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Post  jbh29 on 6/26/2011, 9:18 pm

Has anyone ever purchased ladybugs to release them into your yard or garden? I have aphids on several leaves of a cherry tree and don't want them to spread to my garden. I'm tempted to buy ladybugs, but would love some input from those who have done it.
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Post  busygirl on 6/26/2011, 9:29 pm

I haven't done it, but have also considered it. I saw a "ladybug house" or somesuch in a catalog, which got me to thinking about it. I have put it on my list of possibilities for next year, but putting in the bee hives comes first.
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Post  westie42 on 6/26/2011, 11:58 pm

Purchase Ladybugs? Ladybug2
This is a ladybug in larva stage. Protect these little jewels.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 6/27/2011, 8:21 am

Most organic gardening books or magazines recommend the use of ladybugs, but not their purchase. Your ladybugs will leave your yard when they run out of food. It seems to be a better option to have an organic garden/yard and the ladybugs will find you when they are needed. It has worked well in my yard. To the point when I find a bunch of ladybugs I look for their food source. Have you tried a stiff shot of water from the hose?

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Post  jbh29 on 6/27/2011, 9:09 am

@Patty from Yorktown wrote:Most organic gardening books or magazines recommend the use of ladybugs, but not their purchase. Your ladybugs will leave your yard when they run out of food. It seems to be a better option to have an organic garden/yard and the ladybugs will find you when they are needed. It has worked well in my yard. To the point when I find a bunch of ladybugs I look for their food source. Have you tried a stiff shot of water from the hose?

Patty from Yorktown

I haven't tried water. Will it kill them or just wash them off and they will come back or go to another plant?

I admit I'm a little uncomfortable about the idea of introducing such a large number of ladybugs. I worried about upsetting a balance or something. I have also not ever noticed true ladybugs around here. we have something called Japanese beetles that look like ladybugs. I wonder if these eat aphids? Or maybe they chase away the true ladybugs?

I'll try the hose today.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 6/27/2011, 12:26 pm

Japanese beetles are a different bug. They eat leaves and have almost no predators in the United States. At my house they love hollyhocks, certain bean plants and raspberries. Roses are an other favorite, but I do not have any of them. They will eat a leave down to lacy foliage and can easily kill a plant. I tip them into soapy water dishes/bowls. I do not know if aphids can survive a a stiff shot of water from the hose, they are really small, so it might take them the rest of their life to climb back up your cherry trees. Happy squishing.

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Post  MikeP on 6/27/2011, 4:18 pm

I purchased ladybugs a few weeks ago and when we released them they started eating right away.
I'm still seeing them only here and there, but I know for a fact that there is still a ton of food for them in my garden (they don't eat only aphids).

I also released some lacewing eggs the other day, so hopefully the lady bugs and lacewings won't eat each others larvae/eggs.

Still plenty for them to eat, though I have to find something for the leaf miners and flea beetles. I think nematodes are next on the list.
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Post  jbh29 on 6/28/2011, 1:46 pm

Well, I hosed off the aphids from my little cherry tree yesterday afternoon. No sign of aphids yet today. I like the idea of them spending the rest of their little lives trying to get back up. Razz That image is worth a chuckle.

I'll let you know if I see anymore aphids.
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Post  MasonGarden on 6/28/2011, 2:18 pm

Mike, where did you get your lady bugs?
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Post  moswell on 7/2/2011, 1:10 pm

I was so close to purchasing some ladybugs off the web (my local garden store didn't have them), because I saw some more aphids on my tomato plants and didn't want to spray again, having already shocked and killed or nearly killed several plants earlier this season. One day last week I spent a good fifteen minutes picking off little aphids and smushing them. But a couple days later, I finally noticed some ladybugs in my garden! Just being a little patient and letting nature take its course seems to have worked - they found their food source just fine. Very Happy

I'm away from home for the holidays, but I feel much better about coming home and not finding all my tomato plants eaten up now that I've seen ladybugs in the garden, and I saved myself the cost of buying them. Smile
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Post  Cropper2 on 7/2/2011, 3:12 pm

I bought 2,500 lady bugs from amazon.com and they have been fantastic at helping me manage what I thought was going to be an unmanageable bug problem this year (without harmful sprays). The trick for me was figuring out how to set them loose in batches. Once they "woke up" they started scurrying everywhere. You've heard of herding cats? Try herding Lady Bugs!! Important to make sure the leaves onto which you are putting your newly freed Lady Bugs are very wet. They will drink and drink and drink.

Good luck!
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Post  MikeP on 7/5/2011, 9:20 am

MasonGarden, I picked my ladybugs up at a local garden center. I figured since they were selling them for the same price (or less, in some cases) as the online stores without shipping charges, it would be worth it.
You can find them on Amazon, gardensalive.com (I just bought some nematodes and lacewings from them), and several other sites.

I haven't seen many ladybugs lately (only one recently), although I am still seeing aphids. Also haven't seen any larger lacewing larvae yet, and it's been a few weeks since I put them in. Some eggs had already hatched when we got them, so I'd figure at least SOME of the larvae would still be around.
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