We are having an infestation problem in the Goddess' Garden... Over the past couple of days, millions and trillions and zillions of tiny little green aphids have appeared. And they're driving EVERYBODY crazy.
The little buggers are EVERYWHERE. If they're not airborne, they're creepy-crawling on absolutely everything outside, including ME. They have been using me for their personal amusement and transportation whilst I have been weeding, planting, and filling up the birdfeeders. They have annoyed the entire family during alfresco meals. This afternoon, they managed to ruin the finish of the piece of furniture I was attempting to clean, sand and paint for Child Number One's bedroom.
Yuckiest of all, we have to be especially careful when we return indoors from the garden, because more than anything else, they seem to love getting tangled up in our HAIR... we need to shake ourselves thoroughly clean before daring to cross the threshold of the mudroom. Bugs outside are bad enough... but to the Goddess, bugs indoors are intolerable.
Our baby Praying Mantes are still doing pretty well out there... but I'm making the excuse that they are STILL babies, and still just getting the hang of the "hunting" thing.
The breaking point between Goddess and Aphids occurred sometime on Saturday afternoon, when I felt it necessary to weed with ipod earphones jammed in my ears. When I realized that the reason was not so much that I wanted to listen to music, but that I wanted to keep the aphids from creeping in... I knew it was time for War Tactics.
Enter the Ladybugs.
I went out an purchased an enormous bag of Ladybugs at Sheridan Nurseries... yep, the same place the Praying Mantis egg came from. Bill told me to keep them in the fridge, and each night after watering, take them out, warm them up a bit, and shake a handful or two out amongst the flowers.
Unfortunately, before I got a chance to show the girlies, Child Number Two discovered the enormous bag next to the milk jug... and ran screaming to her father, worried that Mummy was going to try and make the family eat bug casserole for dinner.
Needless to say, it took a little time to explain myself to her... but she came around when I offered to let her be the "shaker" when it came time to make the first release later that evening.
It's been a few days, now, and I have to admit, the aphids are still winning the war so far. However, it is delightful to come across the little red-and-black-spotted ladies as I make my rounds of the flowerbeds every day. The very sight of them gives me faith... faith that ONE DAY, the eerie creepy-crawly sensation I feel on my skin every time I step out of doors will fade... the green greeblies having been made into a spectacularly satisfying ladybug smorgasbord.
I wonder what a Ladybug burp sounds like? Lady-like, or an almighty belch?
I'll keep you posted.