Live ladybird larvae are ferocious predators of aphids and greenfly. This native ladybird; Adalia bipunctata also known commonly as the two spotted ladybird can consume up to 100 aphids each day! The larvae will feed for up to three weeks before developing into adults, at which point they will continue to prey on aphids.
The initial advantage of using larvae are the rates of aphid consumed, in their development ladybird larvae will consume huge numbers of aphids. They also have the benefit of staying roughly where they are released, making application to infestations easy. You also gain the benefit of multiple stages of development, both the larval stage and the adult stage making these little predators brilliant value for money.
Ladybird larvae 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 larvae perform particularly well in greenhouses and polytunnels and will attack local infestations of pests. We recommend using ladybird larvae on outdoor infestations only in summer or when temperatures are appropriate.
Ladybird larvae can be used from temperatures above 10 degrees indoors or outdoors, however best levels of control are achieved above 15 degrees. Ladybird larvae should only be introduced once pests are present!
As a general guide we advise applying ladybird larvae at a rate of 10-20 per square metre. This would equate to around 5 per medium plant.
The larvae will feed for around three weeks before developing into adults. Adult ladybirds can live for up to 3 years in the wild and grow to around 0.4 inches!
Release larvae in the morning or evening by scattering over aphid hotspots, 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.