Please Note: The Ladybugs are currently breeding and therefore cannot be harvested. We currently have zero ladybugs in stock, but expect to have more in stock early June. Thank you.
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.
Aphidoletes are an even "better" aphid predator that serve as a great follow-up to ladybugs when dealing with aphids. Aphidoletes are predator midges of aphids, and are sold in the pupal stage, in a tray containing vermiculite. Pupae are tough enough to withstand the rigors of shipping.
Unlike ladybugs, they can't be released right away, but must be held at room temperature for a few days, until the adults begin to emerge and fly around within the plastic container. This maturation process can take up to one week. Once you see the adult midges flying around, the following evening they can be released at aphid hotspots. They are "aphid generalists", and are known to feed on over sixty different species of soft-bodied aphids. Aphidoletes are known to be incredible searchers, and will can even find individual aphids within the crop. They are better at reducing aphid populations in most circumstances, one reason being that they are more focused on aphids while ladybugs have a broader pest palette.
If you’re dealing with aphids on boulevard trees lining the street and causing honeydew to drop onto parked vehicles, Aphidoletes and ladybugs are your solution. We offer a specific product, the Aphidoletes hanging vial, to help deal with that problem. All you would have to do is hang one vial per tree, or every other tree if trees are adjacent, and the Aphidoletes will emerge from a hole in the lid of the vial once they’ve reached the adult stage, ready to find aphids. Ladybugs can also be released as well as hanging up Aphidoletes vials, for as mentioned earlier, they’ll get to work right away while you wait for the Aphidoletes to mature.
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
suited for areas up to
2,000-5,000 square feet
(Information obtained from: thebuglady.ca)