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  • Is it Worth Buying Ladybugs?

    I live in New York Queens and I have a narrow long garden at the side of my house.
    Is it a good idea to buy ladybugs and release them in my garden, or would they all fly away in 1-2 day?

    They sell them in my local nursery for $12 for 50 ladybugs.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 7 photos.

  • #2
    They will fly away the same day, at least that what happened to me once
    MJ
    Chicago Zone 5
    Varieties List

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    • #3
      They will fly away the same day if you don’t have a suitable habitat for them.
      San Francisco Zone 10B.
      WL: None

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      • #4
        yes, most likely they will fly away. If there isn't an abundance of bugs for them to eat, they will certainly go elsewhere in search of food. I have a good amount of praying mantis that come back each year in my yard. Those seem easier to establish. There are also the lace wings which eat aphids. I don't know if those fly away as much as lady bugs...probably so. Those are available for sale at various times of the year.
        What pests are you trying to have eaten by the lady bugs? or do you just like to see the lady bugs in your garden? Also, once you introduce a predator, like a lady bug, then you don't want to spray with any insecticide as it will kill the lady bug and the nymph (juvenile form of lady bug). You should learn what the nymph looks like...not anything like a lady bug.
        Pm me for the list of trees available for sale.
        Phoenix, AZ zone 9B

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        • Georgios The Greek
          Georgios The Greek commented
          Editing a comment
          I want ladybugs so I can avoid spraying any pesticides

      • #5
        Check the internet, you can get hundreds for that same price. I buy them for my vegetable garden yearly and find them to be very helpful.
        Wishlist- kadota, LSU purple, ronde de Bordeaux, VdB, Willing to pay!! PM me. Beaumont Texas zone 9

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        • #6
          First off, I LOVE the figs and grapes on the pergola. Just AWESOME! It's so Italian that I can smell the gravy on the stove as I type this!

          I don't think it's worth it. The chances of them taking up residency are...low. They'll almost certainly leave.

          Here is my problem with relying on predatory insects: in order for predatory insects to thrive, their "food" has to greatly outnumber them. If the predators ever get a handle on their prey, they'll leave, because there is no longer food left for them to eat. Therefore, it's in the predatory insect's best interest to have a thriving pest population, not to eradicate it.

          Because of this, I don't think predatory insects are a reasonable way to control a pest population. If you live in a place with a lot of insect pests, the only way I've been able to manage them is by either covering the plants with insect netting or developing a spraying routine. Using natural pyrethrin or spinosad concentrates, in my opinion, is the best way to do this. If you spray at dusk, the impact on pollinators is minimal.
          Zone 8A Southeast NC Coast
          Subscribe via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/TheMillennialGardener
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          • ieatfigs
            ieatfigs commented
            Editing a comment
            This has been my experience too. I've wondered if planting a sacrificial crop would work. Like beans. Beans draw aphids, and aphids draw ladybugs to your garden. But then the issue becomes how do you get rid of the ants. It seems that the ants guard the aphids.

            But yea, I share the same beliefs as you regarding predatory insects. They're overrated. It sounds great in theory. Those people haven't gardened before. They are blog writers.

          • TheMillennialGardener
            TheMillennialGardener commented
            Editing a comment
            ieatfigs I've found distraction cropping to be very effective. I have a problem with leaf-footed bugs in my area, and sunflowers attract them. They collect on the sunflowers, you spray the sunflowers at night with natural pyrethrin (killing the bugs), then by sunrise when the pollinators come out, the pyrethrin's been breaking down for 12 hours and is inert by then. If you can grow a distraction crop, you can then use the pesticides on that distraction crop and kill the pests while keeping the sprays off your food.

        • #7
          I never bought any ladybugs, but I collect them from my (open) garden and release them inside my melon tent (high tunnel). As they have there somewhat limited escaping opportunities, they stay there enough time to lay eggs and create new generation of larvae, that can help to reduce aphids population.
          Current year there has been very few aphids. Possibly long drought isn't suitable for aphids.
          Estonia, Zone 5 Wish List 2023 Improved Celeste-Florea-Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley-Teramo-Long Yellow-Iranian Candy-De Tres Esplets-Malta Black-Salem Dark-Olympian-Smith-Green Michurinska + Any tasty super early fig

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          • #8
            The lady bugs I've purchased have flown away in a couple of days. My hope was that they at least had a few meals before they left. By the way, I love your grapes and figs - looks very lush!

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            • #9
              If you release them at night they’re more likely to stick around longer, provided there’s adequate food for them. Lacewing eggs may be better if you can find them.
              Z8+ Oregon, willamette valley. WL: More land, bigger studio, truth in marketing.

