Our insect Friends are hard at work in the Public Garden!
This summer, Director of Capital Projects & Parks Care Rebecca McKevitz, in collaboration with consulting arborist Norm Helie and consulting etymologist Christine Helie, released 300 Convergent Lady Beetles (hippodamia convergen) around the Public Garden, mostly focusing on the four rose beds, a few select beech trees, and the Beacon Street border.
Aphids are considered a “pest” to most general and species plants found in standard gardens and our own Public Garden. Aphid feeding can cause twisted curled leaves, yellowed foliage, stunted shoots and stems, and poor growth. Their rapid reproduction rate makes them difficult to eliminate once infestation has begun.
Instead of the standard practice of applying a liquid application to kill the aphids, Christine Helie suggested we release Convergent Lady Beetles, a beneficial insect. These beneficial insects act as a natural predator to the aphids, removing the need for chemicals.
Native insect predators provide the important ecological service of pest control in our gardens and landscapes. The Convergent Lady Beetle is native to Massachusetts and both adults and larva are predators of soft-bodied insects with a preference for aphids, making them the perfect non-chemical resource for pest control.
Read our 2022 Beneficial Insect Report, prepared by Christine Helie, to learn more about the unseen work of our insect Friends in the #threeparks.