On May 23rd, Friends released 4,500 ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens) into Rye Town Park as part of its effort to support Rye's Sustainability Plan and to promote less pesticide use in the park.
We encourage the practice of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) System which is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. By using the life cycle of pests and their interaction with other insects and wildlife, IPM minimizes hazards to people, property and the environment. Ladybugs, in particular, are used as a chemical-free method of controlling pests since they eat plant-destroying insects such as aphids.
The ladybugs were kept in hibernation under refrigeration until shortly before their release. Neighborhood pre-school and elementary school children were invited to assist Friends with this project. To facilitate the children's releasing them, the ladybugs were presorted in large numbers into colorful plastic eggs. On the count of three, the children opened the eggs and launched the ladybugs into the air and into the park's landscape. After releasing the ladybugs, board members gave the children crayons and the Friends of Rye Town Park Coloring Book containing facts about the flowers and wildlife in the park.
Many thanks to all the board members who assisted, especially Friends Vice-President, Ann Moller, who was the ladybug "babysitter" prior to the release.
How do ladybugs protect themselves from predators? Visit www.friendsofrtp.org to find the answer to this question, learn other ladybug facts and see more photos of their release.