Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ladybugs


People have asked why I don't do anything about the aphids on my grapes. "Why not spray them?" is the usual question.

The answer is easy. Aphids breed faster than ladybugs and rapidly hit plague proportions... but... the ladybugs will usually catch up if you don't spray. After a week or two, you'll start seeing ladybugs and their larvae everywhere... and a week or two after that... the aphid issues have cleared up.


What most folks do is this: they see the aphids, they reach for poison, they kill the aphids (and the ladybugs that are just emerging)... and the beneficial predators never get a chance to balance things out the natural way. This leads to more problems with aphids in the future, since the population is now under your control, rather than nature's.

I don't even spray aphids with garlic water anymore. If they're really bad, I spray them off with a blast from the hose. Otherwise, I just wait on the ladybugs to do it for me.

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4 Comments:

At May 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Do you ever purchase ladybugs online? If so, would you mind sharing the website?

 
At May 14, 2013 at 11:00 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Actually, I never have. They always came on their own. I leave plenty of aphids and weed patches around for them. Aphids particularly like new grape growth... and the ladybugs chase them there. I think they have an ability to smell their prey.

 
At May 18, 2013 at 7:56 AM , Blogger Gardens-In-The-Sand said...

I wish the lady bugs would chase the aphids away from the milkweeds... The monarch caterpillars don't seem to mind the aphids... but they (aphids) clutter up the pictures...
Seems we were on the same wavelength... I posted ladybug pics on May 14 as well.

 
At May 18, 2013 at 8:56 AM , Blogger Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Ladybug pics on the SAME DAY? (cue creepy theremin music) Ha HA!

I've noticed that the ladybugs don't seem to eat the aphids off my tobacco plants. My theory is that the aphids that can feed on toxic plants are unpalatable to ladybugs.

 

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