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Children Learn About Ladybugs At San Elijo Lagoon

Photo by Promise Yee

Drew Jasper, 4, and Noah Gomez, 7, both of Encinitas, take an up-close look at ladybugs at the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, July 5, 2015.

Families who visited the San Elijo Lagoon on Sunday learned a lot about ladybugs.

It was the “Lovely Ladybugs Family Fun Day,” part of the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy's first Sunday family education series, which draws 50 to 75 children every month.

This week, children were able to take an up close look at ladybugs with a magnifying glass, learn about the bug’s metamorphosis cycle and color a bug box to take ladybugs home to release in their garden.

If you ask San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy docent Mike Blanco about ladybugs, he’ll tell you we should call them lady beetles.

“Many people don’t realize a ladybug is actually a beetle, which means they chew, they don’t just suck like a true bug does,” Blanco said. “And we’ll talk about the biological need of these beetles to eat aphids and scale insects and mites, and how they are a very good source of biological control. In the lifetime of a ladybug they eat up to about 5,000 aphids,” Blanco said. “They’re very beneficial.”

Photo by Promise Yee

San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy docent Mike Blanco teaches children about the ladybug’s life cycle, July 5, 2015.

Blanco said ladybugs eat unwanted garden insects throughout their one-year life cycle.

Children learned about the ladybugs at interactive stations and on a lagoon hike.

Topics in the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy first Sunday family education series range from bird nests, to how Kumeyaay Indians used local plants. Next month the topic will be simple things to do to conserve water daily.

The San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve sits between Cardiff-by-the-Sea and Solana Beach. The county and state park protects 1,000 acres of habitat and is home to 700 animal and plant species.



Promise Yee is a North County freelance writer. Contact her at promise.yee1@gmail.com. Twitter: @promisenews. Facebook: promise.yee.1

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