Are borers a problem where there is an active ladybug colony?
I have no first-hand experience with borers, but it seems like their eggs should
be as inviting to ladybugs as those of other iris pests like aphids and thrips.
The ladybug colony does a much better job of controlling these than we ever
managed with chemicals. As a bonus, they've almost wiped out a number of other
annoying pests like elm beetles and fruitflies. In short, they seem to feast on
any insect eggs laid on live or dead plant matter.
The Bulletin already printed my article on the subject, so I'll stick to the
short version here, but there's one advantage I didn't really cover. When they
multiply to the point that there are too many ladybugs for the prey left in one
garden -- they migrate to the surrounding area. So you CAN extend some control
into other people's gardens. Most of your neighbors won't even notice your
I raise the question because the recommended borer controls I've read about on
the list (keeping the garden completely free of weeds and debris and spraying
routinely) would also wipe out the ladybugs. This sounds a lot like the war we
were waging with aphids, back when we relied on chemical controls.
Sharon McAllister (firstname.lastname@example.org)