              Ok fine, I made a channel but it’s not all figs.

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              • #10
                No experience with ladybugs but every spring I try and I gather up all the praying mantises I can find and place them onto my figs and vegetables. Some leave, but sometimes I’ll see a few of them spend the whole summer with me. Combined with the spiders they keep the flying pests away. I’ve seen mantis nests for sale at Home Depot before.
                Last edited by mwhight34; 07-22-2021, 05:27 PM.

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                • #11
                  I don't know about ladybugs but I ❤️ your Akita.
                  Zone 10b, Long Beach CA
                  Creator of The Original Wasp In Fly Out (WIFO) Bags
                  Wish list: Bebera Branca

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                  • #12
                    I get them for fun sometimes. And some years there will be a bunch of them on their own. It’s interesting to see lady bugs, praying mantids, wheel figs, lace wings, spiders, etc in the yard. They aren’t going to stop an infestation but they are nice to see around doing their part.
                    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

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                    • #13
                      I buy ladybugs in late spring along with praying mantis. This year the ladybugs went crazy and stayed months and months. The praying mantis army are the best but will murder any and all bugs but do create nests and winter over. Mightly recommended.

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                      • #14
                        It's hard to believe, but 10 days ago, in my yard - a plot of land of 150 square meters, several hundred ladybirds lived and looked for food, and in my coast-area there were probably at least a billion. There was a population explosion of exceptional strength. Nobody knows what the reason is, but people talked about it constantly for three weeks. The beetles ate everything they could eat. People were bitten quite often, especially on the beach where there is no food for them.
                        Андрей. N.-W. Кавказ, пень Абрау, 7б-8а

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                        • #15
                          Don't bother
                          Ike
                          bergen county NJ 6b
                          Wish list: oh lets face it Ill take any variety I dont have!!

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                          • #16
                            I bought a pint of lady bugs thru a mail order garden place 35 yrs ago and released them into a 100 ft. hoop house because of a bad infestation of aphids on impatiens. They systematically devoured EVERY SINGLE APHID within days. They then went on to stay there and populate the property. To this day, if I bring something to my house from my parents house, there will be a lady bug that shows up in my house. And they DO seem to bite (some of them). Best 20 bucks I ever spent.
                            South Jersey, zone 7a- 20 mins from Philly, 30 mins from AC

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                            • Badgerferrit
                              Badgerferrit commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I’m of the opinion that everyone saying don’t bother has never tried them to deal with aphids.

                            • Achilles
                              Achilles commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Badgerferrit couldn't agree more or has never tried it and wants to voice an opinion.

                          • #17
                            I never bought ladybugs or anything else for that matter but what I do that works very well is to create a habitat for beneficial insects. I have a thriving ecosystem of beneficial insects: multiple species of ladybugs, lacewings, soldier beetles, 7 plus species of bees, parasitic wasps, flies, etc. I have some pests but it's at a healthy level. My plants are not negatively affected and I never sprayed anything.
                            Adult ladybugs eat some aphids but they rely heavily on pollen and nectar. It's the babies that eat a lot of aphids so to successfully establish a good control is to establish habitat in your yard, so you have a breeding population. It's not as simple as just buying some ladybugs
                            San Francisco Zone 10B.
                            WL: None

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                            • Georgios The Greek
                              Georgios The Greek commented
                              Editing a comment
                              How did you create a habitat...?

                            • oat
                              oat commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Georgios The Greek I grow plants that have flat small flowers with a long bloom time like Yarrows, chives, sweet alyssums. In my climates these blooms practically all year except a brief break in January and February. You might want to look for a few species of native plants in your area that can perform the same function. If you don’t hate dandelions, they do a decent job at providing for the ladybugs and other beneficial insects. You want to dedicate some sizable area, at least 1x1 sq-meter. Don’t cut away the dry and dead flowers and foliage, especially in the winter. They need it as their home and to hide from predators. I also see them morphing on my rocks and concrete walls especially when it’s a little cooler. Good luck! They really do work. I had a huge swarm of aphids eating my lemon tree this spring. The ladybug larvae descended on them and in a few days the aphids were cleaned off. It’s like watching a commando movie.
                              If you have more questions, feel free to PM me.

                          • #18
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                            Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

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                          • #19
                            I use them in my greenhouse and grow room sometimes but I’ve never released them outside.
                            FigLife: www.figlife.com
                            www.youtube.com/figlifedotcom
                            [email protected]

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