A couple of weeks ago I noticed quite a few little aphids in my greenhouse. I don’t like to spray my garden with any pesticides, so I decided to go the natural route and purchase some ladybugs from the nursery.
Luckily my younger brother happens to be good friends with the owner of the nursery and had mentioned I would be coming by to pick up some ladybugs. The owner told my brother that the best thing you can do before releasing your ladybugs is to give all of your plants a good watering, leaves and all – the ladybugs are very thirsty coming out of the bag and the water will encourage them to stick around instead of just flying away. The instructions on the bag also said to release the ladybugs in the evening – it is more likely that they will settle in and find a place to snooze and then start eating in the early morning when the sun rises. I’ve also heard that you can spray them with a little sugar water or soda solution to make their wings sticky and prevent them from flying away, although it sounds a little cruel to me.
My ladybugs seemed to be very grateful for the water and immediately stopped for a drink as they came out of the bag – then started crawling around the plants and doing their thing. I watched them for quite awhile just because they were so neat but also to get some photos. I closed the greenhouse door for the night and in the morning there were a ton of ladybugs hanging out on plants and in the soil. They definitely did their duty as all of the aphids disappeared.
Unfortunately the ladybugs flew off after their work had been completed but I like to think that they are living elsewhere in the garden, feasting on delicious little aphids.