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This is a discussion on Alas! My army has risen! within the The Jungle forums, part of the Land Plants category; Several weeks ago, while planning to cut down the overgrown weeds in my backyard I ...
Several weeks ago, while planning to cut down the overgrown weeds in my backyard I noticed quite a rare but welcome sight.
Hundreds (literally) of ladybug larvae. For some reason ladybugs are becoming more rare in our region and people end up having to buy them from the garden center. So having this many grow locally in my backyard is a nice change.
So I figured I would leave the weeds alone for now and let the ladybugs complete their development.
They get a place to grow and eat, I get free natural aphid control.
After most of them have broken out of their chrysalis, I have started cleaning up the weeds that no longer host any active pupae.
Here are a couple of picture showing the ladybugs patrolling the yard.
I managed to fill 5 plastic soda bottles with about 20-30 ladybugs each and gave them away to friends who had aphid problems in their gardens.
Even after that, it did not look like I even thinned my army one bit.
They have been gorging themselves on the aphids in my garden and now that the aphid supply is running low, I would see them starting to fly outwards and into neighbors' yards.
My daughter and the neighbors' kids are having a blast watching them fly around and even landing and crawling on them.
Although my backyard is not the type that would win a suburban lawn of the year award, with its unkempt weeds and rag-tag assortment of naturalized grasses at different spots, it feels great that in my own little way I helped the ladybug population with its attempt to rebound from habitat loss.
Not to mention that my neighbors benefit from the free aphid control so that they dont have to resort to buying pesticides.
Hmmm. I wonder if I should file for my backyard as a protected wildlife habitat, so that the homeowners association would get off my back about the "weeds" in my yard.
Wonderful John. What are the 1mm silver little jumping buggers that are patroling my plants? They only seem to show themselves towards the evening? Are these aphids? Time to repot?