Resorts World Releases 112,000 Ladybugs to Help Fight Pests

Resorts World held its annual ladybug release on April 10, 2024. This is the third annual release of the adorable pest-slayers.

We should probably address this up front: We understand “ladybug” may be triggering to some, but that’s what they’re called. “Personbugs” is clumsy, so we’re going to stick with the traditional name despite the risk of cancellation.

Anyway, we mostly took photos of the ladybug release as an excuse to talk about depth of field, but we might accidentally talk about the Resorts World event as well.

Ladybugs, cuddly yet horrifying.

See, in the realm of photography, the photo you just viewed is virtually impossible.

It’s called “macro” or “close-up” photography, and involves capturing a tiny subject up close.

The complicating factor in macro photography is something called “depth of field,” the portion of an image that’s in focus. In the case of our ladybug photo, the depth of field is just a few hairs wide. Or deep. Whatever. That’s why the face of the ladybug is out of focus, while the shell and wings are in focus. This particular ladybug asked to remain anonymous.

Here’s the contraption we used to capture the ladybug photos you see in this story.

Oh, it’s also impossible to capture a ladybug with its wings spread, because that only happens for an instant before the ladybug takes flight. It’s also impossible to get anything in focus with a moving subject. Macro photographers typically put insects into the fridge for a few minutes so they chill out. They’re fine, just slower.

Anyway, we’re pretty sure A.I. could kick our ass in rendering a close-up of a ladybug, but we did it the old-school way.

Ladybug spots are aposematic (or “warning”) coloration, to deter predators and children with magnifying glasses.

At first, we suspected the ladybugs without spots were female, but nope. Ladybugs without spots are actually Asian lady beetles. Which we’re going to stay away from completely due to the cancellation thing. We should have known the dots weren’t gender-related. Everyone knows males and female ladybugs have different abdominal sternite distal margins, and in females, the distal margin in convex. Duh.

We trust the kids still say “duh.”

Anyway, Resorts World and its landscape management company, Park West, released 112,000 ladybugs onto the grounds of the resort. Yes, we counted.

Ladybugs eat 5,000 bugs during their lifetime, or about the number of times we expect to order the “Vital Vegas-style” fried rice at 8 East inside Circa during our lifetime.

Guests were given a little carton, each containing about 750 ladybugs.

Many of the ladybugs took their own lives in transit. Circle of life and all that.

Typical banter at landscape companies: “I have a doctor’s appointment, can you cover for me at the hippodamia convergens release?” “Dude, you be thrippin’.”

Lots of folks showed up to help with the ladybug release, including families with children. As long as children are outside of a casino, we don’t care all that much.

The Resorts World ladybug release is intended to: 1) minimize the resort’s use of pesticides, 2) get positive publicity.

It doesn’t hurt that ladybugs are considered good luck.

Taking 222 photos to get three usable ones is about right in macro photography.

Since ladybugs fly, the release also benefits the larger community. The bugs can travel about 75 miles from where they’re let loose. Get ready for a ladybug invasion, Pahrump!

We think Resorts World should turn this into a full-fledged community event next time. Face painting, jugglers, aphid impersonators, the whole nine. Such events get people thinking about nature and wild creatures and Life in general.

It’s also an awesome reminder that 99.9% of all living things are going to be eaten alive by other living things at some point. While undeniably loveable, ladybugs also eat mealybugs, leaf hoppers, mites and other insects that damage plants. Birds, in turn, eat ladybugs. Birds are eaten by feral cats. Stray cats can be real jerks sometimes. They are currently eating the sweet quail family in our backyard, one by one. We ordered a trap from Amazon. We also ordered an eye patch. Stay tuned.

We and our tool have been rendered moot by A.I.

Taking part in the ladybug release at Resorts World was a good, wholesome time, despite our aversion to being outdoors, and we can’t wait for next year.

If you’re strolling around the grounds of Resorts World, please be careful and watch where you’re walking. If you see a ladybug on its back, struggling to flip over (they experience the same dilemma as turtles), lend a hand.

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled snark and apathy.