You know how you clean your house more when someone is coming over? And even more when it’s not a very close friend or family member who will understand when the place looks like it has been recently ransacked by a gang of thugs? Well, suffice to say, I’m trying to get some things cleaned up.
Which is why I will either have to release the rest of my aphid-eating machines currently residing in my refrigerator or perhaps cover the very large orange sticker that says “Live Ladybugs” before our guest arrives. Can you imagine staying at someone’s house who you don’t know and opening up the fridge and finding a box of ladybugs? What a great first impression.
The ladybugs are fascinating to me. I got them because I found aphids on my climbing rose (‘Cancan’) on the front of the house again. Last year the aphids became a real problem and I don’t want them getting out of control again. I use an insecticidal soap on them, but that is pretty gross and seems like it requires a lot applications. Spraying them off with a hose never seems to work because they really get in the crevices of the new growth. Ladybugs love aphids, so I thought why not let someone else do the work.
|This box has been in the fridge for a couple weeks.|
I ordered 1,500 ladybugs from Hirt’s through Amazon and they showed up a few days later in the mail (they aren’t available through Amazon Prime unfortunately). When I saw how many were in the mesh bag and read that you can keep them in the fridge for up to five months, I thought I would release them slowly over time.
These little guys are amazing. They all seem dead when you pull them out of the fridge, but within a couple minutes they warm up and start wiggling. In five minutes they are clamoring to get out of the bag and it’s actually hard to stop them from coming.
|They come in this little mesh bag.|
|Look at those little guys do their job. And do you see all those disgusting aphids? Eat, ladybugs, eat!|
I’ve ordered another 4,500 more ladybugs. I suspect I’m going to have to employ multiple methods to deal with this growing aphid issue (I’ve since found them on one of my Oso Easy roses and my climbing William Baffin in the circle garden), but I think the ladybugs definitely rank up there as the easiest and most fun method.