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Is it worth buying ladybirds to eat aphids? - Printable Version

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Is it worth buying ladybirds to eat aphids? - passionfruit - 10-18-2006 06:08 PM

A friend of mine bought a pack of ladybirds, about 25 i think it was, so that she could have them in her garden to eat the aphids which were eating her plants.

The problem is that she got them the little house that comes with it, and some food, followed all the instructions. then, after a while, the ladybirds disappeared. the aphids haven`t been seen this year so i guess the ladybirds did their job last summer, but isn`t the idea that they`ll stick around and breed and that`s how the cycle works?

:cry:


- forwardone - 11-03-2006 01:50 AM

According to this report Ladybirds don`t eat that many aphids. :? Not too sure about that.

http://www.nrp.org.uk/enews/edpladybird.htm


Re: Is it worth buying ladybirds to eat aphids? - dex - 11-03-2006 10:53 PM

passionfruit Wrote:A friend of mine bought a pack of ladybirds, about 25 i think it was, so that she could have them in her garden to eat the aphids which were eating her plants.

The problem is that she got them the little house that comes with it, and some food, followed all the instructions. then, after a while, the ladybirds disappeared. the aphids haven`t been seen this year so i guess the ladybirds did their job last summer, but isn`t the idea that they`ll stick around and breed and that`s how the cycle works?

:cry:

Often people buy a bag of lady bugs, bring them home, and release them in the evening, only to get up the next morning and find nary a trace of the little fellows because they have all flown away. What can you do to make them want to stay? First, don’t use any lingering pesticides (such as malathion or kelthane) for 3 or 4 weeks before you release the lady bugs, or any other beneficials. Switch to insecticide soaps or plain water to knock those aphids off. Second, release your lady bugs at night, while it’s cool, immediately after giving your plants a generous sprinkle of water. (this is about the only time you should water in the evening!) The combination of moisture and the cool evening temperatures will convince your lady bugs to hang around, at least overnight. By morning they will be hungry, so they will look for breakfast before they leave. If there are enough aphids, thrips, or other appetizing ( to the lady bug) insects around, they just might stay. You can provide even more encouragement to settle down by spraying a commercial preparation of insect food, such as Wheast or Honeydew, on a few lower leaves of the aphid infested plants, or plant marigolds, yarrow, or angelica, which attract lady bugs.

Another trick is to release only a few lady bugs at a time, over a period of about a week, instead of emptying the entire bag all at once. Store the rest in the refrigerator (NOT in an airtight container!), but warn all the members of your family! And be sure to handle your lady bugs gently, or they will fly away.
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