As I mentioned in a previous post, JimJim and I visited the Weber Basin’s Water Conservation Learning Garden on an open day and received some free ladybirds (ladybugs) to release into the garden.
Ladybirds (ladybugs) and their larvae are fantastic predators on the aphid menace plaguing gardeners and will happily devour the aphids they stumble across.
The best time to release ladybirds is in the early evening after it has rained preferably. If it has not rained, water the area where you intend to release the ladybirds; this is because they require water when they are first released.
Release them in an area where there is food (aphids) available to reduce the chances of them flying off in search of food. A good source of nectar and pollen is also needed to encourage the ladybirds to mate, lay eggs and mature in the area.
Some people mix up a sugar solution of half water-half sugary soda and spray the ladybirds in their container. This solution crystallizes on the shell and glues the wings shut for a few days or until it rains, thereby keeping the ladybirds in the area for longer.
We didn’t go for the glued-wing thing and simply opened up the bag and released the ladybirds into each garden after a storm had passed through. Off they went on their merry way to find food in the garden or elsewhere in the neighborhood.