The past few weeks I have spent a lot of time learning about what kind of things can hurt fruits. That list is seemingly endless and I do not think I want to go there. One of those pests that can hurt a grape vineyard is called an aphid. This is a tiny bug that feeds on the grape vines, ultimately damaging the crop. This week I have started to focus on the kinds of bugs that can be helpful to a vineyard. Insects that can help control pest populations in vineyards are called beneficials. One such beneficial happens to be the larvae of a lady bug which I have a picture of above. This is just one larvae of the many that I have found in vineyards within the last week. Personally I think they look like a pretty cool insect. But they are much more than just cool looking. These Ladybug larvae actually feed upon the aphids. That makes these the one kind of insect a grower loves to stumble upon in their vineyard. Is it possible that there are enough ladybug larvae out there to kill off an entire infestation of aphids? That situation is highly unlikely but they still eat enough aphids that they are a welcome sight in the vineyard.
Things like this are the great learning aspects of an internship. I did not know that there were such thing as beneficials when I came into this internship. My boss sent me this week a whole list of seminars that are going on this summer where I can learn new things about growing crops. I plan to attend as many as I can to increase my knowledge of agriculture.