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Adult ladybirds

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  • Eat aphids and bring balance back into your garden
  • The best choice when ants are protecting aphids
  • Native species and good for biodiversity
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    Adalia bipunctata is the native two-spotted ladybug that is found naturally throughout Europe. The two-spotted ladybug is indicated as "vulnerable" on the red list in Flanders and the Netherlands. This means that when you release our adult ladybugs, you are helping nature restore populations of a native species. This species is also native to the United Kingdom.

    In addition to being very useful, ladybugs are a pleasure to look at in your garden. You can encourage them to establish in your garden by hanging a ladybug hotel in which the adult ladybugs can overwinter. Cultivating a garden full of plants and insect life (yes, even including aphids) will ensure that ladybugs hang around. The more attractive you make your garden to ladybugs, the more likely it is they will stay.

    Ladybug larvae or adults?

    Adult ladybugs are good aphid predators, although ladybug larvae eat more aphids because they still need to develop and therefore eat more than the adults. In principle, you should generally choose ladybug larvae instead of adults whenever possible. Ladybug larvae can be introduced in a very targeted way into aphid outbreaks and they cannot fly away, unlike adult ladybugs.

    However, if there are many ants present on the affected plants, the ladybug larvae will be harassed by them. Ants will defend their food source of the sticky honeydew excreted by the aphids. They will attempt to throw ladybug larvae off of leaves, and in many cases they will be successful.

    In this case, you should consider introducing adult ladybugs instead of larvae. Adult ladybugs are bigger, stronger and better at fighting ants than ladybug larvae. Adult ladybugs should be released in the evening, just before dark, in close proximity to the aphid outbreaks. The next morning, they will adapt to their new environment and find food immediately, making them less likely to fly away.

    Advantages of adult ladybugs

    • They are very easy to introduce into the garden, just release them into affected plants at dusk.
    • They begin hunting as soon as they are released.
    • They can fight off ant attacks better than ladybug larvae.
    • They reproduce relatively quickly after release, and the second generation will feast on even more aphids.
    • It is a pleasure to watch them.

    Disadvantages of adult ladybugs

    • The only real disadvantage to releasing adult ladybugs instead of larvae is that it's possible the adult ladybirds will fly away. Release adult ladybugs in the evening, when they are less active, in order to prevent them immediately flying away. When released in the evening, they will acclimate overnight and will be happy eating the aphids on your plants.
    • In order to ensure the best chances that ladybugs will stick around in the long term, turn your garden into a nature haven. Use native plants in your landscaping, and hang a ladybug house so they have somewhere to shelter in the winter. The more inviting your garden is for ladybirds, the better.

    Tips and Tricks

    • Release the ladybugs in the evening when they are less active to reduce the chances that they will fly away.
    • Release them in close proximity to the aphids.
    • Provide a place to hibernate in the winter, such as a ladybug hotel, so there is a greater chance they will make their home in your garden for generations to come.
    Pro's & cons
    • plus-circle They can defend themselves against ants (unlike ladybug larvae)
    • plus-circle You help nature by releasing a vulnerable native species into the ecosystem
    • plus-circle The next generation of their larvae will eat even more aphids
    • minus-circle They might like your neighbor's garden better than yours
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    Need help?
    We are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CET, Monday through Friday. We speak English, Dutch, French and German!
    Contact us