Ladybug, ladybug, where have you gone?

Canadians of all ages and walks of life are once again kicking off the gardening season by looking for ladybugs in flower beds, fields and forests as part of the fourth annual national survey of the spotted beetles.

Everyone knows ladybugs are a gardener’s delight, eating up to 500 aphids each day. But imported ladybugs may be crowding out local species in parts of Canada, a trend which concerns the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF).

The CNF began the Lady Beetle Survey in 1995. Last year, over 45,000 Canadians participated, learning about ladybugs and contributing to conservation research. This year, the CNF is aiming for 75,000 participants across the country.

This year’s Lady Beetle Survey runs from May through November, 1998. Volunteer surveyors receive a free color poster which serves as a field guide to Canadian ladybugs, and a reporting card to note when and where they spot them.

Gardeners who want to do their bit for Canadian ladybugs can call the CNF at 1-800-267-4088, or email at [email protected] and ask for a free “Spot the Ladybug” Survey kit.