Sometimes called ladybugs, lady-bird beetles or other combination, this insect is a killer in our gardens. Both the larval form (it resembles a miniature dragon) and the adult consume large numbers of aphids and other pests. You want to protect these in your garden. And if you’ve every picked one up, you know they release a noxious odour – and I’m told they taste really bad so birds and other insects don’t eat them.
Details to Understand
35,000 Ladybugs treat up to 1/2 acre. Larger amounts are just overkill in the home garden.
The most common of all beneficial insects, these voracious predators feed on aphids, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle larvae, thrips, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worms, Colorado potato beetle larvae, whitefly, and mites, as well as many other soft-bodied insects and eggs. Extremely cost effective, too!
Method of shipment, biology and release rates:
- Each adult consumes about 5,000 aphids. Within 8 to 10 days of release, each female ladybug lays 10-50 eggs daily on the underside of leaves. In 2-5 days the larvae emerge as dark alligator-like flightless creatures with orange spots.
- The larvae eat 50-60 aphids per day. After 21 days they pupate and adults emerge in 2-5 days, completing the cycle.
- Under ideal conditions (temperature 61-82 degrees F; ladybugs won’t fly when 55 degrees F or lower) several generations may be produced.
- Once they eat all the available food in your garden, many of the adults will fly away in search of other food.
- The remaining ladybugs will control existing populations nicely.