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New York City’s Ladybug Invasion
The Central Park Conservancy, the organization that maintains New York City’s iconic Central Park, recently released over 140,000 ladybugs into the park’s gardens.
Ladybugs are natural predators to aphids, small pests that can destroy crops and vegetation. One adult ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids in a single day, which is exactly what the Conservancy is hoping they’ll do. Some of the ladybugs will leave and make their home elsewhere, but hopefully the majority will stay to breed in the park.
In an article for WSJ.com, the Conservancy’s horticulture director explained that ladybug pest control has been used in the park for the past three years: “We notice that the aphid population has gone down and the negative effects of a thriving aphid population—withered plant leaves, for example — are rarer than before."