Tips for Controlling Aphids with Ladybugs
April 12, 2012 § 3 Comments
It was about this time last year when I was lamenting over the aphid infestation on my mandevilla(which has since died from other causes.) I had tried unsuccessfully all winter to kill aphids with Mrs. Meyers all purpose cleaner, which kept them at bay but certainly did not wipe them out. So I turned to my spotted, hungry, and more motivated colleague the ladybug. I ordered mine from Beneficial Entomology on ebay and they shortly arrived in the mail. I can’t really remember but I think I ordered 5,000 and since an adult ladybug can eat over 5,00 aphids in its lifetime, the math was in my favor. The hardest thing you will encounter is that you can’t keep ladybugs in one place by sheer power of will. You can,however, incentivize their stay by doing the following things.
- Making sure they have a water source,water plants before putting the ladybugs on.
- Make sure they have a food source, sadly if there is nothing to eat they will leave.
- Ladybugs are less active at night, so apply in the last afternoon or nighttime.
- You can spray them with sugar water to make their wings stick. I personally found this a little cruel and decided against it.
- Ladybugs will keep in the fridge. The seems cruel, but really they just go dormant. I applied to rounds of ladybugs about a week apart to completely wipe out the aphid population.