On my last trip to Bachman’s (my favorite local garden center), I was thrilled to discover that they had ladybugs for sale! Ladybugs are one of the best natural predators and are very beneficial to our gardens. They are one of the good bugs!
Releasing the ladybugs around my yard was a bigger task than I expected. You can’t just open the bag and let them all out in one spot.
They are territorial so you can only release a few in any one spot, otherwise they will just fly away and find their own spot.
The instructions didn’t say how many you are supposed to release in one spot so I had no idea what I was doing. The instructions did say to water the yard first (because the ladybugs will be thirsty) and release them in low light conditions, preferably in the evening. Ok, sounds doable.
At first I was releasing them one at a time and making sure they got on a plant leaf. It was pretty amazing to watch them, as soon as they set foot on the leaf, they would head straight to a water drop and drink.
This was easier said than done since they were crawling on the mesh bag and wouldn’t just fall off when I shook it.
So I was trying to carefully grab a few out of the bag and drop them around. By the time it got dark out, the bag didn’t seem like it was much emptier than it was when I started, so I gave up for the night and put the rest into the fridge.
Apparently if you put them in the fridge, they fall asleep and you can store them in there for up to 2 weeks. Amazing! No need to store them that long around here… then next night I spent another hour releasing the ladybugs around the yard, it seemed like a never ending bag of ladybugs!
Now it’s time to let nature take its course, I can’t wait to see if it makes a difference! I sure hope that most of them will stay in my yard; there is definitely plenty for them to eat out there!!
- Ladybugs feed on aphids, whitefly, thrips, mites, cinch bugs, alfalfa weevils, scale insects and other soft-bodied insects.
- “Ladybugs do not feed on vegetation”
- “They have few enemies because of their hard shell and bitter taste… Poisonous spray is their number one hazard.”
- “Upon hatching, a Ladybug larva will eat an average of 400 aphids.”
- “As adults, Ladybugs may eat another 5,000 aphids.”
- “Ladybugs’ voracious appetites and quick reproduction allow them to rapidly clean out their prey.”