Susan Fuller asked:
: Sharon-where do you get ladybugs that WANT to stay in your
: yard until there are too many of them??
I raise 'em. Actually, I just provide the environment -- they raise themselves.
You only have to get a few adults to stay around long enough to lay their eggs.
It's the larva that do the most good in terms of insect control. They eat
insect eggs, as well as smaller larva, and are essentially a mobile appetite.
If you don't squash the larva or pluck the pupae, you'll eventually get so many
mature ladybugs that some of them will move on. As long as enough lay eggs in
my yard to sustain the colony, I don't care if the rest of them move out and
take over the entire county! I count success, not by the number of ladybugs I
see, but by the number of pests I don't see.
If you're just getting started, ladybugs are less likely to fly away if you
release them in the cool of the evening. Don't scatter them but rather place
them GENTLY on the ground where you want them to settle in.
Sharon McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org)