City of Eugene plans to unleash over 1 million insects downtown
The City of Eugene prides itself on having a beautiful downtown area.
City leaders say a big part of the ambience is the flowers, but it takes a lot of manpower and bug-power to keep downtown blooming.
Today, the city released around 22,000 ladybugs and green lacewings.
They also put more than 80,000 green lacewing eggs in flower pots in the downtown area.
And they aren't done yet.
City officials say these are beneficial insects.
They'll eat the pests which would otherwise destroy the downtown flower baskets and other greenery.
The insects are an alternative to using harmful pesticides.
"We switched over to non-synthetic pesticides two years ago, using oils, but we still thought that was a little too harsh," Project Manager Brian York said. "So, we researched further and came up with beneficial insects."
Last year, the city started experimenting with beneficial insects.
They released around 50,000 ladybugs in the downtown area and noticed significant improvement.
So this year, they're going all out: the city plans to release more than one million insects over the course of the season.
York says the practice is more sustainable and cheaper than using pesticides, aiding in Eugene's effort to stay green.
"We operate with something called the triple bottom line," Eugene's Community Relations Director Jan Bohman said, "which means we look at the decisions we make from 3 different angles. Meaning it's good for the environment, it's good for the economy, and it's equitable for the people."