Image #207 – Ladybugs, hired assassins

Image #207Many people have a love affair with Lady Bugs (Coccinellidae).  They are the stuff of children’s songs and story books.  Some will look upon them as emissaries from the spiritual world. But basically they are cute and colorful insects, welcome additions to a garden because they will eat other insects, especially aphids.

It is that Lady Bug talent that led my friend Mary to purchase more that 4,000 lady bugs.  To the uninformed, L.B.s can be purchased online and will arrive via the mail in a cardboard box that is dotted with air holes. The bugs themselves are in small wire-mesh type envelopes that you cut open and loose on your garden.  Mary is installing a butterfly garden and numerous aphids had found their way to it…I mean NUMEROUS. So rather than spraying them Mary decided to bring in a posse of hired assassins…the Lady Bugs.  That’s one of the 4,000 in the top picture. In the picture below you can see some of the aphids–the yellow dots– that are fodder for the L.B.s.  The L.B.s appear to be very efficient.  Mary is hoping they stick around. ❧

Image #207 (1)