72,000 Ladybugs Released Inside Maryland High School

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Photo by D Sharon Pruitt.

Investigators said four male juveniles and three men perpetrated a bizarre — and criminal — “senior prank” at Chopticon High School in Morganza, Md. Five of them, wearing masks, forced their way into the school at 3:40 a.m. and released somewhere around 72,000 ladybugs. Two others waited in cars outside.

While it’s nice to see a prank with a magical realism element to it, the upshot of this whole thing is less than hilarious. School staff spent “hours” vacuuming. 72,000 bugs were thrown into the trash. The four juveniles were charged with burglary, destruction of property, and disruption of school activities. Charges are forthcoming for the three adults.



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  1. Come on – Ladybugs are basically harmless and have no diseases. The punishment should have been that they help clean and vacuum – not criminal charges.

    • How I wish that were true. Every outlet is reporting it as 72,000. While 48 is a lot of containers, each container (available through that Amazon link) has a listed weight of only one pound. So we’re talking 48 pounds. As a side note, (assuming the ladybugs were acquired through this Amazon link) 1,500 is a factor of 72,000 but not of 7,200.

    • You’re right about the factors. That’s why I said “7,500,” not “7,200.”
      I still maintain that normal humans would not pay $700+ for a prank. $70+, yes.
      The money doesn’t make sense if it is 72K ladybugs unless one of the perps comes from very well off circumstances.
      And the agony of cleanup doesn’t change for the workers regardless of numbers.

    • I guess my point is, if the numbers were off, wouldn’t they most likely be off by exactly a factor of 10 and not *around* a factor of 10? In any case there’s no reason to believe that the numbers are wrong. Sure, *I* wouldn’t pay $700 to release thousands of ladybugs into a school, but I wouldn’t pay $73 to do it either.

  2. Another brilliant use of taxpayers money and the legal system to prosecute teenagers. Catholic schools used to have a system humorously referred to as JUG, judgement under God, in which you gave up your afternoons and Saturdays cleaning, painting or pulling weeds, it was very effective and didn’t require courts or money. I think the young lads are patriots and will probably succeed in life. I have survived both ladybug and praying mantis events in my house, so no I don’t think this verged on destruction.

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