Ladybirds

Ladybirds, except for the leaf-eating 26 or 28 spot ladybirds, are an asset to any garden. Both adults and larvae consume a considerable quantity of pests such as aphids and scale, and one type of ladybird feeds on fungus.
Most people know what adult ladybirds look like but ladybird larvae are strange looking creatures and many people confuse them with garden pests. As a result many of these hardworking pest predators are killed by pesticides, including organic sprays, and a decline in ladybird numbers is always followed by a pest outbreak. A common victim is the larvae of the Cottonycushion Scale ladybird which disguises it self so well, it is often mistaken for scale. A Brisbane web site has an excellent range of photos of ladybirds and their larvae. Check before you spray so that ladybirds won’t become an endangered species.
http://www.brisbaneinsects.com/brisbane_ladybirds/index.html

5 Replies to “Ladybirds”

  1. Can you tell me where I can buy some ladybirds, please. It’s aphid city here.
    I have no idea where you can buy ladybirds, Chris. They usually migrate naturally to gardens where poisons are not used. If your aphid problem is overwhelming you, I suggest you get some Natrasoap from your local nursery. This is a horticultural formula soap that can be used as a spray on soft-shelled insects. Soap sprays will also kill ladybirds and their larvae but, it appears that won’t be a problem in your case. Don’t use ordinary soap as a spray, they will also damage your plants.
    Also don’t overdo the nitrogen fertiliser – it attracts aphids and other pests. – Lyn

  2. Could you please email me a price list for ladybirds and or their larvae. – John Lawrence

    Hi John, ladybirds will find gardens where owners refrain from using chemical pesticides because these products (as well as some organic pest treatments) will also kill ladybirds and their larvae. No doubt there are enterprising people out there who breed ladybirds for other gardeners but I have no idea who, as we have never had trouble attracting these helpful little insects to organic gardeners.

    UPDATE Jan 6 2010
    I noticed in my most recent edition of ‘Australian Certified Organic’ magazine that Bunnings will be supplying ladybirds and larvae. They would be the people to contact. – Lyn

  3. Where can I get ladybirds and larvae from, I live in Hobart. Can I breed them as well?

    Barbara, the way to get ladybirds in your garden is to avoid using pesticides. Any pesticide that works (including organic ones) will also kill the good insects in your garden. Once in your garden, ladybirds will breed quite happily without any help. This website can can help you get ladybirds, but you are a couple of months too late this year as they only supply them in January. My City Garden
    This site may also be able to help you: Bugs for Bugs – Lyn

  4. Can you tell me where I can buy some ladybirds, please.

    You haven’t said where you live, and different species are found in different regions. Why do you want to buy them, Tharanga? If you avoid using pesticides, ladybirds suited to your climate will visit your garden.
    However, if you really want to buy them, just Google ‘ladybirds for sale’.

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