72,000 ladybugs were released inside the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. The insects were released as a form of natural pesticide to protect the plants and flowers displayed in the mall.
A group of children from a Minnesota elementary school enjoyed taking part in the Earth Day ladybug release. Third graders from Visitation School got to see, hold, and assist in the ladybug release.
The Mall of America’s Senior Manager of Environmental Services has described the ladybugs as a “biological defense system.” As reported by KARE 11 News, the ladybugs provide a save and environmentally friendly way to deter pests.
Aphids, in particular, feed on the plants, causing irreparable damage. The ladybugs eat the aphids without harming the plants.
The Mall of America displays over 30,000 live plants and over 400 trees in one of the largest indoor malls in the United States.
According to MallOfAmerica.com, they have around 40 million visitors every year. On Monday they got even more, as around 72,000 ladybugs were released.
Ladybugs are found in several colors, including yellow, orange and the common bright red. They all have black heads, antennae, and spots on their wings.
Ladybugs are natural predators and love eating aphids and other tiny insects that can be garden pests. They can and do consume plant material but prefer insects and their eggs.
Gardeners have used ladybugs as a natural form of pest control for years as they are safe and very effective.
The Mall of America released the 72,000 ladybugs as part of a larger campaign to remain “green.” The mall boasts that over 60 percent of their waste is recycled, averaging over 32,000 tons of trash every year.
Additionally, they maintain ideal temperatures inside the mall utilizing skylights in place of a central heating system.
The Mall of America encourages others to take advantage of alternative energy, recycling programs, and reminds gardeners that they too can benefit from releasing ladybugs in their garden.
[Image via Wikimedia]