Aphids (also commonly known as greenfly and blackfly) are the most common pest insect for UK gardeners. They are commonly found on a range of ornamental flowers, fruits and vegetables. Feeding on plant sap, they weaken the plants stunting growth and reducing the plants produce be it flowers or food. Aphids also excrete honeydew as they feed which causes sticky deposits on leaves, fruits and working surfaces below them which also results in mould growth. Aphids live in colonies and are able to reproduce at a very fast rate meaning they can change from a few individuals to huge colonies within days. Some adults are winged which allows them to disperse and find new plants to infest, once a new colony is started the majority of the aphids within it will be wingless and so relatively immobile.
Aphids typically live on the underside of leaves and at the soft growing points of the plant. They are small insects which can vary greatly in colour from green to brown to black depending on the species of aphid which is living on the plant. Similar in size and appearance to whitefly, whitefly can be distinguished by their white bodies and wings, also the adult whitefly taking to flight when disturbed whereas winged aphid adults tend to stay on the plant until directly disturbed.
MightyBug – Ladybird larvae is a natural beneficial predator containing larval stages of the two spotted ladybird (Adalia bipunctata). A native species to the UK, the two spotted ladybird is a well know gardeners friend with a voracious hunger for eating aphids. Easy to use by simply releasing the pack contents either onto leaf surfaces or into distribution boxes the ladybird larvae are ready to go and will immediately start to move around the plant to hunt and eat aphids.
MightyBug – Ladybird larvae should be used when pest aphids are present so that there is food for them to eat. Their hunger and ability to consume 60 aphids per day means they will quickly get on top of an aphid infestation, Ladybird larvae will feed for approximately four weeks after release, at which point they will pupate and turn into adult beetles. After emerging as adult ladybird beetles, they will continue to feed on aphid and other soft bodies pest insects.
Ladybird larvae supplied as MightyBugs are young and small. They may be difficult to find in their buckwheat carrier material and once released onto the plants. As they feed they will grow rapidly and develop their characteristic orange marks on their flanks. When larger they can be followed around the plants and watched as they hunt aphids.
The Ladybird larvae are relatively small on arrival, and as with all of the MightyBug range, are safe for children, pets, wildlife and the plants you are lovingly tending.
How to use:
As with all MightyBug predators, use immediately upon receipt. Fresh is best!
MightyBug – Ladybird larvae do not fly, however ensure you are near to where you plan to release them before opening the pack to prevent them escaping.
The ladybird larvae will be camouflaged on the brown buckwheat carrier material and so you may not be able to see them initially. The ladybird larvae will be small when delivered, but will grow rapidly as they eat the aphids on the plants in your garden, home and greenhouse.
Open the container and gently shake the brown buckwheat content either directly onto the leaves of the plant or into distribution boxes hung from leaves in the plant around areas infested with aphids. Care should be taken not to tip the ladybird larvae onto the floor or soil as this makes it difficult for the ladybird larvae to climb back onto the plant and find the aphids to eat.
If using distribution boxes, they should be hung from leaves on the plant infested with aphids and hung as close to the aphids as possible to make it easier for the ladybird larvae to find their food. Distribution boxes should be hung in the shade and not in direct sunlight. MightyBug distribution boxes are used for initial easy beneficial insect introduction. After being released the MightyBugs will not live in the boxes, they will move through the plants hunting for pest insects to eat.
MightyBug – Ladybird larvae should be distributed over the plant area infested with aphid colonies. They are an ideal curative treatment to control hot spot patches of aphid colonies.
Ladybird larvae will start to hunt and eat aphids immediately. As they eat aphids and other pest insects they will grow and eventually turn into their well-known red with black spots adult beetle form. Adult ladybirds can fly, but if there are enough aphids in the area they will stay on the plants continuing to eat aphids and lay eggs to create future generations of MightyBugs to protect your plants.
Ladybird larvae require temperatures of 12-13°C to be active. In unheated greenhouses or outdoor plants this would typically mean it is suitable for use April to October. In heated greenhouses or indoors it can be used year-round as long as temperatures are suitable.
MightyBug – Ladybird larvae are an excellent curative treatment to give quick control of established aphid populations. They will eat all development stages of a wide range of aphid species. To combine with a long-term preventative treatment ladybird larvae can be combined with parasitoid wasps for example MightyBug – Aphid predator mix.
Chemical compatibility. We recommend not using chemicals which are known to harm mites or small insects at the same time as MightyBugs. Chemical pesticides often are not specific in what they kill and they can harm beneficial insects at the same time as the pests they are being used against.