All of the those ladybugs –or ladybeetles– that have appeared in Iowa lately may be able to help farmers cut the amount of chemicals they need to use on their fields in the future. Floyd County Extension crop specialist George Cummins says research is underway on how to use the ladybugs for pest control. Ladybugs are a natural predator of soybean and alfalfa aphids, which Cummins says were a big problem this year. He says a couple of researchers at Iowa State University are trying to find ways to attract ladybugs and other beneficial insects to soybean and alfalfa crops to control the aphid population.The research is still being developed and will not be able to be implemented anytime soon. Cummins says in the time being they are trying to figure out what to do with all the ladybugs that are still around.Cummins says if you have ladybugs in your home, vacuum them up or sweep them outside. If you have any questions on how to control the bug population around your home, consult “www.ent.iastate.edu” and click on the “Iowa Insect Notes,” “Integrated Crop Management” or “Horticulture and Home Pest” icons.
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