Clever Gardening Technique
Dealing with Home Invaders
At this time of the year, as we find ourselves thinking about make our homes snug and warm for the coming months of cold, we're not the only ones looking for shelter. A number of insects often make their way inside our homes in fall as they search for a cozy spot in which to shelter for the winter.
One of the most common of these home invaders is the Asian Ladybird Beetle. This dull-orange little beetle is only 1/3" long, and may have anywhere from 0 to 19 black spots on its back. While they are considered "good guys" in the garden as they feed on pests such as aphids and scales, Asian ladybird beetles can become a nuisance in the fall when they congregate in large numbers to seek shelter. They are attracted to buildings with light colored siding and the sunny south and west sides of buildings, where they look for cracks and crevices to enter. They often find their way inside buildings, where they can give off a foul odor when crushed or swept up. They can also exude an orangey substance that stains fabrics.
They best way to avoid problems with these insects is to seal up any openings around doors, windows and vents with caulk, and make sure screens are intact, including those over attic vents. For the beetles that do make it inside, the vacuum cleaner is your best remedy. After sucking up the beetles, remove the vacuum bag and place it inside a sealed plastic bag. Then set the sealed bag in a cold garage or shed for the winter and release the overwintered lady beetles back into the environment when spring returns. This way they can once again go about their helpful business of dining on pests.
Shows & Events
Tower Hill Botanic Garden Winter Open House
Attend the Grand Opening of the magnificent Winter Garden, part of an $8 million expansion at Tower Hill, on Sunday, November 14, from 10 am to 5 pm. The new garden features hundreds of plants for winter interest, along with a whimsical turtle fountain. Also new is the riveting Limonaia, or lemon house, displaying beautiful lemon and camellia trees. Enjoy food samplings, prize drawings, gift shop specials and guided tours at 11am and 2pm. Twigs Cafe serves lunch from 11am - 3pm. Members of the Bay State African Violet Society will be on hand for an African violet re-potting clinic from 11am-3pm; bring your African violets & they will be re-potted for only $1 per plant! The Open House is free and open to the public. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-869-6111.