permies way of dealing with scaley insects. Their appetite for aphids is famous. They can be cheap, if
they stick around and control your insect pests, but can be costly if they just fly away, as is common.
The key lies in their nature. When they come out of dormancy they are hungry, and the first thing that
their natural instinct tells them to do is to migrate. That is why they usually just fly away.
The way to prevent this is to wait until after sunset, but before total darkness to release them.
If it is getting dark, they will find a place to set up camp for the night. If their camp is amongst a
ready supply of food, they are much less likely to fly away. A good breakfast is a good welcome home.
If you have a greenhouse, high tunnel or hoop houses, they are excellent spots to release them, as they
will find shelter and food there...no need to migrate.
Ladybugs require a source of pollen for food and are attracted to specific types of plants.
The most popular ones are any type of mustard plant, as well as other early blooming nectar and
pollen sources, like buckwheat, coriander, red or crimson clover, and legumes like vetches, and also
early aphid sources, such as bronze fennel, dill, coriander, caraway, angelica, tansy, yarrow, wild carrot.
Other plants that also attract ladybugs include coreopsis, (white) cosmos, dandelions and scented geraniums.
My house gets inundated with thousands of them every fall. They swarm mostly on a warm sunny day usually after the first cold snap of later fall. I used a broom for a while but eventually had to resort to a vacuum to keep up with them. I transfer them to the far end of my wood pile.
If you hang a sheet of cardboard on the side of your house they will swarm together under it. Then just scoop them up into a jar or other container. You can overwinter them with some success if you make sure they don't dry out.
Reason why Ladybugs “fly away” from your yard or garden is because they have a need to “migrate”. My two years of research reveals something different. Yes, Ladybugs do migrate every year byi nstinct they know when its time end of the summer to catch a jet-stream head to the high country or mountains to hibernate for the winter, but unlike bears which actually sleep in a cave Ladybug gather in big colonies of thousands and thousands. The still move about but not too much they are living off stored fat in their bodies, In the spring time they instinctly know when it is time to catch another jet-stream to bring them back to the valleys or fat lands to feed and breed. Now when and were they get on or off the jet stream actually varies from season to season which explains why spotting of ladybugs at different locations both in winter natural landing spots and spring valley or flat lands landing spots. One landing on the west coast they landed on a beach if they had gotten off any later of the jet stream they would have ended up in the ocean as fish bait. Its all about “How to care for the Ladybug” I wrote a blog on the History of Ladybug which will lead you the correct answer “How to care for your ladybugs” http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/-
I honestly thought our house was just unique in this, but reading this thread proves we arent special at all, LOL I wont tell Georgia, my three yr old! I hope they stick around anyhow, come summer!
I am plagued by these bugs. Every year, on warm Fall days, you can't stand to go outside. You get covered by them in seconds. They find their way inside as well.
Ladybugs (the beneficial kind) are great. Not these. If these kill aphids, I don't know how any aphids could survive with these numbers of AL. We have tons of aphids, so I don't think they're helping me any there. These things bite too!
I'm including a few pics, but they really don't show the magnitude of the invasion.
Anyone have a good suggestion for the problem?
If you have chickens or fish that will eat them, they'll still be safe as food, unlike most common chemical treatments. Ladybugs have evolved to taste unpleasant to predators, though. If they turn out to be unsuitable for food, they'll still be safe additions to your compost pile.
I'd be cautious about using it outside, though. It can also impact your beneficial insect counts. Success outside would have a lot to do with how much space you can devote to encouraging their natural predators. Since they're an imported species, this is especially difficult.
It would stand to reason that if ladybugs are getting into your house, heat is escaping from those very same holes and cracks. I'd be going around with weather stripping and a caulk gun . . . seal your house up air-tight. Kill two birds (so to speak) with one stone.
All sorts of creatures come and go here. We've had flying squirrels in the upper attic and bedroom below it, a 7' black snake in the lower attic, found two black snakes mating in the living room closet, a water snake in the dining room, a bat in my chest of drawers, pack rats in the lower attic, field mice anywhere...and for the next few weeks, ladybugs. It's a circus. Guess I could charge admission and make a few bucks.
The number of ladybugs in the house isn't a big problem. The swarm outside is unreal. They light on you and you come back inside with a dozen on you. The H came in yesterday and I vacuumed him as soon as he stepped inside. I feel trapped in the house. All outside chores have to be done early before the bugs are in full force.
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