Lady Bugs or Beetles

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by nena, May 22, 2008.

  1. nena

    nena Guest

    I'm having massive problems with my plants being eaten by aphids and my herbs being eaten by green worms (I believe from some type of moths).
    I read that red ladybugs are the best natural method of eating aphids, but there is none in my area. Is it possible for buy some in Sydney for domestic use? Does anyone know how I can control the green moths, other than spraying them with water or garlic spray?
    Thanks xx
     
  2. thepoolroom

    thepoolroom Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    I've always found that planting zuccini will bring ladybugs. I'll see none in my garden for ages, but as soon as some zuccini leaves are up, there'll be dozens!
     
  3. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    I always get lots of lady bugs on my zuchini's but normally they are the yellow mildew eating kind.
    Hey hopefully if you are patient, the lady bugs will just "arrive".. to speed it up, there must be someone close by who has a few spare lady bugs in their garden?
     
  4. nena

    nena Guest

    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Hi thanks for the suggestions, I have been researching potted zucchinni's nows and hopefully can grow them around my courtyard. I also got word that green lacewings eat aphids.
    I had these weird egg things on my leaves that were like little white sacks that were held out from the leaves (like tiny balloons hanging off the leaf) I believed these were aphid eggs but are they lacewings eggs and should I leave them alone? I have been spraying them with water and such!!
     
  5. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    I know its not the green thing and it probably goes against every principal of permaculture, but "success" by yates does work against the green caterpillar.... I had a lot of problems with them devastating my tomatoes every summer .... the "success" is made from soil bacteria that attack the guts of caterpillars. Used it this summer and had my first ever crop of summer tomatoes on the sunshine coast.

    aphids can be attacked by fingers - squashed bit messy but very effective - you just have gently squeeze the twig - after a couple of days you'll get on top of them and the problem will be partly solved.....
    planting other things that lady bugs are attracted helps - - I've got a lot of cosmos, herbs, a couple of natives and I also have an attractive garden for birds and insects - lots of straw, water, nesting/feeding plants

    you can stop the green caterpillars if you have taller plants - - by covering with something like fly screen tubes or lace curtains - but you have to get them covered before the moths lay their first eggs...
     
  6. backyardfarmer

    backyardfarmer Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    I recently learned that not all ladybird beetles are good ...

    apparently the 28 spotted ones have larvae that are leafeaters ... they eat cucurbits, beans, and potatoes, tomatoes and other solanacae.

    Its only the common or 18 spotted ladybird beetles that are good ... ie they eat aphids and other small pests.
     
  7. Raymondo

    Raymondo Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Predator numbers always lag pest numbers and of course you have to provide a welcoming environment. Make sure you have plenty of the Asteraceae (daisy) family about as food for the good guys and while waiting for their numbers to increase, use the thumb and forefinger method described above. Aphid predators include ladybugs, hover flies and lacewings. Personally, I like Jackie French's 'glue' spray.
     
  8. Comfrey

    Comfrey Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Hi there

    As a gardener I often have more idealism than success, BUT one thing I do feel confident about is: leave your aphids, they are just the thing to attract the ladybirds (and birds themselves) you need to sort out your problems. I love growing roses, and there is always a moment as new growth appears and the aphids really move in when you think you will have to do something to save the plants. But if something stops you reaching for the spray (or whatever method) for a week or two, you will often notice that the problem has begun to solve itself. I discovered this when I had my first child and couldn't get out in time to "save" the plants - then found they didn't need saving! I would concentrate on keeping the plants healthy, well watered, in decent soil, particularly if you are container growing irregular watering might be more the problem. A stressed plant might succumb to aphid attack, so I'd worry about the plants not the aphids. Or to put it another way, if you don't have aphids, you won't get ladybirds. Here in Europe we get cute little bluetits coming to eat them too, presumably in Oz you have little wrens and so forth too? Sorry to rave on, but I think a garden with a few aphids is a more exciting place... If I haven't convinced you, try spraying them off with a water jet. I believe they can't climb (seriously).
    Best of luck.
     
