Asian Lady Beetle Infestation
I still remember the first few Asian lady beetles we found on our glass porch years ago. My daughter and I enjoyed pleasant tea parties with them on sunny fall afternoons. Shortly thereafter, they completely lost their charm as they swarmed and became an utter nuisance indoors and drove me nearly to distraction. Once we carefully caulked as many exterior gaps and cracks as we could and added some screening barriers (incidently also helpful in reducing cold infiltration into our home), the problem subsided for the most part, but anyone who lives with these creatures has my sympathy. The Asian Lady Beetle Infestation of Structures fact sheet from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology tells everything you could possibly want to know about the Asian lady beetle and suggests steps you can take to try to keep them out of your home. And though it may seem like small consolation, keep in mind that with these in the neighborhood you will probably won't see many aphids in your garden.
Tips From the Old Gardeners
The delightfully illustrated Tips From the Old Gardeners, by Duncan Crosbie (Conari Press, 2005; $9.95), is a quirky compilation of old timey gardening tips and lore (such as how to put an old leather shoe to good use). It's a cute little book with a price to match and would make a fun gift.