I learned a few tips last week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show about controlling garden pests with Nature’s own predator bugs.
Ladybugs, and their even hungrier larvae, feast on aphids. But if you’ve ever purchased ladybugs, you’ve likely watched with dismay as they’ve flown away to your neighbor’s home.
|Ladybug larva, photo: Newton, MA public schools|
The secret one Garden Show speaker shared to keep ladybugs, aka ladybeetles, on your plants:
Spray a sugar water solution on the problem plants just before releasing.
But what ratio of water to sugar? I did a little google research and found some other key factors, plus an interesting website chock full of good information that does not besiege with advertising (pioneerthinking.com ):
· Ladybugs navigate by the sun, so release them after sundown in the evening.
· They need water; sprinkle leaves first.
· Chill overnight in the fridge (it won’t hurt them). They are more likely to crawl than fly when cold.