  9. Susan

    Susan Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    There are over 4000 species of Lady beetles Worldwide and a few hundred of them are in Australia; there are lots of different combinations of spots and colours on the beneficial types. I always leave something that is sacrificial for the aphids so that the predators will stay around. A typical Lady beetle can apparently eat a few thousand Aphids in a life time so they don't stick around for just one or two. The immature Ladybeetles look nothing like the adults by the way and can confuse gardeners into thinking they have yet another pest...
    You can buy Lady beetles from the Good Bug people (no not in Sydney, try Googling) the problem is that in a garden situation they might just decide your neighbours garden is more interesting.
    Another thing to consider is that when Aphids have more to eat than they need they secrete honeydew. Ants will farm and protect these herds of Aphids just to have a ready supply. In order to give the Lady beetles and the Lacewings a chance try reducing accompanying ants. Also Aphid females can clone themselves plus numbers respond to temperature while Lady Beetles only mature and reproduce as a response to day light hours. Probably why we are seeing more of them at this time of year- even here in the Blue Mountains with the last few nights temperature down to 0*C
    The 28 Spot Lady beetle is larger than most and less willing to 'fly away home' when disturbed, in fact they usually drop to the ground. You can pick they up but they will exude a smelly substance over your hands that you might not want.
    Good Luck anyway
    Sue
     
  10. Comfrey

    Comfrey Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Sue, the ant-farming-aphid situation is one I know well - what would you suggest for getting rid of the accompanying ants? Usually I just watch fatalistically as the ants scurry back and forward to the new shoots.
     
  11. Susan

    Susan Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Boric acid (Borax) is the most common ingredient in house ant control products, it is abolutely 100% natural. the best way is to mix 1 cup of warm water with 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of boric acid. Put it in the lid of a used glass bottle or soak the liquid up with cotton balls and place them around the base of the affected plants.
    Apparently whole cloves are meant to work too, but I haven't tried that.
    Or if you follow the ants back to the nest you coould try pouring boiling water on the nest. Like all IPM methods a little bit of every thing seems to work best. Even the so called 'pest' specialists these days call themselves managers, cause control is way out of the question and not enviromentally advisable anyway.
     
  12. tranquil

    tranquil Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    What kind of setup do you have? Is it possible to move the plants that attract the most pests away from each other, rather than grouping them together? If not, it might be something to plan for next season.

    I've also had success just using some mild soap and water if they are really killing the plants.
     
  13. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    Another good article on these "Wee beasties"
    https://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblyg ... efault.htm
     
  14. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    My dill seems to get them every year, maybe because it attracts the aphids first, but it spreads easily and I always have more than I need so I keep shaking the seeds around to start it in new places.

    Plant pollen and nectar flowers, especially angelica and dill, and allow for a few weeds such as dandelion and yarrow.
    excerpt
    https://www.familycorner.com/archives/gardens/2.shtml
     
  15. Beebles

    Beebles Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles/ birds - as in hitchcock

    and the best thing to kill the evil ladybirds? the ones that kill all my zucchinis just when they're going gangbusters?
    at first I thought - its this crazy rain that drowns everything (last year) but no! am certain they bore into the stems and cause damage then rot.
     
  16. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Lady Bugs or Beetles

    [​IMG]

    LADYBIRD UPDATE

    To date we have received more than 2000 submissions to the survey from all over the country! That’s a much bigger response than we were anticipating. So overwhelming was it that we had to split the map into several smaller ones!

    We’ve also put up a gallery of the best photos you have submitted and there are some truly fantastic pics out there. There’s a whole new and unexplored ladybird world out there that we are only just discovering!


    So what now? Keep sending in your pics and data and we will keep adding them to the survey. A couple of us are going through the submissions very carefully and checking the identifications against the pictures. When we have finished we will have a very useful and important catalogue of the distributions of several species of ladybirds across Australia. We’re already talking to the researchers at the CSIRO about turning this information into a couple of scientific papers so you have really contributed to the advancement of science!

    We’ll keep you posted and, when some results are in, we’ll post distribution maps on to our Ladybird survey website.

    In the meantime, happy ladybird hunting!
    https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/ladybirds/
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Watch the Catalyst story on ladybirds here
    https://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2408773.htm
     

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