3000 new recruits in the ever-ongoing war against aphids!
I lucked out the day I got them- very foggy and overcast which meant a mid-day release.
Normally of course you have to wait til dusk, so that the little ladies are tricked into thinking that the garden was always their home. But when it’s wet and foggy, you can just water everything well including the foliage and have your new bug buddies have a chill day exploring.
Of course the second advantage to a daytime release is that it means better lighting for photographs.
Two things made the release earlier this year besides the foggy weather- the new packaging made sorta gently shaking out an appropriate amount of ladybugs per not-happy plant possible without just accidentally dumping 2/3’s of a can onto a plant that wasn’t that badly affected.
The second thing is that I seem to have become one with the ladybugs and therefore no longer have any squeamishness with them crawling on me.
“Oh hey bud you and 35 of your pals are on my arm instead of my plants! Lets just shake you onto the tree collard real quick.”
(Note: this only applies to ladybugs. A large black spider hitchhiked upstairs in some spinach I brought up, and when she started crawling up my arm I made a noise so panicked and prehistoric my mom thought I was being murdered.)
But I love these darling ladybugs. They make such a delightful contrast to my pots and plants.
And I can put them where they need to be, in the cool and the damp.
Because I want these bugs to feel at home. After all, while adult ladybugs eat aphids and other soft bodied insects- it’s their larval forms that chow down the hardest- adult ladybugs prefer to eat pollen. The children are the real carnivores.
That’s why I’m putting them out back this time of year. Quite a lot of blooming bolted brassicas that will feed the lady bug adults, so that subsequent generations can be the aphid killers I know them to be.
No Barry White required.