Gardening With Ladybugs
& Releasing of Ladybugs
Aphid control with ladybugs is highly effective. Whether you have aphids in large trees, flower shrubs, rose bushes or vegetable plants.
Upon arrival of your package of ladybugs, place them in a refrigerator. Packages of 36,000 (1/2 gallon) and 72,000 (1 gallon) that feel hot on arrival will require blow air through the bags to cool them down. You can do this by hold the bag in front of a fan for a few minutes, then you can keep the ladybugs in cool location, such as a refrigerator.
During very warm or hot weather we ship our small packages (1,500) of ladybugs in cloth bags, all larger amounts are always shipped in cloth bags.
DO NOT STORE WARM LADYBUGS IN AN ICE CHEST, THEY WILL OVER HEAT AND DIE!
If you can hear the ladybugs moving around in their bags or see them running around the cups, then they are warm. Ladybugs are stimulated by warmth and light. The more heat and the greater the light the more excited they become. Very excited ladybugs are not effective aphid and other soft bodied pest eaters.
During periods of high heat the best time to release ladybugs is the evening after the sun has begun to set. Otherwise you can release the ladybugs the very late afternoon.
The first step is take a hose or use your sprinkler system to light mist down the release area. This will cool the plant and the release area down and provide some moisture for the ladybugs to drink when they are released.
Open the bag or cup and scatter a portion at the base of the tree, shrubs or garden plants that have the aphids. You can use the whole package, but it is better to use about a 1/3 and save the rest for a couple of days later.
The ladybugs will then climb up into the plants and spread out looking for pests to eat. Ladybugs feed primarily on aphids but will eat other pests, such Looper and Caterpillar eggs, Mealybug, Spider Mites and Whitefly. Ladybugs are not the ideal control for these pests but they will have a positive impact on the control of these pests.
|Water down the release area. Watering down the release area with a hose or sprinkler system cools the area and washes off dust. Dust in large amounts is actually very harmful to ladybugs and other beneficial insects.||After refrigerating or cooling the ladybugs down, release a portion of the ladybugs into the area to be treated, then close the bag and refrigerate. It is better to use a portion of your ladybugs each day or every few days than all at once.||It is better to release ladybugs when possible at the base of trees, shrubs and vegetable plants. Just sprinkle them on the ground next to the plants. The ladybugs will then climb through the branches and leaves of the plants looking for aphids and other pests to eat.|
|Another method, if the infestation of aphids is just massive, is to attach the bag of ladybugs to the aphid infested area. The ladybugs will climb out of the bag and walk or fly to where the aphid are in the area and begin to clean up your garden. Adult ladybugs will disperse through the garden and find pests to eat.||Ladybugs begin to spread out on the branches and leaves of infested plants. Ladybug adults begin feeding on aphids and other soft bodied pests, then they mate. The females lay clusters of small yellow eggs on the plants. These hatch into "baby ladybugs" or larvae which do most of the feeding.||Ladybug adults and larvae climb all over plants. They look for aphids and many other pests to eat on the top, bottom and nooks and crannies of leaves, flower buds and other plant parts.|
|Ladybeetle females lay eggs on just about every type of plant there is. If there is a plant with pests to feed on there are likely to be ladybeetle eggs nearby. There are ladybeetles that prefer mild, warm and or hot conditions. Each takes their role in feeding on a wide range of pests during the growing season.||Aphids. Because Aphids are typically born as females and do not need males to reproduce their populations can quickly explode. Aphids are the primary food of most of the Ladybeetles. They will feed on most other soft bodied pests.||Ladybeetles love to climb up on the trunks of tree in the grooves of Cedar and Redwood trees to get some sunshine. Being a Ladybug means a lot of close contact with your relatives. Someone please pass the Aphids!|
|After hatching from their eggs ladybeetles feed as larvae for 3 weeks or more, depending species and climate. Larva are similar in that regardless of length, 1/8" to 5/8" they have yellow, red or orange markings on the backs.||Ladybugs mate anywhere, just about anytime.||
12 Spotted Pink Ladybug
This is a Ladybeetle
native to USA's mid west corn belt. It loves to feed on Corn earworm and
other caterpillar pests. Availability is not always assured. Green
Lacewing are excellent alternative and very good value.
|After the larva have fed for a few weeks they then pupate into the Ladybugs we know. From these 3 pupae will 3 bright red adult ladybugs.||Ladybeetle Life Cycle There are about 450 species of ladybeetles in North America but all of them have similar life cycles||Buy a cup of 1,500+ ladybugs for $6.49. Larger amounts are available...........|
|The cycle is complete and will start again after feeding on this large group of aphids. Ladybugs need to eat aphids in order to get ready to make babies.||Most ladybugs migrate as a result of high heat of very cold temperatures. The common store bought ladybugs, H. convergens migrates as a result of very high heat||Go for a ladybug hike. Only in few areas can this be easily done.|
|A Lily from Ladybug Country||Cedar tree covered with ladybugs|
|Up hill from the creek this boulder caught my eye||It was covered with about 300,000 ladybugs|
For fruit tree and vegetable gardening, follow up releases anywhere from one week to two weeks later.