We have aphids.
A few weeks ago I was horrified to discover hundreds of aphids spawning thousands of ugly little aphid babies on the new leaves of our favourite tree.
We love this tree so much that I had no problem hanging off the top rung of a ladder, jet streaming the little monsters off with a garden hose. And every day after work, My Fella would go on Aphid Patrol, crushing the little buggers with his bare, manly hands.
We got rid of tons of them but they kept coming back.
Finally it was time to call in the heavy artillery: ladybugs in a bag.
We bought a bag of 200 dormant ladybugs at the local garden store and found info on how to release them from this website and a few others. There's definitely some great information available on the internet.
But here's a few things we didn't learn online:
- setting ladybugs free is harder than it sounds - much, much, much harder
- it's tough to mist the ladybugs with the coke/water solution (which makes their wings sticky for a few days so they don't immediately fly away)... I had some real issues even doing this in the first place; it seemed cruel - how do I know I'm not getting it in their eyes or up their nose?
- it's tough to convince a ladybug to walk onto a branch if they don't want to - it's even more difficult to coax 200 sticky ladybugs to walk onto branches
- do not leave the paper bag of ladybugs in your fridge after you've taken the first batch outside - even if you think you sealed the bag tight... trust me, YOU DID NOT !!!
- good luck catching the 50 or 60 escapee ladybugs darting between the mustard and pickle jars
- don't be disappointed if you don't find even a single ladybug in your yard the next morning; they may be hiding after the traumatic fridge experience, or they may be sleeping off the coke/water solution
- OR they might have just decided that you're a brutal gardener and it's time to walk the 10,000 ladybug steps to a more caring and humane yard :(
price of a bag of 200 dormant ladybugs was $10; and boy ladybugs are also called ladybugs