Thursday, June 14, 2007


Some good news - the ladybugs came back! A few weeks ago we discovered that the cherry tree had aphids on it...LOTS of aphids. (I thought the leaves were just turning black for no reason, but someone else noticed that the black leaves were covered in tiny black bugs.)

So I ordered 1500 ladybugs from Gardener's Supply. They arrived via UPS in a little box with holes poked in it. The ladybugs come in a mesh bag filled with moist wood shavings. They become active as soon as you take the bag out and unfold it.

One website advises you to refrigerate the ladybugs until it's time to put them outside (at dusk), so that they're slower and don't fly away immediately. According to Gardener's Supply, you can refrigerate them for a couple of days, making sure to give them a 'moist raisin' to eat.

At any rate, we refrigerated them, box and all, in the produce section of the fridge until dusk. We put them all over the lower part of the tree and the most affected leaves, and they seemed happy enough... But they were gone the next day! I regretted not having gotten the mesh sheets that Gardener's Supply suggested to keep them in place.

However, M informed me in beginning of this week that they were back. There aren't 1500 of them, but there are a fair number of them back and feasting. I can even see a few from the family room window. Even better - we have ladybug larvae now, too! They're bizarre enough looking that I'm glad Gardener's Supply sent an info sheet on what eggs and larvae look like. Apparently the larvae consume even more aphids than do the adults.

Unrelatedly, this rug would be awesome for the hallway.

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