It's been an odd year for weather in Minnesota, with record-breaking cold and snow throughout the month of April. So is the fact that thousands of bugs have invaded the Mall of America just another weird weather occurrence?

As it turns out, no, it's not. It's actually a planned event, and even though this one just happened late last week, it's not unusual-- despite the somewhat odd headline.

The Mall of America, located just an hour north of Rochester in Bloomington, just released thousands of ladybugs, during a ceremony that celebrated Earth Day.

So what's up the all the bugs? Well, according to this KARE-11 story, the ladybugs act as goodwill ambassadors at the massive mall and actually help maintain the plants throughout the shopping and destination center.

Friday's release at Nickelodeon Universe involved roughly 75,000 ladybugs, and is part of a tradition that dates back 26 years to when the Mall first opened in 1992. The story quoted Jill Renslow, a senior VP of development at the Mall who explained that the bugs have an important purpose.

"We do it a few times a year based upon when we need it. The ladybugs work as a natural pesticide for our 30,000 plants inside MOA," Renslow said in the story.

So, no, it wasn't an instance of Mother Nature unleashing a plague or pestilence on Minnesota in addition to our weird spring weather, although, given the winter we just went through, would that have really been out of the question?!?

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