A roaring fire in the hearth, coats and mittens hanging in the foyer and windblown leaves racing around outside are all signs that winter has arrived. Many Georgians may want to add lady beetles on the ceilings to that list.
Each winter, more and more Asian lady beetles often called ladybugs travel into homes seeking shelter from the cold. They may be beneficial in the garden, but they arent typically welcomed indoors.
Asian lady beetles are one of several species in Georgia. But theyre the only one here with the annoying houseguest habit, said Kris Braman, a University of Georgia entomologist.
Lady beetles are the universal feel-good bugs, so its unfortunate a few are becoming pests, said Braman, a researcher with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Bramans work focuses on integrated pest management. This pest-control method encourages the use of beneficial insects such as lady beetles.
Lady beetles feed on aphids, an insect that can cause major damage to pecan trees, crape myrtles, roses and many other plants, she said. When theyre around to eat the aphids, homeowners may not need to spray insecticides.
Lately, UGA Cooperative Extension county agents are getting a lot of calls statewide about lady beetles. People arent calling to praise them for their aphid-eating skills.
Homeowners should actually show these lady beetles some gratitude, said Vicki Owen, a UGA Extension agent in Crawford County. When you find where theyre coming into your home, youre finding somewhere that cold air can come in, too.
Owen recommends sweeping up the beetles and physically returning them outdoors.
During this temperature transition stage, theyre just looking for a place to stay for the winter, she said. Weve never radio-collared them to be sure, but chances are, the ones you sweep out arent going to come back in.
If you do resort to physical removal, Braman urges you to be careful. Lady beetles do have a defense mechanism.
They can release yellow hemolymph, which is reflexive bleeding from their joints, she said. Its a defensive response for you that can result in orange stains on your walls and furniture.
Sealing exterior gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, siding and other points of access before the beetles appear can prevent unwanted entry. Experience suggests, however, that comprehensive pest proofing is time-consuming, often impractical and usually not 100 percent effective. For large infestations with intolerable numbers of beetles, spraying pyrethroid insecticides such as permethrin or esfenvalerate on the outside of buildings when the lady bugs start to appear in the fall may help prevent pest entry. Homeowner insecticides other than pyrethroids usually do not provide satisfactory prevention.
The most practical control for beetles already inside is to vacuum or sweep them up and discard. Indoor sprays are of very limited benefit. However, there is hope with the invention of interior light traps. One such trap is available through Southeastern Insectaries located in Perry, Georgia.
These traps are black light traps and are only effective at night and in the absence of competing light sources. In other words the room has to be dark. The trap emits short wave ultraviolet radiation that attracts the beetles to the trap. The trap is most effective when placed on a table or floor near the center of the room. The traps are coated with talc which prevents the beetles from clinging to vertical trap surfaces and they fall into a lower collection container where they become trapped like rats.
These black light traps are kind of costly but I guess that just depends upon how badly you want a trap. They start at $140 each plus shipping. For more information concerning the black light lady beetle trap call Southeastern Insectaries at 877-967-6777.
Keith Mickler is the agriculture agent for The University of Georgia/Floyd County Cooperative Extension, 12 E. Fourth Ave., Rome, GA 30161, and can be contacted at 706-295-6210. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Rome Music Teachers Association recently presented a fall piano recital in Brookes Chapel at Shorter College.
Students performing were Andrew Burk, student of Leigh Robison; Anna Katherine Cates, student of Martha House; Matthew Schmit, student of Missy Thomas-Schmit; Drew Pickens, Julian Zehr and Ethan Zehr, students of Pam Clarkson, and Nicholas DiPillo and Jonathan Harper, students of Helen Ramsaur.
Following the recital, a brief business meeting was conducted.
Members attending were Pam Clarkson, Martha House, Lila Ivester, Helen Ramsaur, Leigh Robison, Missy Thomas-Schmit and Sandy Yeargan.
The Emma Sansom Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. at the Rome-Floyd County Library. President Daryl Jean Gould conducted the meeting, gave the invocation and led in pledges to the flags and the singing of Dixie.
Gould announced that the Georgia Division had won 35 awards at the recent UDC General Convention held in Arkansas. Gould gave a flag moment on the Georgia Capitol Museums collection of Georgias historic flags and the role the Georgia Daughters play in helping with preservation.
The Southern Literature and Art program was on Dixie and presented by Sandra Salmon. Salmon also presented the Historian Generals program on Thanksgiving, Lincoln and Sarah Hale.
Officers and committee chairmen gave their reports. Cans of food were collected as part of the general project, We CAN Do It.
Hostesses for the meeting were Sandra Salmon and Pat Millican.
Rome Duplicate Bridge Club Bridge Scores
Players named are from Rome unless otherwise noted.
MONDAY, Oct. 29, Charity Club Championship Game. North/South: First Eric Martin and Julia Jones. Second Fred Naiser and Dan Paracka. East/West: First Paul Fambro and Mary Fambro. Second Bob Gregg and Robert Rakestraw.
Overall winners: First Eric Martin and Julia Jones. Second Paul Fambro and Mary Fambro. Third Bob Gregg and Robert Rakestraw. Fourth Dan Paracka and Fred Naiser.
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31. First Rosie Francis of Cartersville and Betsy Rowston. Second Jerry Hubbard and Patsy Hubbard.
MONDAY, Nov. 5. North/South: First Mary Fambro and Paul Fambro.
Second Fred Naiser and Dan Paracka. East/West: First Patsy Hubbard and Jery Hubbard. Second Joan Carter of Cedartown and Helen Paracka.
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 7. First: Bob Powell and Tollie Ross. Second David Oliver and Joan Carter. Third Curt Melton and Jo Melton. Fourth Mary Hall and Helen Smith.
MONDAY, Nov. 12. First Tollie Ross and Karen Betz. Second Julia Jones and Eric Martin. Third Ray Carter of Cedartown and Rosie Francis. Fourth Helen Paracka and Eloise Roberts. Tie for Fifth and Sixth Dan Paracka and Fred Naiser tied with Jo Melton and Curt Melton.
TUESDAY, Nov. 14. First Joan Carter and Rosie Francis. Second Curt Melton and Terry Herndon.
Rome Duplicate Bridge Games are played Monday, 12:30 p.m., and Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Adult Recreation Center on Kingston Road. For more information, call Joan Carter at 770-748-4486.
Rome-Floyd County Library announces its new releases for this week:
Tassajara Cookbook by Karla Oliveira
The Lost Fleet by Marc Songini
Left for Dead by Nick Ward
A Slave No More by David W. Blight
The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov
Christmas with Southern Living 2007
BOOKS ON COMPACT DISC
Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas
The Dead Room by Heather Graham
The Bourne Betrayal by Robert Ludlum
The Unquiet by John Connolly
Swimming Lessons by Mary Alice Monroe
The Woods by Harlan Coben
4 for Texas
An American Haunting
Superman 3 Music from and inspired by the Motion Picture
The Devil Wears Prada Music from the Motion Picture
Chronology: Volume One: 1996-2000
Restored (Deluxe Gold Edition) by Jeremy Camp
Greys Anatomy, Volume 2: Original Soundtrack
Dreamgirls Music from the Motion Picture