These predators are most definitely a gardeners best friend! Native two spotted ladybirds Adalia bipunctata are fantastic predators of aphids and other plant pests making a real dent in pest numbers. Both adults and larvae feed on numerous species of aphids as a preference however they will also eat spider mite and thrip.
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 which will develop into larvae (which also feed on the same plant pests!) and eventually adults.
Ladybirds can be released onto infested plants outdoors in the summer, however they perform especially well in confined spaces such as greenhouses, conservatories and poly tunnels.
Ladybird adults will feed on most species of aphid and are especially effective against these kinds of infestation. They will also feed on spider mite and thrip however Dragonfli advise the use of more effective predators for these pests respectively.
Ladybird adults perform particularly well in greenhouses and poly tunnels and will attack local infestations of pests. Adults can be released outdoors onto aphid colonies but Dragonfli recommend using ladybird larvae on outdoor infestations as the larvae will stay in one place. Adult ladybirds, being able to fly, will exercise free will outside and locate food sources to their own preference!
Ladybird adults can be used from temperatures above 10 degrees indoors or outdoors, however best levels of control are achieved 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, 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 by scattering over infested areas, leave the bag open on the plant to allow any stragglers to make their way out naturally.
We always advise making your garden as attractive as possible to ladybirds. By providing overwintering sites you will attractant hibernating ladybirds as well as providing safe sites for the ones released.
Please Note; Ladybirds are living creatures and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a guide cease using pyrethrum or SB plant invigorator 2 days prior to use and other persistent chemicals or universal bug killers 1-2 weeks before applying ladybirds.