As a kid, I believed that ladybugs, or ladybird beetles as some call them, brought good luck. I’d see one and marvel at their shiny, red shells. They may have even been the inspiration for the red M & M. Farmers love these lucky beetles because they eat pests. They tend to favor spicy aphids; the ladybugs, that is – not the farmers. But as it turns out, imported Asian ladybugs are becoming pests themselves, not only eating aphids, but whole vineyards.
I’m no scientist, but common sense would suggest that it’s not such a great idea to take a species of insect, fish, snake or bee from its natural environment and transplant it into an unfamiliar one. Look at what’s happened in U.S. lakes and rivers with fishzillas swimming amok, and the jumping carp that eat up the food supply, leaving nothing for the others. It’s not their fault really. They didn’t chose to invade – someone brought them here or there as the case may be. And the killer bees – that was an experiment gone bad. The rogue bees escaped their bondage and have sought revenge ever since. And all those lamprey vampire eels. Have you heard? They’ve been attacking other fish and unsuspecting swimmers in record numbers. They’d have stayed in their natural aquatic habitat had it not been for the foolish men who dug canals connecting fresh water lakes to the sea. Exhibit D: pythons. Who thought it was a good idea to bring them to Florida to keep as pets, especially when they prey on other pets.
Hey humans with your large carbon footprints, GMO seeds and hair-brained ideas: Stop mucking around with nature. It will only lead to catastrophe.
- An invasive ladybug uses a biological weapon to kill off competitors (blogs.scientificamerican.com)