Date: 1992-07-01 01:16:00 GMT
Ladybugs are ruthless when it comes to consuming aphids. Ladybugs
also prey upon a host of other pest insects as well. There are quite a
number of mail order businesses that deal in ladybugs. They are sold
(usually) by the 1/2 pint, pint and quart. 1/2 pints are around $11 and
full pints around $15. Some businesses go the extra mile and ship the
bugs with a piece of dry ice to slow the bugs metabolism and to help
prevent mortalities. These businesses advertise in the back pages of
most gardening magazines. Check your library's magazine rack if you
like. If anyone has trouble finding sources for ladybugs, send me
private email and I will dig up some catalogs for the info.
The only complaint about ladybugs is that most if not all eventually
fly away. It has to do with mating and such. Your money literally flies
away. Its kinda neat to watch. If there is food present for the
ladybug, alot will hang around until the food (aphids, weevils, red
spiders and the like) source is depleted.
A way to trick the ladybug into not immediately flying away is to
give the insect a splash of 7-UP just prior to placing the bug on the
plant. The water in the soda wets their wings, thus grounding the insect
until the wings dry out. The mentality is ". . . can't fly so I might as
well eat someting. . .". The reason for 7-UP and not water is because
after the water evaporates, the sticky sugar thats left behind will
further make the ladybugs wings inoperative. The sugar eventually will
disappear and the ladybug will regain flight but hopefully by that time
your aphids are history. This method of using 7-UP is not harmful to the
ladybug. I seem to remember that California has organic farming laws or
regulations or someting like that which also specifies this method.
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