Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Nature's Army

 My garden has been overwhelmed with aphids...it's a sad fact, but none-the-less true. My roses are covered; my plum tree and honeysuckle bush have even fallen prey to these little critters.They have been extremely destructive in past years and I want to put a stop to it!

My rosebuds covered in aphids!
We have tired natural pest control - ivory soap and water - which worked when we had only a few. Now that we have so many, it doesn't seem to phase them. So then we tried a chemical citrus based product to control them. Still, there was no difference in our aphid population.

At our whits end, we decided to visit our local nursery to distract ourselves from our disheartening infestation. As we wandered around (after closing time coincidentally...oops...they were so nice to us though! :) and found several beautiful plants I wanted to take home, we came across a sign hanging on the side of till booth. It read, "The Ladybugs have flown in!"

Cameron paused for a moment and said, "that's cool...but what do you do with them?!"

I just chuckled and told him they were amazing at controlling many garden pests. As the last words flew from my mouth, a light went off for both of us...why not try ladybugs to control our aphids?!

So that is just what we did! On a whim, we bought a bag of ladybugs - about 1/3 C. which is approximately 1,500 ladybugs - took them home and began our release effort!


We let them sit on the counter for two hours to get acclimatized to the weather conditions outside of their little mini-fridge. After that, we opened the bag and began to disperse them throughout our garden!

As soon as the bag was open, they were crawling and flying out everywhere. It was amazing to see so many of these little bugs in one spot and having the responsibility or releasing them...it was extremely fun to do!

We 'sprinkled' them all around our house and watched some land safely on the soft, moist ground while others immediately took flight and flew off. And as quickly as we had opened the bag, they were gone. We had successfully emptied our bag of about 1,500 ladybugs hoping they would find safety and satiety in our yard.

For the next two days, we went out to see how many of them stuck around. To our surprise, we could only find one or two, every couple of days, in different areas; nothing consistent. We began to feel like this was just one more thing on our list that wasn't going to work for us.

But just as I had given up hope, today, when I walked out my front door, I noticed that several of my rosebuds had opened. As I examined them closer, I noticed they did not have nearly the amount of aphids covering them as they did! Those wonderful little ladybugs did stick around! They may be a little bit slower than I originally thought, but they are efficient...each bud would be completely stripped of bugs or would be covered, simple as that!

So far, I'm thoroughly impressed! After so many different attempts, all I needed to do was go back to God's creation and his master plan. How can you go wrong with that?!

If, like me, you are experiencing a pest problem, give these ladybugs a try. We found ours at our local nursery, so your nursery would be a good place to start inquiring about where you can get them. It's a simple and fun way to clear out some very destructive bugs, which will allow you more flowers, fruit, and vegetables to sit back and enjoy!!

Have fun and try something a little obscure for you...it may just pay off!


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