Aphids can find their way to your garden by riding in on clothing, on other plants or produce, or through an open window or door.
Ladybugs feed on aphids, mites, and other soft-bodied bugs during their larval and adult stages of their lives.
Every gardener has spotted the lady beetle’s cluster of bright yellow eggs on plant leaves and stems. Within a week the eggs hatch and the insatiable, horned and segmented larvae emerge seeking food. The larvae go through three molting stages and, depending on conditions, will pupate after three to four weeks. It’s another week before the adult emerges, ready to resume feeding.
- Adult beetles are commonly shipped in cotton bags mixed with wood shavings.
- After opening, gently shake the contents evenly over the pest infestation.
- The ladybugs will stay in the garden until they have eaten all the food (bad bugs such as aphids).
Ladybug larvae can eat up to 400 aphids before hitting their pupa stage. As adults they devour over 5,000 aphids.