Q & A

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Eric Vinje

Hello –

Well, you’ve got me all worked up now! The claim that some ladybugs are pre-conditioned to stay at home is complete nonsense and purely a marketing ploy. The fact is, ALL ladybugs available for sale are gathered, screened to remove debris, and then “walked” to separate the healthy ones from the sick and/ or infected ones. This process is done prior to shipment and then repeated several times throughout the growing season.

One of the biggest factor affecting how well your ladybugs work is the time of year that they are purchased. Twice a year (early December and late May) ladybugs migrate from the San Joaquin Valley to the foothills of the Sierra mountains. It is here where they are gathered, processed and then stored in climate controlled refrigerators until sold. The longer ladybugs are stored the weaker they become and the less efficient they are as pest killers.

Ladybugs will also need a food source once released. If you introduce ladybugs thinking you’ll prevent aphids from entering your garden, you could be in for disappointment. Ladybugs who find nothing to feed on will likely abandon a clean garden in search of food.

To keep your ladybugs around and to establish breeding colonies, it’s also important to supply them with certain blooming herbs and flowers to provide the nectar they need for reproduction. Mint, yarrow, angelica, dill and clover are good choices but almost any shallow blossomed plant (including dandelions) will work.

Note: Planet Natural has been shipping ladybugs for over 25 years. We guarantees live, timely delivery of our beneficial insects.