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There was an infestation of thousands of bugs at the Mall of America on Friday. But don't call an exterminator, because this bug release was done on purpose.

When I first heard that thousands and thousands of bugs had been released at the Mall of America (MOA) in Bloomington, I thought maybe it was some sort of eco-terrorism act. Or that it was a mistake or accident of some sort.

But as it turns out, these thousands of bugs that were released Friday at one of Minnesota's biggest tourist attractions were actually released on purpose-- again. In fact, the ladybug release is an Earth Day tradition that dates back to 30 years ago when MOA first opened its doors here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

This KARE-11 story has more details about just why MOA would release 75,000 ladybugs throughout Nickelodeon Universe the mall. As it turns out, all the plants and trees indoors can be victims of other bugs-- like aphids-- and the ladybugs work as a sort of natural pesticide.

Using ladybugs to help naturally eradicate other pests without using pesticides is just one of the ways MOA keeps its footprint green. Here are some other ways MOA works to be more eco-friendly, according to the MOA website:

• 30,000 live plants and 400 live trees that act as natural air purifiers
• Recycles more than 60 percent of our waste, which is an average of 32,000 tons per year
• Recycles more than 2,400 tons of food waste to local hog farms, which equates to more than a million hog meals annually.
• Offers electric vehicle charging stations to service owners of electric cars, bikes and scooters.
• In 2011, installed more than 5,400 LED bulbs in parking ramps, spanning more than 2.2 million square feet and reducing energy costs by two thirds


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