Sitting near a window yesterday, I kept seeing dark shadows flit across my peripheral vision. My first thought was that the wasps had returned to one of their favorite spots, but a closer look revealed that these particular dark shadows were tiny -- and there were lots of them. I couldn't be sure from the little bellies pressed against my window screen, but I thought they might be ladybugs.
I grabbed my camera and stepped outside. Sure enough, they were ladybugs, literally hundreds of them, the first swarm of them I've ever encountered.
The ladybug has the distinction of being the only insect I will willingly let crawl on my body. Someone taught me early on that they're friendly, and I've spent quite a few peaceful moments throughout the years watching one little cute, colorful body at a time climb up my sleeve. Yesterday, I called my daughter to come and take a look, and the ladybugs were all over our clothes and all around us in the air. I felt as if I were in fairyland.
There's no sign of the ladybugs today. Through a Google search, I learned that these particular visitors were Asian Lady Beetles. Much like Carmon's Western Conifer Seed Bugs, they "like to overwinter indoors" and "they emit an unpleasant odor and a stain when squashed." I'm sure Carmon would much rather find ladybugs in her jeans.
It was fun to see so many ladybugs at one time. I hope they'll come back someday, and I'll be extra careful not to squash 'em.
UPDATE - Same Day, 1:30 p.m. - They're baaaaaaaaaaack. The ladybugs are swarming again at the same corner of my house. Now I'm wondering if they're moving into my walls for the winter. You know, cute can only get you so far. I still like 'em, but if they start any trouble, I'll evict their little polka-dotted asses.