Entomologist Mary Gardiner is recruiting farmers and gardeners to help see how native species of lady beetles are standing up to invasion of exotic lady beetles.
"Many types of native lady beetles are declining in Ohio, while the introductions of exotic non-native species of lady beetles are increasing," says Gardiner, with OSU's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "Lady beetles are a beneficial insect for gardeners and farmers because they provide natural pest control."
Lady beetles are also known as ladybugs or lady bird beetles and consume aphids, scale insects and many other pests that injure plants in gardens, landscapes and agricultural settings, Gardiner says.
Volunteers and being asked to participate in a day-long training workshop to learn what to look for, how to collect lady bugs and to receive a lady bug collection tool kit.
There are two sessions to choose from.
•May 20 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, on Ohio State's Columbus campus.
•May 22 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium at OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.
Both workshops include information on why lady beetles are important to agriculture, how to identify various lady beetle species and hands-on activities. Registration for each workshop is $20 and includes lunch and the collection tool kit, which consists of a lady bug identification sheet, a data collection sheet, a tote bag and a yellow sticky trap to catch ladybugs.
An online training session, which also costs $20, is available for those who can't come to either workshop.
The deadline to register for the workshops is May 15. For more information or to register, contact Mary Griffith at 614-292-0618 or email@example.com.
Source: OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.