My habit of buying a few cans of ladybugs to release in my garden every year has payed off in ways I hadn’t imagined.
I haven’t gotten a new can this year yet, mostly due to inertia, and while I will- I’ve gotten a wonderful present from past me. You see, it isn’t just pest bugs that overwinter in your garden, to wake up when it’s warm and munch on your plants. Happily it’s also their predators.
They started to wake up bit by bit as early as February- when we had that bizarre heat wave. Unfortunately we also still had nights in the 30’s, so I doubt many of the first vanguard survived.
But starting in late March, and going wild in April- more and more ladybugs and their larvae started showing up in the garden. I started seeing their cocoons on the sides of raised beds as I cleared them, the larvae crawling in dirt and on plants, and the adults happily supping on arugula pollen. (Honestly that arugula has gotten to the point where I should pull it to clear the bed, but it’s the only reliable constant bloomer right now, so for the ladybugs and the bees it remains)
Most of their current activity is centered on the aphid filled messes that are my strawberry plants, sadly.
I’m ok with this. My various strawberries are tough little tykes, but have been variously plagued with aphids and thrips. This is normal, but highly annoying.
Therefore my ladybug army waking up from it’s long slumber has come just in time. Now to get on buying another can of fresh recruits.
There is no such thing as too many ladybugs.
2 thoughts on “The awakening army, 2022”
You actually see the cocoons?! I have never seen one before.
YES! I’ve seen the eggs before natch- before I cull over grown plants I always check for those yellow ladybug eggs behind a leaf so I can nestle them in insect infected plants instead of the compost- but the cocoons look like orange spotted rolled up roly polys that don’t move. It’s very cool.