has a ladybug on its web page? Or why we have a ladybug prominently displayed on our tee shirts? In the past month, you have probably seen many ladybugs congregating outside your home or at work. This (November) is the time of year in South Carolina when the ladybugs are preparing for winter hibernation and are looking for good places for it.

These tiny round spotted bugs are really beetles. In South Carolina, we mainly have the multi-colored Asian Lady Beetles (Harmonia Axyridis). Lady beetles, also called lady bird beetles, are beneficial to crops because they consume up to 5,000 aphids or other soft bodied pest in their lifetime (University of Kentucky Entomology – Online). Ladybugs do not harm structures, do not sting, do not bite, and do not carry human diseases, but they can stain clothing if you squash them (The State Newspaper, Nov. 11, 2001). You can buy them to help deal with infestations of aphids. You can also buy ladybug houses in order to let them winter nearby (Ladybug Houses at BestNest.com).

Like all beetles, ladybugs go through a metamorphosis consisting of egg, larval, pupal and adult stages (Entomology Notes #6, Michigan Entomological Society – Online). They hibernate in the winter, usually under ground covering, vegetation, logs or buildings, mostly the southern or western sides. If ladybugs invade your home, vacuum them up and then release them far from the house (http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/lady-bugs-c-135.html).

If you want to attract ladybugs or if you buy them to help with an infestation, you need to have a variety of flowering plants, high humidity, and lots of aphid for them to eat (Vegetarian Times, July, 1997). Once they have eaten all the pests, the ladybugs will move on to other bug-ridden areas.

Worldwide there are over 4,000 different kinds of lady beetles, with about 350 types residing in North America (Entomology Notes #6, Michigan Entomological Society – Online). The name "ladybug" began in the middle Ages. It was believed that they "came from Heaven to save crops" (Hippodamia Convergens: Narrative – Online). They were therefore called "Beetles of Our Lady" and were dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Today the French still call them "bÍtes du bon Dieu" (creatures of the good God) or "les vaches de la Vierge" (cows of the Virgin). In Germany, they are referred to as "Marienkafer", which means "Mary’s beetles" (Entomology Notes #6, Michigan Entomological Society – Online).

The ladybug is a symbol of good crops and good luck. The MTC Green Team has adopted the Ladybug, a natural pest remover, as a symbol of sustainable environmentalism. To learn more about these beneficent bugs go to the following web sites:

http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/harmonia.html

http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol/predators/hippodamia.html

http://www.thebeneficialinsectco.com/

http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/MES/notes/entnotes6.html

http://www.cce.cornell.edu/factsheets/pest-fact-sheets/lady-beetle.html

http://www.doyourownpestcontrol.com/lady_bugs.htm?source=overture

http://www.ladybuglady.com/LadybugsFAQ.htm

http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/fldcrops/ef105.htm

http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0820/n239/19587349/p1/article.jhtml

To buy ladybugs or ladybug houses, go to:

http://www.buglogical.com/ladybugs.shtml

http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/ladybug_houses.asp?src=findwhat&kw=ladybug_houses