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Tips for Using Ladybird Beetles to Control Aphids

Review

Although often referred to as “ladybugs” the correct name for the small spotted insect is ladybird beetle, as they are not bugs at all. In some areas they are simply called Lady Beetles. It is another mistaken belief that they are all female. The name does not imply gender but rather may go back to suggestions that the virgin Mary (our lady) wore red.

Another myth is that the number of spots on each Lady Beetle indicates its age, in fact the number of spots is specific to each species and does not change on the individual beetles at all.

One of the most amazing things about Ladybird beetles is their appetite for aphids. Aphids, as we know, are garden pests. They suck the sap out of many of our plants, and in great numbers can even kill a tree, shrub, or other flowering plant.

Many gardeners have shown an interest in natural defenses against insect pests, such as the aphid and other scale insects. They know that ladybird beetles can be used to control these pests and have been using them for a number of years. The problem is that when new ladybird beetles are introduced to a yard they often fly away.

The reason most ladybird beetles fly away upon release is that they were not correctly conditioned prior to being sold. While a few may stay in the area, most will feel a need to migrate.

Gardeners are told to release the beetles on a tree and cover it for 24 hours to “train” them to stay in the area, however they often fly away the next day when the cover is released. With a lifespan of 1 to 2 years, you want your insect helpers to stay in your yard.

Gardens Alive is thrilled to offer “Sta-Home” lady beetles as a way to control aphids, other scale insect pests, and even Colorado potato beetle (eggs). These Sta-Home ladybird beetles are feed a special conditioning diet prior to being sold as such they do not feel the need to migrate upon being released.

The Sta-Home lady beetles as sold by Gardens Alive (a company whose focus is on natural remedies for common garden problems), are prepared so they will stay in the general area they are released. One package contains roughly 900 adult ladybird beetles and is enough to cover 1,000 square feet of space.

Additionally the Sta-Home lady beetle females are ready to lay eggs thus gardeners can trust they will multiply the numbers of aphid eaters in their yard within a week.

Gardens Alive offers correct release tips, such as refrigerating the ladybird beetles for a day or two prior to release (they can be refrigerated up to 10 days if weather conditions are poor). They also suggest misting the plants where the ladybird beetles are to be released, and releasing them in the early evening.

Gardens Alive has many other natural methods of controlling insect pests and solving garden problems. Be sure to check them out of you are interested in natural gardening methods.  Act now and you can get $20 off your order of $40.00 or more.

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Comments (2)

I heard about these lady bettles before as a way to control pests. This an environment-friendly way of keeping pests at bay. Thanks!

One of my great experienced in life is when I communed for 3 years and do organic farming...and I've learned about this Ladybug - rather Ladybird beetle. They are best to beat aphids. I also plant marigolds around vegetable patches, great informative article.

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