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Re: CULT: ladybugs

Both larvae and adults of ladybugs are predators of smaller, soft-bodied
insects.  Sharon is correct about establishing a colony, but even this can
be chancy since ladybug adults migrate to hibernation sites in winter.  In
fact, millions of them can be found at these sites in dense clusters.
Earlier, many suppliers simply collected them there (maybe this still goes
on) and shipped them.  The trouble was that the natural tendency of the
ladybugs when hibernation ends is to disperse as widely as possible.

Unlike Sharon, most people fail to thoroughly research and understand the
use of predators for pest control.  I think it is a wonderful idea, but it
cannot be taken as a panacea.  I'm not advocating heavy spraying, but it
may be necessary to use some insecticidal soap on those aphids until your
ladybug colony builds up to the point where they can be effective.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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