About Lady Bugs
In the Yard & Garden The lady bug, also known as the Asian lady beetle, Lady beetle, or lady bird beetle is an extremely productive and beneficial Tool. The appetite of lady bugs is quite remarkable. An adult female may consume up to 60 aphids a day while the smaller male may consume up to 40. One larva can eat up to 350 aphids during its development.
Both larvae and adult are voracious predators eating aphids and other insect pests. They feed on the eggs of moths and beetles, mites, thrips, and other small insects. They do not eat Plants, but will eat pollen of some plant species.
Gardens benefit from lady bugs. They are helpful for both home growers and commercial ventures. Any crop that is attacked by aphids, white flies, thrips and so forth will benefit from these beetles.
Attracting Lady Bugs
Lady Bugs also consume pollen as part of the dietary intake, fennel, cilantro, dill and yarrow are among their favorites. Planting these among your garden and along the borders will attract and keep Lady Bugs.
Pheromone based Lureslady bug lures will attract Lady Bugs during their mating stage.
You can also overwinter carrots in your garden. In their 2nd year they will produce a flower which attracts many lady bugs and other beneficial insects.
Releasing Lady Bugs in Your Garden
Release purchased ladybugs only after sun down. Ladybugs navigate by the sun, in the evenings they tend to stay put.
In the warm months, it helps to chill the ladybugs in the fridge before releasing them. Ladybugs crawl rather than fly in colder temperatures and an overnight stay in the refrigerator won’t harm them.
On heavily infested plants , drape a floating row cover or thin sheet over the plant and release the ladybugs underneath. Within a day, the ladybugs will have found the aphids or other pests and will be happily dining.
Ladybugs prefer large pest populations to feast upon, which stimulates them to mate and reproduce.
When food is scarce adult ladybugs generally fly off, but their eggs then hatch and provide further control. (Both adults and larvae feed on insect pests.)
You can prevent ladybugs from flying away by ‘gluing’ their wings shut temporarily, with a sugar-water solution in a spray bottle, it really does work – temporarily. Spray it in the bag the ladybugs come in, as soon as it arrives.
Buying Live Lady Bugs
There are issues with buying lady bugs to release in your garden. They eat harmful insects, this is true, but they also fly away when food sources become scarce.
When you purchase live lady bugs it is advisable that you not release them all at once, too much competition will cause many to seek greener pastures. Release them gradually after sun down every day.
There are some more tips regarding keeping them on your property earlier on in this article.