Despite its demure name, the lady bug is feared by most of the smaller insect pests that ravage our flower beds and vegetable gardens. Each lady bug will consume many times their weight in troublesome insects. They love to munch on aphids, scale, mealy bugs, boll worms, leaf worms, leaf hoppers, corn ear worms and more. Lady bugs are available for purchase as already hatched individuals, ready to go to work. Since lady bugs are migratory, it is important to release large numbers to achieve effectiveness.
Fortunately there are about 1500 lady bugs in 1/6 of a pint. Lady bugs don’t fly at night, so this is the ideal time to release them. Release them at the bases of plants that are infested with the insects that they prefer. Over the next few days, they will spread out in search of more insects to devour. The ones that find food in your gardens will stay and reproduce. Provide water for them to make your garden an easier place for them to survive. A shallow pan, like a pie pan, filled with small stones or gravel will make it easier for the lady bugs to get the water the need without drowning.