Incidents of an aimless mind.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bugging Out

I recently got my hands on a tub of ladybugs and I am elated! As an avid gardener with five gorgeous rose bushes in my yard, I have great respect for the ladybug. They are some what of a personal hero for me. Yes, I hate aphids that much.

Aphids are those tiny little bugs that perch on the new growth and buds of your roses. They will destroy the blossoms if left alone. Fortunately a ladybugs favorite snack is an aphid, hence my love for them.

Not only are ladybugs a great chemical free way to control pests in your yard, but they can also be quite cost effective. Because ladybugs do not fly when the temperature is below 55 degrees F, it is best to release them at night. If they are able to find a food source they will lay eggs in a matter of days on the underside of your foliage.

During the larval stage ladybugs are not nearly as cute, but never fear, they will still eat those pesky aphids. After about a month you will notice the little critters have entered the pupa stage, this is the same thing that a caterpillar does to become a butterfly. After a week you have more ladybugs! Since one female can lay 1000 eggs in her lifetime, you are looking at years of aphid free happiness from just one tub.

Worried about your ladybugs going to the birds? Don't be, ladybugs emit a chemical that birds can not stand. They will be much obliged to stay away.

2 thoughts:

Paula June 20, 2009 at 12:54 PM  

question: Any ideas on how to keep them out of your house? We have a real problem with that at certain times of the year!

lilminnow June 20, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

I've done some poking around and several sources recommend this product: http://www.treehelp.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=SS-ALB6c

It is possible to make your own: http://www.ipm.osu.edu/lady/blt1.htm

However, I would probably opt to just buy one in this case. Both methods are safe and keep the ladybugs alive. =)

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