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72,000 ladybugs released in Mall of America

Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   April 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Some 72,000 ladybugs have been released in the Mall of America, according to LiveScience.com.

The Bloomington, Minn. mall is large enough to hold seven Yankee Stadiums, which leaves a lot of room for plants. And there are a lot of them: The mall tends to more than 30,000 plants, including about 400 trees. But even with proper care, aphids thrive on eating the plants.

"Ladybugs are what I like to call a biological defense system, said Lydell Newby, senior manager of environmental services at Mall of America, told KARE-11.

Some shoppers raised concerns about the ladybugs coming in contact with food in the food court. A mall spokesman assuaged any fears, though, since ladybugs primarily live on plants and are generally uninterested in human food.

Ladybugs make good pest control agents in enclosed spaces and are often used in greenhouses, according to Treehugger. Outdoors, they are more likely to disperse, but in a space like Mall of America, they are the ideal form of pest control.

This is part of a series of green initiatives the mall has taken on, including using restaurants' fryer fat for security vehicle fuel and skylights for solar heat in lieu of a central heating system.

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