LAWRENCE, Kansas (AP) About 18,000 ladybugs are being released
in Lawrence this week to feast on aphids in city-owned flower beds and planters.
The orange, armor-clad insects eat the aphids, their eggs and larvae, so city crews won't need to use traditional pesticides to get rid of the tiny bug that attack zinnias and other summer flowers.
The city paid $43 for the 18,000 ladybugs, which are shipped in a one-quart container mixed with sawdust. City horticulturist Crystal Miles said the shipment should treat about 18,000 square feet of flower beds.
The city had been using a chemical soap to fight aphids. But this year, Miles said she wanted to try a natural solution since city commissioners and some citizens advocate pesticide-free park zones.