Aphids are one of the most common and successful pests we find on our plants.
One reason for this is that they are incredibly prolific: when food is unlimited they go into an asexual reproductive stage, where an all female population give live birth to pregnant females.
One way to combat them is to use what is perhaps the most widely recognized aphid predator, the popular ladybug. Ladybugs are predators both as adults and larvae, and are capable of consuming about 50 aphids daily.
The ladybugs we sell are native to North America, the species Hippodamia convergens. Their main prey are aphids, but they are generalists, and feed on a variety of other pests including thrips, mites, whitefly, mealybugs, leafhoppers, and many other soft-bodied bugs. As generalists, they also can serve as a great follow up or add-on to help deal with many pest issues you may be facing.
After receiving ladybugs, they can either be released right away or be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks (see the expiry date stamped onto the label of the bag). The best time to release ladybugs is at dusk, when the bugs are least active, and the environment not as hot and dry as mid-day. It is also a good idea to mist with water where you’ll be releasing the ladybugs.
A good strategy is to purchase a larger bag and release 1/3 to 1/2 of the bag and then store the rest in the fridge, as that way you can incrementally release the ladybugs throughout the span of a few weeks and keep re-introducing predators to combat your pest population. You may also avoid the hassle and cost of a second shipment.
Helpful hint: if you have a history of aphid problems, you may have ant colonies protecting the aphids. Spend a few minutes watching for ants in your aphid spots. If you can put out ant bait, or tanglefoot around your trees, that may be half the solution, as then the native predators and parasites are able to help.
suited for areas 50-200 square feet
(Information obtained from: thebuglady.ca)