Best place to buy ladybugs

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wrote:

Picking them up off the car hoods/bonnets carefully with fingernails and placing them gently into a jar. ;-)
Seriously, they were all over the cars in the lot! This was around midnight.
When I was a kid, I used to gather them for mom out of a local field where they were all over the grass.
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Don't waste your money. They will leave your garden in hours.
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But they left their eggs. :-) I've had a good population now for several years. When I dumped my lot, I put them onto some grapvine leaves that were covered in Aphids.
Feed them and they will at least leave some progeny.
You can also, as I said, purchase lacewing eggs. That way you get the best predatory stage. The larvae.
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I'm trying to convince both neighbors to buy them! ~tom

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Do they garden?
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On Fri, 16 May 2008 12:37:52 -0500, Omelet wrote:

Lacewing - Don't the larvae eat azalea leaves ? Something was devastating our azaleas. When we described the symtoms to the local aggy extension service they said it sounded like lacewing. It took forever to spray them away with various pesticide applications. If you have azaleas around and you enjoy them, stick w/the ladies ...
= Me
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Huh. The eggs I was sold were supposed to be strictly predators. I bought them at one of the nurseries to get rid of the terrible scale problem I had, and it did work...
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On Fri, 16 May 2008 12:33:15 -0500, Katey Didd wrote:

Not true. If they have a supply of food, and you mist your plants with water before releasing them in the evening, they will hang out. Then if any of them are fertile they will lay eggs. You want them to lay eggs. After you find some eggs, protect them. When the larvae hatch, move them, by picking a leaf they are on, and put the leaf on a plant with problems. The larvae are what I like to have around. They start off very small, and grow bigger and bigger each day. If you have a plant like fennel, that is wispy, it makes a great lady bug factory. The larvae are easy to find, little dark specks on the thin green leaves. And if you mist it, it holds lots of tiny droplets of water. Once you discover what the larvae and the eggs look like, and learn to protect them, you will never be without lady bugs. Oh, one more thing, don't put any pesticide on your plants or your lady bugs will die. Also let your factory plant have aphids.
You can also move a leaf with egg clusters, but I find that letting them hatch first and moving the larvae works better.
I have a very small scale garden, but I think it would work the same, if you have time and a bigger space.
Now if I could figure out how to make the decollate snails stay.
stonerfish
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My ladybug larvae seem to live mostly in my Asparagus. Guess they like the whispy leaves when I let them fern.
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Find their eggs in a large plant filled veggie garden? You've got to be kidding!
When the larvae hatch, move

This sounds workable in a small garden but ours are/were large. The ladybugs my ex-husband bought didn't read the book. In two days we didn't see any left in the garden. I'm sure there were a few but we had to resort to a chemical spray.

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Chemical spray will deter all kinds of predatory insects. While I do use sevin when I absolutely have to, (it biodegrades rapidly so seems to have minimal impact on my spiders, assassin bugs and ladybird beetles), I try to minimize that as much as possible.
Placing some birdhouse gourd nesting houses for house wrens, keeping some areas (for reptilian and amphibian predators) damp in the yard, rocky areas where they can hide, and jealously guarding my spiders does a lot for me. I'm also getting a healthy population of Anole lizards and fence lizards. :-)
I don't have a lot of extra geckos right now like I've had in the past, or I'd offer to mail you some. <g> It's getting to be a bit hot now tho' to ship live lizards.
See if you can get your hands on some toad tadpoles. Raise them up in an outdoor temporary pond. I keep finding the cuties in unexpected places!
I'm still going to have to use BT tho' for brassicas and my passion vines, but that won't kill predatory insects. It only works on larval forms of pests.
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wrote:

I have Sevin dust. We only use chemicals when the bugs are getting out of hand. We have many acres of woodland behind us so all kinds of critters come from back there, both good and bad.

We're too far north for anoles. We do have fence lizards and skinks, box turtles, frogs and toads and many kinds of snakes. I've yet to see any of them in the veggie garden. Our biggest problems are the squash vine borers and cabbage worms on the collards. I used that bacteria for them last summer but it was only partly effective. Most of the leaves were badly damaged before it stared to take effect. The plants were really set back last summer between the worms, the heat and the drought.

Because of the ponds we're loaded with toads and frogs and newts.

We use it also. :^)

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I know that feeling. ;-) That is what keeps happening when I poison out the local rats. Some of my neighbors have problems with deer.

Can you hand-pick the worms? They are generally out mostly at dawn and dusk. I know it's a pain but...
One possibility would be to simply plant more than you can eat.

I envy you the newts. :-)

Wrens are death on bugs. :-) I think that's the only reason I've been able to garden at all! Little dudes are voracious when they are raising a nest of kids.
Plus they are cute!
I'm blessed with mockingbirds too.
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wrote:

We see deer all the time but they don't come near the houses because everyone has one or more dogs out here.

Too many plants to hand pick worms and there are always THOUSANDS of worms. You can turn over one leaf and see 20 or more of various sizes. I'm out of space in the gardens. I just have room for the 2 rows. These are large broad plants by July.

We have loads of house wrens here. They next everywhere. But again, I almost never see birds in the veggie garden either.

Yep! We have them here also. They sing just as it gets dark. Then, after dark, we hear the whippoorwills in the woods behind the house. :^)

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I think my dogs keep them away as well.

Mm. I know what you mean. Unfortunately.

Huh. That's odd. Try placing water sources (makeshift bird baths can be made from upside down clay pots and clay saucers). Water sources are important to support predators.

Too cool!
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On Fri, 16 May 2008 06:36:15 -0700, Sam wrote:

I've planted marigolds in my garden to attract ladybugs, they are also supposed to kill a number of harmful pests on their own.
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Snails and slugs, though, regard marigolds as a buffet and then they go off looking for the beer traps to get hammered in.
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In article

Beer traps work well don't they? :-)
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Too well. I've fallen in many a beer trap. ;-)
Charlie
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