These predators are most definitely a gardeners best friend! Supplied as native two spotted ladybirds Adalia bipunctata,,they are efficient predators of aphids and other plant pests .Both adults and larvae feed on numerous species of aphids and greenfly.
During the winter months ladybirds hibernate in window frames, walls, log piles or trees and emerge to mate in the spring. Females lay between 20-50 eggs per day and will develop into larvae (which also feed on aphids) and eventually into adults.
Ladybird adults are best suited for application onto aphid infested plants in confined spaces such as greenhouses, conservatories and poly tunnels.
Ladybird adults will feed on most species of aphids.They will also feed on some other small soft bodied insect pests, however Dragonfli advise the use of more specific predators for the control of pests like spider mite and thrips. See Spider Mite Killer and Thrip Killer products.
Ladybird adults are suited for use in greenhouses and poly tunnels. Adults can be released outdoors but are difficult to apply to specific infestations , as they are winged and can fly off. Ladybird larvae, which are not winged at this stage of their life cycle, are easier to use in outdoor infestations, as the larvae will stay in one place.
Ladybirds can be used from temperatures above 10 degrees indoors or outdoors, however optimum conditions for Ladybird activity is above 15 degrees. Ladybirds should only be introduced once pests are present.
As a general guide we advise applying adult ladybirds at a rate of 10 per square metre or 5 larvae per infested plant, if you have a severe infestation of aphids we advise doubling this rate.
In the wild ladybirds can live between 2 to 3 years and grow to 0.4 inches.
Release ladybird adults in the morning or evening if applying indoors or when windows and vents are closed for a few hours. Open container and lodge in foilage for adults to emerge, after afew hours, if some adults are left inside, gently tip out onto infested plants.
Ladybirds are living creatures and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used prior to and during their release. As a guide cease using all chemical insecticides at least 3 weeks before releasing and up to 2 days before for non-toxic products like SB plant Invigorator.