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Ladybugs set loose in Central Park with mission to kill

140,000 ladybugs were set loose in Central Park this week.

Ladybugs like these ones may be doing some of this in between slaughtering aphids. Credit: cygnus921/Flickr Director of Horticulture at the Central Park Conservancy also said the ladybugs' offspring will likely remain in Central Park feeding on aphids. Credit: cygnus921/Flickr

Visitors to Central Park may notice more ladybugs than usual since the Central Park Conservancy last week cut loose two netfuls of ladybugs, adding an additional 140,000 rosy, winged bugs to the park's population.

But don't be fooled by their cute appearance. These little guys (and girls, probably) are essentially assassins: the Conservancy sent them out to kill aphids. Aphids, the Wall Street Journal explains, are sap-sucking insects that the Conservancy's director of horticulture, Maria Hernandez, said "suck the life out of plants."

This is the fourth year that this ladybug attack has been employed. The Park still uses insecticide on occasion, but Hernandez told the Journal that occurs "very rarely."

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
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