When I was younger, a tradition in my family was that at the beginning of the summer, my grandfather would purchase a bag of ladybugs online that we would release into a backyard.
I never really knew why, but the reason was to use the ladybugs as a natural pesticide. The only problem that I saw with this is that from what I could tell, we never saw the bugs again, and there was no change in our garden.
If this sounds interesting, here’s what you need to know about buying ladybugs, praying mantises or any other like bug online.
When you purchase ladybugs online, you’re likely looking for something natural to rid your garden of aphids or other small, soft bugs, which is what a ladybug will do. During its lifetime, a ladybug will consume roughly 5,000 aphids.
So, when ordering ladybugs, be sure that you really do have aphids on your plants. If not, the ladybugs will often migrate to where they have more to eat. If you don’t have much trouble with aphids, you’re practically paying to help one of your neighbor’s pest problems. Even though you may have a high population of aphids, the lady bugs still aren’t guaranteed to stay in your yard.
Most of these ladybugs available for online purchase are wild bugs captured at the end of the season when they have eaten all they need and are ready to go into dormancy. After capture, they are often stored refrigerated until they are ready to be shipped out, so they arrive hungrily. The problem with this is that once the ladybugs have been shipped and are released by the customer, the ladybugs will fly until they are tired, and then will settle down into a yard that is usually not the customers to eat.
A more serious concern in ladybug purchase is the risk of getting bugs that carry parasites or diseases. Not only will this kill your ladybugs, but it could also infect your garden plants, and you could possibly be unknowingly bringing a new parasite into your area that has never been there before. It’s estimated that 3-15 percent of harvested ladybugs carry a parasite.
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